Culture

2016: The year of nicknames & hope for the supernatural to save the day

 

The year 2016 will be one for the history books. The United States will finally get a President from the state of New York. Yes, ok. There may be some other big parts to the election as well. Why, we may even see a mass exodus of Americans to Canada. I personally love Canada and Justin Trudeau. Did you see him dancing in the gay pride parade? However, back in the year 2000 many people claimed they would leave the United States if a certain person was elected and I don’t believe it ever happened. While I like Canada, I hate the cold. That does it for me. Besides I live in California and that’s a whole other universe onto itself. Why should I leave?

Anyway, 2016 will be historic for what has happened throughout the world and what is still to happen. If you are a betting person, there is much to bet on. I wonder how those skittles shares are doing? Should I buy some? Also, time to invest in Salsa companies considering one view of the election notes there may be a taco truck on every corner. Or am I too late on that stock bandwagon. Sigh. Back in the mid ’90s a friend advised me to invest in Starbucks and I was too poor to do so. And now. I’m still too poor to do so.

Have you noticed I ramble a bit? I suppose it’s my shtick. Did you know no one at my LA office knew what the word tchotchke means? Sometimes, I am too New York. See I circled back. Yes, in 2016 we will finally have a New York President. I know some are cursing me just about now. This is my coping strategy and thus ask that you work with me here.

Throughout this year, I came across a writing phenomenon called evergreen. Supposedly evergreen articles are those posts that keep on going and living. It’s like the evergreen plants that have leaves throughout the year, that are always green. It’s literal. Well, in terms of the trees. The reason I stumbled upon this phenomenon is because no matter what I write each day, my top articles  are often two that I wrote a long time ago.  And I believe this is so because of the historic nature of this year.

Every day, people are still interested in an article I wrote a few years back called: The Psychology of Nicknames in the Workplace: The Power of Pootie Poot and Houdini.  In general, I wrote about how  nicknames go around the workplace.  I was particularly fascinated by George Bush’s use of nicknames and how it seemed to elevate the nickname calling to new heights.  My pet peeve is when people call each other boss. That’s not really a nickname but it irks me nonetheless.  As I noted back then:

 Nicknames can be a bonding phenomenon as they illustrate a creative moment of inter-personal communications.  But do you really want to be referred to by your nationality, your hair color, your body type, your demeanor, or your favorite food?

Does this nickname phenomenon remind you of anyone else recently in the public sphere? By giving a nickname to someone you hold power over them and you diminish their own power.  Our parents name us at birth as part of a beautiful, warm rite of passage. Nicknames in the workplace are not always about warmth but about setting a pecking order and career ladder mobility.Nicknames can be fun and help build team spirit and rapport, But these days, in the media and election “workplace”, nicknames are beuond the pale I laughed when a few years ago George Bush nicknamed Putin “Pootie Poot.”  What better way to disarm and work with a frenemy?   Of course, right now Putin and Trump have a bromance going and the nicknames to come may be funnier than Pootie Poot or not.  Either way, it seems that everyday now, we are exposed to new nicknames at the national stage. I’m over this nickname thing.

 

Besides my Pootie Poot post, my other evergreen is Puerto Rican by Way of Superstitions and Rituals: Avoiding the “Mal de Ojo”.   It is an article in which I discuss my hyper vigilance in sussing out the evil eye. I believe in the evil eye. I was taught to believe in it from a very early age. I believe people do put out there bad vibes and wishes towards one and that at times those vibes can impact us. Is it the supernatural intervening in our lives? I’m not quite sure.  I was brought up to believe in about 1,000 superstitions.  I went away to boarding school, college and got my doctorate.  I have learned to dismiss many of those 1,000 superstitions. Yet, a few do persist in my belief system. They have become ingrained within my DNA. I believe this is the case for others as well. This year in particular has been so weird that I think people are looking to other resources to help explain what has been occurring, as well as to help address what is occurring. You can try to avoid the evil eye and you can also try to cast it. I just try to avoid it myself as much as possible. As I noted, rituals can be rooted in reality and represent an attempt to moderate that reality accordingly.

In this year, it has become apparently clear there is no one set of reality. In a time where many people see different acts and motivations in one video, or when people can clearly make a statement one day and the next claim they never said such a thing, reality has become 4 dimensional. Might as well bring in those superstitions and see if things are any clearer.

 

6 replies »

  1. I thought both Roosevelts were from NY. But anyway yes, there are indeed multiple realities, and this year, some of them are especially visible. It is my hope that the USA Today headline from Back to the Future 2, about the Cubbies winning the Series will manifest this year, rather than 2015 – a wee mistake on the part of the screenwriters.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, nicknames can certainly be a proprietorial act along with (subtle) body moves such as placing an arm around the back of another person’s chair or invading-sitting or standing- someone’s personal space. Presidents, Prime ministers and Politicians love to spar with ‘who has the upper hand’ when meeting on the international stage and in front of press photographers. The hunger to convey to the world, and to reassure their own citizens that they are a power to be reckoned with is amusing at best, coarse and desperate at worst despite the smoothness at which it is executed.

    I have decided to rename the fourth dimension ‘the internet’.

    I have two different belief systems for the evil eye, both as strong as each other. a) The evil eye exists unconditionally. b) The evil eye exists if you believe in it. These two belief systems for me, are not interdependent.
    Great post. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So much food for thought here, and for writing, too. Love your thinking, here, and the interesting and in some ways frightening connections you’ve made! Come to think of it, there are some good ideas for Halloween in here, too 👿👹 👺 💀 👻 👽

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