Culture Briefs

Question of the Day

Is it still considered bad form to talk politics during a social gathering?

View results

Keith and the law

“Whether the Daily Caller’s plans to build KeithOlbermann.com into the Internet’s premier Olbermann-criticism site is a good publicity stunt is not in question. It is. It’s all over the Internet, and Olbermann will probably complain about it on his show tonight. … That doesn’t mean it’s a smart legal move. … In fact, according to Enrico Schaefer, founding attorney of Traverse Legal, a law firm specializing in cybersquatting and domain-name disputes, Olbermann would probably have little trouble becoming master of his domain.

“‘There’s always room for some debate on this kind of stuff,’ Schaefer told us. ‘But the reality is that Keith Olbermann has got strong trademark rights in his name — a show called Countdown With Keith Olbermann, with his name used as a brand — and therefore anyone that registers a domain name in bad faith, or a personal name of a famous individual who has trademark right, is potentially liable for up to $100,000 in damages, plus attorney fees.’ …

“Not that he has much sympathy for Olbermann. ‘People who dont register their domain name and the variations of their name, they’re just asking for it,’ he says, incredulously. ‘The concept that someone as famous as Keith Olbermann could have gotten this far in life without registering KeithOlbermann.com is shocking.’”

Dan Amira, writing on “The Daily Caller May Regret Buying That Keith Olbermann Site,” on July 16 at the New York blog Daily Intel

No diversity

“Never has there been so little diversity within America’s upper crust. Always, in America as elsewhere, some people have been wealthier and more powerful than others. But until our own time America’s upper crust was a mixture of people who had gained prominence in a variety of ways, who drew their money and status from different sources and were not predictably of one mind on any given matter.

“The Boston Brahmins, the New York financiers, the land barons of California, Texas, and Florida, the industrialists of Pittsburgh, the Southern aristocracy, and the hardscrabble politicians who made it big in Chicago or Memphis had little contact with one another. Few had much contact with government, and ‘bureaucrat’ was a dirty word for all. So was ‘social engineering.’ Nor had the schools and universities that formed yesterday’s upper crust imposed a single orthodoxy about the origins of man, about American history, and about how America should be governed. All that has changed.

“Today’s ruling class, from Boston to San Diego, was formed by an educational system that exposed them to the same ideas and gave them remarkably uniform guidance, as well as tastes and habits. These amount to a social canon of judgments about good and evil, complete with secular sacred history, sins (against minorities and the environment), and saints.”

Angelo Codevilla, writing on “America’s Ruling Class — And the Perils of Revolution” in the July-August issue of the American Spectator

Don’s shift

“Clearly, Don Draper is the starring figure of this collapse. He is the Man in the Grey Flannel Suit … the prototype 50s representative male, confident in his role without, and in turmoil within. Don is member of a dying breed who wants to play by the old business rules, and he can barely conceive of the ways in which advertising is inexorably moving (unlike, say, fellow ad man Pete Campbell). He is a relic waiting to be phased out.

“But [creator Matthew] Weiners flaw is that he loves Don Draper too much to make him that relic, as intended — he is clearly not going to leave Don in the past, if season-four promotional posters are any indication. So the show attempts to imbue him with the sympathy of the audience, despite his stodgy 50s limits — which leads to all sorts of annoying contradictions. Don looks down on Roger for the blackface, yet behaves dismissively toward his own black servant; Don assaults his mistress in a bathroom and demands women not speak to him ‘like that,’ despite facilitating his former secretary Peggys surge upward through the ranks; Don lectures his wife about being a good parent even as he picks up strangers in his car and recklessly partakes of some unidentified drugs.”

Natasha Simons, writing on “Mad Men and the Paradox of the Past” on July 19 at National Review

Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus
TWT Video Picks