Jimmy’s list of Top 6 Un-Cool Names for Very Cool Things…
Written by Jimmy
Okay, this is a category we need to explore fully. I’ll get us started.
The idea is to find things that are weird and wonderful, that you love, but that are named badly. By definition, if it is cool, weird and wonderful, we eventually except the name and the fact that it is uncool becomes cool and therefore appropriate. But let’s return to first principles. Was the name good at all? Was it worthy of ‘that thing?’ Not, have we gotten used to it? Or it is so uncool, it is now cool? So here’s six to start:
6. Bat Man. In all forms. I struggled with the whole ‘movie title’ thing, because it is hard to find a very cool movie that didn’t have a good title and a lot of the really awful movie titles are about really awful movies (click here). But I have never got my head around ‘Bat Man’. I know we’re all used to it. But the characters emerging from Bat Man have been unbelievable, most notable Heath Ledgers Joker. But it all done under the phrase ‘Bat Man.’ He’s not a Bat. And doesn’t rely on a single Bat skill. Really. Bats don’t drive cool motorcycles. And it isn’t ironic or cool, nor does it evoke other images, like Captian America (the American Empire myths), Iron Man (Industrialisation) or Super Man (god/man mythologies). If it is about our darker souls and instincts, the Bat ain’t really it, is it? I’m not aware of a whole strands of poetry, movies, songs that dwelve into the darkness of man and bats. Nope. And it’s a ratio thing: Bat does nothing for me, while the movies are amazing:
5. The Beatles. Either way it is very uncool. The bugs. Or the Pun. The whole uncool band name thing takes you to a weird space. There’s a great blog about changing cool band names a little to make them uncool. Fleetwood Mac becomes Fleetwood PC. You get the idea. Here’s the blog: click here.
4. Bob. Marley and Dylan. Yes, after listening to Babylon by Bus, or Blood on the Tracks, stop and think. Two guys named Bob. Which is definitely not as cool as ‘Five Guys Named Moe’:
3. Humphery and Ingrid. Coolest actors playing coolest couple in Cinema. But give me a break.
2. i Phone. The coolest invention in history, not even considered as an item in the future by our Star Trek writers. And it is basically called Phone. A Brother Pad and Cousin Pod. And the cousin started the whole thing but it don’t mean nothing (nada – click here). The i is there, but seriously, how cool is an ‘i’? As a letter it is pretty lazy. I imagine the cave men could do ‘I’s’ before fire. Was the symbol for ‘arm’ Semitec. The Turks distinquish between a line with a dot and one without to try to spruce up the ‘i’ and make it interesting. But it is a line. Like a 1. Note: Now, some might argue that the i Pod was a cool name at first, evoking the whole 2001 a Space Odessy Thing (click here for the inspiration), but a) I’m not buying it and b) if you do buy it than how to you compare the cool inspiraiton for a music player for the complete lack of inspiration for the BIG BIG thing that followed – the i Phone. Here’s the conversation that must have happened, starting back in 2001: ‘Vince’: I think we should call it a Pod, because Hal says the word Pod in 2001 Space Oddessy and it’s 2001 after all, and Pod is a cool space age word. Let’s throw in an ‘i’ because we seem to be doing that all over the place here.‘ Jobs: “cool. Very zen. I like where you’re going with this Vince”. Now a few years later. Vince comes to Steve: “okay, Stevie baby, if you thought the i Pod was cool, wait ’til you see what we have – this gizmo let’s you talk to folks, watch movies, TV Shows, listen to music, finds you in the world and tells you where to go, etc… the stuff is really endless.’ Steve responds: ”Yeah, it is way way better than the i pod. Vince, what’s the new inspiraiton for a name. We’re talking Big! What image can we evoke for this world’s transformation we’ve started?” And Vince responds, ‘Well, I think we should keep the ‘i.’ ” And Stever responds, “Yep, the i has worked out well. But that’s not really the new thing is it Vince? It’s the next word. The Pod equivalent.. I’m listening.” Vince shuffles his feet and looks down to his shoes. “Well, Steve. It’s a phone isn’t it?” Steve responds quicky, “Well actually, its not a very good phone, ist it? That’s sort of the least good thing about it. Come on, something big Vince, something that reflects the BIG thing we’re doing.” Vince, shuffles further, moving back a bit, aware of Jobs’ temper. “Well, I haven’t really gotten beyond the phone thing. i phone?” Jobs, ‘Oh crap, I’m tired. I’m just tired. Just go away Vince. Just go away.” My goodness. As I read this highly probably story, I just get made and sad. What a terrible, terrible name.
1. The Washlet s400: Now, I’ve covered this an inappropriate number of times: in Shanghai and in Sydney. This is the world’s greatest toilet. And we spend a good amount of time on toilets. I’m giving a rough estimate of an hour a week, or 52 hours a year or 3744 hours over an average male lifetime, which is 156 days. So a toilet that brings heaven to your butt for 126 days is a very cool thing indeed. And it deserves a name that reflects its contribution to our lives. First, I don’t even know what a Washlet us. But it evokes images of tiny little washes, more like WetNaps. And the S400 sheds no light at all. Nothin’. Butt Heaven would be okay, but I worry where that could take you in terms of competitive sets. “The World’s Most Awesome Toilet – an object upon which you’ll be sitting on for 126 days’ is a mouthful, but gets the point across. I’m not here to providce solutions… But I’m sure you’ll help here. And, if anyone is about to acuse me of spending too much time on toilet issues, I would like to point out that there are already great blogs on ‘Toilet’s with the Best Views’ and The World’s Most Scary Toilets. Here’s my favourite view:
And here’s the scary toilet picture:
But I digress?
Where were we?