Mommas, Don’t Name Your Babies After Star Wars Bad Guys


You better hope he gets way cooler. 


One of the more annoying arguments that racists make is to insult “black” or other “non-American” sounding names. Basically, it’s the idea that any name that hasn’t become whitened by time’s burning khaki sun is absurd, or silly. It’s true words sound odd to ears, and that I am sure there are plenty of people in Madagascar or wherever think “Brian” is a weird name.

But that’s exactly the point. All names, like all words, are just a collection of letters and sounds to which we impute meaning. Even “made-up” names just sound dumb because they are new. I am guilty about this as well with white striver names– your Jydens and Jaxes and such. It’s a hard thing to name a baby. You do want some uniqueness, but too much sounds silly, too “ethnic” legitmately makes it harder to people to get ahead in a racist society, too conformist makes you acede to the problem, too twee makes you too twee, etc. I really don’t know what to do with names.

That said, don’t name your baby Kylo.  Certainly don’t make it the #1 baby name of the year. It’s not just that he’s the villian, and its not just that it’s a made-up name (again, all names were just made up, at some point). Honestly, I think it’s a pretty badass-sounding name. Kylo. It flows kind of well.

The problem is that while The Force Awakens was pretty boss, you have no idea how the next two movies will be. What if they are terrible? What if the Kylo Ren turns out to be an awful character, and not just in a bad guy way? What if he never gets less emo, and whines his way through the next four or five hours of film? What if he loses a lightsaber fight to an Ewok? What if he becomes a punchline?

I’m optimistic about the next two movies, but I wouldn’t be optimistic enough to stake my child’s sense of self-worth and entire life on it. Go with “Han”. Han is a good name, and is fun to say. “C’mere, Han”, you can say, when you want your kid to come here. Try it. It sounds cool. And you also won’t have to worry about the “killing your parent thing” like with Kylo. At worst you’re passing it off to their generation. And that’s fine. That’s good child-raising.

This has been Shooting Irrelevance’s first and absolutely only Parenting Corner.

Pence Pretends To Take The High Road


Mike Pence quieted the crowd at a rally in Carson City, Nevada, that was booing a women named Catherine Byrne who asked Pence about Donald Trump's treatment of members of the military on Aug. 1.




(via Politico)

CARSON CITY, Nevada — The woman, in a quiet voice, stood before the crowd of hundreds at a town hall-style event here with Indiana Gov. Mike Pence and announced that her son serves in the Air Force. The crowd applauded.

Did someone say veteran? Good, I like where this is going. I can work with this. Fingers crossed she says she was going to get an abortion but changed her mind, and her son killed bin Laden. That would be great. She’s about to say that, right?

But then the woman said, “Time and time again, [Donald] Trump has disrespected our nation’s armed forces and veterans. And his disrespect for Mr. Khan … ”

Wait, what the mudflap? Ah man, I really didn’t want to have to think about this. I issued a statement where I said that my candidate believes the opposite of what he keeps, keeps saying. God in Muncie, he won’t shut up about it. Uh oh- I think I hear the ritual Bellowing of Lungs.

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“Gonna Be Rigged”: The Next Stage of the Con Steps Toward Violence


Classy! Big success. 


Donald Trump’s entire career has been a testament to the chicken-in-the-rain stupidity people get when surrounded by money, or at least the trappings of money. Despite being a serial failure, he’s been able to get investors in his bankrupt casinos and optimistic gulls to enroll in his phony school, because he seems really rich. One of the tricks to pulling this off is supreme confidence. People love to see that, and get sucked in. They feel that if this person, who seems rich, is saying “we’re all going to make so much money and we’re going to win” then by gum, we are. It’s seductive.

To say he’s run his campaign as a long con should be a cliche by now (it is on this blog). It’s carried on entirely by brazen lies and force of personality, which, amazingly, many millions of people don’t find ungodly repellant. But what happens when the casinos go bankrupt? What happens when the con is exposed? That’s easy: blame everyone else. Oh, this would have worked if it wasn’t for these people getting in the way or gumming it up. And I’ll tell you what: it’s no accident. They’re jealous, ok? Of our success. But we’ll get them next time. “The game was rigged” is always the cry of the conman when he isn’t able to properly rig it himself. It is absolution and conspiracy, and if successful, draws the mark even closer in.

If it is successful in an election, though, it could lead to violence and discontent like few of us have seen in our lifetimes. That’s the game Trump is playing now, and we’re all on the board.

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