Monday, April 28, 2008

Spaceman Africa Is the 2008 Name of the Year (People's Division)

When they weren't accusing us of backing another candidate—which we were, because this election doesn't require a team of observers from The Carter CenterSpaceman Africa's friends brought a grammatically challenged, Marley-inflected, peace-out, Burning Man vibe to the 2008 Name of the Year Tournament. By which we are amused and for which we are grateful.

banjalup spaceman banjalup

sings us a toon Spaceman

Your turning many stones in a world of large rocks. Who would think that a name change could generate such a wide following of souls.

Nice one, me Harp Brutha!

Hubba bubba three men in a tubba!

Spaceman thanks for the patatas!

Hi ya Spaceman it's Mary I'm in Thailand and you got my vote! If the CT crew could see you now!

Go Spaceman. I still have fond memories of us on the playstation and looking out the window at Beirut

Thee Hamsters Spaceman, the hamsters!

Heya Spacey, thanks for prawn curries in Goa, hit the spot every time!

Like the way you clang-a-lang spacemadang clang-a-lang clang-a-lang. Greeting from Thailand


Congratulations, Spacedisciples, Spaceman Africa is the (popularly elected) 2008 Name of the Year. We raise a Fosters to the champion and his acolytes from Bombay to Brisbane to Bora-Bora. With a surge in the final days of balloting, the Bulltron Regional No. 10 seed captured 55 percent of the vote and a resounding 658-538 victory over Chrotchtangle Regional No. 9 seed Fonda Dicks.

While we nakedly championed Destiny Frankenstein, the NOTY High Committee's selection as Name of the Year, we don't dislike Spaceman Africa as much as his sycophants think. The Dragonwagon Doctrine—named for 1993 NOTY and inaugural-class Hall of Name member Crescent Dragonwagon—firmly establishes that a legal name change is a legal name change. Don't forget: Of more than 300 nominees, we put Spaceman on the ballot.

From what we've gathered in the comments, Spaceman Africa is Australian. His friend Crazy Horse Invincible may have been joking when he told a reporter the pair picked new names during a post-soccer match bender. He was a Hare Krishna. He travels the world on philanthropic missions. He likes to party. He's a ladies' man. He spreads joy.

His name? Funny, yes, and better than a dick joke. Our gripe was and remains the absence of unintentional comedy, irony or jaw-dropping wonder. As we've said before, after a quarter century spent gathering, assessing and debating names, we have a refined sense of what constitutes greatness. Among the 2008 nominees, we thought Reprobatus Bibbs was great. We thought Alpacino Beauchamp was great. We thought Jeremiah Kilimanjaro was great. We thought Free-King Africa—another made-up name, by the way—was great. And, of course, we thought our girl Destiny was the greatest of them all.

But the people have spoken. Spaceman Africa is the 2008 Name of the Year. Clang-a-lang, clang-a-lang.

Thanks to everyone who voted, and commented. Don't forget to submit nominations for 2009 at nameoftheyear@gmail.com. We're well over 50 already, including Infinite McCloud, Uranus Golden, Winer Hyppolite, Maxim Dinka, Demetrius Dick and Sequan Nevels (teammates of Jeremiah Kilimanjaro!), Barkevious Mingo and Telephone Mtoko.

Special thanks to the incomporable 289 for the championship plaque.

Monday, April 21, 2008

2008 NOTY Championship: No. 10 Spaceman Africa v. No. 12 Fonda Dicks

When the NOTY High Committee decided to implement round-by-round online voting—last year we collected, and actually counted, completed brackets from several hundred readers—we recognized the risks. That our painstaking efforts to seed the field based on our collective centuries of NOTY experience would be ignored. That a popular uprising would support a particular name. That dick jokes would trump sublime onomastic quality.

