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internet_peevesMood: Stuffy. Crabby.
Slightly smelly.

Googling yourself is much like eaves- dropping.
You often end up hearing/ seeing/ reading things that you’d rather not know.

But who can resist the self-google, with its titillating promise of heretofore undiscovered gems about oneself? I cannot resist, Internet. Every once in a couple of weeks, I type my own name into the google box and let the link clicking begin.

Which brings me to one of my top five pet peeves. (It sits squarely in between public-sidewalk-loogie-hockers and close-line-standers/bumpers.) It makes me very cranky. And I have enough to be cranky about this week, Internet, what with the sudden onset of a spring fever, complete with a drippy nose, scratchy throat, and all-over aches. Not to mention the crazytown that work has been this week, plus a looming publishing deadline, uncooperative scheduling, and bangs that are now so long they prevent me from seeing properly.

I am justifiably crabby.

So. The peeve. Well, let me prevent bossy emails by first acknowledging that I do know when you put something out there, into the wide world, with or without the aid of the web, you no longer have control over where it goes, who sees it, how it is interpreted or mis-interpreted. I know this. But that doesn’t make me any less peeved when I find something that once was mine smeared all over somebody else’s blog without so much as a by-your-leave or even a simple spellcheck. But this is exactly what I discover all too often on one of my self-googling adventures.

Just a couple of days ago, a dude out there in blogland borrowed something of mine from his friend’s blog and reposted it. (And god knows where his friend got her copy. These things replicate faster than bunnies…) Basically, it’s the transcript of my infamous 1998 “This is who I am” video, copied and pasted without any appropriate paragraph breaks, making it virtually unreadable. I know the video is out there, making its tireless travels for nearly a decade now. But who in the world took time to sit down and transcribe the whole thing, word for word, so that well-meaning but ill-advised bloggers could manhandle it all over the Internet? At least this guy spelled my name right — but then he describes me as an “intense poet and blogger”. Um. Thanks?

But whatever. Blogger boy meant no harm, and although he really needs to learn how to break a paragraph, I’ll leave him well enough alone.

The Texan Preacher Man, however? Not so much. I discovered recently that someone, somewhere in Houston has decided to write a “discussion guide” to go along with the aforementioned infamous video. Unfortunately, Mister Discussion Guide is quite misled. Here’s how he describes Generation X:
“This is the generation of young adults born in the 1980’s who are coming of age in our world today. This is the generation born to the late Baby Boomers whose parents grew and matured during the late 1960’s and 1970’s. They were born in the gross materialism of the late Reagan era and the moral confusion of the Clinton sexual revolations (sic).”

Sorry, mister. You are wrong on so very many counts! You really must check your Wikipedia!

Texas Preacher Man also gets a great many things wrong in his version of my biography, and apparently thinks of me as an “internet poet and blogger”. Which, I guess, means that I write poems about the Internet? Or they exist only on the Internet? Or they are written with invisible ink that can only be read virtually? So many possibilities…

(One of my friends used to call himself the “Death Poet”, because of his penchant for writing about dead things. He had business cards and everything. Hmmmm. Perhaps I should market this Intense Internet Poet thing? …Nah.)

The interesting thing is that both of these peeve-makers seem to be aware of this website, with its handy “Says You” tab making it so easy to communicate with me. But neither of them have ever stopped by to say “Hi!” and “Oh, by the way, can I rewrite your biography and/or take your words completely out of context?”

I have written to Texas Preacher Man, thanks to the handy “feedback” link on his site, asking him to please correct his frighteningly obtuse errors, but that was two weeks ago and he hasn’t gotten back to me yet. Unsurprisingly.


And I know, naysayers, I know. I should be happy that anybody out there pays any attention at all. I should offer some benefit of doubt, I should cut some slack, I should quit my bitching, I should give a nod in the general direction of good intentions, I should, I should, I should.

But I’m not famous enough (not nearly) to have developed the thick skin necessary to not care about blatant misrepresentation. I am not used to getting ripped off, even by the well-meaning.

And also? Did I mention the runny nose, with accompanying red, chafey nostrils?

So leave me to my crabby. It’s entertaining.

-Lo, who needs to find the guy who made that mousepad and get another one.

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