It both saddens and amazes me how docile we Americans have become over the last 240 years or so. Our forefathers threw tea into the ocean over a a tax of a couple of pennies, but modern Americans are such sheeple that the remote threat of pissing off a corporation controls their lives. Dramatic case in point from the (ironically named) Middlesex Patriot News–
Camren, 6, and Damen, 2, sons of Tammy and Randy Rager of Middlesex Twp., died that night when they were trapped in their bedroom by heat and smoke from a fire that started in the family’s second-floor clothes dryer.
“My boys died on SpongeBob sheets,” Tammy Rager said.
She said their graves at Cumberland Valley Memorial Gardens have only a temporary marker because of her desire to include a SpongeBob image in the cast bronze nameplate on their tombstone.
Viacom International Inc., the parent company that owns Nickelodeon, hasn’t responded to her request for permission to use the picture, she said.
Viacom owns the copyright to the SpongeBob image, which can’t be included on the grave marker without its permission.
Despite the last sentence of that quote, the only thing stopping Ms. Rager from including her children’s favorite cartoon on their tombstone (toonstone?) is the fear in which she lives. There is no way Viacom would risk the PR nightmare of suing someone who purchased literally thousands of dollars of their products (from SpongeBob xbox 360 games to the aforementioned sheets they died on. Even if they dared to do so, I can’t imagine a jury ever actually convicting her.
These are the stories that make me doubt the possibility of ever living in a truly free society. If people won’t stand up for their dead children’s memories against corporate interests, how are they ever going to stand up to the government?