Memo to NASA: you are trifling with forces you cannot hope to understand

The National Air and Space Administration, with its  glory days of Apollo 11 sprinting into the past like a juiced-up ultra-marathon runner, had an idea: A contest where people could vote for the name of the new International Space Station module. It would be a great PR exercise, and could help get people excited about something everyone knows is there, but has no good idea about what it does. They even came up with some vaguely inspirational suggestions, like "Serenity". Their only error was to allow write-in ballots.

Sensing NASA's blunder, Stephen Colbert asked his fans to vote "Colbert" for the module name. And he won, with over five times the votes of the nearest NASA suggested competitor.

So, will the ISS have a brand new Colbert Module in a few weeks time? NASA says it "reserves the right to choose the final name" but will give "top consideration" to the vote leaders. This is what it sounds like when a huge government agency tries to squirm out of something.

I say they'd better name the module Colbert, lest they invoke the wrath of Colbert's dark legions. The people have spoken, and it was democracy that enabled the industrial and scientific prowess that allowed NASA to do anything remotely cool in the first place. And let this be a cautionary tale to others who may be planning similar promotions. The fanboys are mighty, and they will go where their master leads.

And now, a song by the prospective ISS namesake: