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Welcome to Chestbeating By Word. Writings on artists, experiences, entertainment and fiction.

Sticks and Stones

Sticks and Stones

Israel Folau has a lot to answer for. I mean all this hoo-ha and the crap way it has been handled by Rugby Australia and Go Fund Me, the insensitivity and greed of Israel, the pile on from the people who disagree, the media, the opportunists defending what exactly and now Magda’s Gofundme campaign. For my money nobody has come out looking good and for all the talk and outrage nothing will change.

But the worst part about it all is that it has encouraged Blaze to start his own Gofundme campaign to fight First Nameism. Yes First Nameism. And what is First Nameism I hear you ask. Apparently it is a prejudice and intolerance that has been continuing for decades under the radar. Many people suffer the metaphorical slings and arrows, the taunts, teasing and bullying of First Nameism. Normal people forever having to suffer through the actions of others, often suffering from the actions of the people who love them the most.

You know what I mean, don’t you?

No? Oh, well in that case here is what is happening.

Blaze has launched a campaign to raise funds to support people who have first names that are ridiculed by others and of course these names are given either in outstanding insensitivity or jaw dropping ignorance by the ones who allegedly love them the most, their parents. For example when I was at school there was a student who was unfortunate enough to be named Frank Stein. Nice one Mum and Dad.

Now I know Blaze hates his name, and it is not a common male first name but I for one, in all the years I have know him, have never used it as a way of putting Blaze down.  Except for those times when I did.

Which is ok because we are mates and all.

Anyway Blaze is starting the funding campaign so people with what I guess are “normal” names like say David or Rachel for example, can donate money so people like Blaze can fight prejudice by paying to have their names changed by deed poll to well, normal names I guess.

Maybe he hasn’t thought that all the way through because I did not think that stopping prejudice is achieved by the persecuted just becoming the same as the persecutors. But leaving that aside he seems very passionate.

He threw in one hundred dollars of his own money so he could ditch the burden of being a Blaze. I asked him what name would remove his pain and act as a cease and desist message to his attackers. Blaze said Trevor.

Honestly I tried not to snigger. My personal belief in that Trevor is a terrible name although admittedly not as naff as Blaze. But you know that is just my opinion and while I am free to have that opinion I thought of my fellow human being and kept it to myself. Luckily Blaze was busy trying to get through to Alan Jones to see if he could get radio coverage to help all the persecuted Darcys, Shannons, Ottos and Gaylords of the world and didn’t hear my stifled laughter.

 

Anyway after a few days l logged onto Blaze’s appeal site where the total monies pledged had now reached $109.

 

I thought I had better head around and see how Blaze, sorry Trev, was feeling given the low response rate in his call for assistance for the name persecuted.

 

When I got there I had to admit Blaze/Trev was feeling a little down. Not only was there little interest or pledges but opponents to his plan had started their own fundraising site. They were protesting that first nameism was only freedom of speech and if they wanted to make jokes about people’ names they should be able to. Total pledges to that campaign were already over $890,000.

 

People famous for being famous were picking their sides. Blaze talked to a minor Kardashian and Sting sent some used bass guitar strings to be used as a fundraising raffle prize. On the other side an actress who may have been Gwyneth Paltrow tweeted that Blaze was more of a smolder than a blaze.

 

And on it went, columnists and opinion writers penned columns in support or opposition of Blaze/Trevor’s positions. The puns flew thick and fast as the Newscorp subeditors went to town.

“Blaze’s campaign fails to fire.”

“Not very Clever Trevor.” 

There was no doubt Trevor was feeling the strain and a couple of days later he rung me to say the pressure was too much for him and he had changed his name back to Blaze. The nine dollars pledged by mistake by an elderly woman who thought she was helping a retired circus pony, was given to charity.

Blaze seemed to vanish from sight, although actually he just went surfing in Bali for a few weeks, and quickly the whole thing just faded away as the news cycle moved on to something equally idiotic like a footballer’s wife using her “fame” and freedom of speech to urge others to reject scientifically proven safe and effective vaccination.

When Blaze came back sporting a deep tan and some nasty scrapes and scabs from a scooter accident and a bad wipeout at Padang Padang. I asked him whether he still felt persecuted.

He laughed, “Fuck no! You know there is nothing like a holiday in Bali to reinforce your feelings of white entitlement and forget any of your first world problems. Besides I met this guy out at Padang and he told me his name was Phil McCracken. I was laughing so hard that when I paddled for the next wave that’s when I went over the falls and got flogged.”

Thanks to Hysterical Runner for the image.

 

Six songs about names

My Name Is – Eminem

Give Me Back My Name – Talking Heads

Say My Name – Destiny’s Child

Killing In The Name Of – Rage Against The Machine

Billericay Dickie – Ian Dury & The Blockheads

A Boy Named Sue - Johnny Cash

How Many Up?

How Many Up?