November 3, 2012

"If they named their cat/dog/goldfish after Kierkegaard Imma puke!"

Said Amartel in the comments to yesterday's post, which was titled with a quote from a Chelsea Clinton tweet: "Marc, Soren and I are at home with candles, kindles and canned food!"

Hang onto your breakfast, Amartel. Here's a NYT article from last December:
[Marc] Mezvinsky, a former Goldman Sachs banker, will soon start a hedge fund with a friend. The couple’s apartment, shared with a miniature Yorkshire terrier named Soren, after the philosopher Soren Kierkegaard, is said to be overflowing with books. On the phone from Arkansas, Ms. Clinton talked about her husband’s continuous support and their habit of talking “about everything, almost sometimes ad nauseam.”
How's your nauseam now, Amartel?

***

"I see it all perfectly; there are two possible situations — one can either do this or that. My honest opinion and my friendly advice is this: do it or do not do it — you will regret both."

I see it all perfectly; there are two possible situations — one can either name your dog after a Danish philosopher or after a generic southern guy. My honest opinion and my friendly advice is this: do one or the other — people will needle you about both.

***

I see it all perfectly; there are two possible situations — one can either vote for Barack Obama or not. My honest opinion and my friendly advice is this: do it or do not do it — you will regret both.

71 comments:

William said...

Erudition run amok

Pogo said...

I just threw up in my soul a little.

Matthew Sablan said...

I have a strict rule: No people names for pets.

Ann Althouse said...

Oh, come on. They're expressing that they are nerds. (That's what they want you to think.)

What would you name your dog, assuming you wanted to name your dog after a philosopher? I say Plato. It sounds like a dog's name, like Fido.

phx said...

EXHIBIT A: Ms. Clinton talked about her husband’s continuous support and their habit of talking “about everything, almost sometimes ad nauseam.” How's your nauseam now, Amartel?

EXHIBIT B: Meade and I play it every day and sing lines from it when we're not playing it. We know all the words — within reason/unreason — and allude to them in daily casual conversation.

Nichevo said...

"How's your nauseam now?"

Overflowing. I've read more books than both of them combined and I am about as likely to boast of it as of my eye color. What is it about a certain set of people that wraps its ego around more-is-better literacy like a dog humping your leg?

Paddy O said...

If he pukes it's going to be as a jealous woman.

edutcher said...

Reminds me of the little soliloquy Alan Hale has in "Destination: Tokyo".

Matthew Sablan said...

I have a strict rule: No people names for pets.

Do literary characters count?

Darrell said...

I bet they have a combined IQ of 200. You can guess Chelsea's from her stint at NBC.

Mark O said...

Platero y Yo.

Maguro said...

I just figured they named it after Kansas City sports radio host Soren Petro.

Erika said...

Nuh unh, Professor, they are not expressing that they are nerds, or their dog would be named for a minor character in Dr. Who or something. They are expressing that they are pretentious.

Darrell said...

Hillary was named after Kierkegaard's pet name for his house slippers. Sir Edmund was playing with bees when she was born.

Pogo said...

I would choose Diabetes, after the saccharine Greek philosopher.

Darrell said...

Make sure the dog knows it's "Søren" then. Wouldn't want him/her to look ignorant.

Bob Ellison said...

I have tried for some 25 years now to simply ignore people who talk about Kirkegaard.

I shall continue to do so.

Shouting Thomas said...

Congrats on trying to steer the discussion toward humor this morning! We need it. FB has gone ballistic with hate screeds and scapegoating on every side.

Good luck trying to get people to have some sense of proportion!

Bob Ellison said...

What would you name your dog, assuming you wanted to name your dog after a philosopher?

My dogs are philosophers! Let some diarrheic author name him/herself after Nika, Bella, or Ally!

Pogo said...

I never understood the utility of naming a cat.

At best, they turn their head when their name is spoken, but otherwise it has no effect on them.

The Jews refrain from naming G_d, as it suggests control over the named. Cats disprove that, however.

Tank said...

AA

I see it all perfectly; there are two possible situations — one can either vote for Barack Obama or not. My honest opinion and my friendly advice is this: do it or do not do it — you will regret both.

LOL. AA finally comes around to my, and others, point of view.

I named my kitten Monte, after the Flying CirCUS ! A fairly popular show at the time.

Darrell said...

You think they would have used his middle name--Aabye--then. It goes better with Chelsea and the Beetles' Abbey Lane/Abbey Road vibe-- Joni Mitchell/Judy Collins not withstanding.

As fare as "Chelsea Morning" goes, I see Wiki says A Finnish rendering: "Kaupungin Aamu", was recorded by Anki for her 1972 album Ennen Aurinkoa while Kjell Hansson recorded the Swedish rendering "Skärgårdsmorgon" for his 1974 album Dig. Lots of pretentious names/words there for the dog's litter--assuming it is a breeder.

