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2013: Year of The Hideous Baby Name

Baby Mitchum

One of the hideous, terrible truths about parenting is that with one stroke of the pen you are capable of sentencing a child to a lifetime of cringing every time attendance gets read aloud in a classroom and cowering sheepishly while handing in job applications.  Marshall McLuhan once said “a name is a numbing blow from which a man never recovers.”  In the case of many of the names dropped on poor, unsuspecting infants this year, one would expect them barely able to walk by the time they are 35.  2013 was a year that famous parents sentenced their children to name based humiliation at a near record pace.

In any society that valued justice or decency, parents who name their kids things like Type Two Diabetes or Pusillanimous would be rounded up and caned in the public square. Do celebrities really need more attention than they already get? By giving their babies ridiculous names, not only are they garnering more attention in the media for themselves, they are also dooming their child to a lifetime of recognition as a psuedo-celebrity that will never be taken seriously.

Honestly, would you go see a gynecologist named Respektdakrew Smith, OBGyN? Or a lawyer named Heavenly Flowing Lava Monster Bison-Lipton, Attorney at Law? Probably not. These unfortunate kids will have to live off of reality TV and royalties from tell all novels about their parents eating the flesh of homeless people at Hollywood parties.

The other problem with celebrity baby names is that they create a culture in which lesser celebrities copy their unfathomable taste, thereby creating, if you can believe it, even worse names. In any given year you will see themed clusters of baby names around, say, like automobiles, or intestinal parts. The following is a brief year-in-review of the worst names of 2013.

First there was Everest Hobson, (girl), born to George & Mellody Lucas. While the original name was not so bad, the names that followed in the theme of mountains seemed to lose their charm with each new birth. This May, Charlie Day and Elizabeth Ellis named their newborn daughter Matterhorn Lucas. Not to be outdone, Mark Duplas and Katie Aselton names their son baby Titicaca.  Finally the anchor from Channel 2 News in Chicago upped the ante on mountain baby names and ended the trend when he dealt the punishing blow by bestowing the name K2 on his baby girl.

Bear Winslet, Kate Winslet & Ned Rocknroll’s son, popped out of the womb with a machete and a flint, ready to spend the night inside a dead camel for survival. This name was silly enough, but this sparked Lauren Parsekian to name her daughter Pink Fairy (a type of armadillo). The animal names continued with Jason Sudeikis and Olivia Wilde calling their son Parastratiosphecomyiastratiosphecomyioides. But the worst animal name goes to Sacha Baren Cohen and Isla Fisher who named their twin daughters Embarrassment and Panda. An embarrassment is the technical term for a group of pandas, and is also what these parents should be feeling about their naming abilities.

More embarrassment arrived with the naming of Emile Hirsch’s son, Valor, who was obviously showing noble characteristics when he escaped the womb while screaming bloody murder with tears rolling down his cheeks. Other notable but flawed character trait baby names this past year include Joanna Newsom’s daughter Fanatical and Will and Jada Pinkett Smith’s son, Vacuous.

Even heavy metal, whose artists once went out of their way to avoid mainstream trends, have gotten into the fray.  Dave and Madolyn Mustaine named their newest daughter Psychotron.  Venom frontman Cronos and his wife, television star Fran Drescher, brought young Ayatollah Khomeini Lant into being last month.  Slayer axe man Kerry King and his bride of 10 years, former Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson, decided to cash in on an offer from a major corporation and name their child Smoothie King (Burger King made a slightly lower bid).

Shall I continue with the list of offenses? Kim Kardashian & Kanye West named their daughter North, prompting a rare copycat move by Bradgelina (who could have easily started their own trend) who named their adopted daughter, In That General Direction.

Of course, every year the nature loving hippies have to sacrifice their child’s named identities to prove their love for the great mother, the wolf teat, or whatever it is they are worshipping these days. Holly Madison named her daughter Aurora Rainbow, Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan-Tatum named their son Mitochondria Cell-Division, and Kaitlin Olsen named her baby girl Chlamydia Luekorrhea. It kind of makes you miss the good old days of Moonunit and Dweezil.

As much as we can hope and pray that this celebrity baby naming madness will come to an end, we know from scientific graphs drawn by lemurs paid in cicada that it will only get worse. Luckily, the heat death of the universe is just around the corner and all of these really clever ideas and fascinating people will one day be sucked into a vast nothingness in which their existences will no longer matter to anyone or anything.

