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A Sunny Place for Shady People

Pithy, contrarian, politically incorrect and curmudgeonly rants on sex, money, power and politics and religion and philosophy. In short: Nothing matters, everything changes and there are no guarantees. The rest is rationalization and bribery. (c) Tom Milner 2002-2003. DIRECTORY of offensive POSTS at Archives: 07/09/03. RECOMMENDED BLOGS: Archives: 07/29/03. email: theoldbuzzard AT sunnyplaceforshadypeople DOT com.

Friday, February 21, 2003
Monday, February 24, 2003

Why do entertainers, more specifically actors, hitchhike on their celebrity by pretending to more knowledge of world affairs and politics than their generally acknowledged level of stupidity entitles them to?

We make no distinction between the ephemeralities of liberals and conservatives, although the former is more vocal at the moment.

A dumb actor pontificating political is still dumb. He's just reading a different kind of script.

Of course, anyone who would act solely on the received wisdom of a celebrity is a fool.

Many are the foolish.

The acting craft traditionally was about one step up from carnival barking. No one took these people seriously.

Least of all themselves.

They were there to be seen, not heard. To entertain, not to wax political.

And that's where they properly belong, in their place, imprisoned behind the proscenium arch.

They themselves are so self-seduced by the fame and fawns that they assert an ill-conceived claim to proselytize on all sorts of issues. (We do acknowledge their First Amendment right.)

This is elitism in extremis.

Actors are authorities only on the unreal.

So be still: George Clooney, Barbra Streisand, Rosie O'Donnell, Sean Penn, Janeane Garofolo.

Stay mute: Charlton Heston, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tom Selleck, Kevin Costner.

As for us, the unknown and non-actors --- we oppose the Bush Inevitable War No.1.



Tuesday, February 18, 2003
Thursday, February 20, 2003

No surprise that none of the ten most popular given names -- boys and girls -- from 1880-1889 matched even one name from 1990-1999.

(See onomasticist Cleveland Kent Evans.)

Here's the lineup in the early decade.

Boys: John, William, Charles, George, James, Frank, Joseph, Harry, Henry, Edward.

Girls: Mary, Anna, Elizabeth, Catherine, Margaret, Emma, Bertha, Minnie, Florence, Clara.

Takes you back, doesn't it?

The most startling changes are in the girls' names.

Compare these from the most recent decade to the list above: Ashley, Jessica, Sarah, Brittany, Emily, Kaitlyn, Samantha, Megan, Brianna, Katherine.

Ashley, Brittany, Kaitlyn, Brianna?

Perhaps in a hundred years these will seem as quaint as Emma, Bertha, Minnie, Florence (or Hortense, Mabel, and Helga).

The current boys' list is much duller: Michael, Christopher, Matthew, Joshua, Nicholas, Jacob, Andrew, Daniel, Brandon, Tyler.

Now that we're naming names ....

What possesses some of the newly married (or even unmarried cohabitors) to take up hyphenation in hideously combining their last names?

Damned hyphenates. A la Alice Cooper-Jones, for example.

Just retain the original last names and not amalgamate them so grotesquely. (It will not dilute the marriage vows if one party fails to take the other's surname.)

Why inflict this cumbersome hybrid on the language, the already burdened bureaucracy, and possibly even the couple's issue?

And that's the name of that game.


The rant appears on Mondays and Thursdays.

Unrelated Recommendation: Louis Menand, "Paris, Texas: How Bonnie and Clyde stole the movies," The New Yorker, Feb. 17 & 24, 2003. Article unavailable online, but background is: From the Archive



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