Some days don't need cartoons.

I very, very seldom complain about people being "politically correct", because I firmly believe that the average insensitive jerk complaining about political correctness is usually just complaining that someone noticed he's an insensitive jerk. Yesterday, however, I ran across a message in Google's customer support forum that made me wonder about people who don't think their political correctness all the way through.

As you may know, Google often changes its logo for holidays and special events. Yesterday, on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, someone demanded to know "why you didn't update the Google image on the front page for MLK Monday like you do for most other holidays", which struck me as just a little clueless.

Remember, Google's holiday logos are hand-drawn cartoons, often starring funny animals. So, apparently, the user quoted above was upset that Google didn't put a silly cartoon of a noted civil rights leader on the front page. What?

Strangely, and sadly, this isn't the first time I've run into the "Google didn't celebrate my holiday" complaint. Back in November, somebody at Webmaster World complained that Google didn't commemorate Veterans Day in the United States, but did mark the analogous Remembrance Day in Canada. (Tangent: On my computer's calendar, Remembrance Day is May 4th -- guess where I went to grad school?) I suppose they thought Google wasn't being patriotically correct.

Of course, Google has a similar problem with cartooning Veteran's Day. While Canada has a colorful but dignified poppy as a universal symbol for Veterans/Remembrance/Armstice Day, people in the United States mostly associate it with parades of old soldiers, and soldiers' graves. (When exactly did Memorial Day and Veteran's Day get mixed up in American minds, anyway?) I'm not convinced a Google logo surrounded by white crosses would really cheer people up. Especially during a war.

For God's sake, people, think before you complain. Veteran's Day and Martin Luther King Day are both fairly serious subjects. If your biggest concern about them is the lack of search engine cartoons, you may have your priorities in the wrong place.

Posted at 11:20:47 PM EST on 20 January 2004 from Trenton, MI