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Thursday, November 24, 2022

Go home, Jack Daniels. You're drunk

The thin-skinned sour pusses who make Jack Daniels are fighting a maker of chew toys for dogs for daring to do a parody of the distiller's iconic bottle.

I don't know what ticks me off about this case more: Corporate America running roughshod over the First Amendment or the lack of humor among the people who support the whiskey case.

None of the lawyers or the judges who sided with Jack Daniels ever read Mad magazine.

I fear the distiller may have paid off the judges because the headlines this week said "Supreme Court takes Jack Daniel's case."

Bad jokes aside, this is a threat to freedom because if the justices side with the jackasses at Jack Daniels, no joke is safe. America will be about as fun as Pyongyang after one of the Kim dictators dies.

CBS reported, "The Supreme Court said Monday it will hear a dispute over a dog toy that got whiskey maker Jack Daniel's barking mad.

"The company that makes Jack Daniel's had filed a lawsuit over a squeaking dog toy that parodies the whiskey's signature bottle, and had asked the justices to hear its case against the manufacturer of the plastic Bad Spaniels toy. 

"A number of major companies from the makers of Campbell Soup to outdoor brand Patagonia and jeans maker Levi Strauss have urged the justices to take what they say is an important case for trademark law.

"The case won't be argued until early 2023, with a decision expected before the court leaves for its summer recess." 

My non-lawyer opinion is that a trademark protects a company from another company from using its likeness.

But in this case, the chew toy company is mocking Jack Daniels, not cashing in on its brand. The chew toy company is cashing in on its ability to design a parody.  I get that the government must protect trademarks, but it must protect free speech as well.

The toy's name is silly. Most such parodies are.

Oh, the world would still exist without Crapbell's Cream of Sodium soup.

But who would want to live in such a place?

And we could survive without Mountain Goo.

But it would not be the same.

Likewise, Weakies, Breakfast of Chumps is optional.

But free speech is not optional. It is essential. The right to mock one another is non-negotiable. Free speech isn't limited to telling the government to pound sand (or salt, if you prefer). 

In a land of the free and the home of the brave, you can call NASCAR boring with a mockup of its logo.

The question before the court is whether we are such a place anymore.

Maybe we ain't. 

Maybe we have failed as parents by not teaching our children a little humility and self-deprecating humor.

Maybe we should make Mad magazine required reading in school.

I hope the majority decision goes to Clarence Thomas.

I hope he signs it Alfred E. Neuman.

***

It's Thanksgiving. Please read my tribute to Pilgrims.

32 comments:

  1. I seldom drink, but when I did, I found tullamore d.e.w. quite nice. Very smooth. And once again made in tullamore
    But it seems to me, almost all whiskey bottles are shaped alike. Maybe an elder one should sue jd.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Does this affect whiskey sales ? Doubtful , so I agree with Don 100 % . Whiskey buyers won't look a second time as soon as they discover it's a dog's toy ; not a drink.

      Delete
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  2. I think that young people should be forced to watch South Park to get a sense of humour. That's what the problem is here. The HR and marketing departements are full of Karens, except for Balenciaga which is full of depraved pervs. Free speech is essential and it includes mocking each other.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In the 25 years I've known her, I've never once seen my highly educated, retired, single neighbor laugh. A slight smile, maybe, but that's it. Mostly a furrowed brow. I'm so grateful I see humor in so many things. Imagine how dark her world must be.

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  3. If the suite had been brought by some drunk schmuck who accidentally gave his dog the booze, I could understand it. I'd still support the toy maker, but require Jack Daniels to make their products taste terrible. Oh wait, they already do.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't see how anyone can get it past their nose.

      Delete
  4. Speaking of bourbon on this Thanksgiving
    1 12 oz bag fresh cranberries washed and rinsed
    3 cups white sugar
    1/2 cup bourbon
    Mix all together in baking dish
    Bake @ 350° for 1hr

    HBP

    ReplyDelete
  5. The left....which has infiltrated corporate America...is incapable of grasping fundamental concepts. Things like irony, satire, parody and....freedom. Thus they attack them at every opportunity.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Replies
    1. “Did” in the past tense, yep. Starting in the mid-2000s they started becoming woke and insufferable.

      Delete
    2. I still reference quips and quotes from Mad Magazine from the 70's. National Lampoon, the magazine, was the best back then. Even had pics of boobies now and then. Great "batch material"....Don, hit that button!!!

      Delete
    3. I was a faithful reader of Mad 60 years ago during my adolescence. Their ad satires were unmatched. One memorable back cover mocked the series "a diamond is forever." In Mad's version, a couple gaze at their diamond ring through the window of a pawn shop, with the slogan, "Paying for a Diamond is Forever." Below that, they credited their artist as follows: "Painted for all De Beers he could drink by Frank Kelly Friese."

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  7. If JD had any sense they would sell those in their store

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  8. North Face put South Butte out of business for mocking them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Talking about poor quality product , I have yet to see anything in North Face's line that has any value .

      Delete
  9. said "Supreme Court takes Jack Daniel's case."
    ===
    more correctly could have been
    said "Supreme Court Justices take case of Jack Daniel's home"

    ReplyDelete
  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Too bad someone in advertising at Jacky D did not think to use this as a commercial, with loyal fido bringing his best friend his nightly medicine.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I used to love Wacky Packs back in the ‘70’s

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They still make Wacky Packs. I doubt kids could afford them now. The level of parody goes way beyond Bad Spaniels squeak toys: Alpoo dog food, Gloom and Ultra Blight toothpaste, etc.
      Hoohead John

      Delete
  13. MAD was not only hilarious, it was educational and informative. I think they aimed some of their humor a bit higher than the mentality of your typical adolescent (e.g. me). I guess parody and satire are dying arts...

    ReplyDelete
  14. Bad boy, Jack! Bad boy!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Jack Daniels is pissed they didn't think of it first.

    I suspect the problem isn't really the whiskey trademark but that Jack Daniels has a crazy wide line of licensed products. Now they feel blocked from the chew toy world.

    Also. IP lawyers like to scare their clients with fear of losing trademark unless they pay to have every imaginable stretch pursued unto death.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Mad Magazine did parodies - damn good ones, too.

    This doggie product is sold through outlets. That left JD no choice but to protect the trademark in the event others took such liberties.

    Did the dog toy guys even reach out to JD to license the likeness?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mad was sold through outlets as well. I doubt Jack wins this one. SCOTUS has upheld parodies in the past.

      Delete
  17. Trademarks and tradedress infringement must prove that the likelihood of confusion is significant. Given that these are dog chew toys, that seems highly unlikely.

    ReplyDelete