A Perfectly Good Name

This is my sweet little baby angel cat. Her name is Isis Shadowcat McBee and I love her more than words can describe. I know you just asked yourself, “Isis like the terrorist organization?” That, right there, is the problem. I’m tired of one group of shitty people tarnishing a perfectly good name that has a long history of being associated with many awesome things. My goal for today is to try and remind y’all of some of the great things the name has been associated with, throughout history.

My kitty’s first name comes from another little black cat, named Isis. She was Catwoman’s favorite of many pet cats in Batman: the Animated series. I’ve always known Isis as a character in this beloved cartoon from my childhood but she shows up in a few other places. She is a playable character in Injustice: God’s Among Us for a few missions and she’s, apparently, a recurring villain in a Krypto, the Super Dog cartoon that I never have but really need to see. She isn’t the only DC Comics character to have that name, though.

In 2006, DC debuted a character named Adrianna Tomaz, who went by the code name of Isis. She was the wife of Black Adam, a notable Captain Marvel/Shazam villain. She was also the sibling of another Shazam villain named Osiris. Whenever she said the words, “I am Isis,” she transformed into Isis and gained a large list of powers such as flight, telekinesis, element control, superhuman strength, and superhuman speed. I speak about her in the past tense because, to the best of my knowledge, she died in 2011 and hasn’t made an appearance since then. She had a tendency to jump back and forth between playing a hero role and playing a villain role but the character she was an homage to was always a hero.

There was a show called the Shazam!/Isis Power Hour ran from 1975 to 1976. It was two shows in one that centered around Shazam! and a history teacher named Andrea Thomas who had the power to become Isis. This version of Isis was popular enough to have her own solo show called The Secret of Isis that ran from 1977-1978. She had the same power set and a very similar costume to her comic counterpart. There aren’t that many differences between the two save their origin stories and codes of ethics. If you like corny 70’s superhero shows (ie. Linda Carter Wonder Woman) it’s probably worth watching. Otherwise, it’s probably not.

The most recent example of the name being used that I know of is the hit TV show, Archer. For those of you who don’t know, Archer is an adult-oriented, animated, comedy show on FX about a spy (and massive jerk) named Sterling Archer. For the first five seasons, the organization he worked for was called I.S.I.S. (International Secret Intelligence Service). They dropped the name for the 6th season due to real-world events at the time involving the emergence of the Terrorist organization of the same name. The show is still airing but the name has remained gone. I can’t say I blame them. Do you want negative attention? Because that’s how you get negative attention. On second thought, I apologize for that bad and obvious joke. Let’s move onto the oldest example of the name’s use I’m aware of.

Y’all knew this was coming. Isis, also known as Aset or Eset, is one of the biggest deal Egyptian Goddesses there are but contrary to popular belief, she isn’t the Egyptian cat goddess. That honor goes to her granddaughter, Bast (aka Bastet). Isis is a goddess of medicine, mourning, motherhood, and matrimony (being a wife). She is, typically depicted in a sheath dress (whatever that is), with cow horns and a solar disc (which depicts royalty) on her head. She is the wife of Osiris, the father of Ra and the sister of Seth and Nephthys. The first known reference to Isis dates between 2465 and 2325 BCE. She is significant enough to have many things named after her and to still have some pagans that still worship her in modern times.

There are far more examples of names being changed due to the terrorist organization than I have time or space to write about so I’m just going to make a bullet point list of every example I was able to find.

  • Version 0.3 of Elementary OS (distributed by Linux) had its name changed from Isis to Freya.
  • A popular banking app changed its name from Isis to Softcard.
  • In 2013, a Belgian chocolate manufacturer name Italo Suisse changed their name to Isis. In 2014, they changed their name from Isis to Libeert due to a decline in sales.
  • An Equity firm in Britain had its name changed from Isis Equity Partners to Livingbridge.
  • A store in Chicago was renamed from Isis to My Sister’s Circus.
  • A New York nail salon was renamed from Isis Nails to Bess Nails.
  • Isis Pharmaceuticals became Ionis Pharmaceuticals.
  • A company that makes car parts changed from ISIS Performance to ISR Performance.
  • A Danish dessert company changed from Isis to Easis.
  • An Australian refurbishing company renamed from ISIS to SHAPE.
  • A Finnish translation agency went from Isis Translations to Pauhu Ltd.
  • A language school in Oxford was renamed from Isis to The Oxford International Education Group.
  • The popular show, Downton Abbey, used to have a dog named Isis. They killed the dog off right around the same time the terrorist organization started showing up in the news. The producers claim the two events are unrelated. I don’t believe them. Actor, Hugh Bonneville would say I’m a “complete berk,” for my belief. I would say to him, “I have no idea what a berk is.”
  • Hurricane Isis was renamed to Hurricane Ivette because even hurricanes don’t want to be compared to terrorists.
  • A French rock band changed its name from Isis Child to Angel’s Whisper.
  • The popular game, EVE Online, changed an in-game browser from “Interbus Ship Identification System” (ISIS) to “Ship Tree”.
  • An organization in Nova Scotia that is dedicated to helping immigrants changed their name from Immigrant Settlement & Integration Service (ISIS) changed its name to the Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS). This is my favorite example because it’s so painfully unfortunate.
  • Six different Universities (University of Arkansas, Kansas State University, Johns Hopkins University, Cornell University, University of Massachusetts Lowell, and University of Economics Prague) all had to change the names of various software they had. Most examples were student information systems and class registration systems.

