Armand Hammer

If your last name was Hammer and you were born in modern times, why would you name your child Armand? Isn’t someone sometime going to figure out that you named your child after baking soda? The baking soda company has been around since for “over 170 years” so it’s been out there in the public sphere so theoretically one would know about it, and so again, why?

I looked it up and Armand Hammer is not related to the people who started Arm and Hammer baking soda. I thought maybe that’s where Arm and Hammer baking soda came from, the Hammer family and that there was a line of Armands and they made the name for the baking soda as a kind of play on words on their names, but no. That’s not it. The Arm and Hammer baking soda people have no Armands or Hammers in their names. Not even close. So Armand Hammer’s family named him that anyway, in spite of the baking soda. They do call the junior Armand Hammer Armie, so I suppose that’s some improvement, but even Armie Hammer brings up thoughts of Arm and Hammer when you say the name out loud.

Armie Hammer. Armie Hammer.

I said this and it made me think of Arm and Hammer baking soda so I looked up Armie Hammer to see if he was related to the baking soda and found out he is an heir to some rich people, and one guy in particular called Armand Hammer, and they call Armie Armie because he’s the grandson, but he’s not connected to the baking soda. So then I looked up the baking soda and read its history (which is actually pretty interesting and can be read here if you’re so inclined), but it’s not related in any way to Armie or Armand Hammer. “A trusted solution for more than 170 years!”

This is my thought for the day, why anyone would name their child Armand Hammer if they’re not related to the baking soda. I wonder further if children he knew said anything about the baking soda. Probably not. It sounds like his family was kind of a big deal and he seems really well adjusted (and extremely handsome, but that’s an aside unrelated to any of this or his ability to manage his funny name) so I doubt anyone called him baking soda or asked him if he liked sitting with his top open in the back of the refrigerator.

See? I would have been one of those children asking those kinds of questions and maybe he would have gotten it and played along telling me how he kept cold food smelling fresh. But he may have just raised his eyebrows quizzically at me like maybe I was kind of nuts. I’m used to that expression so it wouldn’t have traumatized me to get it in any way. I would have just looked quizzically back at him wondering about his funny name. I might also asked him something about sleeping in barracks, but that would really probably result in a funny expression and likely not to go anywhere, although it’s the more likely question from boys who thought they were clever and making fun of a name that sounds like a military squadron.

In Another Galaxy

I am not a giant of the legal community. I’m probably not even an ant. My first reaction upon seeing a headline about some giants of the legal community is that I am not one. I thought of many quips to describe how un-giantlike I am. Then later, I reread the headline, and actually felt a bit of vexation. Why is it that we as people create these categories and rank people? And further, why is it that in order to become a giant of the legal community, one must work for a big firm that serves everything but the interests of most people? Our culture is so backward, rewarding wealth and considering those who acquire it great. I’m sure these giants worked hard; it’s not possible for them to have worked little for the firms who employ them, but to what end? Actually since they are both partners, in a manner of speaking, they employ themselves, but it’s a pyramid scheme with the associates at the bottom feeding the partners. Considering this, it is they who are more ants than I am. This isn’t sour grapes; it’s reality. They slave to feed the queens. During my first year of law school when I figured out how the whole lawyer scheme worked, I felt a desire to work at a big firm for about ten seconds, then my natural desire to help humankind kicked in and obliterated any such desire. All of them wear their clients like badges of honor, and perhaps for some, these badges really are something to be proud of, but I just saw them as bloodsucking corporate parasites using these lawyers to further their own powerful aims. Gag. Be a big firm lawyer and learn how to fuck over the common people. No, thank you. Okay, this just ended up being a judgmental rant. That wasn’t where I was going. One of my best friends works for a big firm, one of the biggest. She’s a decent person. She, however, is also not a giant. In fact she’s planning to go to “part-time,” which in big firm parlance is synonymous with a 40 hour work week. No, thank you. Come to think of it, I am not diminutive in relation to the giants of the legal profession. They would say that’s because I’m not even a speck on their radar. I’m less than speck; I’m a quark. I’m the space between molecules, an intermolecular space. Ha! Yet thinking about it, I realized that to fit this description, I would have to care and I don’t, not one whit. I’m in another galaxy where giants are not the people who make the most money. So I’m just me — not a giant and not a quark and not even anything in between.

Addendum to the Longest Post

I was so tired the other night because it was late when I was writing, so I finally just had to stop.  After I stopped writing, I did some quick google searching for the sites that I did not know.  What I found was surprising.  Most of the sites were socialization and video sharing sites.  Badoo, a top search for the world, looks to be like myspace and facebook.   Same with hi5 and second life.  Daily motion is a video sharing site and appears similar to Youtube.  As my kind commentator pointed out, tmz is a place to follow celebrity gossip.

