A look at the Weiner “scandal”….
Art Chantry (firstname.lastname@example.org):
Poor congressman Weiner. But, what did you expect, anyway? I mean would this whole disaster be as big a deal if his last name was ‘Smith’? I mean, c’mon, let’s be real – he never really had a chance, did he? It was going to get him sooner or later anyway. that Republican with his shirt off on Craig’s list was named CHRISTOPHER LEE and even that wasn’t enough to nail him so royally as we delightfully have nailed this poor sap. But, what’s in a name anyway, huh?
I personally know many people who have changed their names from something they felt was ‘peculiar’ or ‘limiting’ to something downright bland, just so it wouldn’t ‘get in the way.’ I know other people who had really bland, impossibly dull names who changed them to exotic fantasy names just to change their entire lives, too. In fact, I knew a girl who changed her name from ‘Janice’ to ‘Fantasy’. I really do.
I found this name listed in the Seattle telephone directory a few years back. I have no idea if it’s a joke or if it’s real. But, here it is, listed like a normal real name. I wonder if rrose had a fountain in her garden? Was it a urinal?
We all grew up with kids who had interesting names. I knew a ‘jewel sparkle’, an ‘orvin herd’, a ‘clymer fitzsimmons’, a ‘hedwig malvaney’ and an entire family of ‘butts’. Everybody knew kids with peculiar off-the-beaten-track sorts of names. I also knew several ‘john smith’s', too. The kids with the odd names remained a little odd in life. The kids with the common names were more of a crap shoot. You never really knew how they’d turn out. But the uncommon names were always telling – those kids were going to be somewhat outside the norm simply because of their names. They couldn’t escape that, even if they changed them – because changing your name was weird, too.
I knew a kid named ‘Rocco’. he ended up being a six footer in sixth grade, build like a powerhouse and even shaving before we made it to junior high. The result was he was the class tough guy. He beat people up and even was able to buy beer and drive years before the rest of us – all based on his appearance. I once saw him bowling in a lane near me. He thought it was fun to try to throw the bowling ball (underhand) as hard as he could to try to hit the pins before he actually touched the lane floor. Basically he shot the bowling ball down the entire length of the lane like a cannon ball. He literally threw it so hard he regularly threw himself completely off his feet. it was amazing. And childish.
Everybody was afraid of Rocco. He bullied people and acted as a hentchman for other ‘tough kids’. and kids constantly tried to fight him. Every kid with a Napoleon complex tried to buddy up to him and eventually fight him. One time I saw another kid – one of his ‘friends’ who was much smaller than him – start playfully punching him and dancing in front of him , saying, “c’mon rocco, let’s fight. c’mon, it’ll be fun. fight me…” and rocco burst into tears (!)
You see, inside rocco was still a little kid. He was forced into this lifestyle because of 1) his name and 2) his size. He couldn’t stand being picked at and challenged by everybody all the time. Soon after that he dropped out of high school and joined the marines (this was during vietnam, when they would take damn near anybody). He never made it out of boot camp before he got a ‘section 8′ discharge and sent home. Basically he complete psychologically broke under the strain. That was pretty much the last we saw of Rocco.
I keep wondering what his life would have been like if his name was ‘Bob’. everybody loves a ‘Bob.’
After 35 years of punk rock names, we’ve become much more numbed to weirdo names. Try to imagine ‘Barack Obama’ trying to run for president BEFORE the popularity of Johnny Rotten, Poly Styrene, Jello Biafra, Sting, Slash and all things Ramone. We’ve become much more accustomed to unusual names. I think punk was the last straw. after a ‘Sid Vicious’, how can you ever be freaked out by a ‘Barack’? I mean, even a guy like Anthony Weiner could become a rather famous and powerful congressman. Try to imagine a “president Weiner” before we had punk.
When John Adams visited Paris in 1778, he was shocked and disgusted by the sexual carnival he saw on display. Even in the finest families, Adams complained, men and women openly took lovers — often with the encouragement of spouses: “I was astonished that these people could live together in such apparent friendship and indeed without cutting each other’s throats. [The practice] was universally understood and nobody lost any reputation by it.”
Ben Franklin, who had become America’s ambassador to France two years earlier, had the opposite reaction: Though already 70 years old, he dove right into Paris’ swinging scene, chasing any woman who gave him the slightest encouragement — and, reportedly, several others who didn’t.
Yet according to pornographer Larry Flynt, Franklin’s public skirt-chasing was the farthest thing from a handicap in his diplomatic duties. His horniness, Mr. Flynt argues in a new book, One Nation Under Sex: How the Private Lives of Presidents Changed the Course of American History, became his country’s salvation:
“To get [the French] to form an alliance, they had to be seduced … Like any good salesman, Franklin first sold himself. His homespun fur cap and gossip about his love affairs generated a Romantic image of America that appealed to the French. [He thereby] inspired a popular movement in France in favor of military intervention against the British in America … And when Franklin departed France in 1785, he left behind millions of people sold on the idea of liberty. After the French Revolution four years later, visitors to Parisian tourist shops could find statuettes of Franklin carved from ‘authentic’ stones of the fallen Bastille.”
In other words, but not for Franklin’s serial fornication, America might remain a British colony to this day, the French Revolution might never have happened, and we might all still be living under the feudal despotism of European monarchs. Thank god Franklin couldn’t keep it in his pants. Read More:http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2011/06/04/jonathan-kay-larry-flynt-porns-morally-honest-man/