Tuesday, April 12, 2011

2011 NOTY: Bulltron Regional, Part 4

NOTY reader Joshua emailed us to say that Dragonwagon Regional No. 2 seed stonegarden grindlife had been his teaching assistant in a political science class at UCLA. Josh maintained that grindlife should be removed from the ballot because

"he was born with a normal name and changed it to stonegarden grindlife himself when he was in his 20's because he's an ultra liberal hippie and wanted a name that was as bizarre and alternative as possible. (he briefed us all on this when we first showed up for class because 'What's up with your name?' is obviously the first question students have when we first see that he's our TA)"

Sorry, Josh. Legal is good enough for us. We even have a name for this policy, the Dragonwagon Doctrine, after the Hall of Name member honored in stonegarden's region, 1993 NOTY Crescent Dragonwagon.

The doctrine is upheld here in the bottom of the Bulltron with No. 15 Shalom Dreampeace Compost, a government analyst in Santa Cruz, Calif. In this fantastic story about the glut of 1960s and '70s hippie-ish name-changers in that lefty town, Compost explained in 2002 that Shalom was a birth name. But his given surname was Rich.

"It stood for something I didn’t believe in," he said. "Being rich."

Well, it also can mean "having high value or quality" or "full and mellow in tone and quality" or "meaningful, significant." But let's not harsh the buzz. Go on.

"For me, choosing the name Compost was choosing a lifestyle more in harmony with the planet Earth," he said. "Rich not only stood for material wealth but was a common first name and just seemed to cause a lot of confusion in my life."

Principle and expedience, all in one. Compost "notified everyone he knew and all the people he did business with that he was 'Compost' from now on. At the Department of Motor Vehicles, he just filled out the new name on the forms in 1976."

"It has generally been an empowering experience, having a name that is something I believe in."

Probably also a bit of a pain in the ass. Two votes below. And don't forget to follow us on Twitter @NOTYtourney.

No. 7 Mississippi Winn: Former oldest living African-American.
No. 10: Orion Blizzard: WWII vet.

No. 2 Courvoisier Winetavius Richardson: Florida bank robbery suspect who might consider changing nickname.

No. 15 Shalom Dreampeace Compost: See above.


  1. NOTY rules aside, I don't think the self-conscious hippie or postmodern nicknames are in the spirit of this competition. The best name is usually the funniest, and there's nothing funny about someone who gives himself a funny name. A person with a funny name who can't help it/doesn't realize it's funny, now, that's funny.

  2. In that vein, I hereby nominate Queen Dior McEvanstone for NOTY 2012. She is a former classmate of mine at ABC Adult School in Cerritos, CA. I know her name is legal, if not real, because it's on all the attendance sheets and certificates. I have tried to seek the origin of the name, as I didn't have the courage to ask her, but have come up empty. Nevertheless, the nomination stands.

  3. I like the rule. If someone dedicates their life, and name, to onomastic excellence, that excellence should be respected and celebrated. If you are a tough enough chick to get the nickname "Many Bears" and legally change your name to that, you should get NOTY plaudits.

  4. I also think that people that change their name to be different, while legal in the tournament, shouldn't be taken seriously. The point of the name of the year is that some people actually name their kids something that is funny, witty, strange, freaky, or just plain awesome. If you decide to do all that to yourself it screams "I'm trying too hard!" and makes it a lot less fun. I am, however, glad that they tell us when it is a name change so we can make up our mind and vote how we see fit.

  5. I agree that they they should be allowed to compete (e.g. Many-Bears Grinder) based on the legality of the name; however, I think voters should consider that these names are nicknames, or names that were intentionally changed by the individual. My rear is still chapped over the Mercedes Bunz loss to a nickname.

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