Just two days after SEAL Team Six took out Osama bin Laden, Disney tried to trademark their name. They planned to use it for “entertainment and education, video games, toys, Christmas ornaments, snow globes, clothing, hats, and shoes,” according to Fox News.
Alas, we won’t be getting those SEAL Team Six snow globes after all. The Navy countered with its own trademark application last week, and the House of Mouse withdrew its application.
The more I think about it, the more I want an “Osama kill scene” snow globe. I would keep it on my desk, and give it a little shake whenever I felt a twinge of writer’s block. The sight of the little bin Laden corpse floating around in fake snow, as chance rays of sunlight streamed through the hole in his head, and “It’s A Small World” chirped from a tiny speaker in the base of the globe, would surely have filled my dullest hour with inspiration. If no one in the Navy has thought about what they’ll do with this gold-mine license yet, call me.
A lot of people thought the Disney application was crass. They should have offered a partnership with the Navy, and done the courtesy of asking their permission. I suppose the Disney marketing department would respond that any delay in filing the application could have allowed some other company to get it first. With that in mind, at least Disney had the good grace to retract their claim when the Navy objected.
I’ve never agreed with the sneering dismissal of consumerism when it comes to licensed merchandise. Besides doing my capitalist heart proud, it continues a tradition as old as civilization itself. It is in the nature of men to salute the brave by standing beneath their banner… or, in the modern style, wear their banner on a stylish baseball cap. It seems strange to call this sort of thing “disrespectful,” when it is among the oldest methods of showing respect.
The Navy wants to trademark SEAL Team Six for “clothing, footwear, and headwear.” I don’t know if they’ll use it to create items for sale to the public. Maybe one day the men who greased bin Laden will see a kid wearing “Official SEAL Team Six sneakers” running by. Like all Americans, that kid will be very fortunate to have the SEALs on his team. I hope the SEALs will be equally pleased by a reminder that he is on theirs.