Has Google Replaced U.S. Postal Stamps in Celebrating Cultural Giants?

Call it the Dawn of the Great Google Doodle Backlash.

From today’s Washington Post Outlook section (via Politico Playbook):

The case against the Google Doodle

JMH artWhen Google honored African American author Zora Neale Hurston with a custom logo — a Google Doodle — on its homepage earlier this month, the company won praise.

Time and the Los Angeles Times wrote approving stories. “Google’s tribute was fitting for Hurston, who was ‘a groundbreaking experimental novelist, champion of black vernacular culture and a daring anthropological scholar,’ ” Daphne A. Brooks, a Princeton University English professor, told the Root . . .

But is Google the right booster for one of the Harlem Renaissance’s greatest treasures? We’d be appalled if McDonald’s used Martin Luther King Jr.’s image to sell hamburgers or if Coca-Cola put Mohandas Gandhi on a soda can. So why is it any different when a tech behemoth uses Hurston to hawk searches?

Justin Moyers’s piece then postulates this: “Since Google began Doodling in 1998, it’s aligned its brand with some of the greatest human beings who ever walked the Earth, borrowing the pixie dust of GandhiMLK and others. In a role once reserved for the U.S. Postal Service and its stamps, Google now decides who deserves tribute —Hurston yes, Malcolm X no.”

In other words, WaPo asserts – U.S. Postal Service yes, Google no.


Or no.

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3 Responses to Has Google Replaced U.S. Postal Stamps in Celebrating Cultural Giants?

  1. Ask me when there’s a Doctor Who stamp.

  2. Bill says:

    What’s a “stamp”? If a famous person appears on a stamp and hardly anyone sees it, does it still count as acknowlegement of their fame?
    I see a surprising number of (younger) folks go into our local PO and ask for just one stamp. (No, I am not making this up!) It’s not that they don’t have the money to buy more than one, it’s just that they have no need for more in the forseeable future, and would probably misplace and lose the rest of them, by the time the actually needed that 2nd stamp they bought.

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