When Fame and Honor CollideYou probably see things named for famous people all the time. In our area, there's a Nimitz Freeway and Macarthur Boulevard named after the WWII warriors. For the most part, localities or organizations assign these names to honor people who've done something duly important.
In most cases, localities choose these names upon the namesake's death. The ubiquitous Martin Luther King Boulevards around the country are an example.
However, some entities choose names ONLY after death. For example, the US Postal Service requires stamp subjects be tits up before they can adorn a stamp. These laws and ordinances help save potential embarrassment when the locality chooses a living person who later turns out to be a lying chump. One example is Cincinnati.
That city amended its charter to allow living honorees so they could feed baseball player Pete Rose's mammoth ego. The Pete Rose Way signs went up and a few years later, Pete Rose himself crashed down. Charlie Hustle turned out to be a compulsive gambler and was banned from baseball. A controversy ensued when the pro-Pete/anti-Pete lobbies squared off to argue about the propriety of naming something after a disgraced baseball player. The argument, much like the ban from baseball, probably smolders to this day.
It seems this idea of naming things after living famous people is out of hand. The last in the current class of Navy aircraft carriers has George HW's name all over it. Washington National airport became Reagan National when the Republicans swept in - along with the Contract on America - and needed to "honor" the incontinent old fart. We expect the ruling party will push to name the replacement for the World Trade Center something like "The George W. Bush Freedom From Terror Building". We're sure his outsized ego will be touched at the gesture. Heck, he'll even start trying to convince people it was a bipartisan move because Democratic loon Zell Miller backed it.
We work just down the street from Mineta International airport, named after Norman Mineta. He got the nod because he was a congressman who brought home the pork for his district in Supersize Me portions. He's also the only Democrat cabinet Secretary on Team Incompetent. Yes, he's still alive, although probably embarrassed at having to serve under the Moron-in-Chief.
So now that the "honor" gloves are off, how about naming a bridge to nowhere for Ted Stevens of Alaska. Or how about the new Tom Delay Home for the Criminally Insane? I know I'd vote for the Scooter Libby Chair on Ethics at Pepperdine University or naming K Street in Washington for Karl Rove.
Come on people! Let the love flow! Give these richly deserving citizens their due before the whole damn lot of them shuffles along to the afterlife they dwell on so often.
Truth Told by Omnipotent Poobah, Friday, March 31, 2006