Oh no you don't.
Yes, Tom Parnell, Intellectual Hooligan. The Real Tom Parnell. That's me.
(And, with an almighty and resounding pffft, the shrunken and flabby remainder of my online anonymity flaps around the room before collapsing, shriveled, to the ground like a burst balloon.)
... And the Tom Parnell Google Wars begin.
You see, a name like mine (Tom Parnell – got that?) is just about uncommon enough to be googlable. For those John Smiths and Jane Joneses amongst you, this is an unfamiliar sensation: you (and everyone else) realises that googling your name is not likely to return results that pertain to you.
At the other end of the spectrum, you Xavier Mountjoys and Barnabus Bantamwrestlers will rest sure in the knowledge that Google is yours and yours alone. No interlopers, pretenders or usurpers.
But spare a thought for the Tom Parnells.
(Or, in fact, specifically for this Tom Parnell.)
Tom Parnell is the kind of name you might expect to slot into Google and be met with a jackpot of relevant results. You might not be on your guard against faux-amis amongst the Tom Parnells that fill your screen.
ESPECIALLY if one of those Tom Parnells happened to be about the right age, in the right country, working in about the right industry and featured in about the right kind of newspaper.
In that situation, surely, you'd think: 'This is the Tom Parnell I'm lookin' for.'
Which is a pity. Because here is Google's number 7 result for the search 'tom parnell':
Blind date: Ursala Roy meets Tom ParnellUrsula Roy, 28, outreach officer meets Tom Parnell, 28, web editor.www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2009/jul/.../blind-date-relationships
As if that weren't bad enough, click through and read the whole degrading article, why don't you? No photograph to disabuse the reader and (calamity indeed) a humiliating mismatch in 'ratings' very much to Tom Parnell's disadvantage.
So not only is this bastard bringing shame upon the Tom Parnell name by indulging in public, newspaper-publicised blind-dating; he's also GODDAMN RUBBISH AT IT.
As if it weren't bad enough that Thomas Parnell was a depressingly mediocre 17th-18th century poet. (Any poem that includes the phrase 'pants in your heart' is surely fit for a kicking.)
In conclusion and summary:
Tom Parnells of the world, would you please buck up your ideas? If you're going to do something, at least do it well. And preferably, even if you do, KEEP IT OFF GOOGLE.
How You Can Help
How would you feel (damn it) if people were potentially mistaking you for a scruffy, spark-free Guardian blind dater and 'insane babbler' every time they googled you? SPARE A THOUGHT.
You really can help me on this one. All you have to do? If you have a website or blog – however small, however infrequently frequented, link to this post. Link to it with link text 'tom parnell'.
Tell Google who's the Real Tom Parnell. For me.