May 2nd, 2020

Names

"Who played Dr McCoy in the original series of Star Trek?"

"Ooh, I know this one. I can see his face in my mind's eye, I can hear him speaking- and his name was.... um... er..."

I run to the stack where the information is stored and- as I rather feared- I find the custodian standing in front of it with their arms folded. "Sorry, sir, but this section of the library is closed at present..."

No good pleading or trying to sneak past. I recognise the voice of authority. It has turned me away before. It is kindly but implacable.

"Who directed the Lord of The Rings films?"

Again I know. Only I don't know. Another blank.

A little later I find I've forgotten the name of that guy who stars in The Matrix. This is getting to be embarrassing. Fortunately Ailz- my team partner- has access to the stacks on this one.

So what's going on? deForest Kelley, Peter Jackson, Keanu Reeves- these are household names- at least they are if you're a cinephile. I could tell you all sorts of facts about them, I could talk intelligently about their work- how deForest Kelley was typecast as second cowpoke to the left before his big break, how Jackson just doesn't get Tolkien and his best movie is Heavenly Creatures, how Reeves is seriously undervalued, but for some reason I can't- when put on the spot- remember their names.

I don't understand.

I don't think it's senile dementia because this has been going on forever.

Perhaps it's simply that names are unimportant.