Saturday, November 06, 2004

I'm going to take a break from blogging about the dismal state of U.S. politics to blog about the Postal Service. Wait, you say. Do you mean the quirky, '80s-inflected synth-mope band with the guy from Death Cab for Cutie, or do you mean the people who deliver your junk mail and bills? Well, actually, I mean both. You see, the United States Postal Service were planning to sue Ben Gibbard and Jimmy Tamborello's side project for trademark infringement. But they've kissed and made up, and now they're going to be friends. The USPS, excited to find hipsters who actually used the U.S. mail to make a CD while they were living in different cities, may sell Postal Service albums at the post office. They may use a Postal Service song in an ad. Gibbard and Tamborello are going to perform at the annual convention for USPS bigwigs.

Now, I'm not terribly surprised about the cross-promotional thing: the Postal Service seems to be the go-to band when you want to establish indie cred without putting off the un-hip. I like "Give Up" quite a bit, but I'm pretty square, and you have to admit that there's nothing particularly challenging on the album. But I am sort of shocked that the USPS appears to be under the impression that they have exclusive rights to the phrase "postal service." They are, presumably, aware that the United States postal service is not the only postal service in the world. There were postal services before the U.S. existed, and many other countries have their very own methods of delivering mail. It's sort of like if Harvard objected to a band calling itself "the University" or the Dallas Cowgirls went ballistic about musicians dubbing themselves "the Cheerleaders." Just because you think you're the best and most special university or gaggle of women with pompoms doesn't mean that you actually own the phrase "university" or "cheerleader." Right?

Anyway, if anyone is going to sue a hipster band, it clearly should be Interpol

Actually, Harvard Law School pretentiously insists on calling itself "The Law School." "Law School" has to be publicized in all HLS publications, but only if it is in fact referring to *Harvard* Law School. So the lawsuits might not be that far off, if any band were actually dorky enough to name themselves The Law School.
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