Game of the Name | News | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Game of the Name

Head Games

Naming Rites

A Conversation with tENTATIVELY a cONVENIENCE

Name Game


Mr. and Mrs. Whatever

The more self-centered our culture has become, the harder it is to say who we really are. Even the most seemingly stable thing about us - our name - has become slippery, subject to endless change.

Blame technology, if you want. It's rarely been easier for the government to find out all about you, but our identities have also never been so easy to steal. The Internet lays bare our bank accounts and medical records, while chatrooms and MySpace allow us to pretend to be whomever we wish.

But it's more than that. For generations we've been willing to sacrifice our names for love - increasingly, however, we're willing to do it for our religion, or even for a few bucks. Some do it to reflect a change in who we are; others do so in an effort to bring that change about.

In the stories that follow, you'll hear from bands trying to keep their good names ... and parents trying to protect their children from a bad one. You'll meet an artist who invites you to use his name, and activists who routinely borrow someone else's.

But it's going to take some time to introduce them properly.

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