The Couch Surfer: Will anyone 'bing' Robert Pattinson?

Tim Walker: 'Edward Cullen/RPattz was created specifically to drive teenage girls wild'

Share
Related Topics

Last week the web spent about five minutes going totally loopy for a pair of very brief YouTube virals. One is a six-second clip of a yellow Porsche driving down a cobbled street in Italy. The other is also a six-second clip of the yellow Porsche driving down the cobbled street in Italy, from a different angle. That's it: no commentary, no explanation. And they'd both been watched by over 150,000 people in less than 48 hours.

What's the rush? Well, the clips are amateur footage of a scene being shot for New Moon, the second movie in the Twilight series, which stars Robert Pattinson as teen vampire Edward Cullen. You know you've arrived when you've got an internet nickname. For reasons of brevity and my own amusement, I shall henceforth address Pattinson solely by his: "RPattz".

At the Cannes Film Festival's annual Cinema Against AIDS benefit, RPattz auctioned two kisses for $28,000 each, to be planted on the cheeks of the daughters of the winning bidders. Naturally, he's also a musician (with, one grown-woman colleague assures me, "the most beautiful voice in all the world...").

Certain sectors of the internet should only be approached by teenage girls, like netball courts or Topshop; and Edward Cullen/ RPattz was created specifically to drive that particular demographic wild. He's moodier and manlier than Zac Efron; too dangerous for a Dad's comfort, a natural killer who must suppress the urge; oh, and talking of suppressing urges, he can't have it off with his girlfriend as he'd get carried away and start sucking her blood.

I'm sure teenage girls won't be the least bit interested; but boys, I'd like to recommend a healthier relationship role model than this. He's called Nick, he's played by the fine young comic actor Michael Cera, and he's one half of the charming teen couple who give their names to Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, due on DVD shortly.

The story of a single night on the Manhattan music scene, Nick and Norah is resolutely undramatic yet, for my money, a lot more romantic than Twilight. Nick and Norah are a pleasantly eccentric pair who, thanks to their wit and likeability, never tip over into the forced quirkiness that afflicts so many movies nowadays. They drink, they like music, they have sex. Nick doesn't glitter like diamonds in the sunlight. But he smiles occassionally, and tells the odd bad joke, which is more than can be said for boring old Edward Cullen, whose idea of fun is playing baseball with his parents.

There's a fresh verb about to enter the lexicon: "to Bing". As in: "Could you Bing me the best route to Berkhampstead?" or "I spent most of last night Binging Vanessa Hudgens." Bing.com is the new search engine unveiled by Microsoft last week. Expected to go live on Wednesday, it's being sold as smarter than Google.

Then again, they said the same about the supposedly revolutionary Wolfram Alpha search engine when that made its debut in May. Rather than simply select links to other sites, Wolfram answers questions with the help of a complex algorithm. But be warned: it's a lot more useful for learning about rainfall in Chad than for finding pubs in Kensington.

Moreover, a small San Franciscan nerd collective with $15m just launched Topsy, a search engine that sifts Twitter users' tweets and links, rather than the wider web. Topsy, say its creators, is designed to demonstrate what's hot on the net right this very second.

As search engines get smarter, choosing your favourite could be the same as buying a car: perhaps we'll all just pick the best vehicle to get us where we want to go. If I search, say, "New Moon" with Wolfram Alpha, it soberly explains that the last new moon appeared at 1:14:33 pm GMT on Sunday, May 24. A search for "RPattz" draws a blank: "Wolfram Alpha isn't sure what to do with your input."

Google's top responses to "New Moon" are more my thing – the IMDB and Wikipedia pages for the movie; while Googling "Rpattz" helpfully yields its urban dictionary definition, with an example of usage: "RPattz FTW!!!"

So will search engines eventually fragment along anthropological lines, or will a giant like Google or Microsoft create one clever enough to cater to everyone's taste at once? Given the same search terms, Topsy returns two blog posts entitled "OMG! New Moon Pics!"; and "Breaking! Robert Pattinson takes his shirt off!" It has, I suspect, a good chance of becoming the teenage girl's search engine of choice.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant- NY- Investment Bank

Not specified: Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant Top tier investment bank i...

Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executive- City of London, Old Street

£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager

£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...

Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwickshire

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...

Day In a Page

Read Next
“I just wanted some chicken wings,” Tan Shen told the assembled media. “But once I got in there ... I decided I needed time to think.”  

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Ellen E Jones
Gwyneth Paltrow and Coldplay's Chris Martin “consciously uncoupled” in March  

My best and worst stories of 2014

Simmy Richman
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

Michael Calvin's Last Word

From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015