Category Archives: The law

I could give a fuck about the brand of the shoes your no style having self is wearing

(How the current legal framework of IP protection perpetuates the perception of fashion as a vapid status conscious elitist hierarchy)

A working title and subtitle for the note that I will never write, because why would I close the door to such a vast field of future employment opportunities?

Advertisements

It is when I chance upon such “creations” (priced at $1,165), that I fear I may lack the requisite empathy to exist beyond my current station in life, because there is no perspective from which I can even deem to justify the existence of “bag”. I cannot empathize with the creator, the buyer, nor the medium which carries it. It is for this reason that I do not think I’m sufficiently qualified to be a lawyer in this area – I lack the objectivity to be a sufficient advocate.

A “reknowned” American artist currently has an exhibit at a not obscure New York gallery featuring exactly the type of tacky appropriation everyone imagines when they think of “counterfeiting”. Yet, he’s getting press, because 1) people did not “know” what they were knocking off 2) the word “counterfeit” was never mentioned. The two justifications clearly counteract each other as: no reason to think what they were doing was wrong if they had no idea they were knocking off something.

This comes a week after NYPD arrested a man who sold designer goods in papier mache for “copyright infringement”.

Isn’t it convenient? This could turn into a thesis on the cultural bias of copyright, non?

keep bootleggin…

The design protection bill is faulty for many many reasons and more symbolic than anything else. Just based on the column, there are several issues aside from the obvious resistance from layman who doesn’t understand the concept of intellectual property right.

1.  if the standard of the law is substantially identical rather than substantially similar, most if not all of the McQueen dresses are only protected in theory as their designs are truly unique. They would not be protected in reality since any lucrative copies would do away with a lot of detailing and would therefore not be substantially identical. It’s a shame, because his is one of the few instances where a creation would be knocked off for a truly unique piece rather than  an exploitation of the name attached or the fame of the piece (which are lucrative because they’re easier pieces to knock off and more accessible anyway). Primary example is the featured dress of the article. When are we going to stop fronting about its being McQueen and just admit it’s a Badgley Mischka masquerading under another name? On the flip side, many of McQueen’s creations doesn’t even need protection, because they’re just not accessible (aside from those lobster claw jawns that inexplicably got knocked off.

No matter how viable it is in terms of profit recovery or any sort of commercial protection (rather than the abstract idea of property, which doesn’t provide any sort of measurable benefit/gain), for the sake of justice, I guess, symbolically, there should be some protection, just not for the kind that will end up being protected by the bill. Money is power, eh?

drunken observations

Finals are coming up, so my life will be reduced to library, frozen spinach, and reading outlines until I pass out. Oh, and coffee, lots of coffee. Before I enter the semi-annual cocoon of misery, I attended the annual APALSA dinner. APALSA, for those of you without the good fortune to be at one of the nation’s many excellent institutions of legal education, stands for Asian Pacific American Law Students Association, alias for a safe community for shy Asian guys who over extend to over compensate. I’m joshing, I actually adore APALSA and the other ALLSAs. They have been indispensable in my first year as 1) I am incapable of making friends 2) they took me in 3) they are actually all excellent people.

The dinner was a quasi-professional event. Quasi-professional because on the one hand, the dress code was business casual; on the other, it was cocktail (I erred on the side of a short dress). On the one hand, many authority figures, like judges and Dean of the Law School were in attendance, on the other, I got shit-faced.

A few things I learned:

Mixing Patron shots with Jameson is not the way to go.

Dorks who are uncomfortable with the label will never grow out of talking up how hard they party and how much they drink. Never. Ever. They also have nothing else to talk about.

It’s sad how thin that veil of I’m trying too hard is.

“Have you ever dated a Korean guy?” Is a perfectly pertinent question from an alum, see, quasi-professional. Now, is patronizing a woman a product of entitlement from being a lawyer or just being Korean?

Middle aged white men who come to a place like Pranna on a Thursday night for beer are generally creeps and will never grow out of being creeps.

You sometimes have to look at a picture of an ugly baby fresh out of delivery still bloody, because the guy just bought your friend a drink.

It’s not ok to say, what the fuck is that, even if you didn’t know it was his baby.

Men are really impressed by a woman drinking whiskey; not as impressed by a woman in law school.

I am really bad at “networking”.

Like Louboutin’s with the red bottoms; You gotta have ’em, you glad you got ’em

I can set aside my personal grievances against bland women with no taste who step in the name of fashion and style simply based on the possession of a pair of Louboutins.  I can’t offer up any legitimate legal perspective on the lawsuit, but seriously YSL? Why? Again, I blame the machinery of fashion marketing/commercialism for confusticating style with designer “shoes and bags” – what is supposed to finish off an outfit, but thanks to trademarks and marketing have become the ultimate maker of outfits – as a consequence, making them the most lucrative sector of a brand’s sales. Why else would YSL paint the bottom of their shoes red? The shoes named are all reissued season after season and don’t reflect the brand’s seasonal designs/vision. They target same troupe of mindless women who worship at the alter of a boring stiletto with a red bottom. So why further mock the consumer by adding the same red bottom? Oh, wait. a. minute.

