Once upon a time when I was identifying especially strongly with my Jews, and especially un-strongly with my Christians, I thought about changing my name, or at least about adopting a nom de plume that more accurately reflected my maternal roots, and that suited someone who, in my view and in the views of most at the time, also happened to look Jewish (schnoz, curly hair).
“Gindas” was supposedly the original rendering of the Polish-Jewish family name that was Ellis-Islandized to the more slavic-looking “Gindoff.” I can’t really vouch for the accuracy of “Gindas” as a transliteration, but I’m too lazy to call up a cousin who knows the story better to confirm my interpretation of the family tale.
In addition to sounding a little ridiculous next to “Gindas” or “Gindoff,” “Colin” has problems of its own. Though the name translates as “young, virile,” it’s always sounded a bit effeminate to my ear – the liquid “l,” the hard “kah” sound softened into a “C,” which, even if it sounds a “k” before a following open vowel, appears commodious and receptive: more cunt than cock. Could simply reflect a lack of masculine self-esteem on my part, I guess, and the history of “Colin” – Colin the kisser, Colin Clout, General Colin Powell, American fighter ace Colin Kelly (my namesake, I’ve been told) – goes against my interpretation, but I’ll stand by it anyway: I don’t think anyone today thinks about Colin Clout, and Coh-lin Powell (he prefers that pron.) has always struck me as a pretty, prissy General as Generals go.
“Colin”‘s cognates include “Nikolai” or “Nicholas,” and, though I like those names, one could hardly get more gentile. Ditto for “Klaus,” of course. But “Koli” looked Hebraic enough to me, like it could be the nickname of an Israeli journalist or politician. Also my best friend in those days called me “Collie,” like the dog, and I like dogs, and dogs are more male than cats. Plus Koli got rid of the unfortunate pun on one common pronunciation of “Colin” – a pronunciation which the educated effete might want to associate with a favorite punctuation mark of the educated effete, but which everyone, even the effete when forced to tell the truth, associates first with the lower alimentary canal.
Having once been named, the personality Koli Gindas cannot help but exist a little, somewhere.
The odd, but predictable thing about Koli is that he sounds even more like a Scot than CuntcockfucK MacLeod does, and he’s just about always drunk, even when he hasn’t imbibed in days, trying but failing to forget his banishment from the proud, never vanquished Skye-born Highland clan of the sons of the brutal, the ugly, the loud.
His anima or feminine aspect, his other self inevitably, under the non-vocalic Hebraic spelling, is Kali, of course. If you suffer from lacking macho, what better feminine aspect than Kali?
So, Koli Gindas says,