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Glen Benton: Activist or Anti-Christ?

Glen Benton Christmas Sweater

Some of the people we view as great Americans have spent the better part of their lives being derided and defamed, only to later be discovered as incredible human beings.  Harry Truman was a wildly unpopular President who was viewed as incompetent by many in the press.  Today, he is viewed as one of the great Presidents of the modern era.  Muhammad Ali was once believed to be a draft dodging, loud mouth braggart who was disgracing the sport of boxing and America itself. When the “Sportsman of The Century” lit the Olympic torch in 1996 in Atlanta, there was almost no mention of that.

There are some people just like this in our world today.  One such man inhabits the world of heavy metal.  This local hero, defender of humanity, and social activist has sat quietly in the face of persecution for many years. That man is Deicide vocalist Glen Benton.

Most of Glen’s early works, much like those of Henry David Thoreau, focus on the abuses committed by the dominant religious system in America.  In a world racked by grief and suffering, Benton posed questions like “How can you call yourself a God?”  He also passionately revealed the mistreatment of God’s followers in his work with potent lines like “God is the reason we live in dismay, it is his will that this world is suffering”. After this intense period of anti-religious activism, Benton was directed by his own ethical compass inward to a more gentle period of his life.

Benton, Bunnies and Babies
Thus began his “furry adoption phase”. He began by adopting a few baby bunnies. The more bunnies he adopted, the bigger his heart swelled. At one time, the Benton house was home to over 300 baby bunnies.  He adopted many other animals included wounded llamas, lemurs and aardvarks, but it was the bunnies that he forged the deepest connection with.  This led to the most musically awkward phase of Benton’s career.

In 1994, Deicide tried to release the album “Cute Little Bugs” which was rejected by the record label and later re-recorded the next year with different lyrics as “Once Upon The Cross”.  The looming threat of commercial failure in the midst of soaring rabbit food costs was a wake-up call to Benton. He got back on the anti-God musical bandwagon in order to continue to support the incredible collection of animals who relied on him for sustenance.

The next major event in Benton’s life is still shocking to many. On a gloomy late December morning, he received a knock on his door.   When he opened it he found a young orphan left in a basket on his doorstep with a note that read simply “Jesus”. Benton, who could have easily eaten or sold the baby, instead committed the next years of his life to raising him, feeding him out of a bottle, and even going so far as to suckle him from his own teat. As he grew older, Jesus began eating sugary cereal, watching cartoons, and collecting Pokemon cards. In those days they were one big happy family- Benton, Jesus, and all 300 of the cuddly bunnies. He recalls that Jesus was just like any other normal kid, and that he often left crayons in his pockets which would melt in the wash.

Benton and Jesus
The mixing of Jesus and the bunnies under one roof is how our modern Easter tradition came about. We can all thank Glen Benton for that. However, when Mary and God, the child’s rightful parents, returned to claim him, Benton lost a bitter custody battle and had to say good-bye to young Jesus.

Years later, Jesus was arrested and crucified by the Roman authorities for shoplifting.  He still blames God for allowing the death of his young friend.  Had young Jesus stayed in Benton’s care, the two would still be happily sitting on a couch watching episodes of Yo Gabba Gabba.  Things turned out far differently.  Still haunted by those terrible memories, Benton has spent much of the latter part of his career singing about Jesus’ unfortunate death.

This was a dark and distressing period for Benton. He sought to make a strong statement about the injustices God had committed against his once foster son. He burned an upside-down cross into his forehead as a constant reminder of the grave injustice that had been committed. This act, while viewed as completely insane by some, has earned him the occasional comparison to the Buddhist monks who set themselves in fire in protest of the South Vietnamese government in the 1960s by those who understand Benton’s commitment to social justice.

Since that time, Benton has been busy teaching a young generation not to die on crosses or listen to their idiot parents, even if they are God. He has constantly been portrayed in as negative light by the media, having been called the everything from a terrible influence on America’s youth to the Antichrist. The truth is, Benton an activist in the mold of Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and Sean Penn.  More than anything, Glen needs our love and understanding. Compassion for The Caco-Daemon is a non-profit group that has been started to collect letters of support and affection for Glen and his important cause.  They are currently accepting handwritten cards (preferably in crayon) to encourage Benton to continue his fight.

Cards can be mailed to:

Compassion For The Caco-Daemon
PO Box 2204
Gresham, OR 97030

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