Facebook publicists announced today that President Barack Obama and pop performer Lady Gaga are running neck-and-neck to become the first living person with 10 million fans.

This is important a) because it offers journalists a data-driven, but ultimately shallow and inconclusive social-media gauge of our society's priorities, making it simultaneously properly newsworthy because of the numbers, trendy because of the Facebook, and perfect for spin-off punditry because anyone can opine on what the numbers mean, complete with tsk-tsking about our cultural nadir.

b) Because it will start an immediate surge of fans to both sites, with Obama's and Lady Gaga's constituencies (which probably overlap) and detractors competing to make sure their man or woman takes the crown, which is great for the aforementioned Facebook publicists.

c) Because it allows all of us to fill our blogs with references to Lady Gaga (which I hear Googles quite well) under the guise of social criticism. Also, did I mention the man with the most fans on Facebook is Michael Jackson, who has 13 million? Did I also mention it's the anniversary of his death? Hi, Google.

d) Because it indicates that the future of politics will be fraught with 10-inch platform shoes and bubble-wrap unitards. Let's face it, they can't all be Barack Obama. Some of them are gonna have to work it.

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