aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Monday, December 12, 2005
Ford update: meeting and waiting
Ford met with gay groups today:
Gay and lesbian organizations asked Ford Motor Co. on Monday to reinstate advertising for its luxury Jaguar and Land Rover brands in gay publications and to distance itself from an anti-gay group which had boycotted the automaker’s vehicles. [...]
The move came nearly a week after the Tupelo, Miss.-based American Family Association canceled its boycott of Ford vehicles, which started in May amid criticism that the nation’s No. 2 automaker was too gay-friendly.
Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign, said Ford was asked to “make a very strong statement” disassociating itself from the AFA while reinstating the Jaguar and Land Rover advertising in the gay press.
Ford says market conditions meant across the board cuts. But then there’s this:
“They said they felt a need to respond to their Southern dealers and their Southern dealers were very concerned about a boycott,” Solmonese said.
Riverside Ford is a major community mover in Macon. And Ford trucks are mighty popular around here.
John says we’ll know more in 24 to 48 hours.
Stossel on Starbucks & Sambucks & leeches
John Stossel’s “Give Me A Break” segment on 20/20 last week was about Starbucks suing Sambucks, a small coffee shop that took advantage of the alliterative relationship of the proprietor’s name, Sam Buck. Starbucks won:
But Sambucks doesn’t appear to be a threat to Starbucks. She’s got one little 10-foot-wide shop. So why is Starbucks so concerned?
“If you think of a leech on an animal, one leech, if you leave that leech on, the animal won’t survive,” said [Fordham University law professor Hugh] Hansen. “If you don’t take that off each time they come and you allow them to accumulate on the animal, the animal could actually become very sick or die.”
Leeches?! It’s about setting a precedent, he says. If they don’t stop her, it’s hard to stop the next one. And big money is at stake. Aspirin was once a brand name so was thermos, trampoline, cube steak, cellophane, elevator and escalator. The inventor of those products lost their valuable exclusives on those names because they fell into common use.
“You have to police your mark,” said Hansen. “You have to keep it exclusive. If it’s not exclusive and other people are using it, the strength of your mark deteriorates.”
This isn’t the first time Stossel has come close to siding with the copyfighters, but he just can’t bring himself to do it. In the end he suggests that both sides are wrong - “All this makes me want to say Give Me a Break. I’m just not sure who to say it to?” - even as he points out that the original Starbucks was the character in Moby Dick. (And maybe or maybe not the inspiration for the coffee chain’s name.)
Stossel’s a smart guy I love to hate and would love even more to win over to our side. if not that, maybe we could at least turn him into a Starbucks Republican.
TANGENTIAL FUN: Thomas Hawk on Starbucks’ building brand awareness in a crowded market with coffee cups on cars.
Yeah, that’ll help
Dobson quotes an anti-gay “doctor” who says he “cures” gay people:
Meanwhile, the boy’s father has to do his part. He needs to mirror and affirm his son’s maleness. He can play rough-and-tumble games with his son, in ways that are decidedly different from the games he would play with a little girl. He can help his son learn to throw and catch a ball. He can teach him to pound a square wooden peg into a square hole in a pegboard. He can even take his son with him into the shower, where the boy cannot help but notice that Dad has a penis, just like his, only bigger.
Er, I don’t think so.
Do they really want to make that argument?
Television writers are upset over product placement:
TV networks are turning to product placements to fight back against ad-skipping technologies like TiVo, but now some writers are putting up a fight, demanding more pay in exchange for scripting product plugs into their shows.
Yo! How about arguing it corrupts the integrity of the script? Sheesh. I still believe the answer is in finding the way to deliver the ads we want.
A note from a friend over the weekend as I worked on plans for my NY visit - “We already saw Brokeback Mountain as has EVERYONE in Chelsea!! Just opened at 11:50pm on Thursday. It is playing in at least 3 theaters across the street. Streets are filled with gaggles of Chelsea boys heading to/from the movie.”
It probably won’t come here; and most don’t go out to the movies anyway, preferring instead their home theaters. We’re left to talk about SNL’S “Brokeback Goldmine” spoof (the joke from Tina’s dad also had us talking, the times they are a changing) and read the reactions of others. Here’s some of Walt’s:
Lee’s film is faithful to the story, almost to the very word. Nothing’s been changed or moved from dramatic or stylistic effect. If anything, Larry McMurtry’s screenplay digs deeper into Ms. Proulx’s characters and plot, peering into nooks and corners the story did not delve into, but which, nonetheless, are there. Few films adaptations are ever able to meet or surpass their original material. Brokeback Mountain complements, and illuminates everything that is good about its story.