Saturday, April 22, 2017

Schlumbergera seedling no. 181

181A is the only seedling from the NOID magenta to bloom magenta, which isn't exactly interesting but it's kind of the best I can do.1

The name finalists: Divoon, Kiss Them For Me, Margaret Atwood, Remedial Optimism.

Divoon and Kiss Them For Me are both related to Jayne Mansfield (1950s/60s actress and sex symbol) and the Siouxie and the Banshees song "Kiss Them for Me," previously discussed in the post for seedling 182A Padparadscha.

Margaret Atwood is, of course, the Canadian novelist / poet / environmental activist / Twitter enthusiast, who I probably don't really need to identify because she's kind of having a moment, what with The Handmaid's Tale being adapted as a TV series on Hulu and everything. Why seedling 181 specifically? I did an image search for Atwood, and on the rare occasions when she chooses to wear a non-neutral color to be photographed in, it's often a color similar to 181A's: fuchsia, magenta, pink, lavender. That neighborhood.2

Remedial Optimism is sort of random-word nonsense and sort of not. I could probably use a refresher class in how to be optimistic. You know what happens to skills that you don't practice.

So. Not particularly taken with Remedial Optimism. Divoon and Kiss Them For Me are both similar enough in meaning and referents that I should probably choose one or the other, so let's drop the longer of the two. Which leaves us with Divoon and Margaret Atwood.

I keep thinking that I should try to bring back some old slang words, like The Darb (considered for seedlings 200A and 176A) or Divoon, though I never actually do. Haven't even gotten particularly close. So maybe Divoon is overdue, sorta.

I also considered Gallop for a while in the selection process, for reasons which may or may not be obvious.

On the other hand, Margaret Atwood is an important writer to me personally. I really love Cat's Eye and The Robber Bride, both for themselves and because I encountered them at an impressionable age.3 Also Lady Oracle is wonderful, and deserves more attention than it usually gets. (She lost me somewhere around Alias Grace / The Blind Assassin: I own copies of both but have only read the former one time, and was never able to get very far into the latter.4)

On balance, I have to go with Margaret Atwood. Whatever difficulties I've had with some of her books, I can recite portions of the others from memory, I've read them so often. I kinda have to. So: 181A Margaret Atwood.


1 Two other magenta seedlings, 132A [name TBD] and 281A No Bad Vibez, came from the NOID white; a third magenta seedling (165A [name TBD]) came from the NOID peach, which was unexpected.
2 Not exclusively or anything. Quite a few reds and orangey reds, and there's one photo involving a turquoise scarf that pops up over and over. But still. Seemed like a good color to go with, if I'm going to name a seedling after her.
3 So impressionable that, when I look at the short stories I wrote during and just after college, Atwood is probably the author whose style I rip off the most. (Along with Lorrie Moore, David Foster Wallace, Katherine Mansfield, Jay McInerney, and fellow Canadian Douglas Coupland.)
4 I've also read all three of the MaddAddam books (Oryx and Crake, The Year of the Flood, MaddAddam, each only once. I had trouble suspending disbelief for both books, in particular the clunky and awful names for places and things (RejoovenEsence, rakunk, pigoon, ChickieNobs).
These were apparently deliberate on Atwood's part: she was making some kind of point about something, I read it in an article a while back and it made sense, even if can't remember what the point was now. But it was still really distracting. I mean, there are people out there who specialize in finding pleasant-sounding, memorable names for new products / businesses / etc. now. I found it hard to believe that a process that, in the early 21st century, manages to come up with Roomba, Altria, Mondelez, Xe, and so forth is going to give us CorpSeCorps in a couple decades. There's no way CorpSeCorps gets past a focus group.
It's not a big deal exactly (though by now you should understand that naming things properly is really important to me), but the books were full of stuff like that, not just the names but all kinds of stuff that threw me out of the story because I just couldn't believe that things could get quite that lurid and cartoony. Though that was a few years ago: I suppose my baseline for how lurid and cartoony is too lurid and cartoony has moved since then. :^(

1 comment:

Saby said...

Is it just me, or are her petals particularly wide, and round at tips? Combined with the thin magenta margins this one looks pretty darling!