In America, you’re free to name your baby whatever you want. For the most part, freedom is good; we don’t want tyranny. But some countries’ governments feel it is their duty to protect people from stupidity. A debate on whether that is good or not is beyond the scope of this article.
I started thinking about this because New Zealand just banned a number of baby names, including 18 that have been used in the U.S. (and some are popular). Some of them make sense for other countries, like King, Princess, Duke, Baron, Majesty, etc. Some are to prevent religious confusion or controversy, like Christ and Lucifer. Someone cross-referenced their list with the U.S. Social Security Administration’s database and found that 46 boys in the U.S. are named Christ, and 8 are named Lucifer. I just don’t know why someone would choose to name their child Lucifer. Seems kind of forboding toward evil… (That’s like naming your child “Important Evil Genius“, except even worse.)
Sweden has similar bans, although they extend it to names such as Superman and Metallica. U.S. celebrities are becoming known for giving their children weird names. A few examples:
Moxie CrimeFighter — child of Penn Jillette
Kal-El — son of Nicolas Cage
Pilot Inspektor — son of Jason Lee
Moon Unit, Diva Thin Muffin, and Dweezil — children of Frank Zappa
Pirate — child of Jonathan and Deven Davis
Tabooger — child of Dan Cortese
Tu Morrow — child of Rob Morrow
Having named a child now, part of the process process for us was trying to pick a name that people won’t make fun of too much. Obviously you can’t stop all teasing and bullying, but some of those above are just asking for it. Tabooger? Guess what his childhood nickname will be… And Tu Morrow? Imagine the awkwardness when everyone he/she meets has a short pause upon learning the name, realizing it’s supposed to be funny but it’s not and then you don’t know how to respond to that.
On a related note, you can go to the Social Security website to see how popular your name has been in America the past few decades.
In past years, we’ve discussed the giant straw Christmas goat built in Sweden every year. I mean, what says Christmas like a 43-foot tall straw Christmas goat? Well, I could probably think of a few things, but it’s tradition. It’s also tradition for vandals to burn the goat down.
I could say a lot more, but it’s probably already been said in the first post, so I will link to that for your reading convenience: the Swedish Christmas goat.
I came across another article about it, and it’s rather funny. Here’s that link:
Goodness, Gracious Great (Swedish) Goats of Fire! [link broken]
Here at Buffet o’ Blog, we are trying to start a tradition of building the next world-record-breaking giant straw Christmas goat, and then burning it down. It would be one of the coolest things around (see the first link for details). But so far, all we’ve done is start a tradition of Mango-Man saying it’s a great idea, but then he makes excuses (perhaps to protect his secret flower garden of ketunias), and it never happens. Well, one of these years it will happen (with or without his consent — but if he gets a cut of the proceeds, he will realize what a great business opportunity it is). The rest of the Buffet o’ Blog regulars have voted for this, so we’ve reached a consensus — a quorum, even — that this needs to happen. When it does happen, it will be posted here first, so stay tuned.
For the new readers here, I want to let you know about a Christmas tradition in Sweden involving a giant straw goat. And by giant, I mean over 40 feet tall. And part of the tradition is that the goat gets burned down by arsonists almost every year. However, last year they started putting some serious flame-retardant materials on it, so it hasn’t been burned down since.
Here’s what I wrote on it last year: the Swedish Christmas goat.
The city officials there probably think they’re quite clever in their current plans to prevent the giant goat from burning. But what they don’t realize is that if the goat never burned, it wouldn’t be famous at all. So with each year that it isn’t burned, it will become more obscure to the rest of the world.
And for the record, I could make it burn… Nothing is truly fireproof, if you have the right stuff for the job…
And as you might’ve read in some recent comments, plans are underway to start a similar tradition in Mango-Man’s yard. He doesn’t see the awesomeness of this plan yet, but we’ll eventually convince him (or just build it anyway and let him witness it first-hand). 🙂