William said...

Sorry Professor, naming your dog after Kierkegaard is not a declaration of nerdiness.

It is a self proclamation of their highly educated,(faux)intellectual wittiness

Robert Cook said...

"I just threw up in my soul a little."

Haha...a little joke. You have no soul.

Icepick said...

Yes, if you vote for Obama, you are voting for political thuggery. If you are white and vote against Obama, black people will find you and kill you and your family. I know this because Obama supporters keep telling me this is what will happen.

wildswan said...

Soren says: My honest opinion and my friendly advice is this: do it and do not do it — you will regret both. You will crash your computer

Soren says: My honest opinion and my friendly advice is this: do it and/or do not do it, reverse and repeat. Then run for high office; you are a natural.

Robert Cook said...

"Oh, come on. They're expressing that they are nerds. (That's what they want you to think.)"

Oh? Is it nerdish to be a student of or at least have read philosophy? (Perhaps you didn't intend it to be a slight, but "nerd" has a pejorative connotation.)

And, why do you assume they named their dog after a philosopher only for public effect? Why do you assume they have any care about what the public will think of them for the name they've given their dog? Isn't it possible one or both of them sincerely likes the work of Kierkegaard and like the name Soren for their dog? As you say, "Plato" is a fine name for a dog.

Darrell said...

Cookie,

Are you going to head to the UK on your British passport when Romney is sworn in?

KLDAVIS said...

Our first Volvo was named Søren (the current one is Torbjörn). What can I say? I have a philosophy degree and I like silly letters. I'd name a dog name Hegel. It just feels right.

furious_a said...

Althouse = Taylor Swift.

I mean that in a nice way.

We named the younger Beagle after a character on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and the other after a Rod Stewart song.

Tank said...

Robert Cook said...

"Oh, come on. They're expressing that they are nerds. (That's what they want you to think.)"

Oh? Is it nerdish to be a student of or at least have read philosophy? (Perhaps you didn't intend it to be a slight, but "nerd" has a pejorative connotation.)
Yes, it is nerdish. That, to me, is not a pejorative statement, certainly not these days.

Robert Cook said...

"I've read more books than both of them combined...."

You know this...how? And, even it true, it proves...what?

Why not be honest and declare that you (and the other small people here who have added their snark to this thread) simply disdain Chelsea Clinton for being Chelsea Clinton, and her husband simply for being her husband?

I'm no great admirer of Bill or Hillary, but I know nothing about adult Chelsea or her husband and as far as I know neither has earned such kneejerk condescension.

Clyde said...

"Philosophy is the talk on a cereal box.
"Religion is the smile on a dog."

furious_a said...


"My honest opinion and my friendly advice is this: do it or do not do it — you will regret both."

Kierkegaard was a Star Wars fan?

phx said...

I've read more books than both of them combined and I am about as likely to boast of it as of my eye color.

For a countergambit to this naive ploy, see Odoreida's excellent work as detailed in One-Upmanship: Being Some Account of the Activities and Teachings of the Lifemanship Correspondence College of One-Upness and Games Lifemastery by Stephen Potter.

Shanna said...

Nuh unh, Professor, they are not expressing that they are nerds, or their dog would be named for a minor character in Dr. Who or something. They are expressing that they are pretentious.

Exactly.

I do like people names for pets, though. I think Homer would be a fabulous name for a floppy eared basset hound.

Erika said...

I had a friend whose golden retriever was named Tucker. Perfect name for the breed.

mojavehicular said...

If they were truly erudite, they would have named the pup Diogenes, after Diogenes of Sinope, the greatest of the Cynics. Besides, 'dog' is contained within Diogenes.

Nichevo said...

Cook asks,

"Why"

Before I answer you, Robert, are you going to attend? Or would I just be wasting my time to talk to you? I perceive you have a habit of not listening to people.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

If I were to name a pet after a philosopher, I would name it Benedict Spinoza.

He was a lens grinder who died of silicosis or some other lung disease.

So he fell into his work and made a spectacle of himself.

phx said...

I've read more books than both of them combined and I am about as likely to boast of it as of my eye color.

Reading James Michener and Ian Fleming is not the same as reading Kierkegaard.

EDH said...

"Ahh, but if you throw up, then it's as a jealous woman."

AaronS said...

My mind went to Charlie and Lola. Lola's imaginary friend is Soren Lorenson but I guess the couple isn't there yet.

Seriously, though, trying to draw insight into a person based on their pet's name is dumb. So perfect fodder for blog comments.
It won't be long before we start judging our politicians based on their height and likeability.

Methadras said...

