The Courts have indeed approved as a trademark the name of the clothing manufacturer (started by a conceptual artist) with the naughty-sounding name Fuct. I reported earlier that the courts were going to hinder. I fuct up.
More annoying to me is the fact that LA Times blocks my access to their coverage. (I pay to read the Times and the Post, and the Weekly — I often by three papers at Mac’s to boot).(You dear reader might have better luck with the Times link — that paper has gone down hill since Jim Newton left).
The Supreme Court ruled that the brand “FUCT” should be allowed a federal trademark in a ruling announced Monday, finding that a federal ban on the registration of “immoral” or “scandalous” trademarks violates the First Amendment.
Designer Erik Brunetti wanted to register the trademark for his clothing brand, but the Patent and Trademark Office had refused to register the brand’s name, citing a provision of the Lanham Act that prohibits registration of trademarks that “consist of or comprise immoral or scandalous matter.”
Erik Brunetti’s FUCT Book Release Party At Chateau Marmont Presented By RVCA
LOS ANGELES, CA – SEPTEMBER 18: A general view at Erik Brunetti’s FUCT Book Release Party Presented By RVCA at Chateau Marmont on September 18, 2013 in Los Angeles, California.
Brunetti, argued that this part of the trademark law was unconstitutional, and the high court sided with the Los Angeles-based clothier. He founded the streetwear brand in 1990.
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In oral arguments in April the justices sidestepped saying the tongue-in-cheek name aloud. Chief Justice John Roberts described it as the “vulgar word at the heart of the case.” Justice Samuel Alito called it “the word your client wants to use.” And Justice Stephen Breyer called it “the word at issue.”
In the opinion released on Monday, Justice Elena Kagan went so far as to write that the brand “is pronounced as four letters, once after the other: F-U-C-T.”
Alito said congress could change the laws to prohibit such, the fuck-head.
Palo Alto Arts Program brouhaha
This might be as good a place as any to register my concern over the Palo Alto Public Arts program. Although Council voted via consent calendar to approve the contract with East Bay artist Peter Wegner for the Percent For Art enhancement of the new Public Safety Building (near Cali Ave), the artist himself seemed very upset with the state of affairs. He told me that staff did not explain why the centerpiece of his “suite” of artworks was deleted from the proposal. Something about budgeting and fungibility, apparently, but the more people on staff he spoke to the more muddied the picture became– they, or “we” more precisely, could not get our story straight.
Staffer Elise DeMarzo was in attendance but apparently she and Wenger are not on speaking terms. Are we really expecting an arist to deliver $700,000 of his best work when we treat him thusly?
The context of this is that in recent history, besides adding a number of pieces to our collection, we have alienated, insulted or disrespected the following artists: Peter Wegner, Bruce Beasley, Sam Yates, Joan Zalenski, Nilda Maltz, Varella, Marta Thoma. People we do busines with leave with a bitter taste in their mouths. We still got 63 proposals for the $92M PSB, but I for one am embarrassed about the state of things. Besides DeMarzo (herself a former commissioner, and indeed someone I consider a friend – -I saw her and Michael Friday night at my Jane Monheit show), people who were stakeholders or contributors to the Wenger project, according to staff reports, are Yoriko Kishimoto, commissioner Loren Gordon, Director Kirsten O’Kane, Liz Kniss and City Manager Ed Shikada –let’s get our story straight, at the very least.
I suggest that we restore the LED element of the Wegner Suite, perhaps by earmarked donations or a PPP and then re-mount from scratch if necessary our Public Arts Program. There are too many kerfuffles.
This is well beyond the small group of Philistines who claim their grandchild can paint better than Picasso. Or that cannot multiply “point oh one” on numbers beyond a certain point. (And Greg Tanaka sounds like an idiot for parroting their concerns — and exaggerating the significance — even if, to his credit, he gave me five minutes ex parte Monday to hear me out).
Palo Alto is the place where homes sell for nearly $2,000 per square foot yet residents balk at paying $5 per capita for art.
The next art commission meeting is WHEN. Another problem, not limited to the arts, is the trend wherein commissioners and board members and council are afraid to publish their addresses and contact info beyond “City Hall”. If you don’t trust your neighbors, don’t try to represent us.
Democracy without humanity reverts to totalitarianism. Look at the worst regimes in history and how they view or viewed expression or art. We are better than that, people, or used to be.
Wegner’s “Monument to Change As it Changes” at Stanford GSB: