North Isn’t a “Weird” or “Crazy” Name Says Rob Kardashian

Just read an article in Us Magazine informing me that Kanye West and Kim Kardashian have finally found someone who doesn’t think North is a “weird” or “crazy” celebrity name: Kim’s brother, Rob. He explained that, “North West…sounds cool! And North is the highest point, so it has a lot of meaning to it.” I suppose it might sound cool to someone who doesn’t know that north isn’t a peak, it’s a direction.

Rob Kardashian also commented that people who criticize the name are “haters.” I strongly doubt this talking point will come across to disappointed fans and the media as a convincing argument.

The article appears to be the result of a publicity campaign to explain that the name first mentioned by Kanye West three months ago while bantering with Jay Leno on “The Tonight Show” is filled with deep inspirational meaning. It will take a very long time to convince the public that the name is not exactly what it sounds like: a mildly amusing talk-show punch line.

Kanye and Kim Really Did Name their Baby Girl North West. (I Saw the Birth Certificate.)

Like “Birthers” who refused to believe President Barack Obama was born in the U.S. until they saw his birth certificate, I refused to believe that Kim and Kanye had actually named their baby girl North West until I saw the birth certificate in a CNN article by Ed Payne on Sunday, June 23—more than 7 days after their daughter, who now has a joke for a name, was born.

A lot of the articles announcing the news contain jokes that are swirling around cyberspace about North West–few (if any) of which are funny. That’s also how I feel about North West: It’s a joke that wasn’t funny when Kanye West mentioned it during an interview with Jay Leno about three months ago; and it still isn’t funny—-which means it will be included in lists of stupid celebrity names along with Pilot Inspektor, Blue Ivy, Apple, Dweezil, and Bronx Mowgli (among others) that aren’t funny either.

If you thought Kim and Kanye were going to get serious, at some point, and come up with a name their baby girl could live happily with, you overestimated them. My verdict: two thumbs and ten toes down.

Kim and Kanye’s Baby’s Name Is Still a Mystery, Though She Was Born June 15

Although the name of Kim and Kanye’s baby daughter has not been officially announced by the couple (though she was born on Saturday, June 15) a nurse at Los Angeles Cedars-Sinai hospital leaked “news” that the couple had settled on Kaidence Donda North. (Donda is the given name of Kanye’s mother.)

Another rumor leaked by a “family insider” suggests that the baby’s name was Kai Georgia Donda West. (Georgia is a female version of Kanye’s father’s middle name.)

Though we don’t know, for sure, what Kim and Kanye’s daughter’s name is (or even if they have picked a name yet), rumors abound as they negotiate a deal to sell baby-photo publishing rights and consider a variety of publicity “announcement” strategies.

Since we don’t know the real name of the baby, there’s no point in discussing the merits of any of the names that have been leaked or rumored. But it seems worth noting that the couple’s campaign to milk their baby’s name for personal gain continues, unabated, three months after Kanye West jokingly suggested naming the baby North West on national TV. And until they announce their baby girl’s name, rumors will continue to swirl through cyberspace.

I Dreamed I Overheard the Pillow Talk of a Celebrity Couple I’ll Call K1 and K2*

K1: Come up with any new names today?
K2: How could I not? Every national talk show on both coasts wants to know what the latest rumors are (that we’ll be starting).

K1: What’d you come up with?
K2: I launched this whole campaign with North West, so don’t ask me for my next idea. What’s your next idea?

K1: OK, you said North West, so I’ll go with Easton West. And here’s another name: Khrist (y’know—Christ with a K).
K2: Forget about it. I’m the one who’s making an album called “I Am God.”

K1: You are? I mean, you’re not trying to pass yourself off as God—are you?
K2: Not exactly. That’s just the name of my album.

K1: That’s a relief! Now, I have an idea for you. I changed the C in Christ to a K as in Khrist, why don’t you–
K2: –Change the G in God to K? Is that you were going to say?

K1: Good idea! I was just on Leno with Khrist, so why don’t you go on Letterman with Kod?
K2: Wait a minute, isn’t a kod a fish?

K1: No, a cod is a fish. “Kod” is a name that starts with a K that you will be talking about on Letterman.
K2. Right. And since you gave Leno two names, I’m going to give Letterman two names–How about Kod and South West?

K1: Southwest? Isn’t that an airline?
K2: Yeah, and they have a huge PR budget. Think about that. Problem with Northwest was—they got bought out by Delta. No PR budget anymore.

K1: Good thinking. This could be big!
K2: It would even bigger if we could start a bidding war between Southwest–

K1: And SkyWest.
K2: What the heck is SkyWest?

K1: It’s an airline, dummy. We’re trying to set up a bidding war for naming rights!
K2: Never heard of it. So their PR budget can’t be much bigger than Conan’s ratings.

K1: Remember Eastern Airlines? Used to be one of the biggest.
K2: I can barely remember it. No more Eastern; no more PR budget. And I can assure you that Easton never was an airline and never did have a PR budget. So forget about Easton, too.

K1: OK, I got a new name. How about Out.
K2: Out? What’s that supposed to mean?

K1: Out West! Pretty funny, huh?
K2: I get the joke, but there’s no money in that name. Our accountant would laugh us out of his office.

