Saturday, 7 March 2009

this Spring we shall be wearing stair carpet

I went to meet teachers today, many of whom have comedy names... the school not only has a Peter Jones, but his matching pair, John Lewis. 
 I spent a happy ten minutes with a charming man called Mr Grocock.
 It baffles me why he would want to keep such a name.  

When I lived in Africa I was friendly with a charming, drunken Japanese diplomat who was Second Secretary at his embassy.  I asked him what his job entailed and he said.....'my whole life is a Sisyphean task of trying to control peoples' sniggering.  I go ahead, meet delegates and dignitaries and then I say the Ambassadors name a lot in advance of his arrival to try and desensitize them; it never works.'  The ambassador, Mr Kumamoto had a perfectly normal name in Japanese, but in Swahili, it means
Mr Hot Cunt.  
The Japanese now have a Kumamoto stadium so during certain games in the World Cup the whole of East Africa is convulsed. 
At least Mr Kumamoto could go home and be Mr Normalname

A surname is not a legality, it is merely a convention.

The myths and taboos around a 'family' name have a great deal to do with the centuries of bullshit that perpetuates the misogynist convention of primogeniture. 
'It can't go to a girl, because if she marries she no longer carries the family name'. 
Wrong.  Her name never automatically or legally becomes her husband's.  The convention can just as easily be reversed: her husband can change his name to hers.
 If both parties keep their own names, their children can still bear her name, rather than his. 
As for titles, there is no law banning them from passing through the female line.
Henceforth, I would like to be known as an Archduchess.

 Traditionally, the only way families have controlled the dissipation of possessions: land, houses, bling, goats etc is through an inherent unfairness: 0ne child is necessarily favoured over the others.  
The introduction of a chronological prejudice, rather than a sexist one is way, way, way over due.
 The Queen, as top hereditary dog - and woman - is in the perfect position to advocate a change toward the eldest child, rather than the eldest son becoming the heir. 
Dull old trout that she is, it would be by far and away most interesting decision of her reign. 
It wouldn't even have to ruffle her leaden conventionality because the next two generations are blokes anyway. 

I don't understand why this debate never makes it onto the political agenda...
well I do understand, obviously.... 

In the meantime girls, remember remember: the most powerful form of oppression is when the oppressed enforce it themselves.
 [ Exhibit 1. the genitally mutilated women perform the act on the younger generation...& they in turn....  Exhibit 2. The disappointment women feel at having a daughter & their determination to doggedly carry on giving birth until a son appears.    
 Exhibits 3-35,000 lie on file  ] 
We are so used to it, we don't even think about it.  
Awake!  Rise up and use whatever name you like. 
In fact, ask, no, demand your husband changes his to yours - see how big an ask he thinks that is. 

After that - I think our next move is just going to have to be a worldwide mass withholding of sex until action over recycling, climate change, troop withdrawals  bonus capping - whatever actually gets done because this government is inert. 
 They bang on about climate change -  but they pour money into the car industry & why don't they hand out swingeing fines to all those thousands of companies who leave whole tower blocks with lights blazing all night?
 Our recycling accumulates in warehouses because, it is no longer being shipped to China.  
& yet they fail to come up with some local solution,  [crematoriums for the emergency backlog & lightweight coffins anyone?] which is what they should've done in the first place.

  The congestion charge extension is going to be removed?
  Why do we have to wait until 2010?

Take bankers' barmy bonus away? So, much talk so little action.  Why not just get on and do it - & I don't mean singling out  Fred Goodwin [a name quite as richly ironic as Bernard Madoff's is apt] as a scapegoat, but remove the bonuses, the entire top executive & middle management too.  Get retrospective on their motherfucking asses.
What can anyone do with $100m for Chrissake?
Anyway, Fred Goodwin has already made a fortune touring with Riverdance.

Ok, and one last thing - why has Ken Livingstone's hideous building programme of something like 30 tower blocks across London not been shelved?  He only championed it because he has a baby toe-sized penis and twenty-five floors of concrete are the mayoral version of the penis extension.  

Which  brings me back to Mr Grocock.