Naturally, it all happened. The No. 1 seeds—Destiny Frankenstein, Fabio Assalone, Steeve Ho You Fat and Reprobatus Bibbs—were knocked out, one per round after the first round. Other pretournament favorites like Dominitrix Johnson, Jeremiah Kilimanjaro, Poony Poon and Terdsak Jandaeng were ousted far sooner than expected. The cult of Spaceman trumped the majesty of Destiny. And three dicks reached the Elite Eight—none as powerful as 2007 NOTY Vanilla Dong, who won by landslides in voting by both the High Committee and the People.

This year, the High Committee elected Destiny Frankenstein as its Name of the Year. Now it's the people's turn. You've advanced two names we seeded in the bottom half of their regions, the Chrotchtangle and Bulltron. If Vegas had taken action, this daily double would have paid out large.

We remind you who they are: Spaceman Africa is globetrotting Irish bon vivant who changed him name on a drunken pledge after a soccer game. One commenter said he's a Hare Krishna. We kind of doubt it. As Spaceman's pal and fellow 2008 nominee Crazy Horse Invincible "told reporters":

"It was one of those nights—I think [Middlesbrough] had won—so me and a mate were celebrating. You have a few too many and you come up with crazy plans. Mine were quite literally Crazy."

Update from commenter Anonymous:

NOTY crew... you should not believe everything you read on the net...

SPACEMAN AFRICA... is not Irish born, he is Australian... he was a practising Hare Krishna at one stage... he did not change his name after a drunken soccer binge... and he has been travelling the world for the last 15 yrs assisting charity organisations whilst partying hard too...

So there you have it...One of the most genuine, selfless blokes one could meet...

But Anonymous, didn't we read this on the net, too? Resuming post...

Fonda Dicks is a girl from the heartland who shot the rock back in the day, scoring 3,598 points for Moravia high school in Iowa from 1969-73. Even then, people recognized that her name was, um, interesting. As dandh posted on Hawkeye Report:

Very attractive young lady with a most unfortunate name. Our teams played hers, and there were always some people yelling out her name at games. I actually felt sorry for her.

Feel sorry no more. She might be the People's Choice for the 2008 Name of the Year. Vote now.

Ed: Voting continues through Sunday, April 27.

Who is the 2008 Name of the Year?
Spaceman Africa
Fonda Dicks

pollcode.com free polls

Friday, April 11, 2008

Spaceman Africa, We Might Like You More If You Occasionally Emailed Us, Too

Hey guys...

Yes! We knew she'd write again! You okay, Destiny?

Well what can I say? In a weird way I sort of feel like I let all of you down, not to mention my ancestors who are shaking their heads at me as we speak. I would like to point out that I wanted to win this on popular vote alone, and that until all of the comments from Spaceman's people started coming in and revving my competitive engine I had not told any of my friends to vote for me. In fact they were upset with me for not telling them about this little NOTY earlier!

Destiny Frankenstein: Woman of Principle.

I stayed up all night watching the polls. (I did NOT proxy vote or do anything to put myself ahead except send out a mass email asking for support.) Who can blame me? I could not let people from around the world bash the good name that I stand on—without a few blows from my friends!

Once an athlete, always a competitor. As one commenter put it, Rock, chalk, Destiny.

Anyway, I watched the hours tick by until 10:00 EDT. I closed my laptop and even did a little jig in my living room.

Uh oh.

I went to bed at 10:00 Central time and just wanted to look at my winning numbers again, because I thought karma had prevailed and the polls had closed. I was so upset when I saw that he had pulled ahead by what? 6 votes? [Ed: 7.] Ahhhhhh!!!!

That sound? Our crest falling. Close readers of NOTY will recall that we announced we would close the Elite Eight voting at 10 p.m. EDT Wednesday. But while Destiny was dancing at the appointed hour, we were watching TV or doing the dishes or playing Scrabulous or something. Next thing we knew it was 10:40. We mention her story reluctantly, because while it makes us sick to our stomach, it does not change a thing. While we'd trust Destiny with our darkest secrets, we would not overturn the election result on her testimony alone.

However, I honestly appreciated all of your support (“Destiny's Children” is a nice touch).

Thanks!

You all have taken a lot of crap from Spaceman's people and others that thought you were campaigning for me!

