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Comments

John Frizzera

Benn, well thought out and presented. too bad most people will not follow one iota of your advice.

I have Baltimore working class roots and "hon" was always part of that environment.

I'm not a lawyer, but i don't see how this would ever stand up to a serious legal challenge.

Finally, this woman may be a sharp business person, but her comments in the original story made her seem greedy, snotty and elitist.

Muriel Pritchett

I thought the restaurant was okay and I never went to the Honfest but there's a slew of festivals in the city so what the heck. But now it's beginning to feel like the intention is to turn the avenue into some sort of Colonial Williamsburg of kitsch.

I think the uproar over the trademarking of Hon is a lightning rod for the fact that the entire Hon Routine has crossed the line from "local business based on silly fun idea" to "attempted empire building based on silly fun idea". Cotton candy is fun, too, but if fed a constant diet of it one begins to realize it is nothing but a lot of air wrapped in a disgustingly sweet package.

Charmless

counterpoint: this isn't purely outrage at a single act, but the straw that broke the camel's back in re a woman who has been going out of her way to garner ill will from the community for some time now

it's not JUST about her or her awful tourist trap restaurant and it's not JUST about the goofy trademark filing- it's both

counterpoint#2

I agree with Counterpoint and do not care for Benn Ray's sanctimonious, smug tone.

Benn Ray

John: I agree. I don't think this trademark would withstand a challenge.

Muriel: I totally understand what you're saying.

Charmless: That isn't a counterpoint at at all. I'd call that an additional point I would not disagree with. This trademark issue exists within a larger context that for many was the tipping point. Agreed.

Counterpoint#2: My tone was rational. If you found my tone "sanctimonious, smug", you're proving my point about the way this discussion has devolved.

Outside looking in

I agree with John; this is a good, rational, intelligent post. People are letting emotions get in the way of facts and take them well beyond the core issue. Further, a good chunk of what people are railing against is misunderstanding, I believe, and online ranting isn't getting any closer to resolving it. I would love to see some elucidation from someone with knowledge of trademark law. Anyone?

counterpoint#2

To say that your tone is "sanctimonious and smug" is not to imply that it is not rational, I do not know how you equate the two. That logic is faulty, just like your 10th point.

I am "proving your point about the way this conversation has devolved?" Please, if this is your argument, it means that you cannot handle anyone disagreeing with you or not liking what you have to say, or in my case, how you said it. No one is universally loved: not all will agree with you or like what you have to say (or the way you say it). In other words, you can't have your cake and eat it, too.

counterpoint #2

"You can't argue that "this HON thing is tired and played out" and that the owner of the Cafe HON doesn't have a claim to the trademark."

Yes you can. Just because she played it out does not mean that she has a right to the trademark---she doesn't. And you can still think that it is "played out" and care about the fact that she is a word that should be in the public domain and a word that should not be used to demean working class women.

counterpoint#2

One more point: most everyone is familiar with the word "boycott", you do not need to define it for them or chastise them for "boycotting" something that they have never patronized. If people have never eaten there because they were put off by the place, or for whatever reason, so what? They know that they are technically not boycotting from past actions, but will not eat there in the future, therefore they are participating in the boycott by not going in the future.

Again, much of the above smug "tsk-tsk"ing above just shows that there are some who have appointed themselves guardians of this movement. While some of your points are spot on (know the facts, avoid sexist attacks, Hampden is not to blame) and worth reading and sharing, we can all do without your sanctimony.

Understand that a movement contains many types of people with many different views united by one idea (the trademarking of "HON" is wrong) and refrain from being so arrogant when you encounter those views.

InsaneBaltimore

I agree that some of the hatred comes from people not understanding the trademark process. On the other hand, it does come out as if she's trying to own a part of local history and culture (whether real or manufactured).

For me, well, when she got her flamingo back up last year, I saw her outside the cafe and I crossed the road to congratulate her.

Maybe the outpour of support from people like me over Flamingo-gate has made her feel like the invincible queen of Hampden? Between the pro-Wal-Mart op-ed, the expansion of HonFest, buying Hometown Girl (actually, did she own that before? I'm not sure about that), and now the Hontreversy, I feel like she's decided to go all-in here. Protesting against Pottersville seems like a good thing to do around Christmas.

(By the way, I've just trademarked Flamingo-gate and Hontroversy)

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