Monday, October 17, 2005

Canadian prog-rock fans establish clear mandate on panda naming rights.

For those of us firmly in the Butterstick camp, it's hard to accept the announcement that the baby panda now has an official name. We'll still continue to refer to our beloved cub by the nomenclature that first won him the love and affection of the nation.

But the real story is, in naming the new panda Tai Shan, one voting bloc in particular has emerged to become the dominant electoral cross-section in--at the very least--matters concerning the naming of zoo animals: Rush fans. Long thought dormant as a force to be reckoned with at the polls, especially considering their lightly-regarded post-Presto output, it's clear that Rush fans are re-exerting their influence in a way that's sure to make some permanent waves--sending signals that this is no fly by night demographic.

Pundits have all but ignored the influence of Rush's fanatical devotees. Since the late 1980s, their discography has winnowed to a smattering of buzzless studio albums and an output that leans heavily on live recordings and greatest-hits compilations. The influence of Rush fans as a voting bloc had also eroded under public scrutiny of bassist/lead vocalist Geddy Lee, as critics wondered, "What about the voice of Geddy Lee? How did it get so high?" Many people wondered if he spoke like an ordinary guy.

In the early part of this year, fans of the band lost their battle with Google Maps in their attempt to make Toronto International Airport locatable by simply typing in the title of Rush's "YYZ." But the defeat only seemed to galvanize supporters--so when the opportunity arose to name the recently birthed National Zoo panda "Tai Shan"--from 1987's Hold Your Fire album, they made the most their opportunities. "Tai Shan" ended up winning with 44% of the votes cast, besting second place "Qiang Qiang" by over 22,000 votes. Going into the election, "Qiang Qiang" was thought to have significant advantages--not the least of which were the fact that one would only really have to remember one word instead of two.

But Rush fans, egged on by the hives-inducing bass noodlings of their beloved band, paused their seventy-minute percussion sonatas long enough to cast the deciding votes.

What this means for the future is anybody's guess. Friends of the National Zoo should brace themselves for a slew of Rush-inspired animal names. Elephant babies named Tom Sawyer. Food courts rechristened as La Villa Strangiato. They may as well start looking for a giraffe named Red Barchetta to replace Jafari right now. Even curiouser is how localized this bloc is, whether this demographic will extend their effect to other referenda, and whether or not local politicians will move to capitalize on it. I think if there's one thing all of us can agree on, it's that nobody wants to see Adrian Fenty launch a "Closer To The Heart" Listening Tour in 2006. I mean, my body can only produce so much vomit before I'm venting actual critical organs.

Finally, with another baby panda out in San Diego, look for Coheed and Cambria fans to quickly launch a write-in campaign to name the cub "Miss Erica Court", ensuring that she will grow up to be one fucking cynical and maladjusted little panda bear.


tom said...

Rush at the zoo? Haven't those poor animals been through enough?

Castor OiL said...

Just another reason why Rush should be driven in a kerosene car off a cliff into a lake of fire.

Superior post. Bravo.

John said...

Hard to accept? Who's effing accepting it?! Not me.

It's National Airport.
It's Butterstick.
And assmonkies aren't gonna' name my world.

Gary said...

Everyone knows that the best rock out of Canadia [sic] is Danko Jones. Danko would have voted for "Butterstick"... then fucked Butterstick all growly-mouthed... then wrote a song about how sexy Butterstick was when he first saw her.