Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Awesome thing of the day: Dominic West on Googling himself

First off, 'Googling himself' is not a euphemism. Although, this post would be a billion times more awesome if it were...

Sorry, I'll stop that.

The Telegraph's Tom Chivers has the story (reporting comments from a Radio Times interview, to be fair):
"Obviously I loved Dominic West with a confusing passion already, but today he has made the breakthrough into all-time hero. The Old Etonian and erstwhile star of The Wire has cheerfully confessed in this morning's paper that he regularly Googles himself. Better still, he often gets involved in the comments on the articles he finds, as well: 'I like to have chats about myself with people – mainly putting forward the case for the defence in forums. I use my own name but nobody ever believes me.'"
There's nothing confusing about my passion for Dominic West (I'm doing it again. Sorry.) but I do love this story. As Chivers goes on to say:
"It's brilliant; I love the image of Jimmy McNulty tapping away one-fingered at the tired old BPD computer, truculently seeking a row on Holy Moly about his acting skills: "What the f**k did I do? If you don't like the Brechtian method, that's your problem, pal." It's pleasing to hear someone in the public eye say this without going on about how Googling yourself is narcissistic, or getting involved in online discussions is lonely and sad....But best of all it's West's sense of humour about the whole thing. Compare it to Reese Witherspoon on a similar topic: “Only in very, very dark moments – moments of pure self-loathing – do I type my name into Google. You never read anything positive. You’re fat, you’re ugly, you’re tired, you’re worthless, you don’t have a career any more, you’re a bad actor. It’s just an affirmation of every horrible feeling you have about yourself.” Well, if you seek out the horrible stuff, obviously, although I bet that Ms Witherspoon will find plenty of things calling her talented and beautiful as well, if she looks. But Dominic West knows what to do: you go and find the people who've called you a fat talentless hack, and you argue with them about it. "I may be talentless, but I am NOT FAT." It requires a thick skin, and can take up too much of your day, and it may be rather different for global celebrities than obscure bloggers on newspaper websites, but it's good fun."
Admit it: we've all done this. If you put my (real) name into Google, the top results are an American model and actress and a Guardian journalist. I know which one I'd rather be (hint: it's not the Guardian journalist). Google's autocorrect feature suggests I might be a volleyball player at Stanford University (I still prefer this to working for The Guardian).

Incidentally, if you happen upon a copy of the Radio Times - or can read it off the rack like I did - it's worth reading West's interview in full. It's very funny - and reassuring to find out that even he isn't immune to the questionable charms of Extreme Makeover. I also fell (a bit more) in love with him owing to the number of times 'I was drunk and this happened' appears as part of an answer. There are few things I find sexier than a posh boy with a bit of an edge. (And I've given up booze for lent so frankly anyone talking about/partaking in alcohol is an instant object of lust for me at the moment.)

I'm also enjoying the irony of blogging a story about someone Googling themselves that I found through a Google Alert about that person. I win at the internet.

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