Mama Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Palins

Top Baby Names for 2010: “The names Quinn (and Finn) from ‘Glee,’ Betty from ‘Mad Men’ and Demi and Tiana of Disney princess fame didn’t crack the top 100, but they’re rising fast. So are monikers that became household names during the Winter Olympics: Bode, Shaun and Apollo. And so are the widely publicized names of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s daughters: Bristol, Willow and Piper. (But Palin’s sons’ names, Track and Trig? Not so much.)” [Today, via Sully]


If you ever want to be depressed by the dumb reasons people name their children, then hop on over to Social Security and look at the name “Trinity.” In 1998 it’s at #523 in popularity. In 2000 it’s at #74.

So what happened in 1999 to provide such a huge boost to the name?


@Serolf Divad: Always wait for the sequels before naming the baby. Just in case.

T/J: a note to NEPA nerds (a class that may only include RML and me): I’m scheduled for a Faux News interview at 8 AM Pacific Time tomorrow to talk about some NEPA issues arising from the federal stimulus plan. I don’t know when it will air, if ever.

Mr. ¡A! went to high school with twins named Lemonjello and Orangejello (pronounced Leh-MON-jelo and O-RON-jelo). You may stop hitting your head against the desk now.

Other faves that I’ve heard of–which may or may not be urban legends–include Unity (fooking hippies), the vaguely French-ish Ce’sarianne and the unfortunately popular Treblinka.

Spam Subject of the Day: “Fertilize your male tree.” Happy Holidays!

Clitoris, if it’s a girl. Pronounced Clit-oh-ris.

I always thought that Gargle would make a good name.

@¡Andrew!: I’ve heard similar claims before. The Jello Twins = Urban Legend

@Benedick: I had a high school teacher named Harold Dick, whom everyone called “Harry.”

This post is an excuse for me to plug another one of my favorite websites, Baby’s Named a Bad, Bad Thing

@JNOV: I can tell you from being a sports clerk having to type up agate copy in score boxes that it is not an urban legend, and existed in Macon, Ga., at Southwest High School in 1998. Also, a twin set of basketball players named Cherry and Peaches. I actually like all four names. Especially Peaches, but for musical reasons now.

Also, TJ: House extends tax cuts to middle class, but the WaPo, naturally had the breaking news tag line as “House Votes to Let Bush Tax Cuts Expire” before wising up.

@rptrcub: Let’s see, how long has it been since I’ve heard the term “agate copy”? And was Carter still president?

@rptrcub: Lord have mercy.

@¡Andrew!: Apologies. Just heard the same story from two people besides you. Has the smell of an UL.

@nojo: I had my last date during the Carter presidency. I married her.

@rptrcub: Glad my Nancy still has her spine to stand up to the GOP twits. Maybe she can loan it to Harry and Barry.

@nojo: Wonder if there are any Draco Malfoy [fill in last name]s out there?

@Dodgerblue: I wrote Jimmy Carter when I was in sixth grade. I told him I was scared to death of neutron bombs (one of my teachers read a series of news articles about neutron bombs to the class. I didn’t sleep well for months. Fucker!).

I received a form letter assuring me that President Carter didn’t want to ratchet up the arms race, and I consider myself 100% responsible for him postponing the development of the neutron bomb in 1978. I didn’t bother writing Reagan.

@JNOV: The guy who invented the neutron bomb just recently died. So you win.

@Dodgerblue: I don’t wanna win like that. :-(

ETA: I called my teacher a fucker for thinking that 11 year olds should hear that shit. Maybe he was right that we should, but I was fucking terrified.

@JNOV: Blame Willie Russel. It’s a joke in Shirley Valentine.

@Serolf Divad: The one pop culture thing with which my name is associated came out the year before I was born — coincidence?

@Benedick: Is that the movie you recommended that Dodger recently watched? ::goes to Google Shirley Valentine quotes::

I love it when you pull me aside and hand me the clue phone, Benedick.

@Serolf Divad: Too bad they don’t go back to the ’40s.

@JNOV: I only remember because I happened to see it. A one woman play that was quite successful in its day. Julie Waters did the movie with Michael Caine. But no, I didn’t recommend that. Victim?

@Benedick: That could be what you and Dodger were discussing.

Back to Willie Russell, Educating Rita sounds very familiar. (Sorry — my exposure to theatre was/is very limited.)

@JNOV: Most likely the movie. Victim is very good. Quite remarkable for its time.

