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The Perils of Google, Justin Timberlake and Cheetahs

Categories: This Writer's Life.

Often, I google myself. I do this not just out of insecurity and a need to feel loved and appreciated but also because I want to– um, no, those are pretty much the reasons. But this is not always as fulfilling as I originally imagined it.

First, there is the issue of my name. As I’ve mentioned before, I share a name with a boy named Kevin Alexander Clark, who is a child actor from Highland Park, Illinois that starred as the drummer in School of Rock. He is handsome. Well, more specifically, he’s a hottie. I’m not just saying that, either. You can even sign a petition stating that you believe him to be a hottie at  http://www.petitionspot.com/petitions/hottie . The goal of the girl who started the petition, Lorena Esparza, was to get 15 signatures, but she got 255. So, like I said, he’s f*cking hot. Anyways, he has, I would estimate, 95% of the Kevin Alexander google searches locked up. Watch that boy. He’s going places.

But after him there is also Kevin Alexander from New Zealand, who is a presenter on a Kiwifruit television show and “considers himself a bit of a showboy”, two writers named Kevin Alexander Gray and Kevin Alexander Boon (the former is into politics, the later is a professor who has “set out to read every novel about zombies written in the last 90 years”), a linebacker at Clemson who runs the 40 in 4.6, a blogger from New Jersey whose Zodiac sign is the snake and likes the term “poop deck” and a commerical litigation attorney in California who seems kind of young to be a partner, but maybe just colors his hair. All of those Kevin Alexanders show up before me. So I have to scroll through 4 Google pages just to see my name. Well, not my name, but MY name. You know what I mean. Anyway, this takes time away from me reading about myself. Which is not good.

But then finally, after scrolling for upwards of an hour, I get to what I’m looking  for: People talking about me. I decide to randomly sample some of the entries. Here’s one from a blog called Creatif dated last February: “In WD, Kevin Alexander has a regular column that is supposedly about
working on his MFA at Emerson College. In this month’s issue, it seems
to me he talks more about how he avoids deadlines, work, and actual
writing as much as he possibly can. Why do we want to read about that?
Personally, I don’t.”

Ok, so maybe that one wasn’t exactly awesome, but then I discover some ladies talking about me on the comment portion of a myspace page, which I naturally assume will be hot, because everything on myspace inevitably boils down to a conversation about sex, Justin Timberlake or both. Here is the transcript of the convo:

Liz: “Is it me or have Kevin Alexander’s columns in WD kind of sucked lately?” Katelyn: “I wouldn’t know. I don’t read them. TTYL!!”

Ouch. This brings up questions: Have my columns really fallen off? Am I washed up, already? Have they signed the Kevin Alexander Clark hottie petition? And most importantly, don’t they f*cking care that you can see the director’s cut of J Tim’s “What Goes Around” video featuring Scarlet Johannsen on myspace?

Anyway, there should be a lesson learned here, something maybe I can glean from Justin Timberlake about ignoring naysayers and critics and being all I can be, but obviously I can’t think of it on my own and the Big Cat has stopped talking to me unless he’s been drinking, so I need someone else. And what better person to deliver a lesson than my father, my own flesh and blood, the bestower of wisdom, the giver of life, the man who told me that he would disown me if I really was serious about getting a jungle scene tattoo involving a cheetah killing an antelope on my back when I was in high school? Plus, I don’t have a cell phone out here in Prague and his number is one of two I’ve memorized.

I call him over the computer, using the Skype internet phone, which is cheap. “Hello?”
“Hey Dad.”
“Brian?”
“No, it’s Kevin.”
“Why does it sound like you’re standing over a well?”
“I’m calling you from the computer.”
“New Mexico doesn’t have phones?”
“Prague.”
“Whats the problem?”
“Well I–”
 “Did you accidentally kill a man?”

I explain what’s troubling me, that I might be too overconcerned with what people say, and can’t handle criticism, that maybe I’m too sensitive. My dad pauses and mulls the problem over, or maybe puts down the phone to watch a Phil Mickelson putt, either way, a few seconds later he’s back.

“Well,” he says, “Could be worse. Imagine how you’d feel if no one was talking about you. Anyway, go outside and run around. How do you expect to qualify for Survivor lounging around yelling at the computer?”

Despite his false belief that I’m trying out for a reality show, my dad does make a good point. Whenever you put yourself into the public sphere, you’re allowing yourself to get judged. And whether that thing is a column, a book, or, you know, a blog, people are going to have opinions. And the more people talk, the more you can learn, and the more you learn, the better your chances are to get a 180 on an online IQ test and tie me and Charles Darwin for top genius. So from now on, I’m all about embracing all criticism, be it good, bad or unnecessarily specific. And watch your back Kevin W. Alexander, commercial litgator in California, because, like the cheetah I should have on my back, I’m about to smoke past you for the coveted #7 most popular Kevin Alexander spot. Right after I sign this petition.

Join me next time, when I find humor in the fact that the Czech word for “8″ is pronounced “awesome”

Cry me a River,

KA

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14 Responses to The Perils of Google, Justin Timberlake and Cheetahs

  1. Mary says:

    I am new to your blog, so you may have already celebrated this feat. But I see you are now on the first page of Google results now. Celebrate! Because what has KAC (as all the cool kids seem to be calling him, according to his Wikipedia page) done since School of Rock? You survived Bratislava. (Haven’t you seen Hostel?!) ;)

  2. Cindy says:

    Googling yourself, eh? So that’s what you kids are calling it these days?
    :)

  3. Paula Mooney says:

    You’re great, Kevin.

