“the high one” or “the great one.”
August 30, 2015 3:56 PM   Subscribe

Mount McKinley Will Again Be Called Denali [New York Times]
President Obama announced on Sunday that Mount McKinley was being renamed Denali, restoring an Alaska Native name with deep cultural significance to the tallest mountain in North America. The move came on the eve of Mr. Obama’s trip to Alaska, where he will spend three days promoting aggressive action to combat climate change, and is part of a series of steps meant to address the concerns of Alaska Native tribes. The central Alaska mountain has been called Mount McKinley for more than a century. In announcing that Sally Jewell, the secretary of the interior, had used her power to rename it, Mr. Obama was paying tribute to the state’s Native population, which has referred to the site for generations as Denali, meaning “the high one” or “the great one.”
posted by Fizz (131 comments total) 50 users marked this as a favorite
 
this gives me hope
posted by PinkMoose at 3:57 PM on August 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Awesome!
posted by oceanjesse at 3:58 PM on August 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oh yay~!!!
posted by Deoridhe at 3:59 PM on August 30, 2015


That's something I've wished for since I was a teenager. Of course it's only one of a bajillion renamed places, but it's a special one, and the symbolic value is high.
posted by Miko at 4:03 PM on August 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


I glanced at this, misread "Mr. Obama" as "Mt. Obama", and got a very inaccurate impression of how he's ending his presidency.
posted by Rangi at 4:05 PM on August 30, 2015 [38 favorites]


However the GMC Denali truck will now be the McKinley.
posted by w0mbat at 4:05 PM on August 30, 2015 [123 favorites]


Fair deal.
posted by Drinky Die at 4:07 PM on August 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


Curious. Within the climbing community it has been known as Denali for years. To be honest I had assumed that its name had officially changed years ago.
posted by tim_in_oz at 4:08 PM on August 30, 2015 [24 favorites]


Excellent news! Denali is a much better name, and McKinley was a jerk, anyways.
posted by barnacles at 4:11 PM on August 30, 2015


This is just like, such a fundamentally decent thing to do that it's surprising that it hadn't happened already. I'm glad it did now.
posted by dismas at 4:11 PM on August 30, 2015 [6 favorites]


Curious. Within the climbing community it has been known as Denali for years. To be honest I had assumed that its name had officially changed years ago.

I had also thought that the name had already been changed -- I have only heard people say Denali, and never McKinley, for at least a decade and probably longer.

Regardless of my misperceptions, this is great news and I am glad that they finally made the official change.
posted by Dip Flash at 4:12 PM on August 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


ideal next step: kick that shitstain jackson off the $20
posted by poffin boffin at 4:16 PM on August 30, 2015 [105 favorites]


Mt. McKinley is the new Army Street.
posted by grumpybear69 at 4:17 PM on August 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


Head check from #indigenous Twitter: it's not being "renamed" Denali, it was always Denali.
posted by Miko at 4:18 PM on August 30, 2015 [58 favorites]


I glanced at this, misread "Mr. Obama" as "Mt. Obama", and got a very inaccurate impression of how he's ending his presidency.

Oh, don't worry. I guarantee that a significant chunk of the right-wing media is covering the story as evidence of the "imperial" Obama.

This is a solid, decent move by the President. Unquestionably the right thing to do.
posted by Xavier Xavier at 4:21 PM on August 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


Now to get "Willis" changed back to "Sears"....
posted by 1367 at 4:23 PM on August 30, 2015 [43 favorites]


Obama is clearly in the pocket of Big Map. Don't force cartographic obsolescence on us, Mr President!
posted by Gorgik at 4:23 PM on August 30, 2015 [15 favorites]


Relevant: List of city name changes. [wiki]
posted by Fizz at 4:32 PM on August 30, 2015


McKinley was a Republican, wasn't he? How long until there's a bill in the House to rename JFK airport back to Idlewild?
posted by uncleozzy at 4:32 PM on August 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


seriously though this is one of my greatest rage inducing peeves of all time and it is a great thing to see stuff like this corrected, with americanized (or hispanized) names thrown out and indigenous words used as they should be. indigenous language death due to imperialism and white exceptionalism isn't just something that happened 500 years ago, or even just 100 years ago; it's still happening today.
posted by poffin boffin at 4:33 PM on August 30, 2015 [21 favorites]


Yeah, I could have sworn it's been called Denali, officially, for years now. Totally a deja vu of the brain! Maybe it's the National Park of the mountain that was "Denali," while the mountain itself was "Mount McKinley." If that's the case, they're equivalent in terms of what they denote in the world, but one is a government institution where the other is a geographic feature, so this would resolve a cartographic inconsistency.
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 4:34 PM on August 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Count me as another who thought it was already Denali. My only magazine subscription is 'Outside' and not sure if that would have made me more or less aware of that.
posted by jimmythefish at 4:34 PM on August 30, 2015


