This site will work and look better in a browser that supports web standards, but it is accessible to any browser or Internet device.

Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"Well he doesn't traditionally bring presents so much as you know, disembowel children."
11973 members | you are not logged in | 08 July 2020


March 23 2009

Oops: Colbert wins NASA space station name contest. Sometimes people just should not be allowed to write-in!

On the bright side, when was the last time NASA got this much positive attention?
I believe that NASA will choose "Serenity" anyway. I'm sure they appreciate the Colbert joke, but lets get real. He is, afterall, a comedian. This ain't rocket science.
On the bright side, when was the last time NASA got this much positive attention?

Which is exactly why write-ins were not a mistake.
It's a win-win either way for me, to be honest.
Are we losing our internets domination? Epp!
We never had any internet domination, Kay.
They might name it colbert just to keep people interested. Can't wait to watch him tonight!
I too suspect they will choose Serenity. There's a history of naming NASA vessels after ships from TV sci-fi (See this link), and the hedging by NASA spokesmen in this article and in an appearance on the Colbert Report make the outcome pretty clear. I further suspect that Stephen Colbert, a huge science and sci-fi geek as well as an all-around mensch, will understand completely (even if "Stephen" doesn't).

And, since I'm a huge science geek who loves TV and considers Joss and Stephen to be the two best things on it, I'm going to be happy no matter what.

[ edited by Class Protector on 2009-03-24 00:23 ]

[ edited by Class Protector on 2009-03-24 00:24 ]
I think if that is how the votes tallied up then Colbert should get the prize. It would feel wrong for them to disregard all that and just give it to Serenity now.
They won't name it Colbert. But I can see them arranging some sort of schtick with him.

And it wouldn't be wrong for them not to give it to Colbert. The rules have said all along that this is a poll, not a vote, and that NASA has the ultimate right to name the thing.

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2009-03-24 00:24 ]
They tape in the afternoon. Unless this hit the news cycle elsewhere earlier today, I'd expect he'll celebrate on tomorrow's show.
I totally wrote Colbert in.
I think Colbert is in repeats this week
gossi - that must have been all in my head again then! (Spoil sport :P).
I just read a news item that said one of the functions of the node is to turn urine into drinking water. :P

I say we let him have it. ;)
Considering that Serenity is the name of an adult diaper brand, I think it works pretty well for the node. (Then again, this commercial link might be what makes them not choose the name.)
That's pretty hilarious. It should still be Serenity though.
Ah, anybody remember when the movie was coming out, and googling Serenity got the diaper page?
Hee! This made me grin. I'd be happy with either name - Colbert or Serenity.
That stinks

Oh well.

Hope it gets up there safe and well.
Like the Hungarian bridge, it probably just means that someone from NASA will go on the Report for some wackiness, and it'll wind up being named something else.
What about a hyphenate?

The Serenity-Colbert has a nice ring to it, especially if colbert is pronounced french like.

The Colbert-Serenity not so much
Good for the Colbert fans.

That being said, I wish they had actually shown the relative results while the voting was still open. I bet that the Whedonites could have given them a run for their money.
I like Colbert, but his narcissism gets draining at times.
I like Colbert, but his narcissism gets draining at times.

Unlike that of Browncoats.

The Colbert Report is indeed reruns this week. Have to wait 'til next week to find out what happens, I guess!
I'm thrilled Colbert and Serenity were 1-2. Of course NASA won't name it Colbert, which puts Serenity in good shape, all of which is as it should be. I do hope they make some token gesture to Colbert Nation, like take something (light) of his up to space and back.
I like Colbert, but his narcissism gets draining at times.

Welcome to THE POINT of the character.
I'm glad. Call me a romantic, but I'd rather the "Serenity" name didn't get diluted -- let's save it until we have a manned mission to Mars or something. Do it justice. ;)
Oh, see MattK; THAT is positive thinking.

Manned mission to Mars. Yeah.
I can't believe Colbert won. I don't get why he's so popular.
I hope they don't actually name it that.
He's popular because he's frakking funny. He won because Colbert Nation is a force to be reckoned with.
While I love Colbert, I really want it to be named Serenity. What... other thousand things have they named after Colbert, anyway? Isn't there that high school team that's named after him? And an animal of some sort?

