Saturday, January 06, 2007

What's In A Name Really?

Talking with a coworker recently I discovered that she knew somebody who, as a gift for one of his loved ones, bought the naming rights to a star. And I have to admit that's a pretty good gift idea. I mean who wouldn't want to have a gigantic ball of burning gas named after them?

But then it really got me to thinking. For instance, how would I feel if out there somewhere there was a star named after me? Okay, the whole vanity part of the star naming thing would be kind of cool, but then, what are the stars to us, really? Picture, if you will, astronomers looking up through their telescopes and at charts and seeing all these named stars. Do you know what they're going to see? A bunch of little lights with names like Lisa, Shannon, David, Bruce, and whatever the fuck else people get named these days. And do you know how exciting it would be to actively seek out some star named for a guy named Doug? Probably about as exciting as taking a shit. Now the whole prospect of having a star named after me doesn't seem all that great because there would only be a few people in the world who would care to look for a star on some chart because its name has some significance personal to them. The rest of the people probably only care marginally at best.

So then, if all this naming bullshit is spoiled by the fact that people's names are boring, why not buy the naming rights to stars and do something totally exciting with it? Why not name a star "I Shit On All The Other Stars" or "Kleegor: Destroyer Of The Universe"? Those are the kinds of names that people will see on some chart somewhere and say, "What the fuck?" and then they'll have to look it up because, come on, destroyer of the universe, that's fucked up.

I guess what I'm getting at here is that the idea of naming a star after somebody is only half the battle really. Getting a star that somebody will want to look at is the other half and, without having actually checked how many stars are named "Muldron: The Dwarf Star Of Pure, Unadulterated Evil" or "Happy Fun Bags," I can probably say with 99% confidence not many people are looking at those stars as closely as you would hope they would.

I'm just saying is all.

If they ever name a star after me I hope it's given the title "Nerdiest Corner Of The Universe Ever, LoL!" You know, for the internet age of astronomy.