I just received the following email invitation for a conference I am attending next month. The text (and symbols too — hope they render in your browser/reader) reads:
Don’t miss Heat Up the Street, a sizzlin’ EDUCAUSE street party at the UNIVERSAL CITYWALK Entertainment Complex®. You’ll have your pick of the walk’s venues, with food, music, dancing, and a cash bar.
* Celebrate an early Mardi Gras at Pat O’Brien’s®
* Get in the groove with live music—reggae at Bob Marley – A Tribute to Freedom™ and jazz and blues at CityJazz®
* Spice it up a little at the Latin Quarter™
* Shake it loose at the grooveSM dance club.
It’ll be an unforgettable night filled with people to meet and music for movin’ and shakin’ your feet!
A few thoughts:
* Isn’t “celebrating” Mardi Gras, in Orlando of all places, in colossal bad taste right now? And exactly what kind of Mardi Gras can we expect? Something tells me that this isn’t an attempt to make work for displaced cajun chefs and zydeco musicians. I also note that “Pat O’Brien’s®” signature drink is a “hurricane”, and that Their site is utterly oblivious to any irony about it — the site also asserts that “Have Fun!® [is one of many] registered trademarks of Pat O’Brien’s Bar, Inc.©” As an aside, corporate sponsorship of New Orleans Mardi Gras events and floats was (and I hope is) forbidden by tradition and city statute.
* It’s unclear if They have trademarked “Freedom™” itself — or have They trademarked “Bob Marley – A Tribute to Freedom™”? And I wonder how old Bob, not exactly a corporate shill, would have felt about that?
* Do Parisian residents of Le Quartier Latin know that they are living in gross violation of international copyright law? And why won’t the UN or Interpol do its duty and enforce the will of the international community? There must be some weenie like Hans Blix in charge of policing.
* I had to look up what that “SM” attached to “groove” meant — according to this FAQ “SM represents an unregistered service mark. It is also an informal notification that there is a public claim as a service mark.” So that’s one more dumb hippie-ism I’ll have to drop from my vocabulary.
There wasn’t much chance of me attending these events anyway. I’m allergic to corporate parties, or at least to ones with a cash bar. Given my proclivity for ranting like this, the partygoers™ will have more fun® without me anyway.