Say what you will about people who give their children unique, potentially burdensome names. Sure, it makes the child special, sets them apart from their peers…but it also draws unwanted attention, annoying questions and tiresome jibes. Perhaps it shouldn’t matter that a uniquely-named child will never be able to buy a personalized souvenir from the Disney store, but neither will they be able to meet somebody new without having to repeat the same conversation already they’ve had every day of their life.
But the advent of the internet has added a new wrinkle to the lives of people with un-duplicated names. Just ask Sir Young, the young man who recently made news for receiving a controversially-light sentence in his rape case. Were Sir to ever rehabilitate himself, there’s little chance that he will slide through a cursory Google search without sending up red flags. Just like George Zimmerman probably wishes he had just been arrested and charged the night he killed Trayvon Martin (remember the initial controversy wasn’t that he killed somebody, but that he wasn’t arrested), my hunch is that Sir Young would’ve preferred receiving an appropriate sentence the first time around, just so his case didn’t receive so much press. For every 10 dirtbags who get into trouble, there’s a Jeff Gillooly who does it on the national stage, making his name eternally linked with controversy in our collective unconsciousness.
Not to suggest that these fine men deserve extraordinary amounts of sympathy. Ultimately they’ve each perpetrated some act that warranted public attention, and perhaps the longterm fallout is part of their just desserts. But I wonder about the small scale instances where, say, Prince Michael Jackson II picks up a DUI in a few years. Or gets in a barfight with cousin Jermajesty. With a name like Beezow Doo-doo Zopittybop-bop-bop, you’re not likely to get many second chances in life. Maybe parents should put a little more thought into that.