Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Stabby the Inoculation Needle And Other Mascots Gone Awry

File today’s post under “Reasons people think government has gotten too big.” Lots of right wing nut jobs (read: White, poor, uneducated and those that broadcast to them) say this everyday. They always site healthcare, taxes, and other government staples (never the cost to go to war for years on end though...) but can rarely point to specific examples that are not only useless but just plain wasteful. I rarely defend these cooks but today I feel the need to vent on this topic.

I present to you, exhibit A, “T-Markey”, the Registered Trademark themed mascot of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Yes that’s right kids, a government agency has it’s own mascot. I’m not talking about an ancillary character that is often associated with an agency (McGruff the Crime Dog-Dept of Justice) or just a real person who is nothing more than a stuffed bag of air (Jim DeMint-US Senate). No, the offending party here is an actual real live person stuffed into a foam rubber suit who’s sole purpose is to promote the Patent and Trademark Office. Yikes!

Maybe it would be so bad if he only came out to the interagency softball games or cheered on the USPTO lawn bowling team. He’s doing what? Really? I’ve just been handed a note that T-Markey and all his friends are going to be appearing at the National Trademark Expo at the USPTO Headquarters in Virginia. So now we not only have spent the money (and time) on creating a mascot but now there is a whole event centered around that doesn’t sound wasteful at all! In fact I’m sure it’s a great opportunity for kids to come down (during school hours) and learn all about the wonderful world of trademarks and patent law. I’m sure they’ll be thrilled, I mean, after all, nobody but nobody falls asleep in patent law classes taught during law school, right?

This got me thinking though. In the world of the Federal Government the adage goes something along the lines that if one is good, more is better. So why not have more agency mascots? How about the Department of Health and Human Services rolls out “Stabby, the Inoculation Needle” ? Or how about the Transportation Security Administration puts up “Willy the Magic Security Wand”? Look out kids, it’s Willy the Wand, you’d better not be hiding any explosives (or snow globes) in your rear end! If you thought Captial One’s College Football mascot battle was good, you ain’t seen nothing yet! Now there’s some well spent tax payer funds!

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