Monday, March 27, 2006

I've Been Out-Crazied

I've been in some interesting arguments as a Green Lantern fan. It's not all Hal vs. Kyle. Sometimes it's Kyle vs. Alan. Sometimes it's the worthiness of Jade. Lately it's been "Why do we never see John Stewart anymore?" which invariably leads into an argument about whether or not he actually has a personality (He does, dammit!). I've even been in a 9-page argument about a certain character's haircut. But this is the first one I've been forced to bow out of.

The Highlights

Original Poster (OP):
"My question to the GL creative teams ...Will we ever find out Sinestro's name before he turned against the GL? It doesn't make sense that he was a GL with a name like Sinestro."

Sensible Poster #1 (SP1): And his name being "Sinestro" means absolutely nothing. Just because "sinister" means something in our language doesn't mean it has the same definition in other language.

OP: (Ignores SP1 and latches onto other arguments) Everyone knows Sinestro was a GL gone bad. I'm just asking for his name during the time he was a GL. IMO it doesn't make sense to have an evil sounding name. It's like Anikin/Darth, Illyich/Lenin,Ioseb Jugashvili/Stalin etc...

SP2: Sinestro was his name when he was a GL. That's been clearly established. That it sounds "evil" to you is not his concern.

SP3: If you met someone named John Hitler, would you automatically label them as evil?

OP: There is a John Hitler and he lives on Long Island and he is related to Adolf Hitler. I wouldn't label him as evil but his surname will cause question and curiosities I wouldn't label him as evil but his surname will cause question and curiosities. I'm pretty sure that family has been investigated by CIA or FBI. It's just like the Bin Laden family in the USA. You know they are questioned for any thing dealing with Ossama. now the difference between names Sinestro, Bin Laden, Hitler or McVeigh are this.......Sinestro's,evil meaning, name was already associatted with evil before and after his rebellion. Now the names,none of evil or bad meaning, of Bin Laden, Hitler, and McVeigh became associatted with evil only after what they became known for in history.

Me: Well, on Korugar, the name Sinestro obviously wasn't associated with Evil until after Sinestro had become a Dictator.
How's this, suppose you know an American man who's last name is Malvado? He's not of Spanish, Italian or French ancestry. The original family name was corrupted by INS personnel when his family emigrated, because it was a difficult to pronounce Czech name. So now he has a name that means "Evildoer" in Spanish. But English-only speaking people in the US or Canada are not going to know that offhand, and they aren't going to associate his name with the term "Evildoer" when they meet him. Because they don't speak Spanish.
This is Sinestro on Korugar. His name is an accident, and on Korugar no one associates with "sinister" because in Korugarian there is no word "sinister" and Sinestro does not mean evil. It means or is derived from something like "Peaceful" or "Brave" or something equally innocent.
Now, when our Mr. Malvado goes to a mainly Spanish-speaking area in the US, or a Spanish-speaking country, he's going to get a lot of double-takes at his name. This is Sinestro when he got to Earth. By a linguistic accident, his name means something bad in another language.
It has no more to do with Sinestro going rogue than Mr. Malvado's name has to do with his jaywalking.

OP: Why would INS name a Czech Malvado?

Me: (after I'm finished banging my head against the keyboard) Okay, I'm done.


  1. So has anyone at all mentioned that sinister actually means left-handed?

  2. People, people, people...I was already there back in December and waiting for everyone else to join me ever since.

    (If it's not immediately clear from the above link, scroll down to the reply made by RAB -- hey, that's me!

  3. holy. It actually started making me angry.

  4. Awesome. This... is what the internet was invented for.