The Name Game
As you know, a good name is one of the most essential things for any brand. This is why my blog is named The Passion of the Weiss rather than Jeff's Emporium of Cynicism and Mirth (the runner-up). This is why Starbucks is called Starbucks and not Java Hut, the name of a rarely frequented Los Angeles coffee hut. (after all, huts are good for many things but coffee isn't
one of them.)
Yet a bad name often scares off people who may be interested in your product. This is why I still haven't picked up Final Fantasy's He Poos Clouds despite liking a few of the songs I've heard off the album. This is why I didn't get into My Morning Jacket until Z. This is why I'm reluctant to tell people that I like the new Asobi Seksu album.
But of all the dumb names out there, no name is dumber than WAMU, the nickname of Washington Mutual Bank. But rather than shun this obnoxious moniker, Washington Mutual has embraced it, as just last week someone in the Washington Mutual brain-trust decided to officially change their name to WAMU.
The first time I heard someone refer to Washington Mutual as WAMU., I considered the possibility that they were like Rita, Charlize Theron's character from Arrested Development, (i.e. a mentally retarded person capable of tricking us all.) However, this insidious nomenclature has spread like wildfire, as apparently everyone has disregarded the clear-cut fact that WAMU is one of the most terrible nicknames ever given.
Trust me, I know a good nickname when I see one. The Ol' Dirty Bastard=great nickname. Tim "Rock Raines=great nickname (if only because of the double-meaning, inherent in the fact that the dude allegedly freebased more crack than a young Richard Pryor).
But WAMU? It sounds like Shamu's low-budget Mexican equivalent. Which is totally cool if you're trying to name a new killer whale, but not so cool when you think that you're basically giving all your money to a financial institution without the foresight to at least give themselves a good nickname.
Can You Smell What the Rock is Cookin?
Needless to say, I've spent the last several hours debating two things: 1. whether I should take my banking needs elsewhere and 2. debating whether or not Justin Timberlake's new album is the worst album ever made. The last point needs a whole blog unto itself and I haven't decided whether or not I'm going to pull my money away from the bank formerly known as Washington Mutual. I doubt it. I'm that lazy. However, I have decided to console myself the only way I know how: by watching the video for Cameo's "Word Up." I promise tomorrow I will have a real post describing my recent trip to the Bumbershoot Music Festival in Seattle. But in the meantime, enjoy the sweet musical stylings of Larry Blackmon and the gang, and ask yourself, was the codpiece really necessary?