15 April 2021

Not the Tax Man's Day This Year

One for you, nineteen for me, is pushed off to next month by COVID. Of course, there are people who would still be obscenely wealthy if subjected to such a tax rate…

  • I'm afraid that Juan Williams is very late to the party. Or the Party. The GOP has been the party of grifters and kooks since I became eligible to vote (and that's a loooong time). That's who was left after Nixon, after he demonstrated all too well that principle doesn't matter (and remember — in almost all policy aspects aside from race relations, Nixon would be labelled "liberal" today, however incorrectly) nearly as much as self-aggrandizement. Whether on the books or… otherwise. That's who Ronald I brought to DC with him, and they stayed around for the fun.
  • Continuing with the theme of "grifters and kooks": As is usual, the recorded-music segment of the entertainment industry is roiled in controversy over artist payments. Leaving aside for the moment that there are — unlike the other segments — two distinct, separately contracted, separately calculated payment streams for recorded music, this is also a distraction. Yes, the performers deserve to be paid fairly. Yes, the composers deserve to be paid fairly. (Sometimes they're the same individual(s), but the payment streams are still separate.)

    The problem is distribution. As also is usual. Throughout the arts, distribution is where the real money is: The publisher, not the author; the film distribution studio, not the scriptwriter. There are always just enough exceptions, just enough individual successes, just enough lottery winners, to keep attention away while the house rakes its percentage. And that's in an honest casino… The problem isn't confined to those arts in which there's reproduction of an already completed work, either; live theatre and fine-art galleries have similar mechanisms.

    I don't claim to have a solution. The direction that music streaming is evolving, however, isn't it.

  • Then there are times that the reasoning just doesn't cut the mustard. Literally. A small-town vendor of an imitation of aa common-in-central-Europe condiment sued Heinz for a somewhat-similar mark and product that "infringed" his incontestible mark. He lost in the district court, but the Fifth Circuit gave him another bite of the sandwich (PDF) while still evading the primary issue: The validity of the doctrine of "incontestible marks."

    Frankly, the real problem here is the commercial mayonnaise. Which is an abomination… or, perhaps, someone looked at the ingredients and "flavor profile" of Miracle Whip®.