Nah, I think it’s really because the blue and yellow bottoms that YSLs sometimes have just don’t go with a red shoe, but still.

So if the Devil wear Prada, Adam, Eve wear Nada

1. Do you enjoy the recent increase in posts? I feel like I might as well have a tumblr sometimes since pitching Rih Rih against Charli doesn’t exactly do justice to the kind of blogs that WordPress is supposed to maintain. And I increasingly feel like sharing less on fb and more random bits on my blog, because I am friends with real people on fb now. People who are in law school and are more serious than I am, and I need to therefore be more PC, etc. My humor can be obnoxious to other people, just because they’re not always kosher. Sharing on a blog filters out people who might not want to see it, since you’d have to seek it out. I’m so considerate sometimes I feel like Mother Theresa. And Tumblr is a much more friendly platform for that kind of sharing. Also, as I started blogging more, I toyed around with the idea of a more focused blog so as to earn more consistent readers, like, only about fashun, but then I realized that I would not be able to take myself seriously if I did that.

2. As you may know, the CFDA and Fordham Law established a Fashion Law Institute, I sat awkwardly in the audience when Madame Von Furstenberg lauded Fordham warm regard and support of the fashion industry and its struggling designers. Well, the fashion club (Couture Counselor), in conjunction with the Fashion Law Institute will be holding the first event on Wednesday, in which, we will be learning about the art of drafting a “licensing agreement”. I got the workshop materials the other day. The fact pattern is for the licensing of the name of a female celebrity to produce a line of “party” dresses, tops, jewelry, shoes, handbags and eventually perfume. Seriously. Can you reconcile the supposed end goal with that? I mean, I had an idea how naive and idealist my initial hopes for fashion law were, but this is kind of cruel.

3. I love any individual with a genuine albeit effed up point of view way more than someone who is so vested in the politically correct that it’s become their actual value system (or those who just feign PC-ness without genuine conviction). Way better, if only because it’s more interesting. A little irreverence goes a long way. What does that say about me? Nothing, don’t read too deep into it, I’m much too vapid. By the way, I knew a guy like that. He used to read this blog, because he “liked” me (the idea of me, being this better than you broad like he’s a better than you dude, except it was all in his head.), not because he liked the blog. Obviously, we no longer speak.

HOUELLEBECQ

For the moment my desire to be loved is enough to spur me to action. I want to be loved despite my faults. It isn’t exactly true that I’m a provocateur. A real provocateur is someone who says things he doesn’t think, just to shock. I try to say what I think. And when I sense that what I think is going to cause displeasure, I rush to say it with real enthusiasm. And deep down, I want to be loved despite that.

INTERVIEWER

What is your definition of a Romantic?

HOUELLEBECQ

It’s someone who believes in unlimited happiness, which is eternal and possible right away. Belief in love. Also belief in the soul, which is strangely persistent in me, even though I never stop saying the opposite.

INTERVIEWER

You believe in unlimited, eternal happiness?

HOUELLEBECQ

Yes. And I’m not just saying that to be a provocateur.

Agiter la vie!

I just read and reread this book, “Desolation” by Yasmina Reza, which could be my credo. If you want a deeper look at my disturbing psyche, feel free to pick it up and have a skim. (English versions are available.)

This post will have no common thread, which is the common thread to this blog as a whole. So, a microcosm for my life, perhaps.

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote, and quickly privatized (which apparently does not bypass the cache of rss feeds and readers) a long post about assholes, which in my usage has a broad coverage of everyone from a douchebag, an imbecile with no common sense, to a malicious human with not an ounce of empathy. Well, I still feel the same way. People seem to manifest and iterate my peeves. What can I say? You make it hard for me to be a decent human being, which at the end makes me feel like an asshole (of the last and worst category). It is exhausting. I would like to be able to be indiscriminate when it comes to tolerance, but I lack the altruism. I can’t find it in my heart to have a more profound faith in humanity and overlook certain bs traits that proliferate in so many. Worst of all, the unaware and hypocritical.

Y’all annoy the last ounce of kindness out of me.

And I ask, how did you get to be 23+, but still more boring than the rocks I kick on the way to class?

I am bored with life right now. I mean, two days ago, I was so bored I made mac and cheese from a box. (Can you even?)

