CONGRATULATIONS! YOU HAVE STUMBLED INTO "THE SHALLOW ZONE." WATCH OUT FOR THE ROCKS. SOME OF THEM ARE SHARP.
If you're looking for a blog with meaningful content on the important issues of the day, you've come to the wrong place. This is the shallows, my friend. Nothing but shallowness as far as the eye can see. Let someone else make sense of things. I like it here.

About Me

My photo

I love my grown children, miss all the dogs I ever had, and I cry at the drop of a hat, I believe in true love, destiny, fairness, and compassion. If I could be anywhere right now, it would be the ocean. My favorite city is New York, but I am always longing for London and craving more time in Copenhagen. I'm drawn to desolate places, deserted buildings, and unknown byways. I don't care how society perceives me as long as my gut tells me that what I'm doing is right. I am interested in paranormal things, spiritual things, historical things, and things that glow at night. I like to drink, I smoke when I write, I can't stand small talk, and despite my quick temper, I would rather kiss than fight. I'm selfish with my writing time, a spendthrift with my love. My heart has been broken so many times that it's held together with super glue and duct tape. The upside is that, next time, I won't be tempted to give away what I no longer have to give. But I will let you buy me a Pink Squirrel.
MY SHALLOW MISSION STATEMENT

MY SHALLOW MISSION STATEMENT

MY SHALLOW MISSION STATEMENT
Not that there's any weight to it...
IN A WORLD FILLED WITH COMPLEX POLITICAL ISSUES, SOCIAL INEQUALITY, AND FINANCIAL UNCERTAINTY, I CONSIDER IT MY GIFT TO YOU, MY READER, TO OFFER THIS SHALLOW LITTLE HAVEN, WHERE NOTHING IS TOO SHALLOW, TOO INSIGNIFICANT, OR TOO RIDICULOUS TO JUSTIFY OUR ATTENTION. IN OTHER WORDS, IF IT'S NOT IMPORTANT....SO WHAT? NEITHER WAS MARILYN MONROE'S BRA SIZE. AND THAT STILL SELLS MAGAZINES, DOESN'T IT?
VIDEO OF THE MONTH

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

FELIX VERSUS THE KIT CAT CLOCK



I don't know if you've ever had your uterus removed, either for fun or medical reasons, but let me tell you one thing about it: it's not something that you just "get over" quickly. From the moment I was diagnosed with my illness and told that I needed to undergo surgery. people began telling me that it would be all right because hysterectomies are "routine" and women have them all the time. To me, that's like saying that death is routine, so what's the big deal? Just because something is routine doesn't mean that it's easy or not painful for the person dealing with it. So, what does all this have to do with shallowness? Well, this: The other night, after I wrote my first post-surgery practice post, I was so drained, I went back to bed and slept for seven hours...a record for an insomniac like me. But this recuperating insomniac just happens to be a positive thinker as well. Even if, in this particular case, my positive thinking requires baby steps in order to put it into action. So I'm gonna take yet another baby step and post an addendum to my last post. For some reason, the Kit Kat Clock theme is working for me. And because it is, I offer you my second post-surgery practice post on....wait for it...the story behind the clocks. Ready? Let the cat strutting begin...


Ever wondered which came first...Felix, the cartoon cat, or Kit Cat Clocks? Well, wonder no more. Felix came first, exploding into animated fame during the silent film era. Drawn in angular, art deco lines, with a classic black and white demeanor and a cool cat attitude, he quickly became the most popular cartoon character of the time. Over the years, Felix the Cat's likeness has become a pop culture mainstay, adorning mugs, lunch boxes, T-shirts, and even the tails of U.S. Navy bombers (the insignia showed Felix smiling as he carried a bomb with a burning fuse). Felix's popularity has remained high even though most of his cartoon contemporaries from the early Hollywood era have long been forgotten, except for, perhaps, Betty Boop, who still enjoys a strong following. Although a "Felix" movie released in the 80's failed to draw crowds at movie theaters, video sales were strong, and a "Felix" TV show (in which his old friend Betty Boop also appeared) performed well enough to generate interest in the production of a new show which is reportedly still in the works.


"Felix Dopes It Out" was one of the cartoon cat's extrmeley popular early films

So, of course, you're probably wondering what all of that has to do with Kit Kat Clocks. Well, not surprisingly, it all comes down to money and jealousy. (Doesn't it always?) But here's where it all gets a little...uh...furry. Felix the Cat first began cavorting across silent film screens in 1919, winning the hearts of audiences and making money for the people who produced the films throughout the 20's and into the 30's. But then something catastrophic happened...i.e. the Great Depression. And although Felix's fans still adored him, a lot of people began adoring a new cat who had just strutted onto the scene, namely the Kit Cat Clock, which first hit store shelves in 1932.


Manufactured by the California Clock Company, the Kit Cat Clock was an immediate success with consumers who loved its rolling eyes and wagging tail, presumably because they were too poor to go out at night and needed to find cheap ways of entertaining themselves at home. The first Kit Cat Clocks were fashioned from black plastic and required electricity in order to work. It wasn't until the 1980's that the clocks were altered to make them battery-operated as a means of reducing production costs. Cosmetically, the Kit Cat Clock looks almost the same as it did in the 1930s, although the clocks can now be purchased in a variety of colors or even with jeweled eyes and rhinestone trim. But whatever the color or degree of glitz, Kit Cat Clocks have, like Felix the Cat, remained a popular part of pop culture, transcending their original role as mere time-telling devices to become objects of art, the inspiration for clothes and jewelry, and an undisputed icon of kitsch.


And therein lies Felix's beef with the clockwork kitties. In 2007, Don Oriolo, who owns the rights to the animated feline, sued the California Clock Company, claiming that the clocks were "blatant knock-offs" of Felix. Oriole took particular issue with the fact that the California Clock Company sometimes referred to the clocks as "Felix Clocks." The company responded to the charge with the explanation that the "Felix" reference had nothing to do with the cartoon character, but was, in fact, a reference to the Latin word "felicitas", which means "happiness." In a rebuttal to Oriolo's charges, an attorney for the California Clock Company dismissed the accusations of name-stealing and, instead, questioned the reason that Oriolo had waited so long to yowl "foul!" over the alleged trademark infringment. Manhattan Federal Judge Deborah Batts decided that a jury should hear the case.


So, what did the jury decide? Well, seems that the cat fight didn't get that far. The case was settled "amicably" in 2008, although neither side has been willing divulge the exact terms of the settlement. And now that all of the hissing and yowling is over, the two feline icons have resumed the peaceful co-exsistance that they had enjoyed before the lawsuit. The Kit Cat Clock has a fan club with over 10,000 dues-paying members, and there are numerous websites and fan pages devoted to Felix the Cat. And now that the fur has settled, the rest of us can take comfort in knowing that, when it comes to high-profile pussy cats, there's room for more than one bowl of milk at the pop culture table.


Skol!


1 comment:

  1. When I was diagnosed with uterine cancer, the procedure discribed to me, in abbreviated terms was a D & C, like an abortion I was told. I was afraid, and not at all into the hip jargon or slick reassurances, I was scared. I am glad you are on the mend and at the very least got a solid seven hours of sleep. As an aside, I too wish I was on the ocean at this moment. Peace Greta, Lisa

    ReplyDelete