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Toho, the Japanese film studio, has sued Subway (yep – the sandwich folks) for unauthorized use of a large, city-dwelling lizard-like creature in a commercial. Toho seems to feel that large, lizard-like creatures stomping around an urban downtown area and frightening young women might be a little too close to their own oversized city-lovin’ lizard.
The Subway commercial is meant to encourage you to buy Subway’s $5 foot-long sandwich. We’re not sure how many of these sandwiches it would take to satisfy the hunger of a 250-foot lizard, but we’re betting that it’s more than our lunch money.
Noticeably absent from this spot is Jared. Unless he’s wearing the big lizard suit… hmm. Some might wonder whether this might mean that he’s put on a few pounds from foot-long sandwiches.
But the real questions are: does the monster created by Subway closely resemble Toho’s famous Godzilla?Should Subway be liable for willful infringement? And most importantly, would Jared kick the real Godzilla’s scaly behind in an ultimate cage match?
National Dance Week just ended this Monday. Dancing is the penultimate form of self-expression, so you can imagine our delight at running into a big demonstration for the kickoff of National Dance Week the day that we went into San Francisco to Start Something.
We’d planned to start some conversations about the upcoming election on Union Square that day, but with so many free spirits dancing about we decided to talk to them about their dancing gutmonkey.
We did run into a proud CafePres Shopkeeper who told us about the shirts they wore in a routine the night before, as well as someone else who was about to get a shop set up.
Seeing as how May 5th fell on a Monday this year, lots of Cinco de Mayo celebrations took place this weekend so that motivated fiesta-prone fans of the holiday could enjoy all the antics (tequila anyone?) that tend to accompany Cinco de Mayo.
A CafePress employee attended the Cinco de Mayo celebration in Hayward (just over the bridge from our offices), and ran into a CafePress Shopkeeper who was thrilled to show off her wares.
The CafePress community is a diverse group of people, but one thing people share is their common interest in self-expression. To run into a Shopkeeper out in the local community using her CafePress shop to express her pride in her heritage and as testimony to a celebration is, truly, one of those things that makes us happy to work here.
So sombreros off to Miriam Martinez of the El Camposanto shop. Miriam was nice enough to pose for some pictures (sorry for the quality – they’re camera phone pix) so that we could share her artwork with the CafePress community.
If you’re out there in your local community using your CafePress merchandise to start something, by all means do send us pictures and your story. E-mail Blog@cafepress.com and let us in on your gutmonkey! Or, since it’s Cinco de Mayo – tu mono de… hmm. “Gut” doesn’t really translate to Spanish very well. Mono visceral? Quizas…
It sounds like a bad joke, but it’s not. Or maybe it is; you be the judge.
Paris Hilton has come to be an icon of fame for the sake of it (move over, George Hamilton). While people may not be quite sure why she’s a celebrity, we do know that she’s known for being rich and famous.
Celebrities like Paris use accessories to provide branded testimony of their affluence and social status. Whether it’s pint-sized pooches or Louis Vuitton bags, what’s in and on the arms of celebutantes like Paris turns heads and elevates brands.
With her artwork, Danish artist Nadia Plesner poses this question: If Paris Hilton can attract so much media attention for toting status symbols such as expensive designer bags and little dogs, will the same tactics work for the suffering people of Darfur?
Is Nadia criticizing the tendency of the media to focus exclusively on the rich and famous rather than world issues? Is she using a tried and true method for gaining publicity for a cause she supports? Either way, Louis Vuitton is not happy about it.
Plesner claims the design is commentary on the media’s obsession with the rich and famous, and that its purpose is to bring attention to the ongoing genocide in Darfur.Although the profits from sales go to the charity Divest for Darfur, Louis Vuitton came out with guns blazing and sued the artist over a t-shirt.
It will be interesting to see what the court does. After all, art is controversial. (Well, not always...) We at CafePress are fully aware of the constant tension between artists (e.g., CP shopkeepers) and big name rights holders (e.g., Wal-Mart).Finding the proper balance between creative expression and intellectual property rights is never easy.
A green thing happened here within the green walls recently: we partnered with Earth Lab for their 2008 Earth Day Challenge.They have a groovy tool on the site to measure your carbon impact, and a goal to have everyone decrease that by 15% by the end of this year.
Are you game?Take the challenge and find out!And remember, there’s lots of things you can do even with Earth Day being over – every day can be Earth Day, after all.
And here’s 3 good tips to reduce your carbon footprint, brought to you by Earth Lab:
Learn how to recycle all your household goods, from clothing to appliances.
Re-use envelopes, jars, paper bags, scrap paper, etc.
Imagine the kind of Earth you would like to see for your grandchildren’s grandchildren.
Self-expression is at the heart of CafePress – for every product made and sold, there’s a story to tell. (And that’s a lot of stories.)
Elections tend to bring out the best (and worst) of people. Either way, it brings them out to offer an opinion – and for some, that opinion is relegated to the privacy of a voting booth. But for many, election season is a time to give voice to your own State of the Union. Heck, those not motivated by politics have something to say, even if the statement is one of disinterest…
We believe that you can start conversations, change minds and make history with your merchandise choices. So four score and seven days ago, we decided to start something by encouraging you to Start Something… this time, with photo and video.
We know that you’re out there making a statement and changing the world, and we want to know how.
Make a video. Take some photos. Make a statement.
The finer details:
This is not a contest. Everyone’s a winner. (You’re good enough, you’re smart enough, and goshdarnit – people like you.)
We will be showcasing our staff favorites on the blog.
Video: upload to YouTube. Tag is cafepresident
Photo: upload to flickr. Tag is cafepresident
Submit by Friday, May 16
Shameless self-promotion is welcome in this endeavor, as long as it’s in the spirit of starting conversations and changing the world and all that good stuff. A screen shot of your storefront simply isn’t compelling – but a photo of your family all decked out in garb from your shop is. Awww.
Please, this exercise is one of sharing and community. Let’s all play nicely together and remember that tag spam is bad form and will engender negative commentary.
So that y’all could get an idea of what we’re looking for, we made our own videos.*
This video is the final product – “The Great Button Debate”:
And here, so you might get some ideas as to how to get these conversations started, it’s a longer video most appropriately entitled “The Making of ‘The Great Button Debate’…”
So there you have it. 300 buttons can start a lot of conversations, and you can too. Maybe you’re a military mom and the war is a personal issue. Maybe you’re a loudmouth peace activist who’s plastered your car in anti-war stickers. Or maybe you’re a dog nut who started a “Mutts 4 McCain” campaign at the local dog park.
Whoever you are, we’d like to know. Are you going door-to-door in an Obama thong? (Please, check local laws before trying this.) Are you starting conversations with your anti-Hillary T-shirt?
We’ll be adding more video and photos as we continue on starting something through this election and beyond, so be sure to check back.
Now get out there and Start Something.
*(Note: we absolutely tried to get some McCain supporters to talk with us, but despite hitting tourist areas were unfortunately unable to find a single McCain supporter in San Francisco that day. If you’re a McCain supporter and you get out there and get people talking, please share!)