Tag Archives: parody

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When the juxtaposition of “Schoolies” and “viral” is a good thing…

So. Schoolies week, for international readers and old people (lets face it – both of you are a minority in terms of the readership here) is a week where young school leavers traditionally do stupid stuff with alcohol. Scripture Union do a pretty awesome job of running camps for people who want to remember the week. I went. Back when I was a schoolie. Some people reading this were on the camp with me.

Anyways. This year SU Schoolies has gone viral with one of their nightly entertainment products (they have a variety show each night) – a parody of Party Rock Anthem – getting abundant media coverage (see Sunrise and ACA) and over 200,000 hits so far.

It’s a bit bizarre – my Facebook feed is filled with it. Which is to be expected given several of my Facebook friends were involved with the camp, are involved with SU, or made the video… but equally bizarre is that former colleagues and people I know who work in local government are posting it too. That’s the anatomy of a viral success.

So congrats to SU and the guys behind the video. They are, I think, the most famous YouTubers I know.

Why Kevin Rudd failed

Any leader of any country has reached their used-by date when parodies are indistinguishable from the real thing. Once comics have a suitable amount of material it becomes very hard to look at the leader without the parody running through your head. This video, from last year’s Walkley Awards, surely signalled the beginning of the end for K-Rudd.

Sadly, despite the 12th Man’s efforts, Bill Lawry still commentates.

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Copywrongs

You know what is worse than Christians flagrantly disregarding copyright and intellectual property laws* (you know the whole “Thou shall not steal” bit of the Bible)… Christians flagrantly disregarding copyright for the purpose of bad commercial parody.

Making money by stealing other people’s intellectual property is much worse than just stealing their intellectual property for yourself. Making money by stealing someone’s material for second rate parody “Jesus Junk” is somewhere down the bottom. Here’s a story that made my stomach churn.

Jesus Junk - a really bad shirt

Trademark attorney Michael G. Atkins of Seattle said legal parodies of commercial trademarks are protected under the First Amendment, but such religious products generally don’t fall into that category.

“You could take Microsoft and change their logo around to make fun of Microsoft, and that would be legal,” he said. “But I can’t use the Microsoft logo to promote my Christian theme because there’s no real connection there. That’s illegal.”

Here’s what one of the creators and purveyors of Jesus Junk had to say for himself (as reported in the USA Today story)… Kerusso is the company responsible for producing a bunch of terrible shirts.

Kinnett views the commercial spoofs — which only make up 15% or so of Kerusso’s merchandise — as modern-day parables.

“If Jesus were here today would he make parody T-shirts? I doubt it,” Kinnett said. “But in his day, he did use parables. He used things that were common and recognized in everyday life to make a point or say something with a deeper meaning.”

* I still think Christian copyright holders should not “hold” their “rights” for the sake of the kingdom – but if they don’t then the end users have to respect that decision (and the law).