Monday, April 16, 2007

A wholly owned subsidiary of me...

"Mark Levinson is a Registered Trademark of Harman International Industries."

Really, he is.

The Lexus website offers the Mark Levinson audio package (as part of a larger package which includes Collision Avoidance, Radar enhanced Cruise Control, etc.). As part of the description of the Mark Levinson audio portion of the extra $x,000 pile of cash you'll have to fork over to get one of these very pretty cars, this little line (above) of throwaway legal verbiage is included.

Which gets me thinking. or not

So Harman owns him? Do they own his name? His abilities? Everything he touches?

How does his wife (assuming he has one) feel about this ownership thing? Does she only have access to a percentage?

Looking at Luxury Cars (which I rarely do - it's more of a "damn I'm jealous of other people with money" thing than a more enlightened "who needs that pile of status" attitude), I begin to wonder about the whole concept of skilled labor, or in this case, super-skilled labor. To be so skilled in one aspect of existence that someone can actually Trademark your name, your skill, your style. I seem to remember Tom Waits suing Pepsico for stealing his vocal/musical style for an ad without his authorization. I also remember wondering, "so no one else can sound like Tom Waits without paying royalties?" Creeeeeepy.

It's not like the Les Paul series of Signature guitars are actually made by Les Paul. He's getting a little old to be cranking out that many guitars in his garage anymore. He just signs 'em. Sorta...

I need to develop such a skill, but I have to wonder what it would be. Something desirable, high-paying, peculiar to the tastes of the wealthy (or at least those with a very active credit history).

Not sex, obviously. My wife won't even pay me for that. (and yes, I've asked)

I used to fashion high-end bondage gear, but it was very time-consuming, and one can only nail in rivets in so many different configurations before you run out of the mathematical permutations, and then how unique can you be? And human bodies only bend so far in any individual direction so...

Then I think - couch surfing! Perhaps I can be an IKEA couch-certifier. Only I watch TV in the way that I do, while eating and drinking, in my slippers and underwear, and I can be certain to be the worst thing that will ever happen to a sofa. stEn's Butt certified, a registered Trademark of the IKEA corporation! All my food and beer would be a write-off, as necessary tools of my profession!

No. I need something more creative. I need something that says "stEn" without requiring "stEn" to be there for every minute of its creation. Specifically something that will make me lots of residuals, but that won't make me cringe if I ever see it in the street. I don't want to be ashamed for foisting some piece of crap off on an unsuspecting public with my name glued to it in shiny, faux-metal plastic letters.

Personally, I'm mostly sorry I didn't think of the whole Flying Spaghetti Monster thing first.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


I want nothing to do with your behind... please keep it to yourself, Many thanks,