Austin, Texas is home to many wonderful things: The University of Texas, the annual South By Southwest Music Festival, Iron Works BBQ, Roky Erickson. And if voting holds, you'll soon be able to add another item to that list: The Fred Durst Society of the Humanities and Arts.
Of course, much like its namesake, the FDSHA has nothing to do with the actual arts (or humanities), and everything to do with the disposal of solid waste — stuff like household garbage, recyclables and toxics. And, yes, Austin is okay with this. In fact, they seem to be encouraging it.
Confused? Well, please allow us to explain. It seems the City of Austin is looking to rename their Solid Waste Services Department "to better reflect all the services the Department provides," and they're open to suggestions. So they posted a thread about it on their City Connection site, asking for folks to submit potential ideas (they also came up with three rather demure suggestions of their own) with visitors casting ballots for their favorites. One particularly bright fellow — a guy named Kyle Hentges — chimed in with the aforementioned "Fred Durst" title. And, well, voters seemed to like his suggestion. A lot.
As of Thursday (February 3), the "Fred Durst Society of the Humanities and Arts" not only leads all potential suggestions, but does so by a huge margin. It's racked up nearly 12,000 votes (its closest competitor, "Department of Neat," has slightly more than 1,100), and barring some miraculous comeback from a challenger (voting is set to close on February 10), it appears to be a mortal lock to win the competition.
But if (and, seemingly, when) it does, will Austin go ahead and name its Solid Waste Services Department after the Limp Bizkit frontman? We won't know until April, when the new name is officially announced, and according to Jennifer Herber, the public information officer for the Austin's Solid Waste Services, Durst fans (and, we suppose, haters) shouldn't hold their breath.
"The potential names will be taken under advisement. I think it's important to note that we don't have to go with [the winning name]," she said. "But, we knew that, being that Austin is a unique and artistic place, we'd get some weird ideas. And I love that this is getting attention not just around the city, but around the world."
For his part, Durst seems strangely touched by the potential honor. On Wednesday, after being asked about it by a fan on Twitter, he responded that not only was he aware of the voting, but that he "loved it." Herber said she hasn't heard from the singer or his reps, but that, regardless of what Austin decides to call its Solid Waste Services Department, she hopes Durst will be involved somehow.
"Maybe we'll have him down here for the unveiling," she laughed.