Monday, September 13, 2010
Last year I posted on my observations of the TV game show Jeopardy! following a cycle that lasts about 12 years which mimics the approximately 80-year Strauss and Howe cycle of generations and history. At the time of that blog post I observed the show being in the part of the cycle that is like a 2nd Turning, or Awakening. Now with the show's 27th season starting, there are signs that during this season it will transition into an Unraveling-like (3rd Turning) period. In the past new long-term tournament and special ideas have come about during these times (a "J-culum" ago it was Kid's Week and the one-time Armed Forces Week in 1999; another one before that it was the Teen Tournament, the now-defunct Seniors Tournament, and the College Championship). This season they're going to have their first-ever Teachers Tournament.
Friday, September 10, 2010
I have had several blog posts dealing with gender and names; one of the things I have talked about is how today's younger folks are in general more comfortable with a "softer" or "unisex" name for a boy than their parents were. There is another name-related sign that the male youth these days are becoming more comfortable with venturing outside of traditional gender norms (but this time it deals with last names): The number of husbands electing to take their wife's last name (rather than the tradition of the other way around) appears to be on the rise. Although still very much a minority group, that further shows signs of progress. Many states still require a groom who wants to go down this route to go through court as with a non-marriage-related name change, but a few allow husbands to take their wive's last names just as easily as she can take his. I couldn't find any official data on how many grooms are taking their bride's last name, but if you want to learn more you can search the Internet on this subject (here's the Google results for "take the wife's last name"). Here's an article from January 2007 about a California man who sued arguing that the law there at the time about changing last names upon marriage was sexist; here's a May 2008 follow-up from another source on the outcome.