Monday, November 4, 2013

Jack, Properly, or, A Cop-out in Two Parts

I've considered creating my own blog--and have, pseudonymously, on a couple occasions--but the pressure of keeping it up to date and the realization that almost no one will ever read it have, to this point, deterred me from really ever taking it seriously.

(Here's where a heretofore less than enthusiastic blogger might say something like, "But no more!" or "Until now..." expressing his or her new found eagerness to contribute his or her two cents to the vast wasteland that is the blogosphere, but you may have guessed by now that I'm not possessed of such a change of heart and that this overlong parenthetical statement has been nothing more than an ironic stab at the arm-chair politicos and DIY-ers that inhabit the darker corners of the Internet.)

I'm still not that motivated to blog, but, in spite of my previous paragraph, I really admire my wife, who puts a lot of time and effort into creating something that is fun, funny, and worth reading.  I highly recommend her blog, here.

(Another parenthetical:  I love my wife.  She is fantastic and forgiving and selfless, and she is far better to me than I often deserve, and if I ever make it to heaven, it will be because she'll drag my sorry carcass in.)

I do like to write, though, and often have a lot of thoughts running through my brain that, without a place to escape to, can cause an insomnia-inducing ruckus.

What follows is not one of those thoughts.  No, I wrote this for my most recent failed pseudonymous blog, but I enjoy reading it and, in an embarrassingly self-promoting move, am republishing it here for your reading enjoyment.

Ladies and gentlemen, may I introduce Jack Locke.


Jack, as we all know, is “a notorious domesticity for John.”

“As we all know,” as we may not all know, is a semi-common logical fallacy: argumentum ad populum in Latin, meaning “appeal to the people,” or, more commonly, ”appeal to the majority.”

Now you know.
As much as I hate to say it, the lovely Gwendolen and I have this fundamental disagreement: notoriety isn’t exactly a concept most would associate with my given name. 
That is, Jack.
Domestic, though?  Positively.
I love exotic names–Algernon, for instance, sounds fantastically foreign and comes from a French sobriquet (or nickname) meaning “with moustaches”–but an exotic name mine is not.

It’s not Charlemagne, it’s not Williston, it’s not Guillermo.  It’s just… Jack.

Rhymes with smack.
Which is what I frequently want to do to dear old Gwen whenever I watch The Importance of Being Earnest–she was, after all, portrayed in high school by an obnoxious ex-girlfriend of mine.
Now, in the grand tradition of the inverse criticism sandwich, I must once again (and so soon?) contradict Gwendy, this time concerning her premise: must every fellow called Jack necessarily be so called because his given name is John?

Well… no. I know of at least one other individual named Jack and for the pompous, self-centered jerk that he was, his birth certificate did not read John.  (I confess, I didn’t like the guy, what with his preppy hair and charming grin and stylish clothes… but his name was still just Jack.)  That makes at least two of us.At least two in 7 billion. 

Clearly, we’re not getting the sort of nominal examination we’re entitled to.  Why, assuming every Jack’s a John lumps me and that airheaded ego-planet in with a conglomeration of a million great guys, total jerks, and everything in between!

So, while Lenni (okay, so there aren’t many good nicknames for Gwendolen) wasn’t flirting across the proverbial ballroom with our friend argumentum ad populum, she was shamelessly rubbing the bumpy bottom of his cousin, the far more common "false premise" for all the world to see.

Which is too bad.  That guy gets far too much attention as it is.Now, admittedly I’ve fallen victim to his charm myself quite a few times (should I admit that aloud…?), but then I recognized him as the good-for-nothing cardsharp that he is.

Turns out, not all Zac Efron movies are complete trash (I almost sort of enjoyed 17 Again); not every Weezer song is noteworthy (I can’t bring myself to listen to “Can’t Stop Partyin’” ever, ever again); and not every fat guy winds up with a hot wife (but I did).

So, yes, a lot of Jacks are Johns (and a lot of Latinos are Democrats and a lot of rap stars are black and a lot of gingers are soulless…), but not all.

Not me. 

I’m Jack, properly.

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