Monday, August 20, 2007

Brand This Martha!

I think I'm going to rename my shiny metal ass MarThaStewArt and apply for a trademark. At least that's how I felt after reading that Martha Stewart's company Omnimedia has applied for a license to trademark the name of del Grosso's old home town of Katonah.

I don't personally dislike Martha Stewart who seems to be about as fine and honest as any convicted felon that I have ever known. But it ticks me off that she seems to think that she can own the name of a town and use it to brand what, tote bags, bed sheets and glue guns?

Of course, what she's trying to do is part of a larger and even more annoying trend in American culture to commodify and brand and sell everything that used to be free or merely generic and without a distinct brand identity.

Does anyone remember when a bottle of water was merely a bottle of water and not a lifestyle enhancing adjunct with names that evoke the slopes of Kilimanjaro or a sibilant spring in the garden of Bathsheba? (Who, by the way, looks pretty hot!) And when was the last time you saw a lemon or a banana without a brand name on it?

It's bad enough that all media is polluted with lifestyle experts and celebrity chefs who try to stamp their brands on everything from home decorating tips to recipes for bananas Foster (BAM!) but Martha Stewart's Katonah? I don't think so.

Of Interest
Aerial view of Martha's property in Katonah taken from The Planet Express.


Jennie/Tikka said...

I can picture exactly how this came about.

Martha, on a jaunt away from her usual pricey digs, stumbles into Katonah and declares it the Promised Land (because of the temporary novelty is arouses while she's away from her current estate).

In a moment of true histrionics she declares from the center of town, "THIS - THIS is what I want to sell to America!! THIS is what I want to reproduce EVERYWHERE and get paid for doing it!!! THIS will be my masterpiece of American culture!!!!!! Muwahahahahahaha!"

This was of course followed by 15 straight minutes of rationalzing the entire thing as "only helping the residents..." blah blah blah.

Don Luis said...

My bottled water says Kirkland (the Costco store brand).

The lemons and bananas from my tiny farm do not have labels on them.
When I have enough to sell, however, each fruit will have a discrete
"Don Luis" label on it.

Bob del Grosso said...

Oh Don Luis
Say it isn't so: Don Luis branded bananas! LOL

Watch out Chiquita!

The Foodist said...

At least a portion of Don Luis' bannanas wont go to funding Columbian Drug Lords... or will they?! *dun dun dunnn*

as far as Martha is concerned, Its just the point weve taken "the American Dream" to these days. There are no more Cleaver-esk nieghborhoods left, hell theres barely a middle class left, to take pictures of and promote as American Perfect. So whats the only other option left?

Trademark whatever small part of America we can that hasnt been raped yet and pray we can make a buck off it.

I had a run in with this sort of thing a few years ago. I saw local newspaper tags for the Lititz Chocolate Festival in Lititz, PA. It was a short drive away so I hiked up there thinking Id find some localy produced chocolates from some great stores. Little did I know it was nothing more then a town-whore event in which every shops just bought whatever chocolate they could find, put it in a little candy dish just so they could say it was a chocolate Festival.

The only original thing I found was a Chocolate Gingerbread Dragon in this tiny little wood and wicker shop...

I was so very annoyed at the whole thing and cant help but see that this stuff with Martha is why towns do this kind of thing. Lets hope the trademark gets bounced.

The Foodist said...

oh btw Bob;

Kudos on using the Bender reference... hes my hero

Jennie/Tikka said...

Bottled water? I gave it up so I could give the money to charities that are digging wells for the 1 billion people worldwide who still have no access to clean water. What we spend on bottled water in this country could actually end the water problems elsewhere.

Don Luis said...

@Jennie/Tikka: Ah, but I don't live in your country. I have bottled water for situations like now: hurricane Dean passed just south of Puerto Rico a few days ago, and we have not had water (or power) for those three days. We drink tap water whenever it's available, but bottled water is a necessity here.

Jennie/Tikka said...

Don Luis -

I should have added that caveat to my post. Your situation makes complete sense. I do agree with bottled water in places where its needed...just not with it as a convenience issue.

There's a very good chance I'll be in your area to actually BRING bottled water in to the area affected by the hurricane.

fiat lux said...

What's she going to do next, start suing every other business in the town that has 'Katonah' in their name?

What a beyotch.