Viridian Note 00225: Reddy Kilowatt Makeover"Bruce Sterling" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Monday, January 29, 2001 12:44 PM
Attention Conservation Notice: It's another in our continuing series of design contests.
(((Electrical utilities are old. Even their mascots are well past retirement age. That fabulous icon of electric utility service, "Reddy Kilowatt," was designed way back in 1925, by an Alabama industry booster and electro-promotional specialist, Ashton B. Collins.
(((The electro-humanoid Reddy has received a number of graphic rethinks over the decades. Ashton's original primitive Reddy was a very peculiar, multi-armed Shiva creature.)))
(((Reddy also had a prolonged and scandalous dalliance with nuclear power, back in its glamor days. More recently, Reddy was purchased by the Northern States Power Co., and provided with an upstart nephew, "Reddy Flame," who shills for the natural gas industry.
(((With his energy-hog lightbulb nose and his original, short-prone earplugs, Reddy has been quite the global icon. He's been used by hundreds of utilities worldwide. He was "Don Kilovatio" in Spain, "Zet Kilowatt" in Brazil, and "Le Bon Genie de L'Electricite" in Belgium. In Cuba, Fidel Castro had Reddy liquidated as a class enemy.
(((Today, Reddy is incinerating the planet Earth. If
Reddy doesn't go green, we're going to fry. This bleak
(((The first is Reddy as Reddy really exists in today's utility environment. "Servant of mankind," my eye! The guy is flatulent with overpriced gas! He's dissolute! Rusty! Careless! On the take! An environmental war criminal bloated with windfall profits, a sucker for every political fundraiser in DC or the state capitals! Reddy, for shame!
(((The second Reddy is a total Viridian Reddy rethink: Greeny Megawatt! With-it! Sexy! Consumer-friendly! Ultra-designed! Renewable and pro-survival!
(((Yes, I know that the immediate urge of our many
contestants will be to do that leprous, Adbusters version
(((Give some mature thought to our serious need for a consumer-friendly Greeny Megawatt. Utility networks are not going away. They are far less likely to disappear than Florida, Bangladesh, Holland and the polar ice caps. Today, we face the same promotional need that the immortal Ashton Collins rose to meet in 1925. We need an imaginative, attractive, humanizing icon for a sophisticated 21st century cybergreen cyberutility.
(((Mind you, we Viridians do not plan to infringe on the exclusive merchandising rights to Reddy Kilowatt, possessed by Northern States Power. Reddy is almost as old as Mickey Mouse and therefore, just like Mickey Mouse, Reddy probably belongs by right in the public domain, but, well, tell it to Disney lobbyists. Our Viridian Makeover
of Reddy Kilowatt is a legally protected parody, all
(((So: redesign Reddy Kilowatt, and place this image on a webpage where the rest of us can see it. Send me the address and I will post it to the Viridian List. The winning design will be the one which creates the most
severe cognitive dissonance when it comes to traditional
(((The winner of the Reddy Kilowatt Makeover Contest receives a coveted and attractive "REDDY KILOWATT Bobble Head Statuette!" A proven treat! Yes, we have one of these bobbling Reddys here at the Viridian Vatican, where Reddy has provoked much admiring comment, especially last Christmas when we had him riding a windmill bareback.))) Links: Wobblers on the Web http://www.funko.com/nodders/reddyk/reddyk.htm http://www.mcphee.com/products/lab/M5639.html
This contest ends on March 20, 02000, the first day of Spring.
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