I don't exactly guard my personal brand jealously.
Practically speaking, there's usually enough work in and around the communication business for everybody who's either good or reliable, and plenty of work for anyone who's both.
And besides, my brand is kind of unique. Not a lot of other people do the odd combination of communi-journalistic-curmudgeonly-adventure-writing that I do.
And any who might compete with me definitely don't trust their audiences's sense of humor sufficiently to refer to themselves, in the third-person, by their asinine junior-high nickname.
And so it was a slow uphill flow from amusement to mild consternation when Writing Boots reader Rueben Bronee alerted me to another Midwestern communication pundit … also named David Murray … who also calls himself "The Murr."
He claims to write about "Life and Social Media Through A Different Perspective."
Different from "The Real Murr," that's for sure.
"… I look at things like this through the perspective of what I am – an artist," wrote The Other Murr after losing his day job recently. "That may sound completely pompous. But I have recently come to terms with what I am at my core. And as an artist, I have the desire to create. … Create what? Opportunities. Realities. Possibilities. And not only for myself, but for those who are part of my professional and social circles. Things change, and with change comes new beginnings."
I'm sure The Other Murr really is all about creating opportunities, realities and possibilities for himself and everyone he knows. I'm equally sure he didn't know about The Real Murr when he began setting up his online persona. (For all know, he can prove he publicly referred to himself as The Murr before I did; the first reference I can easily find of my own self-Murr-tilation is in the lead of this blog item from a year ago, although I know I've been publicly calling myself The Murr longer than that—and I've happily answered to Murrman, Murr-Murr and Murrdog. I am an asshole, what can I say?)
No, this is the Stockholm and the Andrea Doria. A stupid accident involving two ships colliding in the fog.
But maybe, too, it's my chocolate and his peanut butter.
Maybe God put The Other Murr here for a reason. Maybe The Real Murr and The Other Murr are destined to have a dialog someday. "The Two Sides of Murr."
I'll send this post to The Other Murr and invite him to respond.
For all I know he'll roar back and accuse me of stealing his brand, and ask me to cease and de-Murr.
Though he doesn't seem like the Murr-derous type.
The whole incident has me in mind of a story my dad loved to tell, of standing on a hotel balcony on the beach in Florida.
A small boy was walking down the beach, a hundred yards away from the hotel, and another boy, on a balcony below my dad, was calling out to him.
"Joe! Joe! Joe!"
The kid on the beach looked, and then continued on. The kid below kept yelling to him.
Finally the kid on the beach had enough, and dramatically stopped walking and turned and yelled back at the kid on the balcony:
"Can't you see, I'm some other kid?"
Postscript: The Other Murr responds on themurr.com.