I don’t hate law school, I’m mostly ambivalent about it. There’s nothing intrinsically stirring about it to evoke anything other than apathy, ya know? I suppose this is how I’ll feel about my career for the next 40 years. And…I am kind of apathetic about that prospect, too. It’s a matter of fact. (AM I DEAD INSIDE? JK)

I also wish I could just have fun with any and every one or that I could be more of a people’s person. It doesn’t necessarily make me act like a giant ball of hostile bitchiness, really; just a lot of internal awkwardness, which thanks to my impeccably cool front, translates as cold hearted misanthropy.

Life might be a big misunderstanding. Sometimes I think about how much grief and heartache is caused by miscommunication and misguided speculations and I wish to go resolve everything with anyone I’ve ever known (ok, maybe not everyone). (For example, a couple of weeks ago, someone told me that I have intimacy issues. And well, while the statement bore no legitimacy and validity to the parties in that particular conversation, it’s not the first time I’ve heard it and I’ve also considered if anything I do give off that impression, especially, to people whose opinion I’d respect and care for.) Unfortunately, this society doesn’t appreciate that kind of directness and transparency, so we’ll continue being vaguely happy but “peaceful” with the occasional, dull aches.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m generally happy with my lot, chipper even. I just need some change! Obvious change, like punctuations! Yes, right now, I feel like I’m in the middle of a run on sentence which has no end in sight, no strong thesis, and is unnecessarily complicated (like any good run on sentence should be).

I don’t want anyone to hate me, either. I’m just as disappointed as you are about this (though probably for different reasons). I’ve come to have less specific expectations about people and relationships, not exactly lowering my standards, but still I face inevitable disappointment. There have been two instances where all my expectations or lack thereof were completely squashed and thrown out the window like the silly, meaningless, juvenile projections they were. This may be why these two continue to retain so much respect in my mind. The moment I realized that you will never come close to that was when I said, I value respect in a relationship and you said, it doesn’t matter how much you respect a horse, it’s still a horse. I still have no idea what that even means other than that there is a fundamental difference that cannot be reconciled.

So many dalliances are marked by pervasive indifference, at best there are rare moments of intrigue, that with enough optimism, effort to exaggerate, sometimes carry it and prolong mild interest. People disappoint in the dullest way possible, the kind of disappointment that doesn’t even move you, like oh, you’ve disappointed me so much to the core that I feel the need to reevaluate my perspective. No, it’s all, more or less, yes, of course, another utter failure of a disconnect. Of course, moving on.

Dear summer

Please excuse the corny title drawn from the eulogy of all eulogies for summer.

Today marks the end of my summer – the season of bacchanalia, of hedonistic indulgences, and of, what seems like, infinite possibilities. Tomorrow begins a new chapter.

Tomorrow, I attend the first official day of law school by way of orientation. Tomorrow is a day that I’ve been anticipating since May, when I prematurely lamented the fleeting days of summer. Tomorrow is a day that I’ve been dreading with some dramatic melancholy since the beginning of August.

I hate the person I’ve been for the last two weeks – fussy, scattered, anxious, and, worst of all, uncertain. This is all despite all the reassurances and reassurances again by friends, there is just always a nagging feeling that I could be doing more, I should have done more, I should be doing more. A feeling that is not to be mistaken for insecurity. A feeling that creeps and probably hinders more than facilitate accomplishments nonetheless. My uncertainty scares me. But maybe it’s the certainty that is scaring me. The certainty that I can no longer avoid adulthood and toil along at a comfortable job whose salary affords me my reckless and irresponsible spending. The certainty of responsibility (and guilt, really) is freaking me out.

There have been endless articles on my generation of 20 somethings and our inclination to eschew responsibility in the name of “self-discovery”. I was talking to a friend earlier in the week who will also start a new job that will take him further along a career path that  he has many doubts about. There is a lot of frustration and a bit of resentment in these conversations.

It reminds me a lot of pouting and throwing a tantrum as a kid. It also just occurred to me that my first post here was in the same vein, except that I tried to philosophize an existential crisis out of it.

I had a great summer. I met some great people. I got to know others better. This is an exciting junction in life! Just, please, don’t let me get fat and ugly. (True)

(Now if only I could stop imagining walking around in slushy dirty snow, I can maybe try to extend the summer high.)

Three years ago, when I was doing the semester abroad like the American baller thing, I saw these at some random sneaker shop around Les Halles/Etienne Marcel, and thought it was a fluke. Tonight, it popped up on a “private sales” site, where it was described to be “super stylish French trainers”. Listen, I get it, stylish is perma-attached to anything French. Fine.

But, y’all!

I can swear on my little red book (c’est en francais, vous voyez), that all the boys at my elementary school in Communist China (the girls wore the mary jane version, natch) wore these. Why do they scream hipster irony? Is it even appropriate? Some form of copyright is being violated here, n’est-ce pas?

Get this, they’re being sold for about $90. If I tell you I can get about 20 pairs of these for $90 in China, would I be fulfilling a stereotype of Chinese chick bootlegging, or would I be redirecting business to the proper venue?

The mind boggles.