If This Blog Entry Didn’t Exist…

If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him.

– Voltaire, Épître à l’Auteur du Livre des Trois Imposteurs

If [John F. Kennedy] didn’t exist, it would be necessary to invent him, and then shoot him.

– Rob Sheffield, Vanity Fair

The following is a list of some of the people, groups, places, and varyingly abstract concepts that folks on the internet believe would need to be, in the case of their non-existence, invented, according to Google.

I searched only for cases that matched the (seemingly canonical) English translation that leads this post; there are more lax forms, e.g. “…we’d have to invent him”, that turn up many additional hits if you care to go looking, but I wanted to keep things simple and go for the (arbitrarily?) pure snowclone with this one.

It’s interesting that the intention of any given citation may vary: in some cases (especially with political figures) it seems mostly to be used as a jab at the named figure, or at those who depend on that named figure or group for fodder; with less political figures, it tends to be more of a neutral or even laudatory expression.

The list, in as-the-hits-arrived order:

The Twenty-First Century
Osama bin Laden
Civic Intelligence
The Internet
The founders
Stephen King
Old 97s
The Codex Seraphinianus
Mignon Fogarty
Evolutionary biologist Massimo Pigliucci
Donald Trump
This Potato Salad
The Stig
Tom Waits
Joe Lieberman
Ayn Rand
Al Qaeda
Rock Bottom
P.Z. Myers
This website
The PC Controversy
The Mafia
In-ear monitors
Manchester United
William “The Refrigerator” Perry
Hong Kong
Mobile telephony
The Roman Empire

Author: Josh Millard

I manage and help moderate the community website MetaFilter, where I go by "cortex"; in my spare time I get up to all sorts of creative nerdery on the internet and in Portland, Oregon.

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