Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Now I've Seen Everything

The student president at the University of the Andes in Hugo Chávez’s Venezuela bears the very mellifluous name Nixon Moreno. Pursued by the authorities, Sr. Moreno has been obliged to take asylum in the papal diplomatic mission to his nation’s capital, Caracas. His cause has been taken up by the student president of Central University of Venezuela, a neighboring institution.

That brave young gentleman’s name is Stalin González.

Stalin leading protests in support of Nixon?

This is not remarkable in Venezuela, which has been afflicted by a plague of whimsical forenames. Your waiter or cab driver in Caracas is liable to be a Taj-Mahal, a Supermán, a Yesaidú (Yes, I do), or even a Hitler. Things are so bad that the electoral authorities have issued a draft law stating that babies may not be registered with names “that expose them to ridicule, are extravagant, or difficult to pronounce.”

Well, at least it’s hard to detect much revolutionary ardor in most of these names, such as was exhibited in the old USSR by the popular Melsor (Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin, October Revolution), or in Mao’s China by Da-yue (Great Leap) and Wen-ge (Cultural Revolution).

(courtesy National Review, December 3, 2007)

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