advanced nescience for dummies; intellectual candy for your inner child if you'll just hop into the white van. Sorry Charlie, we want wisdom that's perverse, not perverts who are wise, although we'll probably take what we can get, as will Starkist now that there are no tuna, but that's a digression
It’s telling that more people have “Alan / Allen” as a last name than as a first. Because your parents can’t choose your last name.
Yes, Alan means courage in French (élan) but only in French and French courage just isn’t the same.
Two soft vowels and two soft consonants? No wonder I’m fat.
Alan da Vinci? Alan Einstein? Alan Patton? No fucking way!
The list of great and famous Alans is as short as the list of Dwaynes.
I’d legally change it but I’m too spiteful. And it gives me the safety net of having something to blame.
If I were named Albert or Alfred or Alphonse I would never let myself be called Al lest someone suspect it was short for Alan.
You can judge the dude-liness of a man’s name by how many words it rhymes with. Mark, Jack, Fred, Bill, Mike and Joe rhyme with everything. All I’ve got is gallon. Big deal–Peter rhymes with liter and Mort rhymes with quart. No name rhymes with pint but then nothing rhymes with pint.
On the bright side, I don’t have to say it as much as the people who know me. That’s one good thing.
And it’s not a gay name, not that there’s anything wrong with gay names. And it’s not a criminal’s name, not that there’s anything wrong with crime.
It’s just a good-natured, fat nerd’s name, that’s all. I can take it.
It is unfortunate when academic debates in the social sciences devolve into thinly-veiled personal references, even when those debates are held at unrelated conventions:
Professor A. Nuss: My theory is bigger–it encompasses more case examples. Professor B. Stiality: My theory is harder, more robust–it requires fewer exceptions and special circumstances for it to work Professor C. Menn: Oh yeah, my theory lasts longer–it covers a much greater period of time! Professor D. Ildo: You’re all douchebags–my theory delivers a bigger cognitive payload right in the readers’ face where they love it. Professor A: Look–all the chicks love my theory. Professor B: Your Mama doesn’t count! Professor A: My Mama was a great social scientist, so suck my theory!” Professor C: No, suck my theory! Professor D: Gargle my data and swallow my hypotheses! Professor A: Choke on my conclusions, one at a time! Professor B: You don’t have conclusions, you just have reconfigured jargon. Professor A: (hurt) “Reconfigured jargon,” eh?… Wow, that’s kinda personal, kinda hurts…(recomposed) ahh peer-reviewthis, schol-liar! Professor C: Just suck the theory, get it over with, pretend it never happened, and I won’t remind you until I develop a new one–in about ten hours ah-hah!…
Warren Peace: My book’s the biggest, so suck my novel!… Professors A, B, C & D: (puzzled)…. What are you doing here? Warren Peace: I thought this was a convention for Victims of the Signature Effect (ViSE). Professors: It is, but this is the non-fiction and academic section–you want down the hall. Look for Alison Wonderland, Belle Jar, Lord O’Flies, Onda Waterfront, Anne M. L. Farm– Warrren: Yes, yes, thank you, I think I can make my way there now– Professor A: Now you might also look for Tequila Mockingbird, she was our keynote speaker for the ViSE convention last year– Warren: –Yes, yes, thank you, I’ll just– Professor B: Now if you run into Sergeant Pepper or Colonel Ingus, then you’ve walked too far and gone into the military section– Warren: –Yes, thank you, yes– Professor C: And if you see Sy Lent Knight, then you’re obviously in– Warren: –the Christmas Carol section, right, so I’ll just be– Professor D: ViSE people don’t call them “carols”–you know, sensitivity and stuff–but yes, that would be the Christmas Song section of the ViSE convention– Warren: –to which I am late to my subcommittee meeting for people inadvertantly named after great novels they’ve never finished reading, thank you gentlemen and ladies– Professors A, B, C & D: See ya at the closing ceremonies. Pat McGroin will be speaking!
Warren: …I thought it was the attorney David Boies who was to speak.
Professor A. Nuss: Not since he changed his middle name and got rid of “Lykes”–
Professor B. Stiality: –He’s a coward ’round here. ‘Not welcome at ViSE no more.