"I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world." -Richard Dawkins

Saturday, October 23, 2010


I named my daughter Aurora. Actually, to be fair, Zack named her Aurora. I just emphatically agreed, because the two names we'd already chosen were really bad ideas. Avarice, which has negative connotations, and Aynsley, which rhymes unforgivably with our last name. So Aurora it was, and we were glad. I was happy to shorten it to "Roary" and I adored that it was the name of the Roman Goddess of the dawn. I thought it seemed bright and hopeful, optimistic and pretty and embodying the beauty of nature. As Thoreau states in his Walden,
"Every morning was a cheerful invitation
to make my life of equal simplicity,
and I may say innocence, with Nature herself.
I have been as sincere a worshipper of Aurora as the Greeks.
I got up early and bathed in the pond;
that was a religious exercise,
and one of the best things which I did."

As this painting by Francesco de Mura displays, I envisioned a goldenness to my child, swathed in the glowing colors of springtime, flanked by roses and angels and all kinds of wonderful things that did not, did not, did not have anything to do with Walt Disney.

And yet, every time we were asked what her name was, and I replied 'Aurora', they would say, "Oh? You mean, like the Disney princess? Like Sleeping Beauty?"


Wait, I need Picard for this:

And I thought, oh well, even though all these random strangers think she's named after Sleeping Beauty, at least we know the truth, and she'll know the truth.

My daughter is four, and I was able to keep her from seeing Sleeping Beauty for four years, four years! But I suppose the day had to come eventually. So watch the movie she did, entranced by all hail the Princess Aurora she was, and, of course, now my kid has a complex.

They're singing about me!
I'm a Princess!"


I have nothing else to say. I need to get Sleeping Beauty on DVD ASAP or my daughter will be sad. There it is, everything I've ever wanted to avoid in one fell swoop. Sigh.

"Now Father, you're living in the past. This is the fourteenth century, and these days..."

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