Juneau? Ju-YES!

Posted: Wednesday, August 04, 2010

With so many things going on this summer, it's hard to settle on any one topic for this Wednesday's column.

For instance, I could wax philosophic about the return of blueberry season, especially now that my daughter Paige is old enough to go picking with me. The past two weeks she's consumed so many blubes it's literally turned her turds purple. Incandescent purple. Seriously, they look like the little Grimace figurines that come in your Happy Meal.

I could also discuss the recent tragedy of the humpback/cruise ship collision down by Tracy Arm. But that's kind of a downer, especially the way Paige keeps talking about it in her limited 2 1/2 year-old vocabulary.

"The mommy whale fell into the boat," she says during any lull in the conversation. "Then she wasn't feeling good."

See what I mean? Absolutely heartbreaking.

Likewise, I'm tempted to explore the ramifications of this past Friday's pre-natal ultra-sound, in which my wife and I discovered - surprise! - that several months ago, the previous technician incorrectly predicted the sex of our impending second child. In the immortal words of this most recent tech (and subsequently confirmed by her supervisor): "Yeah, I'm seeing a hot dog, not a hamburger." Let the circumcision debate begin.

But those are all too easy, not to mention self-involved. As I approach my one-year anniversary of penning "Slack Tide" every other week for the Juneau Empire, I thought I'd do something a little more community-minded.

And it's definitely for a good cause. How many of you know Juneau appears to be on the verge of getting a slogan, and, I'd imagine, a whole public relations campaign?

That's right - we're about to be branded. The Juneau Chamber of Commerce, the Juneau Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Downtown Business Association are, according to an online survey available at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/CYVMV7X, "looking for a slogan that evokes pride in our city." The survey then offers five slogans under consideration, which users are invited to rate on a scale from "best" to "awful."

Brace yourselves - here are the choices:

• Lovin' Juneau

• Juneau - Wet Wild & Wonderful

• We Love Juneau

• Love You Juneau

• Juneau - We Love It!

Now, before I continue, let me qualify. I'm lazier than a basset hound on Quaaludes; I don't do investigative journalism, at least not for this column (at least not while it's sunny). I don't know anything more about this potential slogan other than that an online survey exists.

However, it doesn't take much research to determine that if we aren't careful, we could easily wind up with something even worse than Anchorage's tragic "Big Wild Life." And it will probably come at a cost of millions - municipal dollars we might otherwise devote to building more parking lots. For that money, we can do better.

First of all, four of the potential slogans very closely resemble McDonald's "I'm Lovin' It." Does that really "evoke pride in our city?" To tell you the truth, I'm kind of proud that we don't support fast-food franchises so well. Taco Bell folded here, for instance; Baskin Robbins, too, perhaps because in Juneau, "31 Flavors" only had 15.

That leaves "Juneau - Wet Wild & Wonderful." To me, this also seems lazy. For one, it sounds a lot like "Big Wild Life." Again, that's Anchorage, and we're not Anchorage. "Juneau - We're not Anchorage" - see, now that's a good slogan.

Also, the word "wet," while certainly apt, sort of gets a little tricky, given its potential for entendre. If we're going to use it, let's really use it, know what I mean?

Of course, I'd rather light a candle than curse the darkness (although, actually, I'd prefer to do both - nothing beats a little candle-lit profanity). In that spirit, here are my top ten suggestions:

1. Juneau - Of Course We Take Credit Cards

2. Uphill Both Ways

3. Juneau - Sarah Palin Slept Here... Once.

4. Land of the Free, Home of the Beat-up Subaru

5. You Really Should've Been Here Yesterday

6. Juneau It!

7. If You Lived Here, You'd be Complaining This Was Your Home by Now

8. Juneau? Ju-YES!

9. Hell Hath No Fury Like a Juneauite Forced to Drink Fluoridated Ground Water.

10. Juneau - Where Girls Become Boys, Whales Get Hit by Luxury Liners, and Toddlers Crap Purple All Summer Long.

Consider these idea starters. The survey explicitly invites participants to write in their own ideas. So come on, Juneau, let's round up the same grassroots effort we mustered to bring Google Broadband to here - whatever happened with that, by the way?

Doesn't matter. If we put all our 30,988 heads to it, I know can come up with a really special slogan, one that truly captures the essence of the Capital City.

Or, we could just go with a decal of Calvin urinating on Sitka.

• Geoff Kirsch is a writer in Juneau. His column publishes every other week. Visit his website at www.geoffkirsch.com.

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