At all times art had an enormous influence especially over minds still young and flexible to be susceptible enough to its creative force, even more so when its effects are amplified by the power of mass media, namely the cinema. Today we’ll look at how years ago cinematic images affected two young men, Sergey and Larry whose destiny was to become the founders of the greatest monster of the internet – you guessed it right, the almighty Google. Both born in 1973 were only 21 years of age when a movie described by Wikipedia as a modern comedy classic was released in 1994.
The same source insists that, quote:
it has a devoted cult following and although I am myself is a bit sceptical about this statement but time and again reality proves me wrong when I see the cult followers of Dumb and Dumber all around re-enacting those famous movie scenes with little or no variation. Such is the power of art that it seems young Sergey and Larry could not resist it either.
There are too many parallels and similarities between the movie and real life that it simply can not be just a coincidence, but perhaps the most obvious of all is the van Dumb and Dumber drive throughout a good half of the movie. It was Lloyd who suggested to Harry to decorate it in a shape of a dog, but what hits you immediately after you see it on the screen is a text written in huge letters across its side that reads MUTT CUTTS. In the movie this was the name of a fictitious pet care company Harry worked for in real life it becomes an alias of a character working for Google.
Such was the power of the movie over young minds that years later the imprinted image of this van transformed into the nickname they decided to give to a character previously known simply as GoogleGuy and now being re-christened as Matt Cutts. For those who might not know who this character is (although I am ashamed if you really don’t – my readers must know their heroes), Matt Cutts is that knight in shining armour Google sends to fight spam deep into the heart of BlackHat SEO community. The importance of this figure can not be underestimated as at the same time Matt Cutts is the nice face of Google designed to charm the obedient and well-behaving WhiteHat SEOs.
Note: for the sake of simplicity we class WhiteHat SEOs as those who are using Google Webmaster Tools primarily in order to submit Google Spam Reports while their opposites, BlackHat SEOs are more likely to use Reinclusion Request form on the same site while those who are in between commonly known as GreyHats or Grey Wolfs submit their SiteMaps.
We can only guess who is really hiding behind this memorable pseudonym, or should I say plays a part of Matt Cutts in Google movie but one thing I am sure you will admire as much as I do. It is the sheer ingenuity of the use of sublime message and parasite advertising tactics by Google! Each time one watches the Dumb and Dumber the sublime message MUTT CUTTS disturbs the mind at least five times installing the fear in hearts of potential spammers and spreading the reassuring halo of Google itself over the minds of the good flock. One can only regret that modern technology does not yet allow using pheromones to make the internet personae of Mutt, pardon me, I meant Matt Cutts even more sexy and attractive. If I were the Motion Picture Corporation of America (MPCA) which I believe holds copyright for Dumb and Dumber only this would be enough for me to sue Google for copyright infringement, not to say about other ideas Sergey and Larry stole, pardon me, borrowed straight from the movie.
And if we look closer there are more parallels than one might expect. Of course in real life the scale is of an exceptional grandeur. How about re-doing a passenger jet plane rather than a boring van?
Sergey and Larry had this opportunity when they bought a used Boeing 767 a huge 80 tonnes wide-body twinjet airliner with the idea to turn it to a party plane. I am not kidding, that’s exactly how Mr. Schmidt, the Google CEO at the time described the purpose of this airborne vehicle to Mr. Jennings an aviation designer hired to re-make the jet. Much too similar to Lloyd calling their doggy-styled van a shagging-wagon in the movie. The same Mr. Jennings adds more detail to a scene that reaches the heights of comedy genre:
Mr. Jennings says Messrs. Brin and Page "had some strange requests," including hammocks hung from the ceiling of the plane. At one point he witnessed a dispute between them over whether Mr. Brin should have a "California king" size bed, he says. Mr. Jennings says Mr. Schmidt stepped in to resolve that by saying, "Sergey, you can have whatever bed you want in your room; Larry, you can have whatever kind of bed you want in your bedroom. Let's move on."
This reminds too much of Lloyd jumping in an unstoppable excitement on a king-size bed in a luxury hotel apartment when two friends discovered that the briefcase they wanted to return is actually full of money. Needless to remind that towards the end of the movie the idiotic duo (Lloyd and Harry, not Sergey and Larry) not knowing any better spend all the cash replacing it with paper IOUs. Clearly the idea that inspired Google IPO in 2004 (and don’t tell me there will be no second dot com bubble, if there is such thing as Web 2.0 there bound to be dot com bubble 2.0).
There are even more parallels a trained eye would find in the film – thus one can't fail noticing that the idea of profit-making charity google.org is much too close in its essence to selling a dead parrot Petey to a blind boy.
All this is too much to be just a coincidence. I don’t know about you, my reader but I am totally convinced that either consciously or subconsciously Sergey and Larry on many occasions re-created the ways of their movie alter-ego prototypes Lloyd and Harry. The question that remains is how deeply the Google founders were influenced in their youth by another equally dumb and equally famous pair of characters: the MTV’s
Beavis and Butt-head? But this should become a subject of a separate and more serious research. LOL :)