We were.

I felt and still feel bad that your NOTY competition might be tarnished by my involvement in it and the record-breaking voting that surrounded my rounds.

Diminished by your absence? Absolutely. Tarnished? Never.

I know that your numbers will recover though, because now all of my friends and family check your blog daily!!! Not to mention that you have a 'lifer' in me.

And you in us.

This competition has brought back memories of my days in the media.

Recall that Destiny was an All-American shortstop at the University of Kansas, and later played in a professional women's fast-pitch league.

I remember why I never looked at stats, read the newspapers before or after games, looked at online message boards or Googled myself. You never know what mean things people will have to say...

And they said some mean things, which Destiny shared with us but we won't forward. People are such tools.

On the other hand, though, I found you all when I Googled myself when my career was all over with. Your blog brought a smile to my face and even made me laugh out loud (a few times). I guess what I am getting at is thanks for the nomination, the chats and the support you give the people with awesome names!

/wipes away tear.

We have been made fun of for years...now it is time to just have fun with it ourselves and win an award or two. Name of the Decade? 2002-2012?!?!?! Anybody? Vote Frankenstein!!!

We’re thinking bigger. What better way to celebrate the Silver Anniversary of NOTY than with a Name of the Quarter Century Tournament? We'll put it on the High Commissioner's agenda.

I have already set two new goals. Mangina to the finals!!!!! Or Down with Spaceman. (I will have my revenge.)

Of course you will.

Godspeed, Destiny. Until we meet again.

Final Four voting continues. Cast your ballots now.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

2008 NOTY Final Four: Destiny's Children

It's come down to this: an extra E, two dick jokes and a guy who keeps adding to an apparently already-formidable legend. Both Final Four matches are contained within this post. We know it's difficult, but please try to vote TWICE.

No. 1 Steeve Ho You Fat v. No. 12 Fonda Dicks

The lone surviving top seed, out of the Dragonwagon Regional, who plays basketball in France, against the upstart from the Chrotchtangle Regional, who played basketball in Iowa in the late 1960s and early '70s.
Who advances to the 2008 NOTY Final?
Steeve Ho You Fat
Fonda Dicks

pollcode.com free polls

No. 9 Phyllis Mangina v. No. 10 Spaceman Africa

Yeah, we probably underseeded the Seton Hall women's basketball coach, who advanced out of the Sithole Regional. As for the much-beloved, globetrotting, Zelig-like party animal who followed through on a drunken pledge to change his name from whatever it was and then survived the greatest battle in NOTY history to emerge from the Bulltron Regional, what can we say that we haven’t said already? Shoulda been you, Destiny, shoulda been you.
Who advances to the 2008 NOTY Final?
Phyllis Mangina
Spaceman Africa

pollcode.com free polls

Photo of Mr. Mangina by Laurel Ptak via Gawker.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

2008 NOTY: The Final Four

We here at NOTY Headquarters are shocked and saddened by the baseless and slanderous accusations by some commenters that we and Destiny Frankenstein colluded to rig her Elite Eight death struggle against Spaceman Africa.

Yes, we backed Destiny. Yes, we emailed with Destiny. Yes, the NOTY High Committee and its collective 300 years of onomastic experience and wisdom crowned Destiny.

And, yes, it's also true that we can't figure out the cult of personality surrounding Spaceman Africa, who seems to be some sort of ne'er-do-well world-traveling backpacker bon vivant. ("Wow! I met this totally off-the-chain dude in Phuket!") And we don't endorse voting for a name because you had beers with its owner. And we don’t believe that Spaceman Africa would be a better name than Destiny Frankenstein even if it were on his birth certificate, which it isn't. Commenter Zach summed it up nicely:

This is a competition about names, not the ability to throw down on an international, whirlwind booze-a-thon. Spaceman may be a hell of a guy, but Destiny is a hell of a name. Plus, I'm pretty sure she could kick his ass.

