“Caleb Ross” vs. Caleb J. Ross

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Caleb 'J' Ross / Photobucket

This is a guest post by Caleb J Ross as part of his Stranger Will Tour for Strange blog tour. He will be guest-posting beginning with the release of his novel Stranger Will in March 2011 to the release of his second novel, I Didn’t Mean to Be Kevin and novella, As a Machine and Parts, in November 2011. If you have connections to a lit blog of any type, professional journal or personal site, please contact him. To be a groupie and follow this tour, subscribe to the Caleb J Ross blog RSS feed. Follow him on Twitter: @calebjross.com. Friend him on Facebook: Facebook.com/rosscaleb

When I first started promoting my writing, I was forced into a new name. All my life I’ve been going by Caleb Ross, but because we live in a world in which our brains seem supplemented by search engines, searches for Caleb Ross routinely returned results filled with a Caleb Ross who was, and still is, much more famous than me. Caleb Ross, who plays (played? Is the show still on?) Lex on the TV show The Tribe, dominated the SERPs (that’s Search Engine Results Page for those of you with much better things to do than memorize techy acronyms). Initially, I hated this guy for doing so much more with my name than I ever could. It’s jealously. Simple. But then I learned to hate him instead for his better looks, cooler accent, and all around smarter fashion sense. Now, our shared names seem like an afterthought.

But, let’s explore, why does the famous Caleb Ross get to be the sans-J Caleb Ross?

Video evidence #1:
I want to start with this super cheesy music video featuring “Caleb Ross,” as it may be the most embarrassing video out there. Now, let me say up front that I respect “Caleb Ross.” I don’t know him personally, and I have never seen The Tribe, but he’s got cool hair, an awesome accent, and girls love him. I can’t hate a guy like that. If anything, I should be apologizing to him for sharing his name.

In this video, which seems to be tangentially tied somehow to the show The Tribe (by way of feathers in hair and crazy face paint), “Caleb Ross” proves to all of us that dance-ability is governed more by skin color than by geography. Kiwi “Caleb Ross” snaps his fingers and flails his arms like even the most suburban white bread American. I’m so proud.

Video evidence #2:
Here “Caleb Ross” is quite a bit more relaxed. He’s traded his hair feathers for a stylish plaid cap, and his Asian dancers for emo fan girls. Plus, you get to hear plenty of his sexy Kiwi accent. Definite points to “Caleb Ross” here. The best I’ve been able to do with my fame is wear a Target fedora and participate in a panel at the 2011 AWP Conference in Washington D.C. Less emo girls there, but plenty of black dresses.

Video Evidence #3:
What you’ve all been waiting for: an actual clip from The Tribe. Here, “Caleb Ross” secures his claim to Caleb Ross with brute force. Let me set the scene for you: “Caleb Ross” escapes a bright green room with a surprisingly domestic flair (including alphabet letter magnets and a refrigerator; the rest of the show seems to support a dystopian sensibility…I’m so confused). Shortly after he finds himself in an alleyway where two boys confront him about the re-appearance of a supposedly dead villain of some sort. “Caleb Ross” sticks to his claim that the villain is dead. The two boys say otherwise. Scuffle ensues. Okay, instead of “setting the scene” I pretty much explained the entire thing. Still, watch the clip. It makes me smile.

Verdict: “Caleb Ross” is the real Caleb Ross. I’ll have to stick with wedging the J between my names.