Tuesday, July 11, 2006

MB

I would like to know who started this celebrity idiocy of going by only one name.

A singing group, yes. One person? No. Even Jesus had a last name ("Christ." Middle name: H.) So where does Cher get off with skipping a surname?

I stopped voting for Mandisa on American Idol when she apparently decided that... hey, I'm past making people take the extra half-second to pronounce my full name. Madonna, Shakira, Prince, Fantasia: All people not to be trusted.

When I worked at a concert center one summer, we were told not to talk to The Talent, upon pain of losing our $5.80/h jobs, unless we were specifically spoken to. Sometimes this would happen, mostly in the form of requests to bring water or sacrificial virgins or green M&Ms or whatever. I used to fret over this: I was raised to call someone with who I am not familiar by Ms./Mr., followed by the last name, until I was invited to do otherwise. What in the world would I do if Cher came to town? What would I call her? Ms. Cher? That sounds almost as stupid as "Believe."

those of us with two first names can never hope to achieve such pretentiousness at: mb@blondechampagne.com

15 comments:

Halcyon said...

You have two first names! You're lucky. I only have one first name - my parents never gave me a middle name. "That way she can pick her own when she's an adult" was their reasoning. I never did.
My name is unique enough that I wanted to slap a "Mary" in front of it so it would sound more common :-)
All the Brazilian soccer players go by one name only... it has to be an ego thing.

thebuxomwench said...

I've always wanted to know what the "H" in Jesus.H.Christ stands for or stems from ... anybody know?

Is it just there for that-sounds-pretty-damn-good-capital-initial-emphasis or is it an actual shortening of something someone came up with once? Enquiring minds want to know :).

mike the longterm reader said...

buxom: It's a namesake of his father's name: you know, "Our Father, who art in heaven, Harold be thy name."

Hey, I didn't make it up.

Seriously though, the expression probably derives from the Christogram ΙΗΣ (iota eta sigma) which are the first three letters of Christ's name written in Greek. You've probably seen it as IHS or IHS or JHS or JHC, the last of which is likely the foundation of "Jesus H. Christ."


I don't really think single-name only demands are an ego thing. Well, I do, but not as an overinflated pompous ego thing. When you identify yourself as a certain name, you do tend to get angry when people refer to you differently. I insist on being called "Mike" and not "Michael" (it's not my name) and especially not "Mikey" (stupid Life commercial).

Unfortunately, there are a bazillion "Mikes" in the world, so it would be silly to make my name just "Mike." But take Cher — she was first "Bonnie Jo Mason" and then "Cherilyn" (her real first name) and then "Cher" only as the back half of "Sonny & Cher" — and that finally stuck. So when you've been simply "Cher" for so long, you're not going to want to be called "Cherilyn" or "Ms. LaPiere."

mike again said...

that's supposed to be "You've probably seen it as IHS or IHC or JHS or JHC."

It's almost 4 AM, give me a break.

gryphonesse said...

hey mb, thanks for making me snort coffee. I'm still snickering. Oh, and I have three-count-em-three first names. Catholic? Why, yes. Thanks for asking. I always figured the "H" stood for "Herbert". I mean, I'd use an initial if my middle name were Herbert. But I would at least USE ALL MY NAMES. Or most of them. At the very least, two of them.

more coffeeeeeeee pleeeeeezeee :D

Pam said...

I always assumed the H stood for "Holy."

My father didn't believe in middle names, so I don't have one. When I got married, I kept my maiden name as my middle name.

MB said...

That's what I would like to do if I got married, but "Mary Beth Ellis Kenobi" would leave little room for a title on your average book jacket.

tamar said...

LOL!! Greetings future Mrs. Kenobi! When the time comes, please let JTP down easy. OR... is his name Josh 'the pilot' Kenobi?

Hmmmm....

Anonymous said...

Mike the Longterm Reader...

About Harold being his middle name...

Did you read that in Christopher Moore's book "Biff: The Gospel According to Christ's Childhood Pal"?

MB said...

Mike... you seem to know a disturbing amount about Cher.

mike the definitely not gay longterm reader said...

anon: No, it's an old joke. I've heard it in a million places.

MB: I'm a Wikipedia addict. Everything in history is there.

red pill junkie said...

Of course, the surname of Jesus sometimes is confused from "H" to "F", depending on the mood of the person uttering it...

Unlike modern day "famous" people, the single name status was given in the reinassance by the common people to very special artists (e.g. Rapahel), not the other way around.

And people like the "artist formerly known as Prince" are even more lame. If he wants the rest of the world to use the symbol he came up with, the least I expect would be to receive from him a keyboard with that sign in it.

thebuxomwench said...

Thanks, Mike :). I nearly made the "Harold" joke, too, when I first commented here :).

I should have picked up the 'iota eta sigma' significance as I've studied Koine Greek but it was many, many moons and phases of life ago now :).

I also spent much of my eighth grade at at an icky Catholic school (nothing like The Womb or the majority of good ones, MB :)) scrawling "I Hate School" beneath the "IHS" (whilst knowing what it really stood for) letterhead on said school's weekly newsletters. So, it's a wonder I didn't make the connection there re Jesus H. Christ either. Mind you, though, I did block that year out :).

Anyway ... THANKS!! :) Interesting stuff :).

MB said...

I think my very favorite second-name submission for Jesus is "H. Tapdancing."

Anonymous said...

I don't mind the single name celebrities, but will someone please tell me when they are going to stop combining celebrities names when they become attached at the hip. The first round of Bennifer was bad enough, but Brangelina, Tomkat, and, God help us, Vaughniston? I trully believe this is just laziness on the part of the media.

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