But none of our admitted biases makes us some sort of election-fixing Nicolai Ceascescu. We closed the balloting as promised (a little later than promised, actually), and the results are the results:

Spaceman Africa: 488 votes
Destiny Frankenstein: 481 votes

So congratulations to all you Spaceman lobbyists. We're not sure how you did it, but you did it. The 2008 Name of the Year Tournament Final Four is:

No. 1 Steeve Ho You Fat v. No. 12 Fonda Dicks

No. 9 Phyllis Mangina v. No. 10 Spaceman Africa


We'll start the balloting as soon as our tears dry. In the meantime, we bid a sad farewell to a rightful champion with a touching poem from commenter Jodilynn, Destiny Frankenstein's personal Dee Mirich.

the destiny is it.
the frankenstein is magical.
go girlfriend go
this is so grooooovy.
destiknee frank in stine

At the Induction Ceremony, We Will Surely Cry

While we eagerly await tonight’s 10 p.m. EDT conclusion of the impossibly Floridian Elite Eight contest between Destiny Frankenstein and Spaceman Africa—after more than 800 votes, as we type this, they’re tied—we bring you more exciting news from last weekend’s NOTY High Committee meeting in New York.

Please join us in welcoming three new members of the Hall of Name: Jerome Fruithandler, Delano Turnipseed and Princess Nocandy, who all demonstrate the naked power of food.

Jerome Fruithandler: The 2004 Name of the Year was, as the photo suggests, in the moving and storage business in Mount Kisco, N.Y. He also was a respected member of temple Bet Torah, where there's a memorial fund in his honor. Now, with HON votes from 10 of the 12 High Committee members (half are required for induction), we memorialize—no, immortalize—Jerome Fruithandler for the evocative imagery of his surname and its delicious contrast with an always tasty first name.

Delano Turnipseed: There was much joy among the High Committee when this 1985 NOTY nominee cracked open the door to the Hall of Name on his ninth attempt with seven votes. We stumbled across Turnipseed when he was a second-team All-City football player at Bishop McDevitt High School just outside of Philadelphia. He didn't win NOTY that year—the legendary Godfrey Sithole did—but he did tie for third in the Name of the Decade voting in 1992. While there are lots of Turnipseeds in this world, the juxtaposition of a presidential first name and an agrarian last name makes this one Hall-worthy.

Princess Nocandy: The 2006 Name of the Year squeaked in with the minimum six votes. We found her somewhere on the vast payroll New York City government—the High Commissioner is checking his records—and instantly fell in love with her gentle first name and Soup Nazi surname. Princess becomes just the fourth woman inducted into the HON.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Destiny Frankenstein Is the 2008 Name of the Year

Well, the NOTY High Committee’s choice for the 2008 Name of the Year anyway.

The elite cadre that has run NOTY for 25 years gathered in a penthouse apartment on an upper side of Manhattan on Saturday to sort-of watch the Final Four and perform its annual ritual of electing a champion. Three-quarters of the 12-man NOTY High Committee—plus several members of the next generation of NOTY leaders—were physically present, which might have been a record. The rest voted electronically or telephonically.

In any event, the point is this. If ever a name was NOTY-worthy, it’s Destiny Frankenstein. Her surname is a classic of English literature, the mad scientist who creates life, only to see it all go horribly awry. And her first name is Destiny. Destiny! That is what her parents, Wes and Susan, in Broken Arrow, Okla., on New Year’s Eve in 1983, decided to name her. Not Jane or Alice or Mary (though that would have been clever.) Destiny. (She has a sister, Cherish, who remains eligible for NOTY.) In these virtual pages, our good friend Big Daddy Drew called Destiny Frankenstein one of the more ill-fitting names in human history.” Destiny Frankenstein makes you think. Destiny Frankenstein makes you laugh. Destiny Frankenstein makes you stammer, “Get the fuck out of here.” Destiny Frankenstein is a champion.