To most Alaskans, it has always been Denali. This is great news for Alaskans, Native and non-Native!
posted by Foam Pants at 4:35 PM on August 30, 2015


Woot! A Good Thing.
posted by parki at 4:37 PM on August 30, 2015


I'd been working on a post of my own; here are some of the links I found while researching it:
  • An Alaska Native, Walter Harper, was the first person to set foot on the summit of Denali as part of the Stuck-Karstens expedition. In 2014, a ranger station was renamed in his honor.
  • From the order [PDF] by Interior Secretary Sally Jewell:
    Denali is a local Athabascan name for the mountain, which is the highest in North America and is located entirely within Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska. The mountain was originally named after President William McKinley of Ohio, but President McKinley never visited, nor did he have any significant historical connection to, themountain or to Alaska.
  • Commentary by Alaska Native News about the "congressional name game," including a description of how the Ohio congressional delegation was able to block the name change for so long.
  • A piece on the Talking Alaska blog about the many names Denali has had over the centuries.
  • From an essay [PDF] by James Kari on the naming controversy:
    The name Denali is from the Koyukon name. This name does not translate as 'The Great One', but is instead based on the verb theme meaning 'high' or 'tall'. William Dickey's statement, "The Indians of Cook Inlet have always called this the Bulshaia (great) mountain", is not correct. This is the Russian name 'big' that Dickey happened to record.
    ...
    Athabaskans, in marked contrast to Euro-American cultures, never name places after people, and its [sic] is absolutely unthinkable to them that the tallest mountain in their traditional territory should be named for a mortal.
posted by metaquarry at 4:40 PM on August 30, 2015 [30 favorites]


Mountain don't care.
posted by srboisvert at 4:41 PM on August 30, 2015 [16 favorites]


Oh, wow, the backstory! If you like reading about byzantine political maneuvers and policy loopholes, you will definitely want to read the Wikipedia article on the naming dispute.
The following year, [Ohio] Congressman [Ralph] Regula devised a new tactic to support the Mount McKinley name. Capitalizing on a Board on Geographic Names policy that states the Board cannot consider any name-change proposal if congressional legislation relating to that name is pending, Regula began a biennial legislative tradition of either introducing language into Interior Department appropriation bills or introducing a standalone bill that states that the name of Mount McKinley shall not be changed. This effectively killed the Denali name-change proposal pending with the Board on Geographic Names.
Regula did this every other year for almost 30 years.

I am imagining him sitting in a dark and drafty home in front of an old Zenith TV with vertical-hold problems. He's waiting for a call from his mechanic regarding the 1982 Daihatsu Taft 4x4 he had specially imported three decades ago and has owned ever since. Parts were impossible to find and Regula has been riding a scooter to paid speaking engagements for the last eight months.

"Hello," his mechanic will say. "I fixed your Daihatsu Taft again. Even though it cost more than it's worth, it was still worth it. That is because former Ohio Senator Robert Taft was the greatest senator ever. Your wife was wrong and you were right. Never let this go and never ever buy the GMC Denali she wanted."

Click. Greatest husband/congressman EVER.
posted by compartment at 4:43 PM on August 30, 2015 [51 favorites]


Mountain don't care.
That's true, but people do care. The right thing to do here is to acknowledge that the name of the mountain is Denali.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 4:44 PM on August 30, 2015 [18 favorites]


Genuine question: When referring correctly to the mountain, is it just Denali, or is it Mt. Denali or something like that?
posted by kafziel at 4:47 PM on August 30, 2015


Speaking as a former resident of Anchorage: just Denali.
posted by metaquarry at 4:48 PM on August 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


When referring correctly to the mountain, is it just Denali, or is it Mt. Denali or something like that?

Mr. Denali is fine when we're at the office but at home I'm just plain Denali.
posted by Fizz at 4:49 PM on August 30, 2015 [12 favorites]


Why don't the Ohioans rename their tallest peak after McKinley and let bygones be bygones?
Campbell Hill is, at 1,550 feet (472 m), the highest point in elevation in the U.S. state of Ohio.
Ah. Right. Well. I'm terribly sorry to point out the Ohioans'...little problem.
posted by Celsius1414 at 4:49 PM on August 30, 2015 [36 favorites]


This is amazing, and count me also among the people who had thought it had been changed long ago. Plus OMG Ohio Congressional delegation, way to be unbelievable dicks.
posted by LobsterMitten at 4:49 PM on August 30, 2015


This is awesome. I feel like I might be the only person whose main association with the word Denali was ice cream. Glad to be educated!
posted by mollymayhem at 4:53 PM on August 30, 2015


tim_in_oz: "To be honest I had assumed that its name had officially changed years ago."

