People fought and died for our freedom, ladies and gentlemen. We’ve had two world wars so that you could walk down to your local council office and request to change your name to Honeydew Melon Mountain Eater. But celebrities? They are the true people willing to honour our fallen heroes. They take advantage of deed polls all the time.
Say hello to well known ganja merchant and highly-paid singing whisperer Snoop Dogg. Or Snoop Lion, because the man has become leonine incarnate (or something). Don’t believe me? Ask him – or rather, quote him from a press conference with journalists he gave recently where he recounted how he was absolutely not high off his face at the time:
I went to the temple, where the high priest asked me what my name was, and I said, ‘Snoop Dogg’. And he looked me in my eyes and said: ‘No more. You are the light. You are the lion.’ From that moment on, it’s like I had started to understand why I was there.
We’ll ignore the fact that Snoop Lion was Snoop Dogg – and was Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr before he was Snoop Dogg – and simply allow for the fact that celebrities are special, and that they don’t like having boring old regular names like Joe or Steven.
I guess it makes sense. You’re appearing on the cover of newspapers and magazines weekly. You don’t want to see “Willie Smith has new woman” written in measly little Times New Roman on the cover of some rag. You want to see “Buzz Awesome bags new bird” in bold Helvetica!
Snoop Lion/Dogg isn’t the only celeb to decide that the name his/her parents gave them wasn’t cool enough. In fact, celebrity history is littered with astonishingly titled people doing miraculously stupid things. Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs become P-Diddy, then simply Diddy. (No-one apparently told him about the existence of Ken Dodd. I guess it’s a thing lost in translation over the Atlantic.)
P Diddy isn’t the first though. You’ve got Cat Stevens becoming Yusuf Islam (which is just asking for trouble in a post-9/11 world) and before them you had Wu-Tang Clan’s Ol’ Dirty Bastard (who shockingly wasn’t born Mr. Bastard) having some sort of serious mental breakdown and deciding that he was going to name himself – amongst others – Big Baby Jesus.
In fact, ODB went through enough name changes to make even the most mentally secure person worry about suffering from split personality disorder. Throughout his painfully short career, he demanded at various points to be called Dirt Dog, Dirt McGirt, O.D.B., Ason Unique, Osirus and Big Baby Jesus. Most of us are fine with just our normal birth name, and then maybe a nickname.
I guess it’s part of the desire to be larger than life. You become famous. You get the massive mansion which is even bigger than Octomom’s family could conceive of. You buy the ridiculous fripperies of the celebrity life: the Porsches in hot pink, the pet giraffe for the garden, all the cocaine produced in a single year in Colombia. You need something even stupider to do: so you go to the local council office and change your name by deed poll.
Be thankful and considerate of what the war veterans did to protect our freedom. But have more concern for the celebrities who are so unhinged they need to change their name constantly.