As we type this, the hopelessly contrived Spaceman Africa—the latest in a long history of contrived Africa’s, from MOVE's Birdie and Ramona to fellow Elite Eight competitor Free-King—is edging out Destiny for a berth in the Final Four. Judging from the comments, Spaceman has a lot of friends. We give him credit for following through on a bender after an English soccer game and legally changing his name. But what beyond rank absurdity does his comic-book name offer the world? Really, what?

We heard again from Destiny the other day, just as the Elite Eight votes began rolling in. As Drew noted in his post last year, Destiny is a charitable woman of good humor, and a driven but sportsmanlike competitor. She demonstrates that in her latest email:

I want it I am not going to lie! But there are some great names in the Elite 8 and I am just proud to have made it this far on my name's sake alone!! Ha Ha! Good luck to Spaceman...but come on Frankenstein is one of a kind! We already have another Africa in the competition, however there is not another monsterous doctor in the bunch! So I am hoping that I have a chance!!!!!

We’re actually charmed by “monsterous,” and charmed by Destiny.

Here is the top 10 in the Committee’s voting:

1. Destiny Frankenstein
2. Steeve Ho You Fat
3. Alpacino Beauchamp
4. Fabio Assalone
5. Free-King Afrika
6. Pansy Ho
7. Firm Dinkins
8. Charley Willard Horse Dick
9. Fonda Dicks
10. Spaceman Africa

Popular-vote balloting in the Elite Eight remains open. Make your voice heard here and here.

ED'S NOTE: Voting in the Elite Eight will continue until 10 p.m. EDT Wednesday.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

2008 NOTY Elite Eight: Dragonwagon and Chrotchtangle Regionals

Two pairings. Scroll down and vote twice.

No. 1 Steeve Ho You Fat v. No. 2 Alpacino Beauchamp

One of the toughest match-ups of all time.

Who advances to the Final Four?
Steeve Ho You Fat
Alpacino Beauchamp

pollcode.com free polls


No. 2 Free-King Afrika v. No. 12 Fonda Dicks

Look, we’d be lying if we said we’re on the Fonda Dicks train. After 25 years of this, we’ve seen enough Dick and plenty of Wang and our fair share of Poon, too. Fonda Dicks is a worthy addition to the pantheon alongside Dick Surprise (de facto NOTY 1999) and Johnny Dicksot (1998), June (2000), Dickson (2003) and Poony Poon (2008), and, of course, the incomparable Vanilla Dong (NOTY 2007). But to treat Reprobatus Bibbs , an absolute classic (and one of our favorite posts), like some 15-seed—like some cute-but-not-quiet Parris France (2005), Esther Sylvester (1994) or Billy Broadfoot (1985)—taking 68 percent of the vote. Well, we’re a little disappointed in you, the people.

Who advances to the Final Four?
Fonda Dicks
Free-King Afrika

pollcode.com free polls

2008 NOTY Elite Eight: Bulltron and Sithole Regionals

Two pairings. Scroll down and vote twice.

No. 1 Destiny Frankenstein v. No. 10 Spaceman Africa

We haven’t heard from our girl Destiny lately. A little nervous after winning just 57 percent of the vote against Firm Dinkins in the Sweet Sixteen? Spaceman Africa? He’s no Free-King Africa.

Who advances to the Final Four?
Destiny Frankenstein
Spaceman Africa

pollcode.com free polls


No. 9 Phyllis Mangina v. No. 10 Charley Willard Horse Dick

The people do love themselves the genitalia. Which one moves on?

Who advances to the Final Four?
Phyllis Mangina
Charley Willard Horse Dick

pollcode.com free polls

2008 NOTY: The Elite Eight

Our extended vacation is over. Sweet 16 balloting is closed. Your match-ups in the Elite Eight of the 2008 NOTY Tournament are:

No. 1 Destiny Frankenstein v. No. 10 Spaceman Africa

No. 2 Free-King Africa v. No. 12 Fonda Dicks

No. 1 Steeve Ho You Fat v. No. 2 Alpacino Beauchamp

No. 9 Phyllis Mangina v. No. 10 Charley Willard Horse Dick


Voting to commence shortly.