I ran into the cutest bulldog puppy named Fred last year. I found him in a shopping cart inside a trader joes. I thought it was a baby at first because he was all white and I got concerned as I was walking up the aisle because i didn't see anyone near the cart and I saw this white bundle moving around a little. So I got up to it and there he was. He saw me and popped his head up and said hello. A pleasant surprise. Then his mom/owner came around from the other aisle and we talked about him for a minute cause he was so damned cute. I wish I could post a picture of him. I still have it, but she said his name was Fred. I asked if I could take a picture of him and she said of course. As soon as I got my camera out, bam, he started posing.

Freeman Hunt said...

Was there a philosopher who couldn't be left alone for a day without destroying his surroundings, spread hair all over his home, and had an inner circle that ordered their lives around his bowel movements with total, irrational devotion?

That would be a good one.

Methadras said...

phx said...

I've read more books than both of them combined and I am about as likely to boast of it as of my eye color.

Reading James Michener and Ian Fleming is not the same as reading Kierkegaard.


Yeah, well war and peace was no fun either.

KLDAVIS said...

"Was there a philosopher who...had an inner circle that ordered their lives around his bowel movements with total, irrational devotion?"

You know Chomsky?

Freeman Hunt said...

The last dog I had I named Fletcher. That name had nothing to do with anything except that I liked it. He was a wonderful dog. American Eskimo, adorable, up for anything, easy to train.

I gave Fletcher to my dad when I got married. My dad was single and living alone, and Fletcher was a great companion. They adored each other.

But Fletcher liked to dig. My dad secured the bottom of his fence all the way around with chicken wire. One day Fletcher figured out a way around that, dug under the fence, and was killed by the pit bull in the next yard.

dbp said...

Rule 1. I would never name a dog after a philosopher I like--and I like Søren Kierkegaard.

Rule 2. If it was named after a philosopher, it would have to be a good doggy name. Nietzsche would be a great sounding dog name, but see rule 1.

Isosceles sounds very good for a dog name and even though it seems like the sort of name a Greek philosopher might have, there was no philosopher by this name. Almost as problematic is Alcibiades. Again, a good dog name and even a person who existed, but he wasn't really a philosopher except as a foil in Plato's dialogs, but this may have been largely fictional.

Freeman Hunt said...

If I had to name a dog after a philosopher, and doing this was supposed to be complimentary to the philosopher, I would name the dog Alvin.

Actually that's a pretty good dog name. If I ever get another dog, which is extremely unlikely, I might use that.

Nichevo said...

Phx, touche I suppose, I am more interested in literature than turgid philosophical tomes, at least the unreadable moderns. Whatever I have read, and again, 'twere invidious to particularize (though I want to take this opportunity to put in a plug for the sadly missed James Clavell), my identity and self-worth are not wrapped up in making an ostentatious display of it, like these bookshelvers who do, say, bloggingheads with a big shelf of imposing tomes behind 'em. Which there is no reason to think they have ever read, and which in fact you can buy by the foot for just this purpose.

It's like bragging about anything, how much money you make, how many women you fucked, it's bragging, for purposes of self-aggrandizement, and I'm agin it. It doesn't have to be targeted to the "public," just to her "smart set."

And it is definitely not particular to Clinton, she has just made herself one of a large group of the kind of people who do this. I've seen a thousand of 'em, they're all the same. Pretentious jackholes you couldn't trust to change a tire or select produce. I spent years beating this kind of thing out of my best friend from high school. If he hadn't up and died on me of renal failure is probably be chaffing him now for it.

IMO literacy has exactly nothing to do with personal virtue. But people of this sort seem to think that it makes them something, that they are better than someone who has read less, perhaps even inferior to those who have read more. Speaking of funky philosophical tidbits, it brings to mind the Desiderata, where this sort of thing is exactly what makes people both vain and bitter.

Nichevo said...

If you want a touchstone for cultural literacy, think either of them has ever read a Bible from cover to cover? Possibly the husband.

phx said...

Phx, touche I suppose

You're damn right touche, but good, thoughtful response on your part.

I agree with you about not bragging and curbing an impulse to pretense. I however do make something of an exception (and why I took a little umbrage) for young people - reading avidly and enthusiastically, displaying their thousands of books and having a lark by naming their dogs and their fish after favorite lit types is just what young people often do. They're having fun and I personally don't hold them to the same level of gravitas and selflessness that I would myself or you.

I wouldn't necessarily declare myself an enemy to you because you have a different opinion on this.

Chip S. said...

When I was a kid we named our dog after Wittgenstein.

The problem was, everybody thought we named him after Beethoven. It was mortifying to be thought so middlebrow.

Nichevo said...

LOL ok phx, I agree it is cute in kids. I am into SF&F - on Lunacon committee - long been aware of the culture with its "I don't need a speed-reading course, I need a speed-bookcase-building course" type ethos. Cute and all that, but after a while it seems the lady doth protest too much.

