Friday, January 23, 2009

At Least They Didn't Name Him "Sue" (Will Grigg)

Will Grigg on the saga of the boy named after Hitler, whose ill-conceived name seems to have served as a useful excuse for the state to claim "ownership" over him:

Adolf Hitler Campbell"Come here, Thanatos," called the young father, beckoning to a small boy who had surrendered himself unconditionally to an arcade game.

In my astonishment, I performed a double-take of almost comical magnitude, thereby fumbling my attempt to keep my pinball in play.

"You named your child Thanatos?" I said, a blend of puzzlement and pity coloring the question.

"Yeah," the dad replied, visibly proud of his cleverness. "It means --"

"I know what it means," I interrupted in what I hoped was a neutral voice. "I just hadn't expected to encounter a child with that name."

That shopping mall encounter took place twenty years ago. Apart from his bizarre choice of a name for his son, the young father displayed no visible signs of derangement. The boy was energetic, playful, and outgoing, and obviously loved his father.

Yet I can't help but suspect that under the right conditions today, the child would have been seized by child "protection" bureaucrats, who would consider naming a child after the god of death to be prima facie evidence of parental unsuitability.

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