name regret

Victor Steinbok aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Sat Oct 15 01:19:00 UTC 2011

I know exactly what you meant, Ron. I am aware of the supposed political
divide in English departments. But, I thought, this might play out in
more than one way--perhaps some would actually think it to be cool that
someone named after Ronald Reagan could be an unabashed leftist. I must
admit, though, that I *am* surprised that *you* were named after
Ronaldus Magnus--I did not expect him to be *that* popular in the early
1940s. I always thought of him as a minor--read, "obscure"--and mediocre
actor, who rose to prominence as a staunch McCarthyite and Nixonite
during his years at the Screen Actors Guild. I must have missed his
early sex appeal, but his looks had /always/ been more powerful than his

I promise not to mock you for the middle R.


On 10/14/2011 9:00 PM, ronbutters at AOL.COM wrote:
> My point was not that naming children after presidents is uncool. My point w=
> as that leftist faculty members might think that naming a child after Ronald=
>   Reagan would be uncool--to the point where they might would scornfully out a=
> ny fellow professor they discovered to bear the dreaded name. I assumed read=
> ers would reference the cultural cliche that views English Departments at fa=
> shionable schools as leftist in politics. (That for sure was the case at Duk=
> e during the past 30 years.)=20
> As someone who actually WAS named after Ronald Reagan, I feel that I can spe=
> ak with authority and sensitivity on the question. However, be it known ( no=
> w as I out myself) that my mother made her decision based not on the great c=
> ommunicator's politics (which at the time were mostly mushy-headed FDRism) b=
> ut on his sex appeal (in youth, his good looks were much more powerful than h=
> is brains or political stances).
> Ronald R. Butters

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