To Hell In A Handcart – How Big Businesses And Lawyers Seem To Think That They Have Invented Time Travel
I bought a copy of The Daily Mail today. I’m not proud of it, but I wanted something to read and I didn’t have enough money on me to buy a copy The Times.
The headlines in The Daily Mail banged on about the usual things they tend to bang on about. Crooked politicians, armed conflict, immigration etc. Doom and gloom and the general conclusion that the world is going to hell in a handcart.
Much as it irks me to agree with The Daily Mail, they’re right about that last point. The world is going to hell in a handcart and has been ever since human beings started living together in groups of more than a dozen or so. If you want evidence of this though, it’s not the newspaper headlines you need to be looking at.
Crooked politicians? We’ve had those for centuries. Armed conflicts? We’ve been slaughtering each other for millennia. Immigration? Well, unless you live in the African Rift Valley then I’m afraid you are an immigrant no matter how bone-headedly nationalistic you might be. Ok, you might have to go back a few tens of thousands of years, but you and your family are definitely not originally from wherever you live now. Unless you’re a member of an undiscovered group of surviving Neanderthals. In which case you’re highly unlikely to be reading this anyway.
No, to truly get a feel for how the world is sliding into the abyss, you don’t read the headlines. They have remained largely unchanged over the years. It’s the bye-lines you want to check out.
One of the bye-lines in today’s Mail concerned a little village called Copthorne in West Sussex. It’s been around for a long time, has Copthorne. It’s mentioned in The Domesday Book. Very English. Very traditional. So the villagers of Copthorne decided to drag the place into the place into the modern age by setting up a website for their Village Association. So they secured the domain name CopthorneVillage.org.
All was well, until they received a letter from the “Brand Protection Officers” of Copthorne Hotels. This is how the letter went:
“You have registered without permission the domain name [copthornevillage.org], which includes a protected trademark. As a result, substantial damage is likely to occur to the reputation of these trademarks”.
Here’s a picture of some of the residents of Copthorne gathered around their village sign.
They look pretty disreputable, don’t they? I’m afraid to look at the website for fear of being shocked by the freaky shit these degenerates are posting there. Copthorne Hotels weren’t afraid to look at the website though. And they weren’t afraid to send that letter either, the cheeky bastards.
I can only assume that the “Brand Protection Officer” who sent that letter was a newbie on his first day. Because not only has Copthorne been called Copthorne for the best part of a thousand years but Copthorne Hotels are called Copthorne Hotels because they were founded in 1972. In the village of Copthorne. So you can see why the villagers were doubly surprised to receive the letter in the first place.
The matter has since been resolved. Copthorne Hotels have backed down and said that the letter was sent in error. Which, given the insane nature of the contents of the letter, has got to be the truth.
The fact that this letter got out into the wild though, is a symptom. The fact that the last person to read it before it was put into an envelope and posted didn’t say “I can’t post that, it’s fucking mental” is a sign of society slipping into complete selfish intolerance.
Litigiousness is spreading around the world like a venereal disease. Someone gets fucked- with lawyers, not with body parts – and they catch it so they fuck somebody else and they catch it. And so on and so forth.
It can’t be long before all the publishing houses gang together and sue Facebook because it’s not an actual book and that fact is damaging the publishers’ reputations. Or the users of Twitter sue because the website’s name contains the word “Twit” and is therefore making unwelcome implications about their mental competence.
We’re not quite at that point yet. When we do get there though, I’m sure I’ll read all about it in the papers. Just not in the headlines.
© Copyright Michael Grimes 2015