I had this weird moment where I was like "Wait. There are going to be two Mt. Denali's now? Isn't that going to be confusing?"
posted by Mitheral at 4:53 PM on August 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


I had a brief moment of rage before realizing Obama hadn't renamed the mountain Desani.
posted by klangklangston at 4:55 PM on August 30, 2015 [5 favorites]




Thanks, Obama.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 5:06 PM on August 30, 2015 [9 favorites]


I had a brief moment of rage before realizing Obama hadn't renamed the mountain Desani.

Mt. Dew was on the table.
posted by jimmythefish at 5:07 PM on August 30, 2015 [14 favorites]


Good!
posted by Going To Maine at 5:10 PM on August 30, 2015


I was hoping to do some rage-reading on this, so I checked Twitter - but it was a dry well.

Until I came on the Fox News link to same, and started reading replies to that. THANKS, OBUMBO!
posted by ftm at 5:11 PM on August 30, 2015


From the list of renamed places (linked to above):
Pile o' Bones → Regina

CHANGE IT BACK!
posted by arcticwoman at 5:12 PM on August 30, 2015 [26 favorites]


For the record, most of us in Hawaii know to call Diamondhead by its actual name, Leahi.
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:13 PM on August 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


If it were Mount Denial, I would live in it.
posted by Devonian at 5:14 PM on August 30, 2015 [7 favorites]


In just under six years there is no small possibility it will be renamed Mount Trump Tower.
posted by Nevin at 5:15 PM on August 30, 2015 [6 favorites]


McKinley was a Republican, wasn't he? How long until there's a bill in the House to rename JFK airport back to Idlewild?
Well, there is Reagan National Airport in D.C. (actually Arlington, VA, but facts never stopped - or even slowed - his fans)
posted by oneswellfoop at 5:34 PM on August 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


You must be native Alaskan royalty because you're the Queen of Denali.

so close
posted by GuyZero at 5:36 PM on August 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


Well, there is Reagan National Airport in D.C.

If you say so, but nobody has ever actually called it that, so can we be sure it actually happened?
posted by zachlipton at 5:44 PM on August 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


Last year, I went on an Alaskan vacation and saw Denali (among other wonders). It's an awesome site.
posted by jonmc at 5:49 PM on August 30, 2015


How long until we call Everest by its native names, which are Sagarmāthā in Nepal, and in Chomolungma in Tibet?
posted by beagle at 6:03 PM on August 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


How long until we call Everest by its native names, which are Sagarmāthā in Nepal, and in Chomolungma in Tibet?

FWIW, Sir George Everest -- pronounced EE-vrest -- was always in favour of doing just that.
posted by Sys Rq at 6:11 PM on August 30, 2015 [21 favorites]


if ohioans want to dictate the name of the mountain so badly, i suggest that we simply move the mountain to ohio - columbus would be a good place - specifically right about where OSU is
posted by pyramid termite at 6:13 PM on August 30, 2015 [8 favorites]


Thanks, Obama.

De nali.
posted by Rock Steady at 6:25 PM on August 30, 2015 [14 favorites]


Pro tip: if you meet someone that claims the McKinkey name should be retained because of "tradition," ask them how they think places like Massachusetts, Connecticut, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan and the Dakotas got their names.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 6:25 PM on August 30, 2015 [10 favorites]


My favorite Fox News comment:

DENALI = DEN OF ALI = HOME OF MUSLIMS

But they're all good, really. You can't parody these people, there's nowhere left to go.
posted by George_Spiggott at 6:50 PM on August 30, 2015 [13 favorites]


if ohioans want to dictate the name of the mountain so badly, i suggest that we simply move the mountain to ohio - columbus would be a good place - specifically right about where OSU is


I'd be fine with that. It would mean we'd actually get some topography around here, which, as others have mentioned, we sorely need. And, my office is under renovation anyway, so no harm no foul, at least on my end of things.
posted by damayanti at 6:50 PM on August 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Pro tip: if you meet someone that claims the McKinkey name should be retained because of "tradition," ask them how they think places like Massachusetts, Connecticut, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan and the Dakotas got their names.

lol the last time i pointed this out on mefi i got a smug lecture on how many possible ways there are to pronounce these mysterious foreign words and how difficult and confusing native american words are for non-natives to understand
posted by poffin boffin at 7:09 PM on August 30, 2015 [6 favorites]


Next, Mt Tahoma please.
posted by Mei's lost sandal at 7:10 PM on August 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


Mt. Dew was on the table.