K1: You want money? Here’s a name that’s made out of money: America West.
K2: Is that an airline?

K1: Yup. It’s probably bigger than SkyWest.
K2: If it’s still in operation. Reminds me of Northwest and Eastern. I think it used to be an airline but America West got bought out by U.S. Airways.

K1: I’m getting tired–running out of ideas. How about it honey–would you please turn off the light?
K2: OK with me. Let’s sleep on it. Maybe we’ll come up with something we can use on Kimmel, GMA or “Today,” tomorrow.

*I wrote this post after daydreaming in my Minnetonka, MN office. When I left the office shortly after writing my “daydream” down, I noticed there were no luxury cars in the parking lot (indicating that no flashy celebrities had dropped by to grab an early-evening “nooner” in one of the low-rent offices in my office building. In fact, my beaten-up Subaru was the only car in the parking lot. Hence my daydream, as recounted in this post, was not affected by any sounds I might have “overheard,” because I was the only person left in the whole office building when I wrote this post. (Which is why I called it a “dream.”)

© 2013 Bruce Lansky
All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced without proper notice of copyright.

Kim and Kanye’s Callous Baby-Naming Publicity Campaign Continues

I just received four news reports about the latest in Kim and Kanye’s successful campaign to turn the future birth of their baby into valuable publicity for themselves. In my last note, I suggested that North (a name proposed by Kanye) was so bad that Kim should veto it and then they could claim that the rumor was a spoof on over-the-top celebrity baby-naming ego trips.

Well their over-the-top, ego-tripping publicity campaign continues. Now it’s Kim’s turn to propose silly options:

  • Giving the baby a name that begins with K: Khrist (Christ spelled with a K).
  • If the baby is a girl, naming her Easton West. (An idea that is almost as silly as North West.)

No, they are not “spoofing” the self-indulgent practice of celebrities who give their babies ridiculous names. They are escalating the concept of using baby names for publicity. Now, both Kim and Kanye are doing it. Fact is, they are implementing a well-planned and highly successful publicity campaign using the tactic of proposing silly names for the baby they expect in July.

And they continue to receive millions of publicity impressions every time they come up with another ludicrous  name. Although they are not the first celebrity couple to use their babies’ names to increase their own notoriety, they have raised the “art” of baby-name publicity exploitation to new heights.

Some publicists believe there is no such thing as “bad publicity.” I suppose that’s true for celebrities who don’t care what people think of them–or what their child will think of them when he or she winds up  with North West, Easton West, Khrist West or some other embarrassing name.

When most people hear about celebrity babies with outlandish  names, they say, “What were their parents thinking?” Now we know what Kim and Kanye are thinking. They are proposing lame baby names so people will wonder whether they could possibly be so clueless and callous as to actually use them. Based on their behavior to date, the answer appears to be: yes. And because people believe they just might pick a ridiculous name for their baby, their publicity campaign is racking up huge exposure. People are wondering, what will they come up with  next? Not because they think Kim and Kanye are creative and funny; but because Kim and Kanye seem so desperate to do anything for a mention in the media.

Unfortunately for Kim and Kanye, their campaign works precisely because they’ve convinced the American public they think picking a loony name for their child would be funny. They still don’t seem to understand that the joke is on them. They seem determined to lead the list of celebrities who are famous for their bad judgment. And in that respect, their crazy campaign is working.

© 2013 Bruce Lansky
All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced without proper notice of copyright.

North West: The Name Kanye West Is Contemplating for His Baby Boy

Yesterday I received three news reports from different sources about the name Kanye West has been considering, in public, for the baby he and Kim Kardashian (aka “Kimye”) are expecting in July.

There are two issues that merit discussion: the “jokey” name he is contemplating, and West’s candor about his completely un-serious approach to the process of baby-naming.

  • Entertainmentwise.com reports that “Kanye West and Kim Kardashian like to think of themselves as trendsetters.”
  • Contactmusic.com reports that “the rapper wants to show his sense of humour by naming the tot North West. A source told ‘The Sun’ newspaper: ‘Kanye’s ego is something else…'”
  • “International Business Times” may have the most realistic take on speculation about “Kimye’s” baby boy: “But naming the baby North could just be a joke West is trying to play on fans. He’s also reportedly planning on naming his new album “I Am God,” something else Kardashian might have a problem with. As of now he’s just toying with the idea.”

So we don’t really know what “Kimye” will name their baby boy. What we do know is that treating the matter as a big joke, trying to establish “trendsetter” status by picking a ridiculous name, and injecting parental ego into the naming process is bound to produce a ridiculous result that will be a millstone around the child’s neck for life.

What has attracted me to this issue (even though it may be a prenatal joke) is West’s admittedly jokey and self-indulgent approach to baby-naming which can also be deduced from “What were they thinking?” names other celebrities have given their babies over the years from Apple to Dweezil to Pilot Inspektor and Zuma Nesta Rock.

If Kim doesn’t put an end to the farce by vetoing North West, I’ll have to give it two thumbs down. (Because the joke would be on Kanye, Kim and North.) However, if it turns out to be a purposeful spoof of everything that’s wrong with celebrity baby-naming, and, at the last minute they give their boy a reasonable name, I’ll applaud their joke and their judgement.

© 2013 Bruce Lansky
All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced without proper notice of copyright.