It’s only been a little more than two weeks since the day democracy officially died. Many of us have been stumbling about in a blind haze since the moment British officials announced they would not be bending to the popular will of the voting public, and ignoring the call to anoint a new research vessel “Boaty McBoatface.” Though honestly, discovering that the political model we’ve come to prize as a cornerstone of modernity means nothing to upper-crust Brits shouldn’t shock anyone. If history teaches us anything, it’s that anyone who’s worried about “what the Queen will think” isn’t the best spokesperson for representative democracy.
And now, in a further slap in the face to Pericles, USA Today reports Jo Johnson—the U.K.’s Minister of State for Universities and Science—announced the ship will be named the RRS Sir David Attenborough, in honor of the famed broadcaster and natural scientist. Attenborough is turning 90 on Sunday, and said he was “truly honored” by the decision, which is British slang for, “The fuck are you thinking, you tossers, my name is a pile o’ puke on a crumpet compared to Boaty McBoatface!”
However, all hope is not lost for the immortal name of Boaty McBoatface. Perhaps sensing the obvious Machiavellian logic to granting the people some small crumb of recognition in order to avoid wholesale revolution, Johnson also tweeted the following:
And thus, despite not receiving its democratic due, there will still be a Boaty McBoatface—just not the one we’d all hoped. For his part, the man who coined the “Boaty” sobriquet, James Hand, tweeted his support of both the naming of the RRS Sir David Attenborough and the underwater robot Boaty McBoatface. It also seems worth mentioning the official journalism site that provided USA Today’s video coverage of the news is named Newsy Newslook, so perhaps this naming brouhaha has awoken something vital in more cultural realms than just the one.