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08 April 2013

Daily Ambivalence - Old Yeller

The other day my son asked me what a cliche was.

I think a statement that a person might make that is kind of like a cliche is "I cried at the end of Old Yeller."

Names are key to understanding the significance of the movie Old Yeller. Sure the movie was set in the American West during a time when the well-educated people of the day held 10, 20, and 30 year reunions after graduating from 4th grade, but Yeller is not a proper abbreviation for the word Yellow. Look at it. It's not even an abbreviation. It has the same number of letters.

Fess Parker. I approve of that name.


The name Fess Parker is almost as cool as Rutger Hauer (previous post). Fess played the dad in the movie Old Yeller. Not the dad of the dog but of the boy who owned the dog. That boy, the one who - SPOILER ALERT - shoots the dog at the end, his name was Tommy Kirk. Which, as everyone knows, isn't really a full name at all but two first names.

I think if you are a parent and your last name is actually a first name, you should name all your kids using last names, like Fairbanks or McDowell. Then, when your kid says his name people will just think he's dyslexic.

Another solution would be to not have kids at all.

I think if Tommy Kirk's name was actually Hernandez Kirk or Nguyen Kirk the chances are he would have come up with an antidote for rabies instead of shooting his dog.

All this is besides the point.

Old Yeller was on television the other day and I cried at the end.

I hate cliches.

Old Yeller . . . eh.