Tuesday, June 07, 2011

the trouble with tony

Has anyone noticed how many Jewish (or half-Jewish) people named Tony have gotten into trouble lately? First it was Tony Judt (since deceased) who decided that Israel wasn't a good idea, after all. Then it was Tony Kushner and the City College Board of Trustees. Now it's Anthony (Tony) Weiner and . . . well, you know.

There's a basic underlying problem, I think. Tony is not a Jewish name. It's a beautiful name, to be sure: San Antonio, Anthony Perkins, Tony (Anton) in West Side Story. It's so beautiful there's even a female version. But it isn't very Jewish, is it?

People have a right to choose their religion, their politics, perhaps even their gender. But they don't have a right to pretend to be something they're not. Light beer, safe sex, Jews named Tony; it just doesn't fit, and sooner or later it catches up with you. You don't see a lot of Avram Bocellis walking around, do you?


At 12:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a non-Italian Anthony (always called Tony) who's fielded that question all my life. I was just thinking it's been a bad week for the name Anthony, with the murderous mom in Florida and now the tweeting congressman in New York. Then it hit me (too): What's a nice Jewish boy doing with the name Anthony? I remember a Jewish friend telling me when we were boys that Anthony was about the most "Christian" name in the world; that i would never meet a Jew named Anthony. And I never have. I hadn't considered Tony Kushner, but you bring up a very good point. What's up with these meshugenah Anthonys?

At 11:19 AM, Blogger Neil McCarthy said...

I don't know. We have Catholics named David. It'll grow on you!. All the best, Neil

At 1:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wondered the same thing upon being first introduced to the Anthony Weiner story. (What about his last name? You don't find that funny in an adolescent humorous way? ) What's a not so nice boy like him doing with a name like Anthony??

An admirer


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