Today, I googled my own name, just for fun — you do it, too, don't ya? — and I found an interview of me that had never happened! To tell the truth, I was pretty jazzed, like the time I found out an online term-paper mill was selling a research paper on one of my poems. But I digress
On 12 April 2009, Linda Sue Grimes interviewed me on the website Suite 101, under the title "Interview with Vince Gotera / Poet, Editor, Professor, Blogger." Below is a reduced screencap of that particular webpage, followed by a printout of Linda's very generous introduction and then her opening question. (Click on the image to see the webpage screencap at full size.)
Now, on to what I found through Google today. Below you'll see what appeared in a website called My Custom Writer Blog, using the exact same interview title, on 25 September 2010, a year and a half later.
No hyperlinks, no italics, no boldface. Some words have been changed (shown in red above), to inhibit being found out, I suppose. The alterations are simply hilarious, ROTFL to the max. I'm "portentous"? Look that up
Okay, so then I wondered: why rip off my interview? How could my talking about poetry, of all things, cause greenbacks to flitter from some schlub's wallet into the blogger's? Well, what I figured out was not all that flattering, I gotta say. Nothing to do with my writerly reputation or literary accomplishments blah blah.
In the bogus interview, Linda's question "How and when did you get started with poetry?" doesn't get answered. Instead what follows is this name: "vince del monte"; when you click on the name, you're whisked off to a website advertising a "fast" muscle-building program pioneered by, you guessed it, Vince Del Monte. I don't know if Mr. Del Monte knows how potential customers are being routed to his website, but the reason my interview was stolen is that Mr. Del Monte and I share the same first name. And maybe poets are notorious for needing their muscles built. And built fast. Who knows?
You poets out there, though, and anybody else reading this, you decide for yourself if you want Mr. Del Monte building your muscles. Fast. You can probably guess on which side of the proverbial fence I'm gonna end up here. I'm just sayin'
Seriously, though, the problem of online content theft is huge and thorny. Just google "online content theft" or some similar phrase, maybe "stolen blog content," and you'll see that a whole lot of virtual ink has been spilled here. And maybe some virtual blood too. All I can say is this: if you get the heebie-jeebies when you're reading a blog or website, if the hackles on your neck raise up because there seems to be weirdness in/with the text, go spend your money somewhere else. Some writer(s) are getting ripped off.
Though it does seem perversely cool that someone bothered to nick a poet's words. It's strangely refreshing that someone cared enough. Though of course they cared for all the wrong reasons. Not for love of literature but rather lust for lucre, illicit and immoral moolah. (Ain't alliteration fun?)
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