Ah, that sweet smell of mostly-freedom that we all tolerably enjoy here in America, in the land of the marginally-free and home of the brave, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty to some extent, and justice for protected classes.
At least it’s an America where I can actually call myself whatever I want. For now. Can you even imagine a world where your own name had to be approved by a Government bureaucracy? Even dogs can have whatever name we give them. Well, you need imagine no longer…that world is Iceland, where only dogs are truly free…
The mother of this young lady said it best, “It seems like a basic human right to be able to name your child what you want, especially if it doesn’t harm your child in any way.” That’s crazy talk right there! Only your GOVERNMENT knows what’s best for you!
Reykjavik, Iceland (AP) — Call her the girl with no name.
A 15-year-old is suing the Icelandic state for the right to legally use the name given to her by her mother. The problem? Blaer, which means “light breeze” in Icelandic, is not on a list approved by the government.
Like a handful of other countries, including Germany and Denmark, Iceland has official rules about what a baby can be named. In a country comfortable with a firm state role, most people don’t question the Personal Names Register, a list of 1,712 male names and 1,853 female names that fit Icelandic grammar and pronunciation rules and that officials maintain will protect children from embarrassment. Parents can take from the list or apply to a special committee that has the power to say yea or nay (AWC ~ emphasis added).
In Blaer’s case, her mother said she learned the name wasn’t on the register only after the priest who baptized the child later informed her he had mistakenly allowed it. “I had no idea that the name wasn’t on the list, the famous list of names that you can choose from,” said Bjork Eidsdottir, adding she knew a Blaer whose name was accepted in 1973. This time, the panel turned it down on the grounds that the word Blaer takes a masculine article, despite the fact that it was used for a female character in a novel by Iceland’s revered Nobel Prize-winning author Halldor Laxness.
Given names are even more significant in tiny Iceland that in many other countries: Everyone is listed in the phone book by their first names. Surnames are based on a parent’s given name. Even the president, Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, is addressed simply as Olafur.
Blaer is identified as “Stulka” — or “girl” — on all her official documents, which has led to years of frustration as she has had to explain the whole story at the bank, renewing her passport and dealing with the country’s bureaucracy.
Her mother is hoping that will change with her suit, the first time someone has challenged a names committee decision in court. Though the law has become more relaxed in recent years — with the name Elvis permitted, inspired by the charismatic rock and roll icon whose name fits Icelandic guidelines — choices like Cara, Carolina, Cesil, and Christa have been rejected outright because the letter “c” is not part of Iceland’s 32-letter alphabet.
“The law is pretty straightforward so in many cases it’s clearly going to be a yes or a no,” said Agusta Thorbergsdottir, the head of the committee, a panel of three people appointed by the government to a four-year term.
Other cases are more subjective. “What one person finds beautiful, another person may find ugly,” she acknowledged. She pointed to “Satania” as one unacceptable case because it was deemed too close to “Satan.”
The board also has veto power over people who want to change their names later in life, rejecting, for instance, middle names like Zeppelin and X. When the artist Birgir Orn Thoroddsen applied to have his name legally changed to Curver, which he had used in one form or another since age 15, he said he knew full well the committee would reject his application.
“I was inspired by Prince who changed his name to The Artist Formerly Known As Prince and Puff Daddy who changed his to P. Diddy and then Diddy with seemingly little thought or criticism,” he said. “I applied to the committee, but of course I got the ‘No’ that I expected.”
On his thirtieth birthday, he bought a full-page advertisement that read, “From February 1, 2006, I hereby change my name to Curver Thoroddsen. I ask the nation, my friends and colleagues to respect my decision.”
“I can understand a clause to protect children from being named something like ‘Dog poo,’ but it is strange that an adult cannot change his name to what he truly wants,” he said. Thoroddsen is keeping his protest to the media. But Eidsdottir says she is prepared to take her case all the way to the country’s Supreme Court if a court doesn’t overturn the commission decision on Jan. 25.
“So many strange names have been allowed, which makes this even more frustrating because Blaer is a perfectly Icelandic name,” Eidsdottir said. “It seems like a basic human right to be able to name your child what you want, especially if it doesn’t harm your child in any way.”
“And my daughter loves her name,” she added.
Categories: Foreign News, Government Tyranny
I read this story yesterday and I was thinking the same thing you were. How much further until this sort of thing happens in the States? People love to say “That could never happen here.” Well, here is a great example of “it happened somewhere”. It’s arrogant of Americans to think that these sorts of things could “never” happen to us.
What makes us so special?
Exactly. Nothing makes us special. We WERE special for about 140 years but we stopped being special about 100 years ago.
Twice before, Big Gov politicians created The Fed, and twice before it was killed so its money printing would not destroy us. But 100 years ago we created The Fed we have now, and it’s been destroying us ever since. Since that time we have destroyed the freedoms we were once special for. We have enslaved every American to every other American in the name of social justice, equality and fairness.
For 100 years we’ve been a nation in decline, or as the communists say in their struggle to take down the last light of freedom in the world, two steps forward – one step back. That step back being those brief moments in history where we think we have “won” and secured some “freedom” when in reality, it was just a brief rest stop, a won battle in a lost war, on the long march down the Socialist hill.
Those occasional battles we win are permitted…allowed…so we feel we have “won” and so we will once again look down at our feet as we walk two steps forward to communism, not seeing where they are taking us, all the while saying, “it can’t happen here.”
This explains the lack of Icelandic celebs. Can’t name their Apple and Bear there. What fun would that be? Good post.