aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Monday, October 09, 2006
As best I can put it together, an Aptronym refers to a name that reflects, expresses or comments on its owner’s occupation. Timothy Noah put together a fun sampling last December. Here, his dentist collection:
Ngoc Quang Chu, DDS (Bethesda, Md.)
Dalbert Fear, Jr., DDS (Ann Arbor, Mich.)
Ken Hurt, DDS (Albuquerque, N.M.)
Kenneth Krowne, DDS (Brookline, Mass.)
Les Plack, DDS (San Francisco, Calif.)
Anthony J. Puller, DDS (Richmond, Va.)
Randall Toothaker, DDS (University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Barth, Lacy, and Craig Toothman (Columbus, Ohio)
In March of ‘05 the Times did a piece too:
Once you start collecting them, you can’t stop.
Think of baseball’s Cecil Fielder and Rollie Fingers, the news executive Bill Headline, the artist Rembrandt Peale, the poet William Wordsworth, the pathologist (not gynecologist) Zoltan Ovary, the novelist Francine Prose, the poker champion Chris Moneymaker, the musicians Paul Horn and Mickey Bass, the TV weatherman Storm Field, Judge Wisdom, the spokesman Larry Speakes, the dancer Benjamin Millepied, the opera singer Peter Schreier, the British neurologist Lord Brain, the entertainer Tommy Tune, the CBS Television ratings maven David Poltrack.
Think, too, of all those fictional characters and the real-life doctors and dentists named Payne, Blank the anesthesiologist, Kramp the swim coach, Blechman the gastroenterologist, Faircloth the fashion designer, Goodness the church spokesman, Slaughter the murderer and the funeral director named Amigone.
‘’I once had a doctor named Gore,’’ recalls Anne Bernays who, with her husband, Justin Kaplan, wrote ‘’The Language of Names.’’
Originally, professions were one way of establishing surnames (the most common American surname is Smith, of whom there are more than a million, far more than the number of blacksmiths). Other aptronyms are nicknames and surnames that were legally changed retroactively. Then there are the names of people who succeeded in their professions despite what might be called their an-aptronyms: Dr. Kwak, Judge Lawless or Orson Swindle, a member of the Federal Trade Commission. Long before Armand Hammer bought Arm & Hammer, the baking soda company, many people assumed he owned it.
Am I the only one to notice that the lawyer who has generously taken up the case of Genarlow Wilson - in a Georgia prison for receiving oral sex at 17 from a 15 year old - is named B.J. Bernstein?
Consider the appeal
An unflinching review of the Genarlow Wilson case in an AJC editorial makes it clear he’s no innocent. Still, it concludes a ten year no parole prison sentence for consensual oral sex between two teenagers two years apart in age begs for judicial review:
What Wilson and others did that night was wrong, but it did not make him a violent criminal or a serial sex offender. As [his attorney B. J.] Bernstein says, the videotape unfortunately reflects what goes on at too many teen parties where there’s booze, drugs and no chaperones. Slightly more than half of teens 15 to 19 engage in oral sex, according to a 2005 National Center for Health Statistics study, and under previous Georgia law many of those high school students would probably be classified as aggravated child molesters.
Wilson has already spent almost two years in jail, serving a sentence that the state Legislature has since acknowledged is inappropriate for instances of consensual sex between teens. There is cause and precedent for the Georgia Supreme Court to intervene.
Sign the online petition.
I wanted YouTube to be the next Google, not be bought by Google:
Google’s mastery at financially savvy, shrewd strategic transactions continues apace: Google is acquiring YouTube for $1.65 billion in a stock-for-stock transaction.
Google proudly noted during the joint YouTube-Google conference call that the non-cash deal “made it cheaper for us.” YouTube shareholders also benefit from a “tax-free transaction,” Google said.
A Google fan, I’m happy about it. I’m sure I’ll have more later…
Icky ads work
Seth Stevenson doesn’t like the new Chevy truck ad:
This ad makes me-and, judging by my e-mail, some of you-very angry. It’s not OK to use images of Rosa Parks, MLK, the Vietnam War, the Katrina disaster, and 9/11 to sell pickup trucks. It’s wrong. These images demand a little reverence and quiet contemplation. They are not meant to be backed with a crappy music track and then mushed together in a glib swirl of emotion tied to a product launch. Please, Chevy, have a modicum of shame next time.
You know, I could be wrong, but I’m guessing the people upset by the ad are not the people in the target market for those trucks. I am and I’m not. But my neighbors are the market and I bet that ad will appeal to them.
Why do I think so? Well I have right here in my hands the political campaign mailer from our local Republican State Senate candidate. His campaign slogan - “One of us” - perfectly mirrors Chevy’s “This is our country.”
Two of the mailers, by the way, came to our home. Addressed separately to my and my partner’s surname family, our guy can’t conceptualize Doug and I as one family. I know because I sat with him and he told me so directly.
You got to respect him for that.
We met while he was campaigning to unseat the kindly Democrat incumbent schoolteacher with the Ann Richards hair. She was unprepared to effectively fight the Republican state party gay-baiting smear campaign.
I know that, too, because when our Republican guy was asked about that gay-baiting campaign tactic, he answered that it wasn’t sent by him it was sent by the party.
Nice dodge. I mean Chevy. NOT!
Foley Hastert apologist: Rep. Jack Kingston
Georgia’s own Jack Kingston had a starring role in the Republican’s blame-the-Dems-for-Foley weekend. Josh Marshall notes he was a good choice, “When the House Republicans need a good liar to step up to the plate, no one better than Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA).” John Amato agrees, and has video of Kingston’s weekend kick-off appearance on MSNBC’s Hardball:
I have been back in the real world for a week. People are delighted about the gas prices coming down, they’re concerned about immigration, they’re concerned about Iraq, and the only people asking about this really is (sic) the Washington DC press corps. I mean obsessed with it. People will ask about it. [emphasis mine]
Well gosh, they do? Even here in the “real world?”
Sunday morning’s star turn was on Fox, an easier appearance by far. There Chris Wallace left Kingston’s misrepresentation of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) as a “partisan 527 organization” (it’s a nonpartisan nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization) go unchallenged when Kingston blamed them:
Well, Chris, what I don't understand is, where have these emails been for three years? Are we saying that a 15-year-old child would have sat on e-mails that were X --triple X-rated for three years and suddenly spring them out right on the eve of an election? That's just a little bit too suspicious, even for Washington, D.C. We do know that George Soros, a huge Democrat [sic] backer, has a group called CREW, it's a 527 partisan group, they apparently had the emails as late as this April and did not do anything about it. And that's according to the FBI, as reported in one statement.
You have to admire the artful use of “reported in one statement.” Er, whose? I’m sure it would be telling.
Kevin Hayden at The American Street, commenting on today’s WaPo story of yet another Republican lawmaker stepping forward to say that he, too, knew of and confronted Foley over his inappropriate contact with pages, applies a little logic to Kingston’s blame-the-Democrats thesis:
[H]e overlooks an obvious point: three years ago was 2003. There was a MAJOR election in 2004, that was supposedly decided by the strength of the turnout of conservative Christians. If elected Democrats were like elected Republicans, and tried to sit on a story for the most opportune time politically, this story would have come out in September 2004, not in September 2006.
The mainstream media should be challenging the Republicans on this crucial point, because it proves their premise is completely illogical, which only adds to the lack of any evidence that Dems knew about Foley hitting on teenagers.
UPDATE: I changed the headline to repair my sloppy imprecision.