So why am I writing about all of this? Because my cat’s name is fucking awesome! Fuck you! Fight me! Whenever I tell people her name, with incredibly rare exceptions, some jackass has to say, “like the terrorist organization?”. You could relate her name to chocolate factories, cute little puppy dogs, popular television shows, a fucking goddess, or so many other wonderful things but no. Instead, you jump straight to terrorists. Shame on you! SHAME!!!

Anyways, what’s your favorite Isis? Let me know in the comments, below. Also, please don’t forget to like and subscribe. Thanks for reading and until next time, if you can’t dazzle them with your brilliance, baffle them with your bullshit.

Love, Lara

Works Cited

  1. Abhishek, Prakesh (29 June 2014). “Elementary OS Isis Will Now Be Called Freya And Here Is Why!”. It’s F.O.S.S. Retrieved 20 Feb 2019
  2. Kastrenakes, Jacob (3 Sep 2014). “ISIS mobile wallet changes name to Softcard to avoid association with militant group”. The Verge. Retrieved 20 Feb 2019.
  3. (20 Nov 2015) “‘Negative meaning’ forces school to rename ISIS registration”. Associated Press. Archived from the original on 22 November 2015. Retrieved 20 Feb 2019.
  4. (5 Dec 2014) “iSiS”. Archived from the original on 5 December 2014. Retrieved 20 Feb 2019
  5. Tůmová, Kristina (1 Feb 2016) “iList.cz » ISIS končí. Místo něj budou studenti používat InSIS”. iList. Retrieved 20 Feb 2019.
  6. (6 Mar 2015) “K-State changes renames computer network iSIS to KSIS”. kansas. Retrieved 20 Feb 2019.
  7. Feist, Theron. “ISIS”. portalcontent.johnshopkins.edu. Retrieved 20 Feb 2019.
  8. “SIS Desktop Settings” (PDF). 3.8 – Updated system name references from ISIS to SIS. Retrieved 20 Feb 2019.
  9. Moodley, Kiran (7 Nov 2014). “Belgium chocolate maker ISIS changes its name after drop in sales”. The Independent. Retrieved 20 Feb 2019.
  10. (1 Jan 2015) “PE in 2015: Living Bridge’s Wol Kolade on Rebranding ISIS Equity Partners”. Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 20 Feb 2019.
  11. Cohen, Shawn. Sutherland, Amber. Perez, Chris. (4 May 2015) “‘ISIS’ nail salon changes its name after harassment”. New York Post. Retrieved 20 Feb 2019.
  12. (18 Dec 2015) “Isis Pharma changes “unfortunate” name to avoid confusion”. Times of Malta. Malta. Retrieved 20 Feb 2019.
  13. (16 Nov 2015) “ISIS PERFORMANCE NA, LLC TO REBRAND TO ISR PERFORMANCE PARTS, LLC”. ISR Performance. Retrieved 20 Feb 2019.
  14. Acoba, Paulo (17 Nov 2015) “ISIS Performance Officially Changes Name To ISR For Obvious Reasons” artofgears.com, Retrieved 20 Feb 2019
  15. “New company name”. http://www.easisfoods.com. Retrieved 20 Feb 2019.
  16. “ISIS rebrands to SHAPE”. http://www.shapegroup.com.au. Retrieved 20 Feb 2019.
  17. Ahlblad, Linda (23 June 2016) “Owner gives up fight – Finnish Isis changes its name”. Pauhu. Retrieved 20 Feb 2019
  18. (19 Nov 2014) “ISIS Nova Scotia changes name to avoid terrorist group association”. CBC. Retrieved 20 Feb 2019.
  19. Coughlan, Sean (20 Apr 2015). “Language school ditches ‘Isis’ name”. BBC News. Retrieved 20 Feb 2019.
  20. Prtichett, Brook (1 Nov 2016) “Attend ICIS and Learn How I See IS – Association for Information Systems (AIS)”. aisnet.org. Retrieved 20 Feb 2019.
  21. Miller, Ross (12 Oct 2014) “This is how FX’s ‘Archer’ will drop the ISIS name in its season six premiere”. The Verge. Retrieved 19 Feb 2019.
  22. Gee, Oliver (23 Mar 2015) “Rise of Isis forces French rockers to change name”. The Local. Retrieved 20 Feb 2019.
  23. Szoldra, Paul (23 Aug 2014) “Fans Of The ‘ISIS’ Rock Band Say They Won’t Wear Their T-Shirts Anymore”. Business Insider. Retrieved 20 Feb 2019.
  24. Grayson, Nathan (9 December 2015) “EVE Online’s Ship Browser Is No Longer Called ISIS”. Kotaku. Retrieved 20 Feb 2019.
  25. Rice, Doyle (20 Apr 2015) “Isis removed from list of hurricane names”. USA Today. Retrieved 20 Feb 2019.
  26. Boyle, Danny (5 Nov 2014) “Hugh Bonneville: ‘Anyone who thinks Isis the dog is being killed off because of terror group is complete berk'”. The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 20 Feb 2019.
  27. Tyldesley, Joyce (30 Jan 2019) “Isis”. Encyclopædia Britannica, inc. Retrieved 19 Feb 2019.
  28. Stern, Marlow (10 Oct 2014) “‘Archer’ Drops ISIS: The FX Series Dumps the Spy Org’s Name in Light of Recent Events”. The Daily Beast LLC. Retrieved 19 Feb 2019.
  29. “The Shazam/Isis Hour” Skooldays.com. Retrieved 18 Feb 2019.
  30. “Isis (TV Series 1975-1976)” IMDB.com, inc. Retrieved 18 Feb 2019.
  31. “Isis (Cat)” Batman Wiki. Retrieved 18 Feb 2019.
  32. “Adrianna Tomaz (New Earth)” DC Database. Retrieved 18 Feb 2019.
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