09.30.2018 07:32 AM

What’s in a name

The Starbucks closest to a campaign office always gets pretty busy. Campaign staff go there for meetings, to unwind, or just to get another shot of caffeine.

I was at the Starbucks near Tory HQ this early morning and the manager lady said to me: “Good morning, W.”

I loved that. It made me happy. As my wife, kids and friends will tell you, I don’t like it when people use my first name. I hate it, in fact.

My entire X Gang book series – and the new one, New Dark Ages , is out in a month, by the by – is about a guy who doesn’t ever use his first name, and who doesn’t like it when anyone else uses it, either.

Here’s a bit from the new book:

“It wasn’t the question that stopped me in my proverbial tracks. It was the use of my name. X didn’t like using first names – his, mine, anyone’s. It’s weird, but – as he explained it to me back in Middle School – he considered first names way too personal. One day, I asked him why a million times, and he finally offered up a semblance of an answer. “People use first names to be intimate, at the start,” he said. “Later on, they usually use first names to express disapproval.”

X was expressing disapproval.”

Certain Asian cultures have it right, I think. In Korea, for example. Don’t ever use someone’s given name, except in very limited circumstances.

Does all this make me weird(er)? Probably.

That’s how W is.

1 Comment

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    Paul T. says:

    Your Sunday homily.

    Arctic Restaurant Syndrome

    “For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.” – Ephesians 5:5-7

    Bennett, British Columbia was a Klondike gold rush boomtown. German migrant Fred Trump hastily built the Arctic Restaurant which offered food, whiskey and “private boxes for sporting ladies and parties” which included a bed and scale for weighing gold dust to pay for “services” – prostitution. In just two years Fred Trump had amassed the bankroll that began the Trump Dynasty estimated today at $3.1 billion.

    Even after the gold rushes, the boomtown mentality remained across America. 1964, the novel Last Exit to Brooklyn illuminated an underworld of drugs, rivers of booze, transvestism, corruption. Tralala, a Brooklyn prostitute, is carried away in a drunken melee and offers herself up to a communal gangbang.

    In Hell’s Angels, Hunter S. Thompson recorded the outlaw mindset: “Let’s face it, a lot of women can’t make it with just one guy at a time, they can’t get their jollies. But the trouble is that sometimes a girl wants to stop before we do, or maybe while she’s taking on fifteen guys in the back of a pickup truck somebody heists a few bucks from her purse – so she flips her lid and brings down the heat on us. Or maybe we get rousted and there she is all naked in the middle of a bunch of Hell’s Angels, so suddenly she’s been raped.”

    Sometimes this spirals to moral panic: “A thirty-six-year old widow and mother of five claimed she’d been yanked out of a bar where she was having a quiet beer with another woman, then carried to an abandoned shack behind the bar and raped repeatedly for two and a half hours by fifteen or twenty Hell’s Angels and finally robbed of $150. That’s how the story appeared in the San Francisco newspapers the next day, and it was kept alive for a few more days by the woman’s claims that she was getting phone calls threatening her life if she testified against her assailants.”

    “Then, four days after the crime, the victim was arrested on charges of “sexual perversions.” The true story emerged, said the Clovis chief of police, when the woman was “confronted by witnesses. Our investigation shows she was not raped,” said the chief. “She participated in lewd acts in the tavern with at least three Hell’s Angels before the owners ordered them out. She encouraged their advances in the tavern, then led them to an abandoned house in the rear…She was not robbed, but according to a woman who’d accompanied her, had left her house early in the evening with five dollars to go bar-hopping.” This incident did not appear in the Attorney General’s report…The Clovis story is amusing not because of what happened, but because of the thundering disparity between accusation and reality. Here was the rape mania, the old bugaboo, one of the big keys to the whole Hell’s Angels phenomenon…The rape mania is such a complex phenomenon that it will eventually have to be dealt with by Presidential fiat.”

    So, against this bleak backdrop, the quest for quick thrills and quick and easy money continues. 2010, pornographic actress Stormy Daniels declared herself a Republican, a decision inspired by revelations the Republican National Committee (RNC) had bankrolled a “lesbian bondage themed nightclub” in LA. “I cannot help but recognize that over time my libertarian values regarding both money and sex and the legal use of one for the other is now best espoused by the Republican Party.” Certainly, there is a powerful symbiosis between money and sex; to increase the former, American society must actively destroy any restraints on the later. In a weird inversion, Daniels appeared in a Cibachrome photograph of her as the Virgin Mary a la Martini & Memmi’s the Annunciation. As in the Arctic Restaurant, every liberated woman a prostitute, freed from monogamy or celibacy to monetize her liberated vagina – libertarian values.

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