That naming wouldn't work. The mountain really isn't that EXTREME!!!!!!!
posted by jonp72 at 7:30 PM on August 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


One: this is both the Right Thing To Do and some of the most righteous trolling by Obama, *ever*.

Two: Fizz: "Mr. Denali is fine when we're at the office but at home I'm just plain Denali." Reminds me of a rather tall fellow ("high one"?) of my acquaintance that always stood at the back of shows so he didn't get in the way--rather conscientious Jeff was. One time a guy kinda smooshed himself behind my friend, then complained to his companion about the tall motherfucker blocking his view to which my friend turned to him and said, "That's *Mister* tall motherfucker to you."

Three: Aren't, like, better-than-half the states named using Native words?
posted by notsnot at 7:30 PM on August 30, 2015


The mountain came to be known as Mount McKinley after a gold prospector who had just emerged from exploring the Alaska Range heard that Mr. McKinley had won the Republican presidential nomination, and declared that the tallest peak should be named in his honor as a show of support.

I'd always assumed that it was named/renamed after McKinley because of his assassination. But 'simply' because he was nominated? God, what a terrible precedent -- Mount Dole, Mount Romney, Mount Dewey...
posted by Capt. Renault at 7:40 PM on August 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


I'd always assumed that it was named/renamed after McKinley because of his assassination.

From the wiki:
Dickey wrote, “We named our great peak Mount McKinley, after William McKinley of Ohio, who had been nominated for the Presidency."[5] By most accounts, the naming was politically driven; Dickey had met many silver miners who zealously promoted Democratic presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan's ideal of a silver standard, inspiring him to retaliate by naming the mountain after a strong proponent of the gold standard.[5]
posted by Fizz at 7:43 PM on August 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


Aren't, like, better-than-half the states named using Native words?


Not just states- in Canada, most people don't have a problem with Frobisher Bay being called Iqualuit again; or that Buttplug, Manitoba reverted back to its original Western Cree name of Winnipeg.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 7:44 PM on August 30, 2015 [15 favorites]


Good move. Next maybe recognize the Duwamish tribe that GWB denied out of spite to Clinton, and that you've been punting for almost 8 years now?
posted by emptythought at 7:45 PM on August 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


Mountain don't care.

Well - in Western cosmologies, people consider things like mountains basically inanimate, and from a Western perspective you could say this is a human argument and that it makes no difference to the mountain, for whatever that's worth. But that's not true in many indigenous cosmologies, and it's possible that for many people who care, the mountain (or at least its animating entitities) does care; in fact, the problem here has been the Western perspective on the mountain, which is that it's just plain raw territory for any conqueror to take and rename as it sees fit.

But as Arbitrary and Capricious points out, you don't have to believe the mountain cares to believe that many people care and to support their desire to retain its original name. Still, it's worth pointing out that we don't have to always assume the Western cosmology is the correct default.
posted by Miko at 7:49 PM on August 30, 2015 [14 favorites]


Hah, over half of Michigan's "Indian" names are fake. There was an author, Henry Schoolcraft, who traveled all through the territory from 1820 to about 1840. When it came time to name a bunch of Michigan counties before it became a state, he just made them up by mixing Latin, Arabic, and Native American names together.

Our ancestors were really fucking quaint.
posted by disclaimer at 8:11 PM on August 30, 2015 [16 favorites]


Yeah, I could have sworn it's been called Denali, officially, for years now. Totally a deja vu of the brain! Maybe it's the National Park of the mountain that was "Denali," while the mountain itself was "Mount McKinley."

Yes, the park was combined and renamed Denali in 1980 (which I remember) and according to Wikipedia the Alaska State Board of Geographic Names changed the name of the mountain to Denali at that point as well, but the U.S. Board on Geographic Names did not recognize the change. I only have vague memories of that kerfuffle so can't confirm, but it sounds about right.
posted by rafaella gabriela sarsaparilla at 8:21 PM on August 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'd be happy to see Mt Baker be recognized as Kulshan, too, but I don't know if there's any effort in that direction currently. It's about 5 years since Haida Gwaii's name was recognized. These all feel like steps in the right direction.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 8:29 PM on August 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


So excited, just got back from visiting my sister in Fairbanks and we talked about this very issue while spending time in Denali National Park. I hadn't realized the basis of the Mt. McKinley moniker, and we are from Ohio! It is such a ridiculous story and I was happy that even the park rangers basically referred to the mountain as Denali.