I really can't remember, but I don't think he needs more. I'd rather this one go to Serenity, because it makes so much more sense to go with a sci-fi ship (if they make that connection) than a talk show comedian.

I do love me some Colbert, though. And some camembert.
... Actually I have no idea what camembert tastes like, I just thought it sounded funny.
He's so popular because he satirizes something that's terrible and takes it to a point of true ridiculousness so that it can be laughed at. It doesn't hurt that he's hilarious and adorable, either.

Plus he has cojones of steel.
lennah, that's exactly what I'm talking about! What're the odds for manned mission to Mars? Comparable odds to say... a cancelled TV show getting made into a big-budget movie? I think I'm allowed to be an optimist.

/quietly sits in a corner and waits for the day when the public's excited about space again

For those people who are genuinely disappointed about this (or for some reason just dislike Colbert): remember, this is just the name of one new module (of many) on the ISS, so it's not really a "space station" in its own right.
I like Colbert and "The Colbert Report", but I think it is a stupid name for anything on the space station.

I would take any of the other choices over that.
I really hope they'll go with Serenity anyways. Colbert is quite funny, but somehow I don't want to see his name on a part of the ISS
I think Colbert is kind of a jackass for this stunt. Anyone with a cult audience following could have done the same thing -- Limbaugh, O'Reilly, Dr. Phil, Rachel Maddow, Jim Rome -- and similarly cocked up an earnest effort to give the module an evocative name. But none of them were tools enough to do it.
Colbert's satirizing the kinds of stunts the figureheads on personality-driven tv shows pull all the time. He has to become the biggest tool of all to pull that off.
Come on, guys, Colbert's act is a joke. And this is a relatively minor honor. There's no need to get annoyed that Serenity didn't win the popular vote here.
Colbert is the only one I would be glad beat us. I actually am surprised at the hostility towards him here; he's such a great parody.

(I still think NASA is likely to pick Serenity anyway, but someone from NASA will appear on the Colbert show, get the publicity, etc.)
Point is, sarcastic jokers can ruin *anything* if they find out about it and commit to it. It's not satire. It's not high-minded. It's not witty. All it proves is that they have the contempt for other people's endeavours to come up with the idea and the lack of anything better to do to commit the time.

[ edited by KingofCretins on 2009-03-24 03:07 ]
I say they should hyphenate it. Serenity-Colbert. I'm all about finding the middle ground.
Someone give KoC a nudge, he appears to be skipping.

ETA: Nevermind, it's fixed. ;)

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2009-03-24 03:10 ]
I don't want to be the guy "explaining" the joke, so I won't. I just want to say, for those who have not seen the show, this really shouldn't be taken personally, or for that matter, seriously. It's entirely not about that. Colbert fan or not, just laugh it off and focus your worry somewhere else.

And again, the module will not be named Colbert. If it is, I will eat my virtual shoe.
I love Colbert....but please, please name it Serenity! It's so much more appropriate!
Not impressed by the idea that NASA has an out -- they always have. But by this BS having won the poll they now have a much easier time to bypass the poll results altogether, rather than come up with a reason why Serenity isn't appropriate enough.

I was really looking forward to the cultural-historical-generational connection of NASA naming the original test shuttle Enterprise and this module Serenity.
They're going to pick Serenity.
It was by far the most popular of the names they put forward for public consideration, it fits with previous NASA names, and it's fitting in tone for the project. I'll be very surprised if they choose a different option.
What's in a name? A space station module by any other name would still be as funny?

...or not. I guess I'm having trouble seeing this as anything but an amusing stunt that doesn't amount to much. And even if the room was named Colbert, it's just a name.

And has been mentioned before, this is one of the most interesting ways NASA has been brought into the news forefront in a while. Is it a bit sad that it took a stunt to do this? Yeah, a bit. But NASA is being talked about by people who've probably forgotten it for the most part. That is of the good. So really the most lasting effect I'm expecting from Colbert winning the online poll is getting people to actually take notice of NASA again. So thanks Colbert.

[ edited by Emmie on 2009-03-24 05:02 ]
What Emmie said. Also, how many folks here would've eagerly & enthusiastically written in Serenity, regardless of how it fit in the rules, if it hadn't been an original choice? Seems a bit hypocritical for those who mass-bombard any Whedonverse-related online poll to say Colbert's out of line here.

