Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Rant #603: Slogan=Dollars?

You knew it would come to this.

A couple on Long Island is trying to get a trademark for the "Occupy Wall Street" slogan.

With it, they reportedly intend to place the slogan on various items that they can make a buck from, including T-shirts.

The couple claim all they want to do is "spread the word" about the protests.

Please, give me a break. Isn't this very thing just what the protesters are railing about?

Greed, that is what it is, and whether you agree with the protesters or not, that is what this move by the couple, from West Islip, is all about.

The are attempting to grab a brass ring while it is hot.

I guess they have a right to do this. Just about anything can be trademarked, but this slogan, in particular, is kind of a rant for people who are fed up with the financial ways of our society. Trademarking this slogan would run counter to their arguments, no matter what the people who want to trademark the slogan claim.

It's co-opting the movement.

Looking back, there is at least one other symbol of a "movement" that was similarly co-opting, and means very little today because of it.

Although he didn't create the peace symbol, Pablo Picasso popularized it in the late 1940s. By the mid 1960s, the peace symbol was everywhere, and it was adopted by the younger generation. It came to symbolize the need to end the Vietnam War.

Today, you find the symbol everywhere, even on expensive jewelry. What does it mean today?

As singer Edwin Starr's immortal words in his song "War," "Absolutely nothing."

I mean, "Occupy Wall Street" is not a smiley face.

Whether the trademark goes through is another thing, but can't you just see 20 years from now someone carrying a Gucci bag with the words "Occupy Wall Street" emblazoned on it in sparkling letters?

Oh, what a sight that would be!

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