I hear you have named your child North West. I hear this from TMZ, which usually knows. Congratulations! The Internet was jokingly urging you to do this, but we had no idea that you would take us up on it. Please ignore the rest of our child-rearing suggestions, like making Esperanto North’s native language or convincing her that the tooth fairy comes at age 11 and replaces all your lower teeth with diamonds.
I wanted to let you know that you have my full support. Given that we are the generation that has made “Jaiden,” “Kyleigh,” and “Nevaeh” popular enough to wind up on the Social Security’s list of top monikers, I don’t know what we think we’re making fun of.
Honestly, it could have been much worse. It’s certainly better than Moon Unit Zappa or Apple — or, as we thought for a while, Kaidence. I look forward to North’s eventual self-titled autobiography, “North by North West”, as well as the movie version. Remain vigilant against the disapproval of the media — and public figures such as Marco Rubio, who has already commented, “Oh, Gosh. … It’s going to be an interesting birth certificate.” Those are harsh words from a man whose name offers no direction whatever and does not even rhyme.
To quote an exchange from Catch-22: “Yossarian. Yossarian? Is that his name? Yossarian? What the hell kind of a name is Yossarian?” “It’s Yossarian’s name, sir.”
Pros of this name include, as I am sure you have already thought, the fact that every compass and map already come with your child’s name on them, allowing you to save money that you might otherwise have spent on engraving and use it to complete that shrine to yourself as Steve Jobs of Everything. And North West already has airlines, a territory, an ordinance, districts, and a Hitchcock film named after her. Going on first-name basis alone, she will be thrilled to learn that Santa lives at her pole. Compared to this, what does Blue Ivy Carter have, other than a pen with her initials — and, possibly, Yale?
I used to say that naming your child something bizarre and punny like “Waldo” or “North West” was a sign that you were too immature to be thinking about children. But no, it turns out to be further proof that you are Kanye West and Kim Kardashian.
Then again, the name may be the most normal fact about little North’s upbringing. Look, no child of yours and Kim’s was ever going to have a normal life. “She’ll be teased on the playground” is a completely ludicrous statement. What playground? The child is going to be raised by bauhaus-influenced robots in a hovering spaceship, surrounded by cameras at all times. Who will possibly tease her? Her milestones will not be like our milestones. “No, honey, don’t be inspired by that lamp. That’s a Target lamp. Come over here.” “Turn off the video cameras, she’s about to say her first word.” “Aw, baby’s first interruption at an awards show!”
Giving our children bizarre names is one of the things that makes us human. In the Bible, Jesus announces to his follower Simon that he’s decided to change his name to “Rock,” because “On this Rock I build my church.” Telemachus, Odysseus’s son in the Odyssey, is literally Greek for “EndBattle,” which I’m sure all Odysseus’s and Penelope’s contemporaries thought was lame and unsubtle. Elvis? Napoleon?
Little North by any other name — would probably turn out about the same.
Please let me know if you need further examples or would like me to watch the kid — not just on TV, as I assume will happen, where I can only look on in passive horror and cannot stop her from teething on valuable objets d’art, creating disturbances at awards shows or accidentally falling through glass tables. Every so often, parents need a break, if only to drift out into the stratosphere and reassure themselves that they are still Lords of Jupiter.
P.S. You still haven’t responded to my other note, although a reader sent me an e-mail saying he was “re-vulsed” by it, which is almost the same thing.