I, for one, am nor surprised the Colbert Nation outdid the Whedonites on this one. They might even be able to open a movie. ;)
I voted for "Serenity", but now I think they should name it "Simonyi" after the Hungarian ambassador, just to annoy Colbert (who I also like, but particularly when he's up in arms about something ridiculous). Or maybe "Stephenity" or "Serenibert"?
I don't see how naming a space station after a broadcaster with a household name and 12+ years of experience is less appropriate than naming it after a pretend space ship from a TV show that was cancelled after half a season due to low ratings.
Just a little reality check here, kalia. Do you include yourself in those who mass-bombard ... or are you just slumming? Or, are you just sure that "those" includes the folks who didn't like what Colbert did. Because you write as though all Whedonites here are one big Borg hive-mind. And I certainly don't count myself in that notion, or that I am among part of the fandom that enjoys stuffing polling ballot boxes. I also intensely dislike painting a whole group of people with a big turpentin-y paintbrush. It's pretty bad form just because some people had an opinion about this topic. Don't mean to be harsh, but boy does that irk me.
dingoes8, technically-speaking it wouldn't be named for a pretend spaceship. It would be named a word that matches the scheme of the rest of the station. "Colbert" can't quite claim the same thing. ;)
B!X, that is exactly why I don't like the fact that so many people wrote in Colbert -- it doesn't fit at all. Serenity, while a neat ship from a neat show I liked, actually does fit with the naming scheme and is a great name in its own right, hence why I voted for that one. Not because I'm a fan of a show, but because it really is a good name.

I don't have an opinion either way about Colbert or his persona, as I don't watch his show. I just have an opinion about the name not being very fitting.
I think they should choose a name based on how successful they want the addition to the space station to be. If they want a failed half start attempt followed by lackluster performance-- Serenity all the way. And if they want year after year of hilarious success, then Colbert.

I think Colbert won the poll and so the addition should be named Colbert. Naming everything in space after sci fi stuff is so ridiculously self-important, like a bunch of old wookie and han solo dolls in meticulous shrink wrapped packaging in somebody's basement. Like a trio of guys sitting around in their basement freaking out about someone messing with their boba fett toy. I mean, people have to laugh in space too.

This is the kind of great anti-establishment stunt that Colbert is so great for, like when he presented that speech to W. And it's something the spirit of Firefly is all about. I think if Mal were here, he would write in "Colbert."
ailiel, they wouldn't be naming it after scifi stuff, they'd be naming it an actual real-world term that (as stated above) matches the scheme of the station.

And, not only is it not the case that "everything in space" is named after scifi stuff, next to nothing in space is named after scifi stuff.
This is quite humorous, and I love Colbert. But NASA always has said they still have the final choice. I do hope that Serenity wins, but when seen by someone who isn't a fan, you have to admit it isn't all that awesome.
I don't agree with a lot of what you said ailiel, but this bit I like:

This is the kind of great anti-establishment stunt that Colbert is so great for, like when he presented that speech to W. And it's something the spirit of Firefly is all about. I think if Mal were here, he would write in "Colbert."

I'm a bit surprised at the sentiment in this thread - I voted for Serenity too, but c'mon guys!

What was awesome was how widely this was followed (in part, because of Colbert). I think it was io9 that suggested NASA should negotiate for a 2 minute space segment on the Colbert Report. :)
I hope NASA picks Colbert.
Im with MattK. Let's save the name for the Mars shuttle :)

I'll bet though that the Alliance is smiling right now. The mighty Browncoat army buttkicked by a comedian :(
Wankiness and kerfuffle over a internet poll (again)?
What else is there in the world worth kerfuffling over? I mean, sure, poverty and world peace and all that, but it seems like tv show references aren't allowed as an answer to those...
Not much we can do about it since it was always clear that NASA's was the final choice; instead, let's check out the names the grade and middle school students picked for the Mars Science Lab and help rate them in a new poll. This time there are no fandom names in the group, but I would love her to be named Amelia just for the fun of it. (And of course the honoring of Amelia Earhart -- but mostly just for the fun of it! ;)

Edited to fix link.