I thought about this quite a bit yesterday.  MSNBC says that its top clicked stories of the week are all murder and killing stories.  I checked a few other “news” sites and found similar patterns.  Yet a search for what people are looking for, at least in 2007, reveals that what we actually seek is to connect, through socialization sites and video.  We’re interested in the latest celebrity scandal (i.e., tmz and Anna Nicole Smith), but for the most part, we want to connect with one another.  In a sense, it could be argued that we are not so interested in murder and death as we are in life, our lives and the lives around us.  Even the checks on celebrity stories could be viewed as a way to connect; we wish to see how those who appear to have everything are really human in the ways that they mess up.  (And of course it is so much fun to taunt Paris Hilton when she cries about how she’s “changed” after a few nights in jail.  Poor baby.  Yes, you are human.  Riiiight.)

I think perhaps the “news” organizations ought to consider getting a clue on this point.  They design sites where you click for the “latest story.”  Yet those stories are chosen by the organization and a link is created to click.  They are the ones that are creating the “top-clicked stories” because they are the ones choosing which stories to present.  It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, created by the “news” organization.  Would their results be the same if their subject matter were different?  I doubt it.  In fact, if murder and killing stories weren’t on there at all, they could not be clicked at all.  Suppose the stories presented were about world affairs or national interest pieces.  Yes, the stories may then be about killing because the stories might be about wars, but they probably would not be the sort of sensationalized killing stories available via the “top clicked sites.”

What with the proliferation of shows like CSI, I suppose the “news” organizations think all we are interested in is murder and killing.  What they fail to understand is that it isn’t the murder that interests us on shows like that, it is the investigation and the finding of the clues.  These are two different things.  In some ways the investigation is a form of joining together between the people seeking to find the clues into the murder.  Again, connection.  Like the searches on google for social sites and video sharing, what we seem to seek is relationship and association, not murder and killing.  This shouldn’t be surprising, but considering “news” organizations have sought to shove murder and killing down our throats as long as there have been “news” stories, I don’t expect it to end anytime soon.

The Longest Blog

Happy New Year.  And what are the top ten stories being clicked on at MSNBC?  Amanda Knox’s deadly exchange.  Who’s Who Student murdered in Italy.  Photos:  Terror at home for Connecticut family.  Who killed Stacy Peterson?  To catch a predator.  The reals story behind “Alpha Dog.”  Phil Spector evidence photos.  Predator goes to Kentucky.  Palladium murder photo gallery.  Photos:  Death in the Hollywood Hills.

Seriously?  Is this seriously what Americans consider the most popular pages on MSNBC?  Does MSNBC do something to market these murderous stories and photos so everyone is so interested in them?  Shouldn’t we all be disturbed that the top stories grabbing American attention are all about killing and mayhem?  Jesus.  Something is really messed up about that.  There must be something at the site that encourages people to choose these stories.  I cannot yet fathom that these are the top story views by choice.  I would think a more accurate measure of what people are searching for would be the top ten google searches.  Then people would, of their own accord, be entering the information into the search engine and not having it flashing in their faces begging them to click.  Google is good that way, with its lack of ads and fanfare.

Well.  So I did a google search for the top ten google searches and came up with an interesting page analyzing the year 2007 and the searches done throughout the year and the top searches, both by U.S. and by the world.  They calculate the top searches as rising and falling.  For the world, the top risers are iphone, badoo, facebook, dailymotion, webkinz, youtube, ebuddy, second life, hi5, and club penguin.  The fastest US risers are iphone, webkinz, tmz, transformers, youtube, club penguin, myspace, heroes, facebook, and Anna Nicole Smith.

Well.  There are many searches on these lists for things I have never even heard of, so I must not be in line with the rest of the world population.  I’m not “with it” if you will.  However, I can count myself among the top US searchers on youtube and myspace.  Myspace I use so I don’t have to type it in the URL.  Pure laziness on my part because from google’s response I can click right into wherever I want.  And Youtube needs no explanation.  I’m shocked Club Penguin is on here.  Milla loves it.  I have to convince her not to play it after she’s been to visit non-Waldorf friends.  I would not have known it was so popular.  I do not know what badoo, dailymotion, webkinz, ebuddy, second life, hi5, or tmz are.  I am going to have to search those, thereby increasing their search popularity, just so I can find out what they are.

There are fallers from the list as well.  World Cup tops this list, followed by mozart, fifa, rebelde, kazaa, xanga, webdetente, sudoku, shakira, and mp3.  I do not know what fifa, rebelde, kazaa, and shakira are, although I think shakira might be a singer.  My goodness, I’m frighteningly out of touch, aren’t I?  I’m surprised mozart is on this list, not because it’s going down, but because he is on the list at all.

For anyone who cares, I found this information at:  http://www.google.com/intl/en/press/zeitgeist2007/

Well it is officially 2008 on the west coast so I can now head to bed.  This blog has the notoriety of having been started in one year and completed in another.  Makes it sound as if I spent a good deal of time on it, rather than about 21 minutes.