In Which I Am Again Baffled By Modern Capitalism


So I was in Meijer’s, remembering to buy sandwich bags and forgetting to buy trash bags, because we’re in one of those occasional phases of life where we don’t have the right number of bags. I came upon a big pile of boxed consumer goods: a Michigan State University Spartans Crock-Pot.

I’m aware, Crock-Pot is an official licensed kitchen-appliance-themed product. We pretend that the non-trademarked name for them is “slow cookers”. And I’m aware that the Spartans are an official licensed university-themed product.

So there I stood, in front of a pile of Spartan Crock-Pots, pondering the box’s promise that this is “Officially Licensed”. Licensed by who? To who? Did someone at Spartan Master Command want the real Crock-Pot, trusting that nobody would buy a Spartan Slow Cooker? Did someone at Crock-Pot Master Command insist that, hey, this is the Lansing/East Lansing Market. We can’t make do with a University of Michigan/Flint Lansing Campus Crock-Pot?

Did they license to each other? Is this the future of capitalism, companies just looking for other companies they can swap licenses with, all in the cause of creating piles of small yet durable consumer goods between the aisles of discount department stores? I could use some help having a reaction to all this. Please come over. I’m by the Surprisingly Many Women’s Soaps aisle, curled up and weeping.

Here I Just Have To Sit Down Quietly A While


So then this turned up in the “Licensing” section of Wikipedia’s entry on the comic strip Beetle Bailey:

2012 Rolex and Bamford Watch Department created a Beetle Bailey Rolex watch.

And I just don’t even remember what I was getting worked up about before that. I think it was trying to understand my completely irrational annoyance that Hagar the Horrible mentioned potatoes this week. But I just … you know, I just … I don’t know.

Hagar, running like two steps and swinging his sword: 'Swordplay is my meat and potatoes!' Hagar bows over, desperately short on breath. Helga: 'Looks like your met and potatoes are getting in the way of your swordplay!'
Chris Browne’s Hagar the Horrible for the 16th of June, 2016. And, look, I’m basically fine with anachronistic humor in these strips. It’s the whole point. I don’t insist on historic accuracy in Hagar or B.C. or whatever other situation comic strips are even out there, no more than I insist on it when The Muppets are doing a Medieval Silliness sketch. So I have no grounds for being bothered by this and yet I am. Also, so, like, Hagar’s dead, right? I mean, if running four feet and swinging his sword knocks him over, then the next time he gets shipwrecked and stranded on a desert island — which happens to him like three times a month — his eyeballs are seagull snacks, right? And not for a large seagull, either, one of those little trainee seagulls that needs it explained again what the difference is between eyeballs and eggs.