Tainted Love


Like most people these days, I’ve been guilty of Googling myself. Google is a little like sifting a peat bog with a fork. You know there’s something in there but you’ll never quite know what you’ll find or how long it’ll take.

In my defense, the main purpose is to find out how many of my articles have been misappropriated, with no fee to me, on the Net. But along the way I’ve discovered that, even with an unusual name like mine, just how many David Lattas there are out there.

It doesn’t help that there’s a surprising number of jocks with the same name. There’s David Latta, who was a renowned professional ice hockey player with the Quebec Nordiques in Canada’s National Hockey League. In New Zealand, another David Latta played rugby union for Otago and is referred to these days as a “sporting icon”. There are baseball and basketball players, golfers and lacrosse enthusiasts, BMX bandits and skateboarders. All with the same name as me.

The world is a wonderful and diverse place and dotted not-so-sparingly along the landscape is an unaccountable number of David Lattas ready, willing and able on multiple platforms to trumpet their love of albacore, Alcoholics Anonymous and actuaries, rough riding, rhododendrons and Rupert Holmes. OK, so I made up the Rupert Holmes bit but he did write the only hit song ever about cannabalism so there must be a fan page out there somewhere.

Trawl the on-line US white pages and some 80 David Lattas will pop up while 17 “professionals” are on LinkedIn in that country alone. Another 26 people with the same name can be instantly found in the UK, thanks to 192.com.

And that’s just the David Lattas who are still alive.

While I’m exercising a little vanity, I’m happy my books are listed in library holdings around Australia including the National Library of Australia, while there are numerous copies to be had, often for satisfyingly high prices, in on-line second-hand bookstores. There’s even a fair number of copies of a CD compilation of US singer-songwriter Paul Williams for which I wrote the liner notes.

And a recommendation I gave on a Queenstown, New Zealand, restaurant more than 20 years ago is an early mention on Google. While I doubt my considered opinion propels too many people through the doors, it’s pleasing to see the restaurant still operating.

I’m ever-vigilant for rip-offed articles. A few years back, I discovered a travel company which had reprinted many of my articles for its on-line magazine; the publisher who had originally purchased the articles had profited handsomely from the arrangement. I’m still waiting for the reprint fees.

And then there’s the Russian website which had scanned all 235 pages of my one of best-known books; as it was about Australian crime fiction, I’m not quite sure why they bothered. But it’s there and anybody desperate enough can spend a small fortune in ink cartridges to print it up.

Ultimately, though, is such cyberspace self- flattery worth the effort? Probably not, but it sure passes the time and you just might find something about yourself you don’t know.

Words and photos © David Latta

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Author: davidlatta

David Latta is an award-winning editor, journalist and photographer. His work has appeared in scores of Australian and international newspapers and magazines including The Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian, The Australian Financial Review, The Courier-Mail and Travel & Leisure. During the last two decades, he has largely concentrated on travel and tourism, editing more than a dozen B2B titles and major conference and incentive travel publications. He is the author of critically-acclaimed books on such subjects as architecture and design, Australian history, literary criticism and music. These titles include Lost Glories: A Memorial To Forgotten Australian Buildings, Sand On The Gumshoe: A Century Of Australian Crime Writing, and Australian Country Music. He is currently working on a book about the nightclub scene in 1970s Sydney as well as a sprawling thriller set in Sydney during World War II. As an arts commentator, humourist and trend-spotter, his opinions are sought across the gamat of traditional and social media.

1 thought on “Tainted Love”

  1. Oh good Lord! You’re THAT David Latta. What an incredible disappointment…and I thought all these years that you were the sporting icon from NZ.
    How could you do this to me?

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