And Who Will YOU Be Today?

TRUE FACT:  On November 17th the University of California system announced that students, employees, alumni, and others will be able to use their “lived name” rather than their legal name when interacting with the system.   A lived name is a “self-chosen personal or preferred professional name.”  The announcement describes this policy as a “milepost in the University’s commitment to equity and inclusion for all.” 

A noble sentiment, to be sure.


……here are a few dispatches from the Department of Unintended Consequences:

—  Latrell W., a junior at UC-Berkeley, took advantage of this policy to rename himself “Usher,” in honor of the R&B heartthrob.  He told reporters that his “luck with the ladies” increased ten-fold in the days that followed.  NOTE:  Late last night Mr. W was shot in the leg by Nicole R., an Applebee’s waitress who claimed “that scrawny son of a bitch lied to me about who he was.  I gave my heart to him, as well as the keys to my 2009 Corolla.  I’m just sorry I didn’t hit an artery.”

—  Robin G., a sophomore at UC-Santa Cruz, now goes by the name “Hummus.”  She told University Life: “As a vegan, I can no longer accept being named after a bird, which is a form of meat, and meat is beyond gross.  I hate my parents for giving me this name when I was too young to know what was going on.  I truly despise them.  But I love hummus.”

— Mitch L., a senior at UC-Irvine, has become “Zanzibar.”  Why Zanzibar?  “I did my capstone Political Science paper on the letter Z, and Zanzibar is — by far — the coolest semi-autonomous region in Tanzania!  By the way, have you ever tried snorting dried bird suet laced with cayenne pepper and cinnamon?  Whoa!  Most.  Intense.  Rush.  OF A LIFETIME.”

—  Madeline R., a 52-year-old Professor of Humanities at UCLA, is now “Genitalia.”  She informed her Industrial Poetry seminar on Thursday that “today I am choosing a name that reverences my blossoming and my recent divorce.  My former husband never comprehended the essence of my chakra in the 27 years we were married, not for a moment.  Behold Genitalia!

—  Tyrell P., a UC-Riverside sophomore from Jamaica, has changed his name to “White Privilege.”  His reasoning is straightforward:  “Oh, mon, nutting gives me more pleasure than messing with the minds of white people!”

And nothing should, WP.  Nothing should.