Sunday, April 23, 2006
The intrigue now is over the precise meaning of 'Suri', whether it is Jewish or Yiddish, and why a Scientologist would force his baby to drag around the ball-and-chain of a Kabbalah name for the rest of her life. These issues aside though, it also adds one more entry onto the growing list of exotic celebrity baby names in recent years.
Other recent infant innovations: Penn Jillette's daughter Moxie Crimefighter and Nicolas Cage's super son Kal-el Coppola. A few more examples include Sir Bob Geldof's 4 daughters (Peaches Honeyblossom Michelle Charlotte Angel Vanessa, Fifi Trixiebelle, Pixie, and Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily), Gwyneth Paltrow's daughter Apple, and Jason Lee's child Inspektor Pilot.
There have even been some moderately serious attempts at explaining what this baby-naming phenomenon means:
Naturally, I read parents treating their children like appendages and the first thing that pops into my mind is, as always, Hamas. How could it be otherwise with me? You could give me a Rorschach test and I'd see Hamas in every ink blot, including the all-black card.
Some therapists said the celebrity impulse to foist odd names on their children amounts to simple narcissism by the parents, and the resulting status comes at the child's expense. The children, after all, are the ones who will have to raise their hands every time a teacher calls out "Coco" or "Eulala."
"It's like having a mini me," said Robert R. Butterworth, a clinical psychologist in Los Angeles, who has had actors on his patient roster. "The child is a part of them, not an individual. It's an appendage."
But I really do see some Hamas potential here in the idea that these parents view their new babies as appendages of their own goals and dreams and ambitions, and use exotic naming as a way of expressing that. Sure, terrorists can already name their kids Jihad (holy war, struggle) or Shaheed (martyr, suicide bomber). But is that really enough?
I think Western celebrities, in their own crazy way, may be pointing the way forward for their Jihad-loving brethren. It's clear to me that celebrity terrorists, and even those with just a little bloody ambition, should be considering a new naming regimen:
- Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal could take time out from his global fundraising tour to name a baby Cash For Dead Jews.
- If Palestinian PM Ismail Haniyeh -- who justified the recent Tel Aviv suicide bombing as a legitimate act of self-defense -- had triplets, he could name them Nails, Ball Bearings and Rat Poison.
- Osama Bin Laden could probably use a kid named Genuine American So Don't Check Me.
- Even old-school Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas could take on a younger extra wife in order to score strong political points with a new baby named Poor Powerless Me.
- Lebanese Sheik Hassan Nasrallah would probably love it if the whole world knew he had Ten Thousand Missiles.
- Zacarias Moussaoui -- the so-called Twentieth 9/11 Hijacker who was caught in flight school while still training for his mission -- could demand a conjugal visit before his execution, and request any offspring be named Oy Remember Landing Lessons.
- Yusuf Islam, the famous American former-folk singer, could be well-advised to name a baby My Dad Is Cat Stevens So Chill.
- Jordanian born Iraqi Insurgent Abu Musab Zarqawi might name a son Flaming Fuse Fighter, or a girl War Womb.
- If Al Qaeda's number two, Zawahiri, named a child Botulinum Toxin, would anyone blame him?
- Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's next child could very well be Uranium 235.