It was a great visit and I'm looking forward to going back and getting to spend more time exploring Alaska. She has spent her life trying to protect areas like Denali and I am grateful there are places like this that I can take my children to visit. Getting to see 2 bear cubs play around while their mom looked on was pretty amazing. And while that protection is the important aspect, I find myself looking forward to calling my sister and having a little celebration over this official name change.
posted by dawg-proud at 8:52 PM on August 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


(Also the Hawaiian name for Koko Head is Kohelepelepe which, in addition to being the correct and much prettier name, is connected to a traditional story about a flying labia. I think we can all agree that's a much better name.)
posted by Joey Michaels at 9:02 PM on August 30, 2015 [8 favorites]


It's about 5 years since Haida Gwaii's name was recognized. These all feel like steps in the right direction. There has been some movement in Alaska to recognize places by the names given to them by the Native Alaskan group who traditionally live there. It's slow but steady. There are also a few publications that have collected place names but the Metafilter user who knows the most about that would be D.C.
posted by Foam Pants at 9:02 PM on August 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Now let's change Costco back to Price Club 'cause that's what I still call it.
posted by pibeandres at 9:11 PM on August 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


After Denali, there will be Republican anger. Followed by some fruitless attempts at bargaining. Then depression, and finally acceptance.
posted by Kabanos at 9:18 PM on August 30, 2015 [8 favorites]


there will be Republican anger

Especially from the Gold Standard nutbars.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:24 PM on August 30, 2015


McKinley was a jerk, anyways.

So, I'll be honest. Other than the Spanish-American War, did McKinley really do anything?
posted by qcubed at 9:30 PM on August 30, 2015


He annexed Hawaii, which is part of why I keep bringing up the Hawaiian names for Oahu's mountains.
posted by Joey Michaels at 10:05 PM on August 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


Welp, I'm an idiot, I spent years wondering why the car and occasional child was named "Denali."

I do the same for Annapurna.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:24 PM on August 30, 2015


Now let's change Costco back to Price Club 'cause that's what I still call it.

While we're at it, let's change Walmart back to Al's Grocery, Brighton Hardware, Main St. Pharmacy, Pop's, Funtown Toys, Sid's Glamour, Grawley Home & Garden, Dress-a-Toddler, Treadwell Muffler, Highway 19 Tires, Mom's Own, Betty's Party Lights, The Lemonade Stand....
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 10:57 PM on August 30, 2015 [11 favorites]


Alaska Dispatch News:
McKinley no more: America's tallest peak to be renamed Denali
. Part of their series on President Obama in Alaska
posted by leahwrenn at 11:14 PM on August 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Granted I've only lived in the state a bit more than a dozen years, but I can't recall ever hearing an Alaskan refer to it as "Mount McKinley".
posted by Nerd of the North at 11:19 PM on August 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


Denali ain't just a river in Egytp.
posted by univac at 11:27 PM on August 30, 2015 [9 favorites]


Hoo boy, the Fox News article comments:

"Tell me liberals if we came from filthy monkey men THEN WHY ARE THERE STILL FILTHY MONKEY MEN?

SCIENCE IS THE MOUTH PIECE OF SATAN!"

Perhaps Obama is just doing these great things in the fourth quarter of his presidency to generate some alternative form of power. Fox News comment electricity generators.
posted by vverse23 at 11:38 PM on August 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


SCIENCE IS THE MOUTH PIECE OF SATAN!

Science is responsible for that caps lock key, amongst other infernal wonders, so he might have a point.
posted by Celsius1414 at 12:39 AM on August 31, 2015 [6 favorites]


If this kind of thing interests you, I can recommend the book From Squaw Tit to Whorehouse Meadow: How Maps Name, Claim, and Inflame by Mark Monmonnier.
posted by brokkr at 1:34 AM on August 31, 2015 [6 favorites]


I despise the tradition of naming things after politicians - except for the failed attempt to rechristen a sewage treatment plant the George Bush Memorial Sewage treatment plant. I still call National Airport in Washington D.C. "National Airport" and most taxi drivers still find it.

Obama is just doing these superficial things in the fourth quarter of his presidency because after three scoreless quarters Skippy's getting desperate to avoid a shutout. Pity the Constitution doesn't provide for a pinch hitter.
posted by three blind mice at 3:33 AM on August 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


Now let's change Costco back to Price Club 'cause that's what I still call it.

The first rule of Price Club is, you do not talk about Price Club.

(Seriously, is that what happened to Price Club? I always wondered.)
posted by theorique at 4:35 AM on August 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


Obama's resurgence and gives-no-fucks attitude this year has been a joy to behold.

