In continuing proof that America is a great, strong nation full of geniuses and dreamers, a Boston-area man is trying to get the small island near his home officially rechristened “Busta Rhymes Island.” Meet Kevin O’Brien, tech support specialist, part-time wedding DJ, and full-time hero.
O’Brien started canoeing out to the island when he and his wife moved to Shrewsbury about 10 years ago. The island, a 40-by-40 speck of land, is practically in their front yard. O’Brien planted blueberry bushes on the island, and there’s a rope swing hanging from one of the trees. He doesn’t just visit the island a bunch, he takes care of the island—he cleans up after the teenagers who leave beer cans lying around. He drinks beer himself on the island, with his wife and their friends.
And when you love a place the way O’Brien loves this place, you don’t want to refer to it generically. You want to give it a a name.
O’Brien and a friend decided on Busta Rhymes Island. [Slate]
They even tagged it on Google Maps and everything. Here, look:
Unfortunately, this is where our inspirational tale of exploring and naming land masses after eccentric rappers hits a snag. You see, it turns out you can’t name an island — or any body of land — after a celebrity until five years after said celebrity’s death, as O’Brien found out when he tried to register Busta Rhymes Island with the U.S. Board on Geographic Names. This puts him, and the world, in a difficult position: We can have Busta Rhymes, or we can have Busta Rhymes Island, but we can’t have both. Unless, of course, O’Brien tries to wrestle the island away from the United States entirely — by force, if necessary — and make it his own private kingdom that he can name whatever he pleases without government intervention.
Is that highly unlikely and at least a little treasonous? Well, yeah, sure. But if I didn’t bring it up, I wouldn’t have been able to say “RAWR RAWR LIKE A SOVEREIGN NATION,” which I have been dying to do since the moment I saw this story. So let’s not rule it out.