FACEBOOK HAS ENABLED us to reliably remember (and sometimes ignore) our friends’ birthdays, bombard high school classmates with cute photographs of our children, and make popular use of the Orwellian word unfriend.
But that’s not all! Mark Zuckerberg’s creation also serves as a naked barometer for popularity. Not since the invention of money has something inherently valueless been prized as highly as the Facebook LIKE. What we wouldn’t give here at The Weeklings home office for a few more LIKEs on our page! (Hint, hint…)
This raw and potentially humiliating data, accessible to anyone with a free account, presents us with the unique opportunity to put to rest some old arguments once and for all. Here’s how some time-honored battles play out on the basis of Facebook LIKEs:
Jesus vs. The Beatles
“We are bigger than Jesus,” John Lennon famously, and controversially, remarked. Turns out, the Walrus was
Paul right; per Facebook, the Beatles are more than twice as big as the Son of God. (Christ can take solace in the fact that He’s almost twice as big as Lennon solo. And the fact that He can make water into wine, a party trick not even Sean Parker can accomplish).
The Beatles: 27,871,114*
Team Jacob vs. Team Edward
The last decade ushered in three coinages beginning with “tw”: Twitter, tweens, and Twilight. On Twitter, tweens tweet about Twilight, especially about whether they prefer the vampire Edward Cullen (necrophilia) or the werewolf Jacob Black (bestiality). Facebook shows that when it comes to winning the hearts of tweens, it sucks to be a vampire.
Taylor Lautner: 17,017,307*
Robert Pattinson: 1,310,544
God vs. Satan
This one ain’t even close. Just like in Paradise Lost, the Horned One is resoundingly defeated. (Although if we accept the premise that Facebook is the Devil’s Work, it’s advantage Lucifer by a factor of ten.)
Romeo & Juliet vs. Romeo + Juliet
Wherefore art thou Baz? In the year that Lurhmann will make a music video of The Great Gatsby, it’s refreshing to see that many more people prefer the Bard unedited.
Romeo & Juliet: 3,989,539*
Romeo + Juliet: 673,704
Bush vs. Gore
Here’s an inconvenient truth: he may have lost the popular vote twelve years ago, but on Facebook in 2012, Boy George kicks some serious ass. Al can’t blame this drubbing on hanging chads. Or global warming. Or Tipper. Well, maybe Tipper.
George W. Bush: 1,857,420*
Al Gore: 79,207
2Pac vs. Biggie
A notorious feud: Battle of the Bands meets The Hunger Games by way of hip hop. The world of music would have been better served if they’d stood down, but as ‘Pac put it, “Fuck peace.” On Facebook, they aren’t so evenly matched.
The Dead vs. The Undead
I figured The Dead would prevail, because I’m pretty sure there are still people on acid trips that have been going on since 1993 who think Jerry Garcia and company are currently on tour. But Hollywood Undead, a band so famous I’ve never heard of them until I searched Facebook for “undead,” has twice as many LIKEs. The band’s singular appeal is nicely articulated by a fan calling himself Farshicl Lizarcl: “Duece is gone so forget about him coming back, hes a bitch anyways, Danny is a GREAT singer and the Band is amazing so stop saying bring duece back because its not going to happen Love HU no matter what. HUS4L!”
Hollywood Undead: 2,613,544*
The Grateful Dead: 1,341,422
Beyoncé vs. Rihanna
Are the rumors true? Are they feuding? Whatever for? Between them, they have almost 100 million Facebook fans. A hundred million. Nine figures. And Rihanna, Olive Oyl to the Popeye-and-Brutus act put on by Drake and the ever-classy Chris Brown, has more than Mrs. Knowles-Carter and her husband combined.
To be fair, aggregate Facebook LIKEs do not comprise a perfect system. I’m not sure how much stock I put in a universe in which a) Sponge Bob Square Pants (35,256,823) is more highly regarded than anything on this list save the one-named feuding divas, b) Texas HoldEm Poker is ten times more popular than God, and c) the most-liked celebrity is Eminem. And isn’t it fishy that the most-liked page on Facebook is…Facebook?