This is why we can’t have nice things

Walter Cronkite wrote a preface to the 35th edition of Orwell’s classic 1984.

It has been said that 1984 fails as a prophecy because it succeeded as a warning–Orwell’s terrible vision has been averted.

It was this spirit in mind that the community went into the naming party for the new Prius we just purchased.

it is this color, but we got one without all the asphalt

It is this color, but we got one without all the asphalt

We have lots of naming parties at the commune.  One of the more common things we name are new vehicles when we acquire them (to be clear we basically never buy new-from-the-factory vehicles, but they are “new to us” and generally in better condition than the rest of the fleet).  The form of a naming party combines a long list of names suggested by members and friends, a dry erase board/butcher paper pad and a flamboyant MC.

Ezra was a wonderful MC for this evening’s naming party for the Prius.  It is important background that this is our first hybrid vehicle.  We have some Toyotas which get excellent gas mileage, but a Prius represents a significant step up.  And it was clear from the suggested names that people did not think the commune was quite up for the responsibility of owning a fancier car.  Here are some of the names which were proposed:

  • Liberal Guilt
  • Nikola Tesla
  • Hybrid Vigor
  • Inevitable Downfall
  • Greenwash
  • Darth Dingo
  • Tiny Bubbles
  • False Hope
  • This is why we can’t have nice things

The process is hardly democratic, people get multiple votes and there is rampant cheating, despite Ezra’s threats that he would dispatch kids to lick you on the face if you were caught cheating (i think Jess did get licked).  At the critical moment when most people were expected to vote for the most popular name, Ezra swapped in the question “Who is voting to have me be Vice President for Life!”  The president of the community is not a contested spot, but the vice president is, perhaps because of the incorrect assumption that the vice president will have greater access to vice (in egalitarian communities it is important that everyone have equal access to vice).

i held out a vain hope for Nikola Tesla to be selected as the name

I held out a vain hope for Nikola Tesla to be selected as the name

As you can probably guess from the blog title, the winning name, by a huge margin was “This is why we can’t have nice things”. When asked for the meaning of the name Kathryn suggests “come look at the car in a year and you will understand it.”

nice things

Unlike any vehicle we have ever had, this one requires a driving class, which is being offered by Trout on Saturday and Sunday.  I will be away, but hopefully my pre-existing experience driving other people’s Prius’s will get me qualified.

So ask in a year, if the prophecy was a successful warning.

[Edited by Judy Youngquest]