Battle of the Brands: An article published in the county’s daily metro a few weeks ago spoke to the notion of Sonoma “the brand” and what the name of our town has come to mean to the world-at-large (wine, epicuria, good green fun). The article also explores why the Sonoma name has been plastered on products that bear little to no relationship with the town or even the county. The Massachusetts-based potion and lotion company offering a Sonoma-branded fragrance redolent of “flowers, woods and ferns native to Sonoma Valley, for example,” begs a rebuttal. Perhaps a perfume scented like baked beans and cod? What’s really irksome is that this company put a tiny, but telltale, trademark symbol next to “Sonoma Valley.” After some digging at the United States Patent and Trademark Office website, I ascertained that “Sonoma Valley” had been registered in 2002 by Crabtree and Evelyn, Ltd. Now, I don’t present to be a trademark attorney, but I can aver in my capacity as a member of the media that trademarking the name of a town that isn’t one’s own is kind of tacky. The avenger in me considered trademarking Waltham, Mass., the city listed in Crabtree and Evelyn’s address at the trademark office site. Not to disparage Waltham, but it isn’t worth the trouble. According to their official site, “historically Waltham is probably best known as the home of the Waltham Watch Factory, a pioneer company of the Industrial Revolution.” Yeah, hang on to that, Waltham. No wonder your flagship bath and beauty company nicked our name – beauty and time share too much ephemerality for any product line. Sonoma’s flagship product, of course, ages quite well.
Copy That: “From one, many,” sure it’s E pluribus unum in reverse (for a refresher, read a penny), but it’s also the de facto battle cry of copy shop chains, which seem to make copies of themselves nearly as frequently as they reproduce customers’ (place your original here) on 20- pound recycled white bond. Such chains may have to find a new battle cry (something more akin to a whimper and sigh) with the release of my FilmArt3 collaborator Raymond Scott Daigle’s comic “Replica.” The film is “an indicting portrait of copy shop cogs that make more mayhem than copies as corporate chicanery inevitably erodes their esprit de corps.” Think David, David, David and Goliath, or more specifically, co-stars Josh Staples and myself in shop aprons taking orders, then taking down the Man. The film took an impromptu audience award for “Best Lounge Short” at last year’s Sonoma Valley Film Festival. Click here to watch “Replica” on YouTube (Please be aware that there is some adult language).
Hair Today: I’m considering chopping off my Byronesque locks in the coming six weeks. My reason? First off, they’re not as Byronesque as I would hope and I’m tired of Dave Robbins singing “Tiptoe Through the Tulips” to me (per the “Crosspitch” edition of Nomaville a few weeks back). I was surprised that Robbins read (my column, that is) but admit the Tiny Tim reference is quite apt. To wit, the shag goes in the bag. While discussing the prospect with a few colleagues, the notion of benefiting a local charity with the “coming of the shears” was suggested. If, in some small way, I can be of service in this regard, by all means, I’m in. I’ll even throw in the muttonchops. Contact my people at the Sonoma Valley Sun if interested.
Flipbook: Tune into SonomaSun.com for “1985,” FilmArt3’s homage to Orwell’s “1984,” but shorter and with more funny bits. As we used to say back at the Panopticon, “All’s well that Orwells.”