    I’ll follow your blog and read it come what may.

    What happened to my other comment? Wasn’t it here?

    Did you delete it? Are writers too paranoid?

    Have a nice day,
    Paula

  4. Sandra says:

    Well, I personally adore your column. Maybe because I want to be a full-time writer so bad … but, I am the world’s biggest procrastonator when it comes to writing. Like now … I should be writing, but I’m reading about you and that hottie JT. Keep doing what you’re doing and only listen to yourself. Unless you’re a schizophrenic … there may be too many voices to listen to.

    And yes, I am aware of my spelling and grammatical errors in this message.

  5. I don’t know if you’re familiar with Dane Cook, but he says exactly what your father says. As long as people are talking about you, whether it be positive or negative, it doesn’t matter, as long as they’re talking about you. Any publicity is good publicity, so they say.

    I think you should get that tattoo. Hey, my friend and I are getting an octopus on our behinds because in the James Bond movie "Octopussy", there’s a girl with an octopus on her bottom and she says, "That’s my little octopussy", and, I guess, we want to be able to say that too.

    So think about it, wouldn’t it be awesome to say, "That’s my little cheetah killing an antelope," In the most girly voice you can muster?

    Anyway, you’re hot. So there. Happy writing! :D

  6. Norman says:

    Del Walker,

    I have no hard feelings. However, I am also one who harbors no obligations to make anyone change their personal opinion of me, and I am very careful and specific about who’s opinions I do concern my self with.

    If you believe you are able to obtain improvment from Mr. Alexander, go for it! I give you my support. However, you are naive to state that those who do not find Mr. Alexander’s blog as enlightening as you do are "a serious and moderately accomplished writer who thinks you know everything you need to know about writing then, yeah, by all means, don’t read this blog." Naive. Perhaps in writing, as in life, there are more than two perspectives/options.

    Happy writing to all! :)

  7. del walker says:

    I would like to take the time to disagree with the naysayers of the blog response group. As someone who has followed you from day one, I think that each and every column/blog entry brings a certain humility to the writing world that doesn’t exist anywhere else. You, Kevin # 7 Alexander, are the budding writer’s role model. If you are a serious and moderately accomplished writer who thinks you know everything you need to know about writing then, yeah, by all means, don’t read this blog. You’re not the target audience anyway, so uh, no hard feelings right?

    As for the rest of us, we’ll tune in every 10 to 11 days, love it, learn from it, read and understand the witty references with the knowledge that of course you’re not really complaining, that you’re really being sarcastic and ironical, and will enjoy the strategic way in which you deliver joke after joke.

    And of course we’ll laugh at the comments from people like, Norman for example.

    But whatever, I’m not a KA fan or anything.

    ps: you are such a hottie

  8. Norman says:

    Kevin, you do not want to know this, but I would agree with your naysayers.

    I am a newbie to WD, as well as your blog. I am disappointed to learn your blog is not so much about “…Kevin Alexander gives his witty take on starting a writing career,” but more about “…Kevin Alexander gives his less than witty take on complaining.”

    Frankly, if I wanted to read the blah-blah-blah you write in your blog, I could listen to any half-brain dimwit complain about his/her drama-filled day. Furthermore, I do not take time out of my busy day, when searching for actual improvement for my writing, to read about your garbage. Kevin, I do not care enough about you personally to take an interest in your daily goings-on and innermost feelings. Feel anything you want, think anything you want, do anything you want. And, keep in mind, your garbage belongs in the trash and not with your audience. (But, maybe I am not your target audience. If so, disregard me. No hard feelings if you do.)

    I am not reading your blog anymore, and it is a disappointment that WD would link to your blog.

    But, again, this is only my personal opinion.

  9. Pamela says:

    Kevin,
    I gotta admit — I have to agree with some of those posts you write about in this blog today. I signed up to receive your blog because I thought it was going to pertain to writing. It hasn’t. It’s been random thoughts of (mostly) nonsense about your life or daily adventures. It’s a waste of my time. Sorry to be blunt, but if in the next column, there’s nothing worthwhile as it pertains to the craft of writing that readers can learn from, I’m outta here. This it not to say your writing doesn’t have value of another type — just not what I expected. Have a nice day. :)

  10. Carol says:

    I love to hear about the personal part of writing. It is human. Books and articles do not appear magically from the ether, or fully written and edited as a gift from gods. Thanks for having the courage make yourself vulnerable. Plus that’s really hot.

    P.S. My Google namesake is a moderately successful science fiction writer in Colorado, and I only show up as a contributer to democratic candidates. Great.

  11. Krysta Stacey says:

    Aww, Kevin’s having a pity party??? Snap out of it, I think you’re a major hottie! :) But more important, you’ve got major talent and you make me laugh……come to think of it….will you go out with me!? ;)

    Krysta

  12. I had to laugh about the Google search. Been there, done that and…do you know how many Lisa Bakewell’s there are out there? Too many. I’m not number 7, but I actually thought I was the only one. Anyway, I think your blog and your articles are great. You make me laugh every time!

    Lisa

  13. Mary says:

    Sorry, I hit submit before I could finish the rest of my comment! lol

    Your dad doesn’t sound, too, ahhh, sensitive, shall I say? Maybe you got all the sensitivity he lacks. :)

    Hope things keep working out, and don’t stop writing!

  14. writingluver5 says:

    I think you’re cute. :D

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