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It Has Come To My Attention That There Exists a Person Named ‘The Situation’

August 18, 2011

Every once in a while popular culture sneaks up on me while I am napping.  Usually, it just puts my finger in a bowl of warm water and leaves me to embarass myself, like the time when I asked aloud if Jessica Simpson was a cartoon character.   Other times it grabs me by the elbow and shouts “BOO!” in my ear at a volume and pitch that leaves me twanging like a guitar string.  When that happens, I can’t move my bowels comfortably for the rest of the day.

This time, though, I think I have the advantage of it.  I am on top of things.  I have Wikipedia.  I could watch Hulu, if I wanted to.  (I don’t have the patience for video any more.  Print offers more immediate gratification.)

Therefore, it has come to my attention that there exists a person, suspected to be an adult male, named ‘The Situation’.  I can only imagine this is not his birth name, since surely this enormity would have been corrected by force of law soon after his birth.   While the thought of some black-clad squad of humourless federally-employed goons bashing a new mother, exhausted and spent from her labours, over the head with a truncheon until she changes the name of her newborn son is certainly an appealing one, it is much more likely that the bearer of the name actually chose the moniker out of his own free will, ow what he thought was his own free will.

Let me make it clear: I have no problem with people choosing their own names, even nonstandard ones they made up themselves.  I merely ask that when they do, they do not include the definite article, do not choose one that is five syllables long and do not choose one that sounds like a sports news program or something from Kim Possible.

Using the definite article in a proper name reeks of attempted self-aggrandizement.  Anyone who does so without the power to send armed soldiers to beat you into submission is trying too hard.  (If they do have the power to send soldiers to beat you, then plainly they can call themselves ‘Anthony The Great’ or whatever.)  No one is allowed to use ‘the’ in their own name.  Someone else can give it to you, but no bribery must be involved.

The length of this travesty is also a serious problem. (Not as serious a problem as people who use ‘issue’ to mean ‘problem’, but still a problem, nonetheless.)  Most names, as used, are one or two syllables, with the occasional iconoclast insisting on proper pronunciation of their three-syllable names.    We rightly hate and shun these people.  “The Situation’ is asking us to say five full syllables – that, or he is willingly allowing people to call him ‘Sitch’.  I think it risible that anyone would allow themselves to be called something so easily rhymed with itch, bitch, witch, and ditch.  ‘Sitch snitch on Kuchinich bitch ‘: the headlines write themselves.

Finally, there is the annoying ambiguity.  Anyone subjected to this travesty of a name is forced to wonder: what situation is being referred to?  Is this an oblique reference to the economy?  Is it coyly self-referential, giving a name to the situation of being introduced to someone who willingly calls themselves The Situation?  Is it a good situation or a bad one?

I have just got off the phone from with the FBI branch office in Tor0nto and – unfortunately – there is no provision in their budget for a squad of black-clad jack-booted thugs to force this man to change his name.   This is a sad state of affairs, because without proper employment jack-booted thugs are going to have gay bashings or Kristallnachts or something.  It is plain, then, that The Situation is A Problem (but not an Issue), and as things stand there is no agency with the power to change it.

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