Naming Names

I considered renaming my play Charm as Free Drink but decided not to.  My brother said no.  Teetotallers might be put off.  Which is more attractive, charm or the lure of a free drink?  I ask myself, I do not answer.  Not much of the play is charm based, containing as it does references to the priesthood, the I.R.A. and dead people, not to speak of plastic decor.  And other unmentionables.

Charism, from the Greek, I think, is their word for charm, from which the adjective charismatic is derived.  Charismatic is also a noun, but God help you if you meet any of those.  Their ever smiling faces bring tears to my eye.

Nomenclature, the subject at issue, the naming of things is a subject of broad scope.  Apparently an American presidential campaign of long ago descended into each side calling each other names, perhaps the best name caller won.  Some say that is what is in store for us in the present campaign.  Libel and slander laws are more lax in the U.S., so namecalling, untruths and half truths are rife.  In the land of the free.  And so it should be.  This leads to some suing in British or Irish courts because the truth is illegal in these jurisdictions.  What price lies?  Innuendo, smear and smoke screens are what politics are made of.  The best liar wins.  But not indubitably, irrevocably or irredeemably, pardon my alliteration.

Are things as bad as they seem, worse or better?  The jury is out.  The learned judge has had his say, he speaks every day.  What is he but a jumped up barrister?  Is a barrista preferable?  Or a barman?  Now we’re getting down to business.  What’s in a name?  Quite a lot, as far as lawers are concerned.  Far be it from me to insult your intelligence, such as it is, used or unused as the case may be, its not your intelligence that counts, its what you do with it.  Is that clear?  Plain as a pikestaff?  What the Hell is a pikestaff?  Don’t answer that, I haven’t got all day.  As plain as the nose on your face?  Or pretty, if you prefer, which I don’t.

A kiss is the nicest possible way to tell a girl to shut up.  This may appear irrelevant, but I did mention noses.  Eskimoes, or Inuit, apparently do not kiss, but rub noses.  That sounds like fun, but whatever you’re used to.  When abroad, so a relative said, you should eat their food.  Adopt their customs?  Its part of what they are.  For the whole experience.  And wholesome it may be.  Enlivening and enlightening.  Not every country has pubs or bars, more’s the pity.  Where do people meet?  At the old waterhole, or under a tree.  So do animals, why not us?

This is an excuse for an essay on names and namecalling, I appear to have strayed from the path.  What of it?  Words have a pejorative, or worse, meaning as well as a better or true one.  Even the word saint can be said sneeringly, ironically.  God is truth, it is said, also that God is not mocked, therefore nor is the truth.  The communists had a newspaper called Pravda, truth, what was it selling?  What lies did it spin?  In the name of truth.  Many and manifold.  The official party line.  In the house of commons it is illegal to call anyone a liar, which is a joke for a start.  Lies should be disproved rather than the liar called a liar.  Play the ball, not the man.  Politicians of all stripes are Hellishly good liars when the spirit moves them.  Sometimes they forget and tell it like it is, but rarely.  What is rare is valuable.

But I digress.

Tich Ennis

10th June, 2016