[ edited by cabri on 2009-03-24 11:56 ]
Wankiness and kerfuffle over a internet poll (again)?

Must be tuesday.
They stuffed a ballot better than we stuffed a ballot !? Damn them all to the stuffy hell, those damned better-stuffers ! Hanging's too good for them and also entirely disproportionate and unjustified ! *shakes fist and weeps in raging frustration/doesn't*

In other news, yeah I like 'Amelia' for the rover too (so long as NASA's not superstitious ;). Though I also kind of like 'Rover' so it could be I know nothing (or how about 'A Wild').
They should call it Tek Jansen.

Though I like Serenibert.
Serenibert! LOL. I love it.
"Xenu" made me chuckle the most, honestly.
I'm having a real hard time visualizing Mal voting in an internet poll. For anything, really.
"Did people really love those dolls ?

"When faced with Reaver attack should you
a) fall over backwards and start gibbering
b) be so afraid you even consider leaving the money
c) panic in some other way
I'm not surprised that Colbert got the most votes total. I don't think NASA will actually name it that. I'm most glad for the publicity his stunt got NASA and the fun even NASA seemed to be having with the poll and our two fandoms voting. They tweeted about it, so they were very much aware and that just makes me laugh. But NASA can name it whatever they want. It'd be funny if they named it Stewart instead.
LOL the C Nation are a strong bunch. While I am a fan of Stewart and Colbert, I guess I'm not really in their fandom. Also, I think while this was clearly a fandom vote (for Colbert) it wasn't really for the Whedonverse. If NASA had come out to say that Serenity stands for the Firefly ship then that would be a different story and a lot of boards/groups/comms would be all over it, but seeing as it was a name that simply fit with the rest, it wasn't that wide spread.

Sad that its a rerun, I can only imagine what Steven would do. Maybe wear a space suit? LOL
If Serenity couldn't win, I wouldn't want any other name to take it. I LOVE how Colbert jokes about stuff but gets it all to come true!

But...I have a feeling they might go with Serenity anyway. Stephen will put NASA "On Notice" if they do haha
I was laughing so hard that it almost made up for it not being Serenity.
Actually, I'm still laughing. To add to a commenter above, this does free up Serenity for an even better NASA thing...
You know, we're all talking about how this is great publicity for NASA, and it is. But, couldn't this also be great publicity for Joss and Dollhouse?

Here's what I'm picturing: NASA chooses "Serenity" instead of "Colbert." Colbert gets angry at NASA and at Firefly fans. Colbert brings on someone from NASA... AND/OR Colbert brings on ... Joss.

It could happen. Joss could even become one of his ongoing rivals (like Barry Manilow who beat him out for a Grammy).

It could provide some good publicity for Dollhouse, no?
Why would Colbert want to talk to Joss about the NASA competition? Serenity only means SERENITY OMG if you're us. Otherwise, it's just a pretty name.
Maybe Colbert is a closet Browncoat and would take the opportunity to have fun with it. ;)
Oh, I don't know about that, Sunfire. I mean, if NASA chooses Serenity because it won the non-write-in poll, Colbert (and his people) are going to know why. It's not like it got 70% of the vote just because it was prettier than the other names. and, it's not like it's a big secret why it was popular. (Online, at least, though we here at Whedonesque remained above the fray, it was pretty clearly a battle of the fandoms.)
Curiously, I don't ever recall a significant Whedon alum appearing on either the Daily Show or Colbert, and I've been watching since before Jon Stewart took the helm.
It may just be my bad memory, but I've found it curious for some time now that there doesn't seem to be any synergy between two of my favorite TV producers.
Sunfire -- Because Colbert the character enjoys "abusing" anyone/thing who "challenges" him (and who can take care of themselves). I don't think either Hungary or the Hungarian ambassador would ordinarily have been in his sights, but once he got into the "Colbert hid" campaign, they were, with much hilarity, and some great guitar playing. Whedon-Colbert would be a great match.
NASA is, apparently, considering using the Colbert name for something else...


"Come on, Serenity? That's not a space module, that's a Glade plug-in."

It'd be funny if they named it Stewart instead.


This thread has been closed for new comments.

You need to log in to be able to post comments.
About membership.

joss speaks back home back home back home back home back home