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?"
"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?"
"Whats the problem?"
"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,