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What’s great about this country is that America started the tradition where the richest consumers buy essentially the same things as the poorest. You can be watching TV and see Coca-Cola, and you know that the President drinks Coke, Liz Taylor drinks Coke, and just think, you can drink Coke, too. A Coke is a Coke and no amount of money can get you a better Coke than the one the bum on the corner is drinking. All the Cokes are the same and all the Cokes are good. Liz Taylor knows it, the President knows it, the bum knows it, and you know it.

— Andy Warhol, The Philosophy of Andy Warhol (1975)

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(Thanks to Thom for pointing me down the road to this quote.)

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There has been a lot of noise about what Audi’s “Green Police” Super Bowl is supposed to mean.

Given Audi of America president Johan de Nysschen’s recent comments on the Chevy Volt, I think it was firmly tongue-in-cheek.

If you’re a sports merchandise vendor and you’re sidling up to that line where you might be using a celebrity’s likeness without his permission, DO NOT send him a letter claiming that he is creating  “likelihood of confusion” with your products.

After O’Neal was traded to the Phoenix Suns in February 2008, he was dubbed by fans as “The Big Shaqtus.”

Soon thereafter, Mine O’Mine says defendant Michael Calmese with True Fan Logo Inc. registered shaqtus.com and began operating an online store selling items featuring “an animated character in the form of a cactus with the facial features of O’Neal wearing an orange basketball jersey bearing the name Phoenix Shaqtus and the number 32.”

In 2008 and 2009, ESPN ran a commercial that featured O’Neal running into a cactus “bearing O’Neal’s face in the Arizona desert.”

Calmese sent a letter to ESPN, claiming that the ads created a “likelihood of confusion” with his products, and offered to jointly develop an animated “Shaqtusclaus” clip for Christmas.

. . .

In December 2009, Mine O’Mine sent a letter to Calmese demanding that he stop using the Shaqtus mark to sell merchandise on his Web site, and to transfer the shaqtus.net and shaqtus.com domain names over to it.


Offering to team up for a Christmas special won’t help.

But, my favorite part is . . .

Calmese responded Jan. 4, 2010, claiming that O’Neal consented to his use of the Shaqtus mark when O’Neal agreed to take a picture with Calmese and autograph a T-shirt.

I am reminded of Monty Python’s brilliant How Not To Be Seen.

Great new advertising campaign from Dockers.

If you’re considering law school, maybe you should read this take from the folks over at Big Debt, Small Law along with all those glossy law school brochures.

Consider the typical, hapless TTT[*] law school grad: First she invested 100 K in a worthless undergrad degree like English Lit or Poli-Sci, then compounded this initial mistake by piling on 120 K or more in non-dischargeable law school loans, bought hook, line and sinker the materially fraudulent salary stats of her law school, endured the BarBri blather-thons, walked the hot coal hazing ritual of the bar’zam, and now finds herself coping with $1500 a month loan payments and a total lack of job opportunities.

I commented on the bimodal nature of lawyer salaries back in the good old days (2007), and I can guarantee you that the top salary hump has gotten a lot smaller in the intervening years.

Don’t get me wrong.  I still believe that the law is (or can be) an honorable profession and that the rule of law is an absolutely necessary condition for a free and prosperous society.  I’m just reminding everyone that there is no such thing as a free lunch, no matter what the admissions office says.  I cannot comprehend how a fourth tier school like Pace University can justify $39K a year in tuition.   How would you ever pay it back when good students from top tier schools are out of work?

However, my favorite quote from the diatribe is a side note about pro bono.

Thanks to a generation of propogandist “college for everyone” drivel, there’s an acute shortage of HVAC repair techs, plumbers, electricians, and other skilled tradesman. Don’t believe us? Call a plumber and a lawyer and see who can get there first. By the way, ask the plumber if he’s willing to install your faucets “pro bono” because you have no money. After all, running water is surely as important as your legal problems (and plumbers are VERY expensive), so just tell him he should do it for free in the public interest. Try the same thing with your auto mechanic, roofer, HVAC guy, and electrician. You’ll quickly find that only the “law” is so fixated on the merits of giving expensive professional services away to deadbeats for free. Here at Big Debt we’ve long argued against any and all pro bono work. Why? Because by so doing, one reinforces in the public’s mind that the service provided is worthless. This is especially true when rendering an “intangible” product like law, one that looks to a layperson like nothing more than a stack of very boring paperwork.

Justice should be free, right?

For context, a good CNC technician can make six figures without the bar dues and malpractice insurance, and no one ever asks them to give their work away for free.

(*Note: TTT stands for third tier toilet.)

I received this email from a legal recruiter.

Dear Offa:

I am writing to tell you about a position that recently opened up in Atlanta, GA. The details are as follows:

Litigation Associate: Atlanta, GA, office of this international law firm is seeking a litigation associate with 3-4 years of experience to work specifically on litigation and arbitration matters in the securities industry. Securities industry experience is a plus but is not required. Georgia or Florida bar is preferred.

If this position is something you might be interested in hearing more about, please feel free to contact me at the below number.

One would think that, given the general death of securities and the extensive law firm layoffs, one could find enough securities lawyers laying around on park benches to make blind email marketing unnecessary.

(Appologies to Mr. Coleridge.)

Adapting one’s product and advertising to the local culture is a key strategies for entering new global markets.

The Israeli arms firm Rafael takes the show to Bollywood with this marketing video shown at Aero India 2009 held recently in Bangalore.

Attractive women and flower festooned Spike-ER anti-tank missiles, an effective combination, I’d say.

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