published Friday, April 16th, 2010

Phillips: Reflections in an online mirror

All right, confession time, people. Raise your hand if you've Googled yourself.

OK, I can't actually see how many of you are Internet narcissists, but I'm betting many of you are flush with guilt right now.

Don't misunderstand me. This won't be a diatribe against self-Googling. I look my name up with embarrassing regularity, too.

Apparently, we're in the majority. According to decidedly unscientific Internet polls I've read, 60 percent to 80 percent of people have looked themselves up using Google or another search engine.

The point is, when you Google yourself, it's a bit of a blow to your ego when you discover that: A) your name isn't unique, and B) other people have done more with it than you. These are your so-called Googlegangers, from the German "doppelanger."

Yes, they're nefarious, but I suppose we all have to come to grips with feeling a little less special in the digital age. (Stupid global interconnectivity.)

Imagine my surprise when I discovered my name being shared with a crack shot on the Ole Miss competitive rifle team, a chiropractor in Pittsburgh and, most painfully, a South Mississippi blues man from Casey Phillips and the Hounds.

Finding out someone else was making a living playing music (a none-too-secret wish of mine) was not a good feeling. Then again, things could be worse.

I could be Robert Dylan, the hairdresser, Randy Newman, the nurse, or Brian May, the network analyst. (These are all real people, by the way).

Worst of all, I could be Tom Cruise -- the nut-job actor, not one of his Googlegangers.

If you haven't searched yourself on the Internet, you should do so. If you find some amusing or surprising results, e-mail me and tell me about your secret political career or how you invented the band saw.

* Speaking of name confusion, this week's Internet music catch is a two-for-one from Marmaduke Duke (the Scottish experimental rock duo, not the cartoon dog). Check out "Rubber Lover" and "Kid Gloves" off the band's second album, "Duke Pandemonium."

These tracks represent two opposing facets of the band's sound. "Rubber Lover" is upbeat, funky and full of pop hooks, while "Kid Gloves" is subdued, atmospheric and contemplative. Both are fantastically produced and have been circling my brain like musical sharks for awhile now.

about Casey Phillips...

Casey Phillips has worked as a features reporter in the Life department since May 2007. He writes about entertainment, consumer technology, animals and news of the weird. Casey hails from Knoxville and earned a bachelor of science degree in journalism and a bachelor of arts in German from Middle Tennessee State University, where he worked as the features editor for the student newspaper, Sidelines. Casey's writing has earned numerous accolades, including first and second place ...

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