Regarding the name change, I am pretty young and still learned Mt. McKinley in school, but some time in the past ten years or so I noticed a shift wherein saying Denali instead became a shibboleth for cultural competency. Nice job Mr. President, now you can hang with us!
posted by telegraph at 5:32 AM on August 31, 2015


Obama is just doing these superficial things in the fourth quarter of his presidency because after three scoreless quarters Skippy's getting desperate to avoid a shutout.

I suspect that a large portion of Alaska's population feel quite differently about this.

The thing about "no-brainer" actions like this one is that somebody still needs to take action and do them.

If the Obama Administration's list of accomplishments can largely be summarized as "I can't believe nobody did those things sooner," well.... that's not a bad legacy to have.

Accusing the president of trying to "score points" with this action is kind of ridiculous -- the administration just did something that corrected a long-standing injustice, and made a lot of people happy with virtually no tradeoffs.

Yes, it's totally appropriate to ask more from our government; this action required the president to do little more than pick up a pen. However, your outrage might be better targeted at the 18 presidents before Obama who didn't pick up that pen.
posted by schmod at 5:49 AM on August 31, 2015 [18 favorites]


after three scoreless quarters Skippy's getting desperate to avoid a shutout.

I'd disagree but I'll get in line behind the about 37,000 people who have coverage for their cancer now.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:25 AM on August 31, 2015 [26 favorites]


Obama is just doing these superficial things . . . fourth quarter . . . after three scoreless quarters . . . a shutout . . . pinch hitter . . .

I'm no sports fan, TBM, but it looks like you're accusing Obama of playing base-foot-ball.

I'm also not up on current trends in political name-calling: who the heck is 'Skippy'?
 
posted by Herodios at 6:27 AM on August 31, 2015 [6 favorites]


That proto-Urkel on 'Family Ties.'
posted by box at 6:36 AM on August 31, 2015


[Folks, maybe we can forgo the standard tedious, repetitive fight about Obama sucks/doesn't suck, and discuss this particular piece of news?]
posted by taz (staff) at 6:41 AM on August 31, 2015 [4 favorites]


"the great one"

Still named after McKinley, then, Ohio folk - relax!
posted by Segundus at 7:27 AM on August 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: a shibboleth for cultural competency.
posted by Segundus at 7:29 AM on August 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


jimmythefish: Mt. Dew was on the table.

jonp72: That naming wouldn't work. The mountain really isn't that EXTREME!!!!!!!

Well, history of the peak might change your mind ...

metaquarry: An Alaska Native, Walter Harper, was the first person to set foot on the summit of Denali as part of the Stuck-Karstens expedition.

Wait, what? At first, this worried me that some Alaskans were telling us tourists tall tales. See, the story I heard in Alaska was that three miners, on a dare or a bet, carried a tree trunk up the mountain as a flag pole to mark that they had reached the top of the mountain. Their only provisions were coffee, donuts, and something called skookum, and no one knows what that is any more. Two of the three guys made it to the top in a day, and the one who didn't make the summit said it was because it wasn't his turn to carry the pole. When they came back to tell everyone of what they had done, no one believed them, until the next expedition went up and saw that pole, standing at the peak.

It turns out, that story only a minor bending of the truth. It was a $500 bet that lead 7 men to band together, which got whittled down to three through in-fighting, and they spent a month setting up camp. And it was three miners who made it most of the way, except one stopped due to altitude sickness, and the two reached the north peak. It apparently took them 18 hours to get from the Muldrow Glacier to the North Summit and back, a feat that has to this day not been repeated. Unfortunately, they only reached the third-tallest peak, due to the appearance of the peaks from the ground.

In short: Denali is plenty extreme.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:36 AM on August 31, 2015 [3 favorites]


Other than the Spanish-American War, did McKinley really do anything?

He had Teddy Roosevelt on his ticket and got shot.
posted by notsnot at 8:08 AM on August 31, 2015 [3 favorites]


Other than the Spanish-American War, did McKinley really do anything?

Tariffs that helped his friends in industry at the expense of everyone else.

Anyway there is no shortage of McKinley monuments around the country.
posted by plastic_animals at 8:12 AM on August 31, 2015


Pssst, everyone jumping on the "Mountain don't care" comment: it's a funny. From those warning signs on mountains that say "Mountains don't care," meaning that yes, you can die if you do something stupid, the mountain DGAF who you are.
posted by fiercecupcake at 8:27 AM on August 31, 2015 [3 favorites]


there will be Republican anger

Well of course there will be; it's an insignificant issue that should outrage nobody.

