My Double Life (As A Gay Artist)
It must be hard going through life if you have a common name. How many John Smiths must there be out there, thinking “If only my parents had named me Benedict Cumberbatch I might have been somebody”? Sure, they’d have to put up with all the bullying at school and helpdesk monkeys spelling their name wrong, but the end result is a name that is unique, idiosyncratic and unforgettable.
For the blogger, that’s arguably even more important, because you want Google to pick you – yes, you, you beautiful and unique snowflake – instead of all the other John Smiths. Trouble is, there’s just too damn many of them, and some of them quite famous. There’s the beer brand, of course, and the Labour politician who died to usher in the Blairite era. It’s also the pseudonym used by a certain Time Lord from Gallifrey with two hearts and an ever-changing face (which actually makes him sound like a politician, or at the very least somebody who’s drunk too much bitter). Imagine if your blog is about any of those things – beer, politics, sci-fi telly. It’d be an awesome blog, probably, but nobody would visit because even if they typed in “John Smith beer” they’d have thousands of Youtube links to that Peter Kay dive-bombing advert to wade through before you got a look in.
All of which is a roundabout way of saying…you’d think being a film blogger called Simon Kinnear would have its advantages. Fairly unusual name, even if the hobby’s pretty popular. Surely I’d be right up at the top of the search engine rankings. Well, I kind of am now…but it’s taken years of whoring myself through cyberspace to displace the other famous-for-film Simon Kinnear out there.
“Who?” I hear you ask. “I don’t know any other Simon Kinnear who’s in a film. There’s Roy Kinnear, the chubby British character actor who famously died after falling from a horse on the set of The Return of the Musketeers. And there’s Greg Kinnear, of course, the guy who got an Oscar nom for playing Jack Nicholson’s nemesis in As Good As It Gets. And… ah.”
Have you figured it out yet? In As Good As It Gets, Greg Kinnear plays a character called Simon. Which means, on various plot synopses posted to Google, the details are written as Simon (Kinnear). Specifically, the character Greg plays is a gay artist called Simon. Which means that, until recently, if you typed my name into Google, it brought up various entries referring to “gay artist Simon (Kinnear).”
Which isn’t quite how I intended my epitaph to read.
Nowadays, though, thanks to this blog and other stuff, if you search for me you tend to find me. Links like the one above have been consigned to page 3 of Google, so enquiries about homoerotic sculptures have died down of late.
Honestly, it isn’t me. I’d have loved to be commissioned to write an article about choosing women’s lingerie, but alas no. Then again, I’m confident I know the reason why they didn’t ask me. After all, a talented gay artist who adores his dog probably isn’t the better writer for the job.