schrodingersgnu (schrodingersgnu) wrote,

Today in "Minor things that annoy me"

A month or so ago I noticed a book in Circe's bookshelf called "The essential Foucault" and I asked, somewhat surprised, why she has a book about a physicist. Great confusion ensued, until it was finally revealed that the Foucault in question was not THE Foucault, merely A Foucault. "THE Foucault" is of course Jean Foucault, the inventor of the Foucault Pendulum, while this particular Foucault was Michael Foucault, some philosopher dude.

In this instance I can understand it, since M. Foucault apparently wrote the book himself, and hell, I'd try to be "THE Gnu" too, if I could. But he's not the only one, apparently, and I don't know if this is a growing trend or I've just started noticing it. It really bugs me when it tricks me into clicking on news headlines - yesterday MSNBC sported the headline "Stewart apologizes for NASCAR remarks", and I thought "Holy fucking pachyderm - what on earth did Jon Stewart do that warrants an apology? I have to read this!" As it turns out, it was not Jon Stewart, it was some NASCAR guy. Now, admittedly, maybe Jon Stewart doesn't have THE Stewart status right now (Martha Stewart? Or is the British royal line still around?), but I do know that it's not some NASCAR guy. And when i click on a link called "Bush drafted", I expect a story on the president being sent off to Iraq, not one about some football player. As must as i dislike the guy, there is only one Bush right now. Not even his father qualifies at this point.

And this goes for music and movies as well. There is only one song called "One", and that is Metallicas. U2's "One" is "U2's One". Sorry, Bono - when a song has been numbero uno on the singles chart for several weeks, the name is taken, no matter how much you want to use it. On the good side, you are definitively "THE Bono". Not that I expect much competition, but still.

So, could we all please be more specific? Or Jesus* will cry.

*Jesus Alejandro, the mariachi player.
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