May 16 2011
Just a few days after the killing of Osama Bin Laden carried out by a special operations group that the press has called SEAL Team 6, Disney applied for and received a trademark for SEAL TEAM 6. The trademark is to be used in conjunction with “toys, games and playthings; gymnastic and sporting articles; hand-held units for playing electronic games other than those adapted for use with an external display screen or monitor; Christmas stockings; Christmas tree ornaments and decorations; snow globes; entertainment and education services; clothing, footwear and headwear. (Link first via CBS News)
There was a mark granted to a person in Hong Kong for Navy Seals Team that has since been abandoned attached to PLASTIC TOYS, NAMELY, ACTION FIGURES and ACCESSORIES THEREFORE, TOY GUNS, CARS and TRUCKS, MOTORCYCLES, WATER GUNS and Men, stylized, including men depicted in caricature form and Astronauts (men); Frogmen; Men, other, including frogmen, men wearing space suits and men wearing monocles; Monocles (men wearing) and Dart boards; Targets without crosshairs or alignment guides.
There is also a current mark granted for PADI SEAL TEAM for :Educational services, namely conducting classes, seminars, and workshops in the field of aquatics, diving with self contained breathing apparatus, snorkeling, safety, and oceanography, substantially directed toward youth programs; entertainment in the nature of free diving, diving with self contained breathing apparatus, and snorkeling exhibitions substantially directed toward youth programs.”
And MetroGames US trademarked “Team 6″ in reference to “Entertainment services, namely, providing on-line computer games”
The Disney mark doesn’t specifically address books but rather “entertainment services” but my guess is that publishers, who are notoriously risk averse, won’t be anxious to naming a series of books “Team 6″ in the future.
There is a fascinating debate that took place over at the Guardian on the issue of whether women should watch what they wear or whether what they wear can incite sexual violence. This was touched on by Robin’s piece a couple of weeks ago about sex and the rape fantasy.
Unless, for example, we subject the entire argument to a reversal of logic. Instead of the argument above, let’s try this one: If we had no inequality between men and women, we would not see sexual submission or dominance as symbolic of that inequity. But because we do have so much inequity, it’s easy to see sexual behavior and sexual desire through that same lens. However, isn’t it possible that these two things are completely separate? That we can enjoy equity in the boardroom and power plays in the bedroom?
Woman have to watch what they wear, is the argument of some, because men are so weak that they believe that anyone wearing a short skirt and having imbibed too much liquor must also want to have sex, even if they say no.
Julie Bindel: That’s a terribly sad indictment of masculinity today. Why aren’t we telling men: stop raping women? Rather than women celebrating this misogynistic term “sluttiness”. What is different about what the Canadian police officer said and what police officers have said through time immemorial when killers and serial rapists are on the loose, which is: “Women, don’t go out on your own at night, stay indoors.” They don’t say to men: “There’s a curfew on you.” The curfew is on us. What’s different from what the chief constable of West Yorkshire said during the Yorkshire Ripper reign to this Canadian police officer? Men are the ones harming women.
Vicky Simister: I do think women have become objectified, but that is a separate point. Society does not say don’t rape, it says don’t get raped. Everywhere you look, the onus is on the woman to not experience harassment, and there’s very little to say, actually we condemn rape. Only 6.5% of all rape cases end in conviction. That shows this attitude is extremely dangerous. The fact that Shaista can cover it up and get respect is great for her as an individual, but for a gender I think it’s terrible.
Jo-Anne Nadler: I’m really interested in what Brix said, she was playing a role, but that role sends out a particular message. You were wearing the uniform of the street walker, and therefore you made yourself vulnerable to being misinterpreted. While I found the way the policeman expressed himself completely inappropriate, and women should not be held responsible for an attack on them, I do wonder about a lot of the fashion now, with young girls particularly dressing very provocatively, and perhaps they don’t realise the subliminal message they send out. So there is an interpretation of what the policeman said, more sympathetic to his view, which is that actually women can be making themselves vulnerable, particularly young girls. Our very sexualised society puts pressure on young girls to dress that way. If they gave it more thought, they wouldn’t feel comfortable with what they were saying about themselves.
Anyway, it’s a fascinating discussion.
I know that there are quite a few authors who think these numbers won’t mean anything until they are above the 50% mark and those authors would be wrong because reach of an author’s book is only one factor.
Another sign that consumers are moving away from physical media? DVD sales have dropped 40% in the last year.
Will romance books featuring hockey heroes ignore the state of the game? Very few of the hockey romances today deal with the issue of concussions.
In fact, in both recent release from Rachel Gibson, Any Man of Mine, and Deirdre Martin, Icebreaker, featuring an “enforcer” type of character. In Icebreaker, the hero is actually being charged with assault for a particularly tough hit. Although Martin’s book, Penalty Box, does have a hero is forced out of the game at the height of his career because of concussions.
Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby, the league’s biggest name, missed the finals months of the 2010-11 season after he sustained a concussion in January.
Earlier this year, the devastating effects of repeated head trauma were highlighted by a post-mortem examination on the brain of Bob Probert, one of hockey’s most famous brawlers.
The results showed Probert suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, a degenerative disease similar to Alzheimer’s that is thought to be caused by repeated blows to the head.
Speaking of sports in romances, there are a couple of romance authors writing about bull riders in the PBR circuit. Chad Ochocinco, a flamboyant wide receiver in the NFL, agreed to ride a bull upon the challenge of the COO of the Professional Bull Riders.
Ochocinco basically got bucked off in the chute which he says is “embarrassing” but helped to do what the PBR folks hoped it would – bring to the attention of a wider audience that bull riders are real athletes. The goal is to stay on for eight seconds. Cat Johnson and Lorelie James write about the PBR circuit but my favorite author who writes about cowboys and rodeos would be Anne MacAllister. Her older Silhouette Desires are being digitized but not my favorite which is The Eight Second Wedding.
I loved this article about the supposed slate of a family of Android devices Amazon is purportedly cooking up, everything from a smartphone to an iPad rival. It took Bezos a while to come up with a decent looking design for the Kindle so I am recoiling a bit with horror at what these tablet devices might look like.
Here is an interesting (albeit a bit degrading) article on romance readers as the driving force behind ebooks today. Harlequin is an innovator in the digital book field and last quarter contributed 50% of Torstar’s operating profit. What is it about romance books that makes ordinary journalists try to emulate a passage in the article itself? As I said previously, the rise of digital publishing makes reach not as important. Jenna Petersen notes in the article
“I can charge a lot less to the reader and actually make more money per book,” notes Petersen, who also writes the Passionate Pen, a romance industry blog. Where a typical contract would return 60 cents in author royalties on the sale of a $7.99 novel, Petersen explains, she nets $2 of every $2.99 online sale through Amazon. “So I sell a third as many books and make the same amount of money.”
Petersen is trying to put out a title a month. This urge to churn out content makes me queasy as a reader. Are we getting anything of quality these days? Another epublisher will be putting out three books a day soon. 3 a day, 7 days a week.
Finally, I am going to use this space to gripe about something today. I am really REALLY sick and tired of the scene where the heroine is looking at a sunset or a landscape and says “beautiful” and then the hero repeats the word and instead of looking at the sunset, he is looking at her. The first ten times I read this passage, I might have liked it but now I hate it. It’s lazy and trite and the next time I read it, I am going to delete the passage from the book.