Bad Baby Namer: Levi Johnson

May 3, 2012 § 3 Comments

To those of you making your first visit thanks to my first guest post at Nameberry (which I’ve been squeeing about since they asked me!!) – Welcome! Happy to have you here!

Today, though, I feel the need to get a little bit serious for a second (bear with me). The first thing I did when I found out Levi Johnson plans to name his unborn daughter Breeze Beretta was write a long-winded, angry post calling him out for using his kid as a toy in his never-ending quest for attention. There are many rules for baby naming out there, and while I feel most rules are made to be broken, for the right price, the notion that children are not to be named for our amusement feels like the one rule not up for debate.

That doesn’t mean I’ve lost my laid-back attitude to names, or that I think parents should refrain from using Fifi if they have a really good reason for it. I deleted the first post; it didn’t sound like me. It didn’t live up to the goals of my blog. I choose not to be among the madding crowd for names ranging from the truly awful to the mundane to the strange or even questionable. I’ve never believed that “they’ll get made fun of” is a good enough reason not to use a name, because kids will make fun of any name, given the right ammunition.

But my disappointment in Levi Johnson and his paternally-undeveloped mind all comes back around to reason, and my predisposition to dislike violent names. Why did Sarah Palin’s Achilles heel choose to name his daughter after an Italian gunmaker? (The weather-pattern first name is an easy play to call, with a babymama named Sunny.) Was it because he likes to hunt? Well, we know he does. I like to listen to music, but a brand name like Fender or Gibson is still not on my list – though I know they have inspired many.

But back to Beretta. What good is there – really – in using violent themes to name our children? Don’t we want our kids to grow up to be presidents or artists, economists or computer geniuses? Don’t we want our kids to exemplify traits like honour, courage, kindness, hope, and love? Are our violent hobbies or interests really best suited to our children’s birth certificates? Bears may be a dangerous animal, and it’s a name that I’ve defended, but bears are connected to nature. Guns, especially brand names of guns, are connected only to violence. (Colt, a comparable, is also a horse, which can dress this one up a bit.)

Sure, in some circles, guns/hunting equals honour, but my not-so-humble opinion of that theory is that it’s wrong. Hunting equals survival or sport, and guns equal death. Charlton Heston may have once expressed a love of guns so deep we could pry his “from my cold, dead hands,” but Charlton Heston still named his children Fraser Clarke and Holly Ann.

When it comes to Levi Johnson, I can’t help but think that, just like his Playgirl spread and tabloid-friendly memoir, he was well aware that a simple, controversy-free name like Lily Rose wouldn’t cut it, wouldn’t help him live up to the bad boy reputation he has clearly found some easy money in. For the reason that his new daughter feels like his latest press tool, and for the fact I cannot figure out why we honour violence with baby names, Levi Johnson gets a uniquely rare, but altogether ‘entirely official,’ stamp of disapproval from me as a Bad Baby Namer.

Okay, rant’s over. Am I overreacting? Blinded by a distaste for fame-hungry deadbeat dads? I’m not so sure, I’m not used to hating names/namers. Weigh in!

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§ 3 Responses to Bad Baby Namer: Levi Johnson

  • momo3139 says:

    Have you written at all about the Palin kids’ names? I’m curious to know your thoughts. I can totally see this guy going… “Beretta… that’s actually pretty for a girl– and it’s bad ass!” and that’s about the level of depth I imagine. I bet they think they’ve hit the pretty/unique/unused jackpot. I hope someone they respect can talk them out of it because I agree that the name is socially irresponsible,

  • I just came here from your Nameberry Post; feels like political baby names get everyone fired up!

    Thanks for sharing your opinion on this one, I don’t think I can share mine, because it’s … well, rude. I will say though that if you didn’t know what it meant, Breeze Beretta actually sounds pretty good. Way better than Gusty Glock or Cold Carbine. So it could be worse, I guess.

    I do feel this “tough baby name” thing is part of a whole trend to toughen babies up. I mean, Abby at Appn Mtn shared a photo of a nursery for a new baby boy, and it was gun metal grey with crocodiles and swords leaping out at you from the walls, and jagged edges and pointy things all over the place.

    Apparently, it’s tragically unfashionable for your baby to sleep in a pale blue nursery with teddy bears and choo-choo trains and a soft blanky – it’s probably unfashionable for them to sleep at all, or drink milk, or suck on a dummy. They need to be hyper-alert and ready for action at all times, in order to prepare them for the rigours of the modern world so they can spend all their time on Facebook drinking coffee.

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