Tuesday, December 23, 2008

From "Sports"

There are many fire starters in this article, so let me just put it out there that I appreciate the challenges Lana has had to face as a transgendered person.  Coming out as transgendered in sports is probably especially difficult and I hope she will continue to be successful in many more long-drive competitions, if that's her goal.  

No, what I'm most concerned with are the names.  Lana Lawless sounds like name of a mid-80s porn starlet, which is probably going to make her journey towards acceptance that much harder, but that's far better than the expert Golfweek found to comment on the situation. 

"I am shocked more women are not complaining about this," said Sean "The Beast" Fister.

That name sure is tough.  In fact it's hard for me to imagine a tougher one.  Maybe he could have been Arnold, or even Adolf "The Beast" Fister.  Maybe his original name was McFisterstein and he changed it to avoid mockery.  Perhaps he had a tough time with it in high school because in fact he's a nice guy who writes sonnets, volunteers at the local homeless shelter, and plays the flute.  In fact he's probably a flute-beast, thus the nickname.

However given the name of his website: http://www.longdriving.com and his own name and nickname choice it's hard to believe he's not actually a successful gay pornstar.  And guess what guys:  He's available for parties!

In reality, "The Beast" is a three time long-drive champion, and, if we had to guess based on just his comments, a total asshole.  In the Beast's defence, he's a father of three, and the Sean Fister Classic raises funds for youth organizations in Central Arkansas.  It's just a shame about his name, and that when Golfweek came calling for this story he didn't just say, as I would have said it, if I said it: "No comment."

Reclaiming the Name

Having a middle name that begins with "J" sets you up for all sorts of cool initial based nicknames.  I've always wondered why my brother never went by D.J., but I think it's pretty clear why I haven't gone by O.J.  Oh sure, I was called that from time to time when I was younger, and it was still cool.  But by the time I was 12 people had begun to mockingly ask if Ori was short for Orenthal, as if even that first syllable were tainted, and that taint had somehow been spread to my being and deserved derision .  I suppose I should be glad my first name isn't Orenthal.  I don't know if anyone's ever going to bring that one back, though I suppose boys are probably named Adolf each year.

I'm currently making this post on borrowed computer time, but in the new year you can look forward to reading book, television, and movie reviews and a vast variety of cultural commentary.

- O.J.