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 gets votes on names in front of ZK

Ezra gets votes on names in front of ZK

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
Kathryn and some of the final names

Kathryn and some of the final names

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]

Tags: ,

About paxus

a funologist, memeticist and revolutionary. Can be found in the vanity bin of Wikipedia and in locations of imminent calamity. buckle up, there is going to be some rough sledding.

9 responses to “This is why we can’t have nice things”

  1. tickledspirit says :

    So, what will the license plate acronym be? TIWWCHNT-TO won’t fit…

    • paxus says :

      There was already agreement that the license plate would be TO-NT, but that the entire name would need to be on the magnet. Eve agreed to this condition as vehicle manager.

      • Saraj says :

        I love my hybrid, it’s a 2001 Honda Insight. My biggest complaint is magnets won’t stick to the aluminum body… that and the really low clearance is bad for snow and curbs.

  2. Sunshine Chap says :

    This might solve all our problems (or at least the clearence issue):

  3. Rayne Tupelo says :

    Reblogged this on Running in ZK and commented:
    This week I offered to make posts on Running in ZK labor creditable via personal service credits (PSC) from me. At Twin Oaks, members can give away their banked vacation hours (PSCs) in exchange for some service they’d like done. The service can be some sort of a job, but members can give each other PSCs for anything really — reading a book or taking a nap are fair game. Here is a guest post from Paxus.

    • paxus says :

      And there is some friendly competition among the blogs which talk about Twin Oaks and community life in central Virginia. When i heard Rayne was offering PSCs for people who wanted to post on RZK, i jumped at the chance to participate, not because i want the labor credits (between responsibilities at TO and at Acorn and my pension i am well over quota almost every week i am in town) but because i want to show up in this blog which is a “pure play” on community life. My blog is all over the place, and i wanted to appeal and appear to this different audience.

  4. pnc says :

    My father used to tell me: “Never buy anything that you can’t afford to leave out in the rain”.

  5. Clementine says :

    I probably would have gone for “Liberal Guilt,” but I really like this post because it involves Jess getting licked by a small child….

    Congrats on the new car!

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