What's in a name like 'Efthemios?'

Way back in June, The New York Times published a story about "a growing band of supporters of Senator Barack Obama [...] who are expressing solidarity with him by informally adopting his middle name."

As you may have noticed by the new banner on my personal blog, I have kinda sorta joined that band, at least until Election Day, but not for purely political reasons.

If my goal was to support Obama's candidacy, I could certainly have found a more effective way. Instead, I took "Hussein" as a peaceful form of protest, a statement of my profound opposition to idiocy.

Today I write as "TJ Hussein Sullivan" because America's education system has so obviously failed to instill an ounce of common sense in many of our citizens. How else can you explain a person smart enough to work all the dials and switches required of a radio talk show host* who behaves like a schoolyard bully, attempting to belittle and degrade Obama by mocking his middle name?

"Hussein … Hussein … Hussein."

Obama, however, is hardly my only concern.

I am "TJ Hussein Sullivan" for Sen. John McCain, whose middle name is "Sidney."

Yep. Sidney.

I'm "TJ Hussein Sullivan" for former Vice President Al Gore, whose middle name is "Arnold," and for former President George H. W. Bush (41) who has a "Herbert" stuck in there.

And, remember the late Sen. Paul Tsongas? Paul Tsongas's middle name was "Efthemios."

Seriously. Efthemios.

Haven't the John Sidneys, the Al Arnolds, the George Herberts and, yes, the Paul Efthemioses suffered enough? My God, it's a wonder any of them survived recess.

— TJ Hussein Sullivan

*This is one of many examples.

UPDATE: The Los Angeles Times notices.

More by TJ Sullivan:
Letter from Chicago: Thank you and good luck
I left LA for Chicago because ...
Why was I at Ebert's funeral?
Imported from Detroit ... Really?
This American Line
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