My guess is they'll treat this with the severity of about 2.4 flag burnings and maybe 1.3 printing "In God We Trust" on money.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:31 AM on August 31, 2015


Next up: Mount Rainier. Again, alpinists are leading the way in restoring its original name.
posted by Flashman at 8:34 AM on August 31, 2015


The name switch is a good thing and I certainly don't think we need more places named after dead white dudes but I don't quite get the McKinley hate in this thread? Not the greatest president the US ever had but certainly above average. He was a staunch abolitionist who volunteered as a private for service during the Civil War, served as a commissary officer but also came under fire at Antietam among other battles, and eventually was promoted to brevet major.

His advocacy of protectionist tariffs was perhaps misguided by today's standards but certainly consistent with the mercantilist economic theory of the time and arguably helped develop American manufacturing capacity. He was cozy with big business but was reasonably even-handed by gilded age standards, and remember most labor unions were in favor of protectionist tariffs.

After becoming president McKinley himself seems to have been very ambivalent about the Spanish American war, reluctant based in part on his experiences during the Civil War and firsthand awareness of the horrors of war. It'd be a stretch to call him anti-war but he was no war monger, and let Congress decide to declare war.

He was certainly disappointing as an heir to Lincoln on race relations, but it's not like anyone else of any influence in national politics at the time was much better.

He's overshadowed by Teddy Roosevelt, but McKinley did okay and it's possible to imagine a less aggressively imperialistic United States had he served out his second term, though by no means certain.

Anywho, didn't mean to derail into McKinley land but when you compare him to his contemporaries he holds up reasonably well.
posted by Wretch729 at 8:42 AM on August 31, 2015 [3 favorites]


except for the failed attempt to rechristen a sewage treatment plant the George [W.] Bush Memorial Sewage treatment plant.

The best part of that episode was when the people who run the plant (who didn't really want the drama of that name nor the unfunded mandate to put up new signs and such) put out statements about how this is an award-winning facility recognized by the EPA and a great success for the city, so it really wouldn't be fitting to name it after W. It lost roughly 70-30 at the polls.
posted by zachlipton at 9:45 AM on August 31, 2015 [4 favorites]


Welp, there goes my hopes for a Mt. Obama in the Whites. Damn that would be sweet.

BTW, Just hiked Washington-Monroe-Franklin-Eisenhower. It is so cool that Eisenhower is the bald one.
posted by drowsy at 9:48 AM on August 31, 2015


So happy about the name change. Yay Obama!

At my old boarding school, dorms were named after mountains. We had a dorm named Denali. (Mine was Chumolungma - not sure why it wasn't Chomolungma.) I appreciated the school's effort to honor indigenous names.
posted by aielen at 9:51 AM on August 31, 2015


"Ah. Right. Well. I'm terribly sorry to point out the Ohioans'...little problem."


Sounds like a bad case of peakness envy.
posted by mikeand1 at 9:57 AM on August 31, 2015 [4 favorites]


I see that there's been some panty-twisting on the right wing about this but hey, anything that Kenyan does is a violation of everything sacred to them. At least Lisa Murkowski has the wits to praise Obama for this.
posted by Ber at 9:59 AM on August 31, 2015


It's really funny watching the "state's rights!" crowd, particularly those in Ohio, having a complete WHARRGARBL meltdown over Obama actually following a state's lead.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:01 AM on August 31, 2015 [3 favorites]


[Couple comments deleted. Troll on your own time, folks. ]
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 10:27 AM on August 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


(Mine was Chumolungma - not sure why it wasn't Chomolungma.)

tibetan language romanization isn't terribly standardized. i've seen it spelled with a Q as well.
posted by poffin boffin at 10:56 AM on August 31, 2015


Yeah.....fuck McKinley, yea Denali.

But don't go fucking around with Putah Creek. Leave it alone.
posted by mule98J at 11:15 AM on August 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


Regula did this every other year for almost 30 years.

Regula today: "Obama thinks he's a dictator!"
posted by dnash at 11:48 AM on August 31, 2015


Regula did this every other year for almost 30 years.

Regula today: "Obama thinks he's a dictator!"

Actually, I think this is the money quote: "This is just show business," he told the Dispatch.
posted by Going To Maine at 3:06 PM on August 31, 2015


after three scoreless quarters Skippy's getting desperate to avoid a shutout.

And here I was thinking he was running up the score against a defenseless and whiny opponent.
posted by srboisvert at 6:41 PM on August 31, 2015


Maybe this was actually just a no-brainer, seeing as it was requested by Alaska's very-Republican congressional delegation. I don't know that this was actually a moment of great political courage. It's just that the Fox News brigade would pounce on Obama if he declared tomorrow National Adorable Puppy and Delicious Apple Pie Day.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:14 PM on August 31, 2015




Another Obama Exec Order. Erasing Mt. McKinley from all maps (he was a Republican after all) & renaming it after the GMC Truck, Denali.

