Wednesday, September 03, 2003

What's in a name? A lot really. Would you believe me if I said that the giver of your name has power over you? You don't? Think about it for a while.

Had enough? This is how it works, remember when we were still kids and those more cruel classmates would come up with all sorts of tags and labels to get our goat? Remember how traumatizing that was? You'd think that was all for fun? Na-ah. It's a power game. If you succumb to their teasing and retaliate or cry your eyes out you're handing all authority over you to them. Same goes with parents coming together to baptize you your name at your birth and so for 18-21 years hence you're under their control and they still get to retain their authority over you till the day they die. Another example are self-given nicknames. Personally I think nicknames are sort of a loophole we give ourselves to escape the hold of parents over us, so exists the names Buzz, Glock, Stu, Skoorb, Big Bee, Grasshopper, H Bomb, Ice, Flea, Weasel, etc. These examples are the common ones used in real life, the we use online are much more creative. And with it comes a totally new personality we like to project in front of strangers. The names give us an opportunity for self-governance and power.

While those that tease us back when we were kids with really weird nicks like Feather butt, Tarangela, Poop, Big Ape, and things like that, it's a power struggle. That by labelling us with all sorts of freaky names to get our goat they hope to put one over us by surrendering ourselves to their authority by retaliating. See? While those that give our nicks out of affection and/or camaraderie it's sort of a power transfer thing. The time we enter into these relationships they give us new names as a way of elevating our status to the same level as theirs or vice versa. Like when I call my best friend Rocko (from Rocko's Modern Life) he calls me Heffer (Rocko's best friend) we get to enjoy an inside joke that's all to ourselves, a sort of authority that belongs only to us. Am I making sense here?

Another case are those whose names carry a certain prestige and authority, the mere sound of which is enough to make you quiver in fear or inspire awe. These are on the same level as titles that are reserved to certain individuals, and to be given these names either by natural means or by adoption is the ultimate in coolness. This means you get to share in the inheritance both material and influence as that person. To be bestowed that name means you can enjoy the same authority as theirs. Just be careful not to soil it by doing anything rash.

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