But is Chelsea Clinton that young? And (I didn't follow Althouse's link, I never do) are all their books so weighty and Important? It could just as easily be the husband's fault, I don't know. I don't have it in for Chelsea Clinton per se. I do personally wish that civic virtues such as modesty, self-effacement be inculcated at a younger age, but hey, old fogy, whatever.

I guess my chief concern, or regret, or call it what you will, is that apparently they don't have friends between them who would have laughed them out of it.

No-actually my major beef is that people who think like this seem to think that their "inferiors" are, in essence, their lawful prey. I will always rebel against this when I see it.



Now for a little personal grooming: phx, I have enjoyed your part of this conversation as well and do not fault you for the views you espouse. I'm glad you responded and made this conversation worthwhile because talking to Robert Cook is like talking to a wall.

Nichevo said...

And phx, I did not quite follow your first post about oneupmanship, but remind me to tell you a little story about that, not in a context of reading but amusing just the same, speaking of Lunacon memories.

Chip S. said...

I didn't follow Althouse's link, I never do

You really should follow the link in the original post on this, just to see what the NYT's idea of an apartment "overflowing with books" looks like.

Quaestor said...

I will be unusually anal retentive in this comment, so get ready for an epic bout of truculent constipation. Here goes...

The philosopher is Kirkegard, not Kirkegaard. Two different Danish family names. English speakers can't usually deal with the doubled vowel, but in Danish the names are sufficiently dissimilar that no one need explain thusly "that's Kirkegard with one a".

Point the second: Ø is not an O with a diacritical, it's a separate letter of the Danish alphabet, so my advice to Chelsea is either stop trying to show off your erudition because it doesn't travel well -- learn the escape sequence for Ø -- or change the dog's name to something you can spell, preferably all three. (And while you're about it change your own dumbass name to something civilized. Hills probably did that to you, didn't she? The Rodhams are one of those nouveau hen-houses, aren't they, that like pretentious names? They probably snorted their Earl Grey when they learned Hillary was to wed some clod who called himself Bill; probably told the club his name was Guillaume.)

Point the third: Please no more Immas.I know it's Twitterspeak for "I am going to" which saves nine characters, but I shall is correct and needs only three more than the risible jargon. Imma belongs nowhere but in the mouths of the willfully and chronically ignorant petty criminal class.

Ann Althouse said...

"You really should follow the link in the original post on this, just to see what the NYT's idea of an apartment "overflowing with books" looks like."

Here's a description: Every single item in the place can be purchased at Design Within Reach.

Nichevo said...

I award Quaestor one Internet. Chip, will go look.

Chip S. said...

Design WIthin Reach : Affordability ::
A Reasonable Man : Reasonability

wyo sis said...

“A fire broke out backstage in a theatre. The clown came out to warn the public; they thought it was a joke and applauded. He repeated it; the acclaim was even greater. I think that's just how the world will come to an end: to general applause from wits who believe it's a joke.”
― Søren Kierkegaard, Either/Or, Part I

Nichevo said...

It must be me. Which link? Where are the books? In the Daily Mail article? I saw no books or bookshelves, just some great city views and a couple of really uncomfortable chairs that were obviously bought to impress other people who would not sit in them.

Chip S. said...

Quaestor, are you saying that this is not an authentic signature?

ampersand said...

If they ever have a kid it will probably grow up to be the biggest criminal genius the world has ever seen.

Quaestor said...

You may see a doubled a there, but I say it's calligraphic noise. Notice how the K is made with an odd terminal flourish.

Chip S. said...

This isn't calligraphy.

YoungHegelian said...

@KLDavis,

On that sad and sorry day when your dog Hegel goes to the great kennel in the sky, will he then be "that dead dog, Hegel"?

Amartel said...

I have taken to my Design Within Reach fainting couch, located in my tasteful book-lined vomitorium, now a bit puke-splattered. It's not that I object to "Soren," or "Buddy," or "Fido," or "Mrs. Beasley" for that matter. But if you make the pet part of your public presentation, include it in your twitters, photo ops, interviews, adopt it just as your sex scandal is breaking, say, then it's kind of open season. Er, on the name. Buddy and Socks got farmed out after they were no longer useful political props.

Also, Imma not use "Imma" again. It was an homage to our would-be nobility and their electile-dysfunction prole-talking. Also, it's a little out of date, like rhyming things with "izzle".

Kirk Parker said...

KLDAVIS,

People who name their cars are not to be listened to on the subject of naming.

KLDAVIS said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
KLDAVIS said...

Naming your car has the benefit of word economy. You can save time and definite articles by using "Where'd we park [name of the car]?" If you have multiple cars, it becomes even more efficient.