Monday, March 09, 2009

See What It Can Do For You


What is your greatest fear? One of my closest friends in Park Slope (who just happened to be from Belgium which explains a lot) said that he had a fear of people with two first names. At the top of the list was Lisa Lisa, with or without the Cult Jam. Second was Tina Louise. Third was Rose Maire. I was never sure if it was Rose Marie or Rosemarie.

We've moved on from the era of two first names to three names, with the middle one not being a real middle name but either a second first name or a precursor last name. True middle names are accents not actual names. (Mine, for example is Lynn.) Bobby Lee Gentry is a perfect example of a nice progression of first, middle and last names. I think it was Jan Michael Vincent (Almost three first names, depending on your perspective) who got things on the wrong foot. Of course, we would then have our share of the likes of Sarah Jessica Parker, Tommy Lee Jones, Jennifer Jason Leigh (Hello! Three first names), Mary-Louse Parker (Don't even get me started on hyphens), Haley Joel Osment (or was it Haley Kate Osmond, some fifth cousin of Donny and Marie?), Neil Patrick Harris and Edward James Olmos. It makes one long for the days of Nico, Brickhouse, Odetta and Lambchop. Singular names are so grounding. The Rock is not a singular name but a pretense. When I go by JunkThief, I fear it's a pretentious hybrid with that big capital T sitting in the middle like a shrink trying to reconcile a conflicted couple.

Do you know who was the first singularly name superstar? I really don't. I want to say Nazimova but I'm not sure.
UPDATE: Not that I want to get in an argument with The Angry Young Man, but based on this 2008 photo of Tina with Sylvia Miles, for a 75-year-old woman she does not look that "pathetic". Sylvia, of course, continues to amaze us with her eternally youthful and ageless beauty.

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9 Comments:

At 6:58 AM, Blogger Steve said...

I love Tina Louise! I'm not really scared of her, but perhaps I should be.

I disagree that the perfect middle name is an accent. In many families, the middle name is a family name -- almost like a second last name. My middle name is Gager, which is my mother's maiden name.

Your mention of Rose Marie brings to mind Morey Amsterdam, which makes me wonder about people named after European cities. Julie London? Paris Hilton?

 
At 8:17 AM, Blogger Ladrón de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

Steve - Irving Berlin and...

 
At 1:22 PM, Anonymous The Angry Young Man said...

Have you seen Tina Louise lately? She's like 102 years old! She's like a dried up husk of her former bombshell self in too tight clothes and only wispy died remnants of her formerly mountainous red hair. She's the most frightening thing I've ever seen.

 
At 1:33 PM, Blogger Ladrón de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

Angry - Well, she is literally 75, so give her some slack. Let's see how we look at that age.

 
At 3:59 PM, Blogger Salty Miss Jill said...

Well, I go by a flavor, so who am I to judge?

 
At 4:08 PM, Blogger Ladrón de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

Salty - I assume you mean the Salty in your moniker? Not to get picky, but isn't that a spice not a flavor?

 
At 9:16 AM, Anonymous The Angry Young Man said...

When I'm 75, I'll look 75, not 75 trying to look 40. Fortunately I have a good 43 years left to worry about whether I'll end up a leathery old, grinning skull, TV fossil, mang!

 
At 9:43 AM, Blogger Ladrón de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

Angry - Okay, I'll agree with you on that. If you're old, just go ahead and be brave enough to look old. I'm great at being old. Speaking of 80+ trying to look 35, have you seen Gloria Vanderbilt lately? The sight of that is probably what made Anderson turn gray at 27.

 
At 7:10 PM, Blogger ArtSparker said...

My respect for The Rock has increased since seeing the Saturday Night Live episode in which he did a pretty good Obama...Also you might have to cut him some slack for being named Dwayne....doesn't exactly sound like a lean,mean fighting machine.

 

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