@Benedick: I’ll check Victim out. I hope what I’m about to write won’t cause you to take to your bed. Until recently, I hated Shakespeare. I mean, really hated him. My best friend told me I’d been forced to read not so great plays: Romeo… and A Midsummer…. Very boring for a middle schooler in the sense that we all knew that family feuds are dumb (we’re not far from Hatfield and McCoy Land), we’d all seen West Side Story, so Romeo and Juliet was kinda dull. W/r/t Midsummer…, I found Puck highly annoying, and fairies? Really? Somewhere along the line we read Julius Caesar, but by that time, my mind was made up. Despot gets killed by best friend and creates the most annoying meme of all time? Pfft.

BUT (are you still with me?), last night I watched Ian McKellen’s film adaptation of Richard III. Now that would have made me a fan for life. Anthony Hopkins’s Titus (Andronicus)? LOVED IT! And The Lion in Winter, yeah, not The Bard, but you know. Don’t even get me started on my Becket love (yeah, I’m stuck in GB right now).

Hated Larry Fisburne’s Othello — I’m pretty sure there’s another portrayal out there that I loved (I saw it within the last five years or so), but I can’t find it online.

Anyway, I’m ready to actually read this Shakespeare dude. Like really read him. I’m thinking Richard III is a good start.

@JNOV: Well good. Remember that the iamb is a heartbeat. One really interesting and characteristic scene is the seduction of Lady Anne. It happens quite near the beginning (Set down, set down your honourable load) and see how he starts the scene in the opposite place to where it ends. The three queens (I had a Richard till a Richard slew him) is also very fine. His work is not well taught at school though kids often like it in patches. The scene and act divisions all came later, as did most stage directions, he wrote as a seamless whole. The Dream has marvelous things in it. Oberon is practically unplayable though Titania is a very good part. And it’s enormous fun to act. Which is true of a lot of his plays, they offer huge opportunities for actors which is why they’ve held the stage.

Olivier made a film of Richard which is worth looking at. In the more romantic style of the day. Kenneth Branagh’s Henry V is the best film of Shakespeare I’ve seen. It’s really good. Wonderfully well acted and directed.

Fave parts I played are Trinculo and Sir Andrew in 12th Night. I was hopeless at the young lovers though I did once make a memorable big green fairy.

@JNOV: Shakes is the ocean in which all of us since have swum.

@Benedick: Really? Iambic pentameter you mean? Great to know!

McKellen amazingly seduces Kristin Scott Thomas — I wanted to shake her, especially when she basically curses herself.

Annette Bening. Meh. Robert Downey, Jr. easy on the eye but meh.

I did see The Dream in the theatre (we took a trip to Stratford, Connecticut — looks like the theater was closed shortly after our trip), but I was already on the hate train.

You’re right — they had us reading some great stuff in middle school (A Separate Peace, Lord of the Flies, To Kill a Mockingbird), but they gave us fluff when it came to Shakespeare, and insulted our intelligence by spelling out the “rose by any other name” stuff. If we could deal with themes of alienation, dying young, anarchy, the imagery of decaying bodies, cults, humans on spits, racism and a fucked up legal system, I think we could deal with some real Shakespeare.

I have a thing for Branagh, and I’ll check out Olivier’s Richard.


@Benedick: BTW the Branagh Henry V is available on “instant view” on NetFlix.

@JNOV: It’s one of my favorite films. Enjoy.

@JNOV: The iambic foot goes buh-boom. String them together and it has the rhythm of a heartbeat. No great surprise, all those metres and rhythms are biological. What the body feels projected outwards. Poetry harnesses and refines that. At least, the kind of poetic structures and rhythms used by verse meant to be acted.

It’s all very tactile and solid. He’s almost never fancy for its own sake. He’s a very interesting writer and we tend to forget that laboring under the horror of school intros.

@JNOV: OMFG Branagh in Henry V is a thing of amazing beauty. I almost forgive him for cheating on Emma Thompson, who I adore more than any other breathing actress.

…nevermind…nothing to see here…operator error

@Dodgerblue: I’m there, dude. In Navajoland on a couple of NPEA matters (Navajo Preference in Employment Act). Got AZ-ASU in 2xOT on after working out and the hot tub. Still gotta work some tonight. No drankin so I got game for meeting with a new client.

Re: Names – I knew an Apple Blossom, a kid named Seven Gifts, and my niece is Autumn Dawn. Last names I know of are Longsoldier, Badhand, Goodluck, Aspenwind and Lefthand.

i share your EMMA love. my favorite thing she’s done besides everything is mike nichols directed HBO movie, “WIT”
she plays a poetry prof with an emphasis on john donne, who is stricken with terminal cancer. if you haven’t seen it, i won’t give much away except to say, no one ever recited “death be not proud” like she can.
mike and emma wrote the teleplay based on a pulitzer winning play. brilliant.

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