Saturday, November 29, 2008

I'm as Cuddly as a Cactus

The Courier-Journal has had a lot of fun with the recent controversy involving Dr. Seuss Enterprises and the City of Louisville. Dr. Seuss Enterprises sent the city a cease and desist letter because it planned to use characters from “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” in an annual Christmas celebration.

No word yet on whether the letter was delivered by Thing 1 or Thing 2.

Regardless, according to the C-J, this amounts to Grinch-like activity. If that’s the case, then I’m as cuddly as a cactus, too.

As a writer, I appreciate the value of copyrighted material. I wouldn’t take kindly to someone taking my intellectual property and using it as their own, which is exactly what the city intended to do. (Writer's note: I am, however, available for the right price).

Sure it’s flattering, but flattery don’t pay the bills.

This is no different than illegally downloading music or presenting a play without the playwright’s permission. In fact, the C-J won’t let you reproduce their stories with immunity either. Those guys must have garlic in their souls, too.

While it’s not great public relations, Dr. Seuss Enterprises has to aggressively police its brand. Otherwise, every city in America will be brimming with unauthorized Grinchs. Nobody wants that kind of havoc.

In closing, some might call the whole thing rather Mickey Mouse. Not me. I don’t want to get a letter from the Walt Disney Company.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Rachel Ray: Gone to the Dogs

Rachel Ray is peddling a “super premium” dog food called Nutrish. To me, this symbolizes everything wrong with Ray and her chief benefactor, Oprah Winfrey.

First, there’s the oh-so-cute name -- Nutrish. It reminds me of the way Ray refers to extra virgin olive oil as EVOO. A few other definitions from Rachel Ray’s “Dictionary of the Adorable” include “fav” for favorite and “veggies” for vegetables. For most of us, this stops being cute around age six.

Maybe I’m just an old fuddy-duddy, but I’ve always taken the English language pretty seriously. So this kind of stuff just TMT – turns my tummy.

Secondly, there’s the presumption that Ray knows what dogs should be eating. Call me crazy, but maybe that decision is better left to a veterinarian rather than a perky television talk show host.

What’s next? Kelly Ripa’s tips on animal husbandry.

It shouldn’t surprise me, though. Oprah and her crew have already told us who to vote for, what to read, how to communicate, how to feel, what to eat, what not to eat, what to wear and what not to wear.

Now the doghouse is not even safe from Oprah’s influence.

I don’t know why I’m getting so exercised about this. After all, I don’t even have dogs. But if I did, they’d get nothing but Alpo.