Friday, October 28, 2005

Google Karma

I just typed my first name into Google--an interesting experiment for those of you who haven't ever tried typing your full name into it--and came up with some interesting stuff. The first time (a couple of years ago) I tried typing just my first name into Google, I came up with a bunch of porn sites. Fascinating. Apparently the novelty of a woman's name spelled with a slight variation is a porn indicator. Step just a little bit off that beaten track and you're a whore. America culture never really changes, it just rearranges the pieces now and then.

Actually, now that I think about it, a little before I had that interesting experience, I came up with references to different types of soil, most of them found in the Mississippi River area. There's a pattern here, dirt to slut . . . .

And, now that I think about it, a friend whom I know reads this blog once sent me a letter (my 'maiden' name, yes, once I was a maiden or something like that) was Burroughs--and I once received a letter addressed to "Jeneva Burrows (she does?)". I'm not sure I like my Google Karma.

At other times, when I've typed my first name in, I've pulled up a reference to "Jeneva's Cakes", a business run out of Maryland somewhere, not too far from me. This Jeneva is immensely proud of the fact that she once baked a cake ordered for Dick Cheney. Dirt/slut/cake (something to jump out of).

I also pulled up references to a lot of geneaologies: most of "Jenevas" linked to dates and places that indicate American westward expansion. This is much better. Although Westward Expansion does connote Miss Kitty of Gunsmoke fame. Why my parents let me watch that show is beyond me--did they fail to understand that Miss Kitty was 'ho? "Kitty"? Now we have Hello Kitty. Which just brings us back to pussy, which really doesn't advance my Google Karma in any positive direction.

This time, though, I came up with websites on babynames, with "Jeneva" now a recognized variant of Genevieve or Geneva. I so remember as a kid looking up my name in babybooks, looking for some sort of validation, and it was never there. Validation as either one of the group or validation of my intense individuality, depended on my mood. So now whoredom is acceptable in the U. S. But we knew that.

In the end, though, this is kind of irritating. One of the things I've liked about my name is its uniqueness. Until moving to Maryland, I could always count on hearing "Jeneva" and knowing it was directed toward me. Until I went to change my driver's license over from DC to MD. While I was waiting for the actual card, the clerk was calling people by their first names. She called out my name. I stood up. A woman in her late 60s stood up as well. The clerk called out, "Jeneva with a J." I stepped forward, the other woman stepped forward as well. It was like something out of Gunsmoke--two gunslingers facing off, saying not a word, waiting to draw. The clerk finally called out a last name, which was not mine. The woman glared at me as though I was Satan, grabbed her license and let before I could demonize her any further. She lives in fear of me.

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