Even though President Obama took some flak for changing the name of Mt. McKinley (christened thus in 1896) to "Denali," the traditional Athabascan name, and the designation used by Alaska Natives since time immemorial, he believed that, for political reasons, the move made eminent sense. Accordingly, he's considering additional name changes. Here are six of them.
1. Changing the name of the "Grand Canyon" to the "Arizona Gorge." Arizona residents have long advocated modifying the name, changing it from the generic and generalized to something more geographically specific. After all, this landmark resides squarely in Arizona. So why not rejoice in the fact? And with a nod toward Arizona's 11 electoral votes, President Obama is inclined to agree.
2. Changing the name of "Mt. Rushmore" to "The Heads of Four White Males." As artless and politically correct as the new name may seem at first blush, out of deference to America's women and its burgeoning non-Anglo Saxon population (and, let's be honest--to set the record straight), the name change will be seen as a long over-due first step in "neutralizing" our Eurocentric and sexist bias.
3. Out of respect for France's glorious history, and acknowledging that America's response to immigration has gone from grudging acceptance to shrieking revulsion, the Statue of Liberty will be renamed, "La Cadeau Francaise" ("The French Gift"), for it was France who so generously donated it. Moreover, we no longer wish to remind the world of the famous words inscribed on the statue. Alas, we already have enough "tired, poor and huddled masses," many of them living in Detroit.
4. Due to the gentle prodding of the Disney Corporation, who wishes to incorporate this American landmark into one of its storied attractions, Obama is considering changing the name of "Everglades National Park." If the suggested renaming is approved, in addition to Fantasyland, Frontierland, Tomorrowland and Adventureland, Disney will now have "Swampland," an attraction one won't want to miss when visiting Orlando.
5. Given that we already have a New York, a New Jersey, and a New Mexico, Nevada will be changed to "New Wealth," reflecting the contribution Las Vegas has made to the state's otherwise pitiful tax base. In truth, "Nevada" (the Spanish feminine form for "covered with snow") was never a good fit. Considering that the only other thing Nevada has is Area 51--which may or not exist, and may or may not have tiny space aliens stacked like cordwood--celebrating the state's lifeblood makes perfect sense.
6. Most would agree that it seems oddly uninspired and unimaginative to name a powerful and renowned institution after a geometric shape, like a trapezoid or rectangle. Which is why Obama plans to change the name of the "Pentagon." It will be renamed "The Very Large Weapon." Besides being a goodwill gesture aimed at the NRA, the name implies exactly what it's meant to imply. You dick around with the U.S., and you do so at your own peril.