Google Celebrates Freddie Mercury

September 5th, 2011

Although as of this moment, 339 news sources have already reported it, and “me too” articles can be annoying, this Google doodle is one of the best I’ve seen in a while. Google doodles evolved from simple variations of the Google logo on their front page, to videos, games, and playable musical instruments, celebrating holidays and the birthdays of celebrities the world over.

This one is notable for combining images of Freddie Mercury’s music videos and concert costume with subtle allusions to internet memes (Nyan cat for instance) and video games. Google also seems to be trying to restore good karma with those who have criticized them for “hiding” the GLBT rainbow in the search box instead of displaying it “proudly”. The rainbow only appeared when users typed in certain queries, perhaps to avoid offending people. Paradoxically, it offended those it was celebrating, (Catch-22!). This doodle is subtler, and very well done; perhaps it can avoid the earlier controversy.

Mercury avoided interviews all his life, and left the issue of his sexuality deliberately vague; he was bisexual. He only announced to the world that he was HIV+ and had developed AIDS the day before his death. He would have been 65 today.

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