A rose by any other name would probably smell just as sweet. However, if the rose were named after leather-faced thespian Tommy Lee Jones, who cares how it smells? I’m giving my wife a dozen Tommy Lee Joneses tonight because I love her.
The old what’s-in-a-name question has new relevance this morning, with the Wall Street Journal reporting that the North East Independent School District in Texas wants to change the name of Robert E. Lee High School, because duh, but it is considering naming the school after a different Lee, to save money on the cost of new signage, sports uniforms, and all the rest. It’s the kind of news story that seems custom-designed to be lovingly embraced by Twitter for exactly 24 hours.
Huge news for Asians. https://t.co/Vu2vTgRi9l
— kang???? (@jaycaspiankang) June 24, 2019
On the one hand, it’s actually a pretty good idea! It relegates the offensive specter of America’s dark past to the inside of history books rather than right there on the football field, and it offers the chance to get input from a variety of voices in choosing the One True Lee.
At the same time, it’s also a deeply silly idea. A Homer Simpson-y idea. “Uh, can’t we just name the school after somebody else with the same name?” Its practicality is obscured by how transparently it is a cost-effective ass-covering mission. Nobility on a budget.
In any case, once the bright-eyed Monday morning Twitterscape got a hold of this news, they immediately starting pitching their picks for famous Lees to replace the Confederate general.
They nominated a lot of movie people.
“Welcome to Spike Lee Elementary School, where we always do the right thing.” https://t.co/FFxQBkWfI5
— Kashana (@kashanacauley) June 24, 2019
TOMMY LEE JONES COLLEGIATE https://t.co/piSW5BBYfZ
— Anne T. Donahue (@annetdonahue) June 24, 2019
R. Lee Ermey High
— Vincent Van Go F*ck Yourself (@lilbaracus) June 24, 2019
Ang Lee Middle School will be a thoughtful, meditative school wait why is Ed Norton here https://t.co/RQm4N12kvX
— James Tyler (@JamesTylerESPN) June 24, 2019
going back to school just to attend Lee Pace High https://t.co/0iA8HMMRvV
— JuanPa (@jpbrammer) June 24, 2019
Of course, there was also literary representation, in the form of comic book creators and canonized novelists.
Stan Lee, Murphy Lee even Lee Daniels https://t.co/VksOqPqL0W
— Chad Johnson (@ochocinco) June 24, 2019
Harper Lee Elementary has a nice ring https://t.co/JBFtxoZ1tm
— Jessica Mason Pieklo (@Hegemommy) June 24, 2019
Speaking of Harper Lee, someone even thought of the perfect mascot.
Go with Harper Lee and change the mascot to the Mockingbirds. Please Venmo us $20,000 for consultant fees https://t.co/JU2Fc8TzSd
— District Sentinel (@TheDCSentinel) June 24, 2019
Baseball players got in the mix as well.
— Parker Molloy (@ParkerMolloy) June 24, 2019
Rule No. 1 at Cliff Lee Elementary:
No hitting allowed. https://t.co/rv3DKLhv6v
— Robert Judin (@RobertJudin) June 24, 2019
And who could resist throwing in some musicians, both obscure and otherwise.
The Stagger Lee High School Fightin’ Stetsons… https://t.co/wPeg9ho40R
— Charles P. Pierce (@CharlesPPierce) June 24, 2019
Lee Hazlewood High School has a groovy lacrosse team https://t.co/KhpFetXxT6
— Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) June 24, 2019
welcome to Geddy Lee Elementary, where the morning pledge goes 16 minutes and has 5 bass solos https://t.co/0llcAM6tnz
— Analytics Plant (@AnalyticsPlant) June 24, 2019
Welcome to Lee "Scratch" Perry Middle School! https://t.co/m5bIiDhS32
— Dylan Stableford (@stableford) June 24, 2019
Murphy Lee https://t.co/L0FYU3rQGt
— Steadman™ (@AsteadWesley) June 24, 2019
I’d totally send my kids to Brenda Lee High. pic.twitter.com/SG7LUahTZ7
— Seth Masket (@smotus) June 24, 2019
One multi-hyphenate artist got many votes.
Gypsy Rose Lee HS for Performing Arts
— EmeraldBlue (@HeadhunterSully) June 24, 2019
Some less, uh, politically correct nominations surfaced as well.
Lee Harvey Oswald Middle School https://t.co/PdquNWISTj
— Jimmy Bontatibus (@JBontatibus) June 24, 2019
But mainly, everyone just wants to see Bruce Lee school become a thing.
Hell yes welcome to Bruce Lee Elementary School https://t.co/8LThZriSzc
— BUM CHILLUPS (@edsbs) June 24, 2019
I see no downside. What kid wouldn't want to go to Bruce Lee high school? https://t.co/L1bvjrm2wg
— Elizabeth Spiers (@espiers) June 24, 2019
why not simply name them all after Bruce Lee https://t.co/gBuJCAU7ZX
— ROU Expose the Audience to Ideas (@braak) June 24, 2019
Bruce Lee high is going to be so ill https://t.co/adeDhBUfqm
— vape plissken: Escape from JP (@Ralffzilla) June 24, 2019
— Steven Perez (@silas216) June 24, 2019
Bruce Lee Regional High School: Coming to a school district near you https://t.co/B49r7IsUwF
— Anthony Michael Kreis (@AnthonyMKreis) June 24, 2019
Name every school after Bruce Lee, you cowards. https://t.co/OrJmN9aRWi
— Austin Gilkeson ???? ???? (@osutein) June 24, 2019
North East Independent School District in Texas, if you’re listening, and you obviously are: The people have spoken. It’s time to exit the field of Confederate battle and enter the dragon.
Did we miss any Lees that you’d want to see schools named after? Tweet at us.