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May the Fourth be with you, always.

Today is Star Wars day and I’m terribly conflicted.

On one hand, I absolutely love Star Wars.  On the other, I really struggle to like Star Wars creator George Lucas.  This is because Lucas is the man responsible for both giving birth to Star Wars as a rebellion against tyranny and also crushing it in the iron fist of his imperial regime.

Star Wars was created by a twenty something nerd who had visions of what could happen when young people were given the freedom to unleash their creative powers in service to a greater vision.  Star Wars was also destroyed by a powerfully mythologized, middle aged billionaire who earned the right to do whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted.

This is the point where you might begin to question whether or not I’m an actual fan.

While I could tell you about the three decades I spent purchasing AND PLAYING WITH the action figures, or the summer of 1985 when I watched The Empire Strikes Back for 28 consecutive days, the most compelling piece of evidence is this:

20 minutes into my first viewing of Star Wars I was weeping.  A mournful french horn sounded the notes of John Williams’ epic score as Luke Skywalker stared into the twin suns of Tatooine from the edge of his desert homestead.  I was only 9 years old.  It would take me a decade to understand what the tears were about.


Justice, with a side order of…

While I’ve known for years that you can order a side salad with a burger, I never have.  This isn’t because it wouldn’t taste good, it’s because I’m a man and the only salad a man eats with a burger is the salad that’s already in the burger… and if you are as manly as my friend Matt, sometimes not even then.

A man orders some form of potato with his hamburger, the only question is what kind of potato it’s going to be.  A young man gets tater tots, an older man gets  french fries, an old man gets “steak fries”, a fancy man gets curly fries, and the man’s man goes “all in” with the baked potato, baco’s, and two ice cream scoops of sour cream.

I often see women augment their burger order with a side salad or even a cup of minestrone.  This is because women like to finish a meal and then have the ability to stand and walk around immediately afterwards.

What you order with your main course tells the waiter exactly what you like, and what you like tells the people around you the kind of person that you are.

Sunday night, the United States of America was treated to a main course of justice by its government.  We learned that Osama Bin Laden met the fate of a man who plots the destruction of the innocent.  We all got to pick the side order.

What’s In A Name?

Having a good name is terribly important in several ways, the first of which is what I call “inspirational quotient.” No matter how handsome, intelligent, or athletic a man is, it’s going to be difficult for him to overcome a name like Fester. The proof of this is that we give impossibly awesome names to our perceived heroic archetypes.

It isn’t enough for a man to be powerful, principled, and noble, he also needs to have a last name for a first name, and a last name that’s a place where you can meet girls. If you don’t believe me, consider how cool the name Jackson Breckenridge is.

Jackson Breckenridge is the kind of man who doesn’t have to choose between making love OR war, he fixes cars but has clean hands, and eats his steaks while YOU get the high cholesterol.

If Jackson Breckenridge offends your less than chauvinistic sensibilities you can go the more sensitive route when naming your demigod by giving him a first name that’s an old timey occupation and a vaguely ethnic last name… like Cooper Johansen.

Cooper Johansen plays banjo and upright bass, reads J.D. Salinger in French, and has a tattoo of Mr. Peanut just below his armpit. He watches Charlie Rose, writes children’s books, and even his black-framed glasses cry as he listens to the rainstorm.

Of course giving someone a name like Cooper or Jackson means that you’ve also set some pretty high expectations for them in the minds of their potential fan bases, because a kid with a name like Austin Majors either grows up to be an astronaut or quarterback.

Conversely, no one expects much of a Fester… other than slowly simmering in a pool of seething frustration and bitterness towards some remarkably clueless parents. When your name is Fester the pressure is off you and onto society, you get to say your name to someone’s face while simultaneously daring THEM to break eye contact.

This is why I think it’s time for Tiger Woods to quit pretending that his first name isn’t really Eldrick.


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