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The Ministry of Silly Names & Disinformation
Thursday September 06, 2007 18:08 by 1 of 9
Last January the US "global" newspaper "The International Herald Tribune" ran a short story on rumours that the Venezuelan government were going to restrict future parents in the state of the same name to a list of 100 names. As a story it was surprisingly good & even though in my humble opinion it came up to the scratch of the now near institutionalised regular the funny names foreigners & enemies give their spawn stakes it wasn't really picked up no by either pro+Chav or anti-Chav factions in the worldwide socialist or antisocialist family. During the summer commercial media turned their attention again to the delightful parents of mythic China who have been struggling through the much maligned courts of that land for the right to call their baby boy "@ at" which as well as being the international internet protocol for email addresses approximates to the mandarin form "is loved". Then the Venezuelan silly name story came back.
& since official clarification of the story came in a statement yesterday by the president of that country's election office, I thought to tell you all about it.
For verily there is much in a name. Tibisay Lucena, who occupies a position without equivalent in the Irish constitution is responsible for scheduling elections & referenda in the Venzuelan state. As such she is one of the people at the top of the current 5 pillars of the 1999 constitution. Speaking to Union Radio yesterday she confirmed that her office is prepared for the statewide consultation which will take place later this month to reform and append to that constition & institute as a 6th pillar the emerging village and local councils. She also referred to the "silly name" thing which for some odd reason had begun to bounce around world media in the last week. Her office to responsibly schedule and oversee democratic participation of what is a third world state must ensure that the greatest number of eligible citizens are enfranchised and there is no other way of doing this then entering their names in some sort of database; be it of the chisel and stone, plume and ink, or electronic kind. If one is not registered - one is getting vaccinations nor is one going to take part in the Bolivarian project as a voter. On the "silly name" thing she basically assured her listeners that the whole rumour was utter crap, it's important to be registered with the state & it is helpful to have a name that offers people a clue to your gender if not mentioning ethnicity, race, melanin content or likely received notions on the girl on girl action thing.
I hope you're all keeping up with me.
Now quite honestly for many decades Venezuelans have enjoyed a reputation for their penchant for exotic and unusual names. Tibisay Lucena might be a case in point. I'm quite sure if you check your local school registration applications you'll not find a Tibisay. She has poured cold water on the suggestions of both Anglo Saxon & Spanish media (who ought to have known better) that an outright ban will be placed on parents calling future babies , Hochiminh, LeninMao, FidelCastroMaria or my personal favourite the calque palindrome which is Susej (not only very difficult to pronounce in Spanish of any accent, the word is the backwards spelling of Jesus which we should agree is an English equivalent of the quite common Spanish first name Jesús with the all important accent on the "u"- hence my accurate description of the nomenclature as a palindromic calque.)
I hope you're all still keeping up with me.
Here is the original report from IHT in January 2007
Here is the latest report from IHT this week
Here is a report from El Pais yesterday which delighted in telling its mostly centre left and even lefty readers in Spain that the Venezuelans they know would no longer be allowed have silly names like Elvis or Apollo3 or Hitler.
Lastly here is the news ( in Spanish ) that the referendum is prepared and this time there ought bhe no objections when a long line of LeninMao's whose names hark back to an earlier very pro-marxist age are in fact being sent out by Caracas central to vote for the man. All that said, what really qualifies Venezuelan democracy as being tippy toppy is the majority disregard for ballot boxes which ensures that most people no matter their name would prefer not to vote, not to get registered, not to get taxed, not to get weighed, not to get counted, not to get processed, & not to get in the system.
Aye. there is wisdom in a name or lack of it.