Free-Floating Hostility

Saturday, July 16, 2005

FFH Embraces Sternian Rambling

So Mike was telling me (because I do not personally pay attention to this sort of thing) that certain members of the press have started referring to Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie as "Brangelina." I already think combining names a la Bennifer is disturbing, as it happens to fly in the face of everything I believe to be constructive about monogamous relationships. But that being said, Brangelina is such a stretch it undermines the very concept of word play--either that or a lot of people don't actually get the point of puns.

Allow me here a medium-length digression on publicly missed puns which will probably start a big kerfuffle over at 34. In 1976, the legendary design artist Milton Glaser was hired for an ad campaign featuring the slogan "I love New York" which was being launched by the City to boost morale. Glaser was in a taxi on his way back from the meeting where his original design had been well received when he conceived picture we know today, wherein a red heart conveys "love" in lieu of text (he called back and reconvened the meeting, and they all thanked their stars that he had). The design was purposely not copyrighted because the idea was for people to use it as much as possible, and as we know it soon spread all over the literate world, involving far more objects of affection than the original New York. That means that relatively few people ever thought of its having been designed in the first place, but the absence of the explicit word is not some unobserved cultural phenomenon, it was created as a visual pun. That is why Glaser gets annoyed when he sees shopping bags with the word "love" written out in the heart, and it is also (and here's what I've been driving at) why David O. Russell is an idiot.

Milton Glaser I am Not Posted by Picasa

Anyway, the Brangelina incident led to a bit of idle name melding on our parts, mostly to demonstrate why this is not a useful way to refer to most couples. For those who don't care to call us The Mirers (or FFH), we might be identified as Micah, or my personal favorite, Ankle. Scott and Rachel would be Scotchel. Alex and April would be Apex. Andy and Jesse would be Antsy. Dave and Sharon would be Shave. We had thai food last week with a couple named Death.

4 Comment(s):

  •   Posted by Blogger Form at July 17, 2005 6:05 AM | Permanent Link to this Comment
  • I would like to throw into the mix the new athletic naming convention that has produced A-Rod and J-dub and change my couple name to be "D-Ron." Except when we check into a hotel to avoid the paparazzi. Then we are known as "D-Ron Mexico."

  •   Posted by Anonymous Anonymous at July 17, 2005 7:27 PM | Permanent Link to this Comment
  • A few weeks ago, the Metro (the free newspaper they give out on the T) had a column where they tried to give Bennifer-style names to famous Bostonian couples. I guess there aren't too many famous Bostonian copules, because they ended up just listing a lot of weird name combos for Red Sox players and their wives. I don't remember most of them, but the ones I can recall were just weird: "Maniana" sounded like a psychiatric ailment, and in any other context I would have assumed "Kartek" was some place you'd go to get a stereo installed in your bad-ass Honda. That's why it's a free paper, I guess!

  •   Posted by Blogger Jeff'y at July 19, 2005 9:36 PM | Permanent Link to this Comment
  • As the single most knowledgeable person in the world about the combination of I (Heart) Huckabees (note the parens; Unicode isn't quite universal yet) and free newspapers, I am uniquely positioned to comment and meta-comment. And yet I'm not one to fall for kerfuffle-baiting, so I will hold my tongue, which I've been using to type. Starting... nowssmrrrrppph.

  •   Posted by Blogger Jeff'y at August 31, 2005 10:04 PM | Permanent Link to this Comment

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