Friday, April 13, 2018

2017 Name of the Year: The Sweet Sixteen


Money, religion, and politics. Emily Post might suggest that they’re not to be discussed in polite company, because they’re likely to cause a squabble among even the most mild-mannered conversants. But then over the Easter ham or Passover brisket, your creepy uncle simply has to mention just this one thing he read online. Politifact rated it “Pants on Fire,” but he doesn’t care. You may know to ignore him, but a naive cousin or family friend might be less wise. Then suddenly tempers are flaring and you can feel your pulse behind your eyes. Feelings will get hurt. Relatives could become estranged. Kugle may be thrown.
 
So in today’s darker times, allow Name of the Year to serve as a beacon of fireproof pants. All of our names are real, submitted by our real-life readers, individually vetted and dissected by the high committee before being presented to the voting public for discussion and debate. We don’t allow Reddit-style resentment to muddle our view. So just as we do in our work of whittling hundreds of premium monikers down to 64, four-seed Chardonnay Beaver seeks to cut through emotional bias in her work as a mediator at Garfield High School.
 
“A lot of these issues are about unintentional or irrational reactions so my goal is to come in as a leader and just as a peer,” Beaver said in an interview with the Garfield Messenger. “So [I] come in and, you know, ‘What I hear you saying is this. Can you explain it to that person so they get a clearer view?’ Fixing misinterpretations so that they leave the meeting feeling good.”
 
Compared to the Fox News headlines-cum-White House tweets, such open-mindedness is refreshing. The most mature voices in room are now high schoolers like Beaver, who yearn to speak honestly about painful issues. Teenagers move us to march for our beliefs and change the world for the oppressed. And Name of the Year is proud to see our new leaders widely represented in this year’s Sweet Sixteen: Chardonnay Beaver, of course, but also Fruithandler one-seed Makenlove Petit-Fard, Bulltron three-seed Mosthigh Thankgod, and Chrotchtangle four-seed Beau Titsworth, among others. These youths represent the best of their generation not just in attitude, as above, but also in name, as you’re about to vote below.
 
With each post we remind you to follow us on Twitter, but this week we remind you to do so responsibly. Do not follow us on Twitter with malice and anger, like a certain orange president. Do not follow us on Twitter with deceit, like a certain 13-seed whose alleged threat to wallop a policeman was only misdirection. Instead, follow us on Twitter with kindness. Follow us on Twitter with an open mind. Follow us on Twitter with honesty or as Beaver might: with positivity. “If we just focus on the positivity and the energy of each other and we know how to act off of that, there are so many things we can do.”

Thanks to Evan Gregory for the Sweet Sixteen bracket above. Please vote below and, of course, remember to follow us on Twitter.

SWEET SIXTEEN


BULLTRON REGIONAL


#1 Salami Blessing vs. #13 Miracle Crimes


#3 Mosthigh Thankgod vs. #2 Jimbob Ghostkeeper


FRUITHANDLER REGIONAL


#1 Makenlove Petit-Fard vs. #12 Dr. Megha Panda


#11 Covadonga del Busto Naval vs. #2 Rev. Dongo Pewee


DRAGONWAGON REGIONAL


#9 Delicious Peters vs. #4 Chardonnay Beaver


#3 Quindarious Gooch vs. #7 Candida Seasock


CHROTCHTANGLE REGIONAL


#1 Dr. Narwhals Mating vs. #4 Beau Titsworth


#3 Dr. Taekwondo Byrd vs. #10 Gandalf Hernandez