Under 30

I can't complain but sometimes I still do

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

A tribute to Steves

“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” Unless you slept through eighth grade English, you know William Shakespeare wrote that. I hate to disagree with Bill, but would you stick your nose in a rose if it was called, say, stinky monkey vomit? Would you want to send a dozen stinky monkey vomits to your true love?

Heck no. It’s the same flower but the name changes your perception, which in turn changes the flower.

I wonder how my life would change if my name weren’t Steve. Because I fit the definition of Steve perfectly. Not the actual definition, which originates from the Greek term Stephanos for “crown” or “wreath.” Clearly, there is nothing crown or wreath-like about me. My head is so big that I’m practically a walking caricature, so most crowns and wreaths don’t fit me.

I’m talking about the picture you get in your head when somebody mentions the name Steve. To me Steves have always been easygoing guys who don’t take life too seriously. We are below-the-radar people, good for a laugh and unlikely to pick a fight. (Exceptions include wrestler Stone Cold Steve Austin, who beat people up for money, and Indiana Pacers guard Stephen Jackson, who beat up basketball fans in Detroit on behalf of friend and teammate Ron Artest. So the exceptions kind of prove the rule.)

You can find Steves practically anywhere. In Sweden they call us Staffan. In Spain it is Esteban. In Turkey we go by Istefanos. In America there are Stevens and Stephens. The “ph” Steves are slightly more fancy than plain old “v” Steves, but not obnoxiously so. No matter what Steve you know, three things are likely true: (1) You can have a beer with Steve; (2) You can ask Steve to help you move; (3) Steve probably willl never become a dictator or serial killer.

I have been thinking a lot about Steveness this week because Linda Muldoon of Appleton art gallery Conventry Glassworks asked me to participate in an exhibit next month called “The All Steve, All the Time Show.” As the name suggests the show will feature local artists named Steve, including Steve Ballard, Steve Yankowski, Steve Gilling, Steve Carroll and Steve Wirtz.

I was flattered by the invitation. I also was confused. I’m not really an artist. I tried making a pot once in art class and it looked a pile of rat droppings. My art teacher quit his job soon after and hasn’t been heard from since. But my name is Steve, and perhaps that’s the most important thing.

Read more in this week's Under 30 column coming up Friday in The P-C.

7 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have an uncle named Steve who fits your definition of a "Steve". In case you are wondering...yes, I have drank beer with him and he is an easy-going, fun-loving guy! -r

4:19 PM  
Blogger Thomas Roz said...

steven seagal. now there's an artist.

4:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Steve or Steven?

4:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

steven bearden

5:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Check it out:

Baby Name Wizard

6:41 PM  
Anonymous gavin said...

Wow, you stole my thunder with the big head comment. Damn, now I need a new below-the-belt comeback.

And while we're on the subject, a shout-out to Steve Guttenberg, whom I would gladly have a beer with and ask hi mto help me move. Especially if Ally Sheedy was with him.

8:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I say briefly: Best! Useful information. Good job guys.
»

3:18 AM  

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