Tuesday, May 12, 2009

my American Spendor day

In some issue of American Splendor, Harvey Pekar expresses his shock at seeing someone else named Harvey Pekar appear in the Cleveland phone book, And then another appears. And another. This makes Pekar question his feelings of uniqueness and individuality, driving him to ask "Who is Harvey Pekar?"

So why am I thinking about this?

Way back in December 2007, an article I wrote on Captain America saw publication in The Journal of Popular Culture after over four years in their cue. This led, through a rambling path (one I've recounted earlier) to another essay in an anthology on Cap. Today, when the lovely spousal unit got home from work, she brought in the mail (I leave it for her, because fetching the mail gives her a certain amount of glee), and amongst the bills and assorted crapola was my copy of the anthology containing my new publication.

I instantly geeked out a little, but there was little time for a full-blown ego-fest...me and the spousal unit were out the door, onto the theater for Star Trek. Later, though, when we got home, I looked through the book more carefully and found that not only was my Journal of Popular Culture article included in the "Selected Bibliographic Essay," it was also cited by one of the other contributors. Instantly, I moved from just being a published author to a cited authority...for what it's worth.

This wasn't the end to my self-referential day, however.

I have a friend in Canada who randomly calls me up late at night. They're always fun, interesting,and informative calls, if always a little unusual and out of the blue.

Tonight's call, amongst other things, had to do with my school bio and an error within. Apparently, my friend, in researching something else, ran across my department biography by googling my full name and spotted said mistake. Feel free to go look for the error, but it is now a priority to write a new bio first thing tomorrow, so your time will be limited.

While I was talking to said friend, I also googled myself. I've done this before, but as I share a name with a former University of Alabama football coach, I never come up in the search results. However, it is scary to realize there's also a Mike DuBose whose an Austin musician (maybe an alternate reality me?) and one who's a businessman of some sort.

I know these alternate Mike DuBoses are not me. However, I think I'm going to have to start following their careers. When the musician Mike DuBose's album comes out, I need to get it. Who knows? Maybe I'll make a false cover and photoshop my face into the artwork. At any rate, it's one of the reasons I called this blog "TheMikeDuBose"...to separate myself out from all these other (seemingly more successful) versions.

Anyway, this time, I included my middle initial into the google search, and I learned a bunch of facts about myself, some of which might be a little frightening to those who know me.

  • The only poem I published in the two years or so I thought I would become a poet is still online. I thought this was, for good or ill, lost to the nether regions of the interwub. Now I know it's still up there as a potential object of either praise or ridicule.
  • The aforementioned Journal of Popular Culture article? It seems to be a part of some anonymous Ph.D. student's reading list...which makes me wonder how helpful I am to this student.
  • Furthermore, the JPC article is also a required reading for a senior level history class called Mass Culture and the Postmodern Era. Do they like me, or are they just bored with me?
  • The same article is also being used for an Arizona State University English class, as well as a few others.
  • I also saw that article reviewed on a few student web sites, including this student blog entry.

In many ways, this should be the exact opposite of the aforementioned Harvey Pekar moment...because all the references I encountered are, in fact, actually about me. On the other hand, I still have a problem reconciling them with the man who spent most of the day sitting on the couch reading, only taking a break for lunch while watching a Deadliest Catch repeat. Am I the Mike DuBose that took my wife out to see a geek movie, or am I the Mike DuBose who has 137 google hits, and who is apparently read and debated in class rooms?

I'm not sure how to feel about any of this. Frankly, I think the world might very well have imploded on itself today, and I missed it only because I was sitting on the couch.

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