I realized that years before I'd had Andy Warhol-envy. Andy, the Martha Stewart of his day, was an indefatigable brand perfectionist, one of the first individuals to make his name as singular as Coca-Cola. Both Martha and Andy modified their Eastern European last names into quick, memorable Anglo bites, a maneuver that had been tested in Hollywood for years. In fact, changing a consonant-laden moniker into a briefer exhalation was a prerequisite. From Ralph Lauren to one-name pop stars like Madonna and Prince, the first step on the yellow brick road had to be given-name eradication and handle-reinvention.
In my dream, I was at a crowded party with all kinds of people coming up to me and mispronouncing my name. I woke up exhausted from having to say, "Not 'K,' 'C'" and "not 'Cord,' 'Codr...'" over and over again. And that was only half the problem. The other was that I had too much product. Instead of one neat package tied with a simple but memorable ribbon, I was peddling a mess of stuff, all ornery, mysterious, and very much on the move -- its only virtue being that it was vivid. I think.
"Why bother to be a brand?" you might as well ask. No reason until I had this dream which was no average dream, but the American Dream. I finally dreamt it, and it made me a little sick.