Russia Lets Internet Name New Missile... Let's Help Them Out


This week, in his own version of the “October surprise,” Russian President Vladimir Putin announced just three weeks before Russia’s presidential election that his country was developing heavy cruise missiles with nearly unlimited range that could slip nuclear payloads past American missile defense systems.

According to The Washington Post, Putin also said his country has tested a nuclear-powered missile which could fool defense systems by attacking via odd, unpredictable routes, like around the tip of South America.

“No one listened to us,” Putin said, apparently trying to do his best impression of a villain from a Jerry Bruckheimer movie. “Listen to us now.”

In spite of several reports stating that U.S. intelligence had witnessed the failure of this system in testing and that it was nowhere near operational (one source told CNN that “the United States had observed a small number of Russian tests of its nuclear-powered cruise missile and seen them all crash”), if you’re in Russia’s shoes, developing such a missile is probably a good idea. After all, if they can manage it, America would be forced to spend lots of money to upgrade our missile defense technology.

Then Russia decided they would go to the internet to decide what to name their new weapon. That was a very, very, very, extremely, extraordinarily, highly and did I mention very bad idea.

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And that’s not all, according to The Daily Caller News Foundation. You can also go and suggest a name for their new underwater drone and laser weaponry, too!

If I have to explain why this is such a bad idea, you clearly aren’t familiar with how the internet works. Perhaps the most infamous case of this was when the U.K. wanted a name for its new polar research vessel. Instead of a serious name, internet users coalesced behind the moniker “Boaty McBoatface,” which was the most popular response.

While the ship was eventually christened the RRS Sir David Attenborough, the vessel’s unmanned underwater search exploration vehicle was later given the internet-appointed title.

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Less family-friendly responses resulted when 4chan users decided to swarm a poll to name a new flavor of Mountain Dew back in 2012. Among the popular names in the poll that we can actually print here were “Moist Nugget,” “Diabeetus” and “Hitler Did Nothing Wrong.” And then there was Stephen Colbert’s schtick of hijacking pretty much every internet naming poll around during his time at Comedy Central.

Needless to say, Twitter users went wild with possible names for the new Russian missile. Various themes on Boaty McBoatface seemed to dominate the early voting, with “Rocket McRocketface,” “Missile McMissileface,” “Nukey McNukeface” and “Bankrupty McTheRussianPeople-Face” all making the rounds.

Now, the name that instantly sprang to mind for this writer was the “Gen. Buck Turgidson,” inspired by the ultra-right wing Air Force leader in “Dr. Strangelove” who recommends bombing the Soviets back to the Stone Age and beyond at every possible opportunity.

Of course, given the plot of the movie, this would end with cataclysmic nuclear war if his advice were followed. But so would the usage of Turgidson missile, so it would serve as a friendly reminder for our friends in the Kremlin.

However, something that tame probably won’t fly in the age of “Boaty McBoatface” or “Moist Nugget.” If you want to vote, the website is here; although it’s in Russian, it’s pretty easy to ascertain what to do via pictures.

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Just remember this much, though: unlike the folks at Mountain Dew, this is a poll being run by a country in the grasp of a humorless bald joke with a penchant for killing his adversaries. So, vote carefully, and remember to have your soup checked for polonium next time you’re at a restaurant.

Please like and share on Facebook and Twitter to help the Russians pick a name for this missile. Nudge nudge, wink wink.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture