9 Mar 2011

Google Me, Google You! (Part 2)

I fancied a French moniker for my blog, with a touch of vintage. I was going through a bit of a 1950s phase at the time and La Baguette Magique (literally: 'The Magic Wand') conjured up images to me from the Bewitched TV series (which wasn't even from the 50s by the way!). Meanwhile I was also looking for a play on words (I should have known better!) with a loose connection to the culinary world as I was still contemplating my blog to be food-orientated. La Baguette was an obvious connection to the French bread stick, as the word is universally understood as such. I was OK with people relating La Baguette Magique to something like 'Magical French Bread Stick'... Why not?

The problem was never going to arise from English speakers, but rather from French-speaking countries (especially France and Belgium), where I found out - only recently - that La Baguette Magique is slang for something down there... Now I'm getting you guessing and reaching out for Google... Anyway I was not impressed, to say the least. Then again my blog is unequivocal, there is nothing from down there on show up here, so let's all rest assured! I might one day decide to change the blog name (countless fellow bloggers have done it for one reason or another), but for now I'll just lay to rest any unfounded suspicions: 'La Baguette Magique' as a Magic Wand, with connected imagery to Bewitched (although their noses acted as magic wands I know, I know...), with 'La Baguette' as a reference to the bread stick, and 'Magique', well, as in 'Magic! Superb! Wonderful!'

Now guys, back to our search engine exercise, some of us (I guess most of us!) have used the wonders of the web to support some personal yet perfectly innocent detective work, to trace long-lost contacts, pals, colleagues, school friends, relatives, acquaintances, former neighbours etc. Who needs Friends Reunited when Google provides you with all the clues! Social media platforms like Facebook, MySpace, Wayn, Plaxo or LinkedIn deliver the results too.

Casting a spell on us while fixing things in a twitch! Image source

Down that journey, I went on a mission to recall names of long-lost friends from primary or secondary school, but the findings weren't as promising as anticipated. Class of '86 maybe wasn't a good vintage year, I'm not sure. The only two people I managed to trace back (although didn't contact them) was a girl who now runs her dad's estate agents office (she was an only child and back in the day we all knew that she would end up taking over the family business, despite the fact she didn't show an interest in property nor did she have good school marks, but eh that might prove yet to be another nail in property agents reputation coffin?).

The second person was some guy from secondary school, a bit of a whippersnapper who - I never forgot - told the class one day that he ambitioned to work for General Motors (not in some European backwaters off-shoot but in the US of A headquarters, that went without saying)... Maybe it's a good thing for him that he never made it to GM (might be without a job as we speak!), but instead he became a food technology lecturer in a Midwest university, settled into mariage and parenthood as the perfect American family man (it's amazing the information you can glean just off the web, I'm telling you!). Which takes me to the next part of our article: your creative material and information about yourself.

The 'magique' is in the 'baguette'!

In my little detective work via Google (some people really have nothing better to do with their time it seems!), I found extracts of my blog that had been changed, randomly copied and pasted completely out of context (even featured on some totally unrelated Dita Von Teese tribute site, go try understand...). Some of my blog posts come up through the most random search sites (sure the words La Baguette Magique don't help the cause, as we found out earlier)...

You guys will have probably experienced similar situations I'm sure, with copyrights bent right, left and centre, watermarks airbrushed, photos under 'new' (i.e. unauthorised) ownership, missing credits, your artistic portfolios passed down as someone else's, and your creative licence tweaked at leisure... (to be continued)


  1. Somehow Facebook cured me of looking for old school mates. I'm not on it anymore.
    When I first started my blog, I didn't worry about people copying pictures or anything else. I thought I'd just be happy to get some readers. But then there were days when there would be 90 images downloaded. I was really floored when I saw entire posts of mine on other blogs. I don't get it.
    P.S. I am laughing about the other meaning for baguette magique.

  2. I was briefly on Facebook and this was an experience too... So much so that I have written a post about it! Coming soon...

    The unexpected interpretations of 'La Baguette Magique' have taken this blog down unchartered territories; glad you enjoyed the read!