Sometimes, the job of news commentary can be compared to shooting fish in a barrel. Today, we can't resist shooting the toilet bowl.
As is now well known across the Twittersphere and the commenting sections of many newspapers, the University of California has unveiled a new logo and laid itself a public relations egg.
The new logo an attempt to create a more contemporary and Internet-friendly image for the university features a blue "U" that mimics the pages of a book (remember those?) with a swirling "C" inside of it.
The trouble is, the image reminds many people of what happens when they hit the commode lever.
"The UC Regents decided an egg yolk being flushed down a toilet was the best possible logo for the modern era," said one online commentator.
"Did Stanford design this?" asked another.
Other creative types have designed "memes" to mock the new logo, including one that showed a pile of money swirling down the loo.
UC spokespersons rushed to head off the damage. Steve Montiel, the university's media relations director, noted that UC has not eliminated its traditional monogram, which features an open book with a banner that reads "Let there be light."
This older symbol, he noted, "will still be on diplomas, presidential correspondence, official budget documents and so forth." But the old logo does not reproduce well online, so UC opted for an image that's better suited for the modern era.
That sounds reasonable. But couldn't UC have come up with a better name for this symbol than "the lock-up"?
As the university says on its website, under a category called Brand Guidelines, "the UC lock-up reinterprets the classic elements of the seal into a vibrant, visually energetic, engaging and relevant identifier."
The website goes onto to remind readers, "It's more than a logo It's a system."
Perhaps so, but at this point, we are not betting "the lock-up" will last longer than New Coke. Probably it will be much shorter, since it took three months for Coca-Cola to return to original Coke.
"This will be cannon fodder," said Sacramento crisis communications expert Doug Elmets. "UC will have no choice but to plan a retreat."