— Andrew Malcolm (@AHMalcolm)

Is this guy really such an idiot?
posted by Mitheral at 5:41 AM on September 1, 2015


Ohio congressman promises to do everything in his power to get the name changed back. Including this gem: Imagine the outrage if in 100 years, a Republican would undo John F. Kennedy’s name from landmarks?

Like Cape Canaveral?
posted by dirigibleman at 8:28 AM on September 1, 2015 [6 favorites]


Honest question: Are there other mountains that just have a single word name and are not called "Mt. Something/Something Mountain/Something Peak" in the US? What about internationally? I guess that gets complicated when you get into local language vs English names (Fujisan/Mt. Fuji), so maybe just limited to peaks in English-speaking lands.
posted by Rock Steady at 9:17 AM on September 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


Denali is a much cooler-sounding name.
posted by cell divide at 10:44 AM on September 1, 2015


I'm surprised at how many Fox commenters seem to be in Denali about this.
posted by Going To Maine at 10:50 AM on September 1, 2015


Coming soon to your Facebook timeline: President Obama is changing the name of Mt. McKinley to Denali, which means BLACK POWER.
posted by zombieflanders at 1:01 PM on September 1, 2015


Coming soon to your Facebook timeline: President Obama is changing the name of Mt. McKinley to Denali, which means BLACK POWER.

That Snopes page has over 13,000 hits? More than 13,000 people had to rebut that? I seriously give up on America.
posted by jaguar at 4:31 PM on September 1, 2015


And what's even worse is that the graphic claims Denali is Kenyan for black power.
posted by jaguar at 4:31 PM on September 1, 2015


Well, to be fair, a bunch of those hits are probably people like me that want to read the gentle, scrupulously evenhanded Snopesian 'well, actually, Kenyan is not a language. Also, Denali does not mean 'black power' in any language. Also, Denali is the native name of the mountain, and Alaska has been advocating for this change since the president was Gerry Ford. Also, you people are fucking idio--I mean, we rate this one False.'
posted by box at 6:14 PM on September 1, 2015 [5 favorites]


Oh, definitely, but I (quite scientifically) figure that at least equal numbers of people already knew that Denali was the mountain's original name and so didn't need to look up Snopes to refute anything, so it probably balances out.
posted by jaguar at 7:54 PM on September 1, 2015


Rock Steady: "Honest question: Are there other mountains that just have a single word name and are not called "Mt. Something/Something Mountain/Something Peak" in the US? What about internationally? I guess that gets complicated when you get into local language vs English names (Fujisan/Mt. Fuji), so maybe just limited to peaks in English-speaking lands."
A look through a list of the 200 highest mountains in North America turns up North Palisade (CA), Grand Teton (WY), Lone Cone (CO) and Santa Fe Baldy (NM). But since English is not a compound language, single-word names would be rather unusual anyway. After all, you apparently can't translate Denali into a single word in English.

The British Isles have Snowdon (not Mt. Snowdon) and Helvellyn. (The -fell in Scafell comes from the Norse word for mountain, so that's out.) The Scottish mountains have Gaelic names that I have no idea what means, but they look rather diverse.

The German equivalent of Mt. Foo and Foo Peak is Fooberg/Foospitze, and while it's a relatively common naming convention some of the well known peaks of the Alps are Matterhorn, Großglockner, Dom, Mischabel, Jungfrau, Eiger, Mönch, Hochwanner, Ortler etc.
posted by brokkr at 12:56 AM on September 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


brokkr: "A look through a list of the 200 highest mountains in North America turns up North Palisade (CA), Grand Teton (WY), Lone Cone (CO) and Santa Fe Baldy (NM). But since English is not a compound language, single-word names would be rather unusual anyway. "

No, I suppose single-word names were not what I was looking for, just non-standard names. Thanks!
posted by Rock Steady at 5:34 AM on September 2, 2015


There are a lot of mountains that aren't known as "Mt. __" but instead as "__ Mountain," as in Killington Mountain, Bear Mountain, etc.

I just ran across this thing about how the Kenyan/Black Power meme got started, which was sort of interesting - a group of Facebook Poe trollers.
posted by Miko at 5:45 AM on September 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


> alpinists are leading the way in restoring its original name

One of its original names (and the one we use around the Corpse household) but not its only original name.
posted by The corpse in the library at 7:55 AM on September 2, 2015




That naming wouldn't work. The mountain really isn't that EXTREME!!!!!!!

Here's a nifty little blurb about summiting Denali; scroll down for a picture comparing it with Everest. While Everest is obviously taller, its base is at a higher elevation. At Denali, you have to hike up about 6000 ft more because you start lower.
posted by Weeping_angel at 2:45 PM on September 5, 2015


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