When the TopFree Seven made news a few years back, a group of women representing a cause suggested by their name, they didn't name themselves. It was the media, ever populated with silly people eager to invent a fad, that did the deed.
Same thing with those hyphenated names that knock about. Ben-Fer for Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez. Tom-Kat for Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. And don't think you need two people for such a moniker. One will do fine. Thus, the versatile Jennifer Lopez is also J Lo. In fact, she's the first one to suffer such name sillification if memory serves me, though perhaps it doesn't.
Local media are also silly and also have egos. They, too, want to contribute. So about a year ago, there was this local youngster, an autistic lad, Jason McElwain, who scored 20 points in four minutes when the coach put him in the final season game, the only game he'd ever played. He became J-Mac, and we heard about him day in and night for weeks on end. And when a year rolled around, there he was again: "Where is J-Mac one year later?" (Having said all this, you really do have to see footage of that game. It's moving)
Even I, Tom Sheepandgoats, did not want to be left out, and so invented Bo-Mill. It comes from that young superskier Bode Miller, who was supposed to sweep the winter Olympics, so said the papers, but then bombed out in every event amidst reports of late night partying, only to counter that he, Bo-Mill, didn't care about medals anyway, but came only to savor the Olympic experience. True, Bo-Mill hasn't really caught on like J-Lo and J-Mac, but you just never know when it may. At any rate, the rush from creating pop culture gave me such a big head that even my own wife couldn't stand me and made me sleep in the garage for a week with the Buick.
Anyhow, this rambling preamble is only to establish my credentials. I can smell one of these stupid fads a mile away, and I'm starting to smell one now. It began with that movie 300. The D&C, or was it USA Today, plastered the star Jason 300's picture on the front page.
I think I made some modest joke at work about how they had hired a new anger management consultant. But then the very next day two athletes, Joakim Noah and Greg Oden also made the front page. Now, do you notice any similarities in these pictures? (Hint: it's the big mouth)
There, that's better.
It's really too soon to tell. Three pictures does not a trend make, but coming back-to-back on two successive days is worrisome. And, of course, the huge belligerent mouth is a fitting icon of today's popular culture. I'll keep an eye out for it, but you have to do your part too. If it really catches on, my wife and I will pose that way for our profile picture....what's with all this dopey grinning, anyway? And I'll pull the llama's tail, so that it, too, will show some tonsils.