Preface: This is a subjective write-up regarding today's (10/08/2009) Yahoo article "Image of Ultra-Thin Ralph Lauren Sparks Outrage". I humbly ask that you view the following as an 'op-ed abstraction' of sorts, and not as an effort of condemnation.
"Copyright law doesn't give you the right to threaten your critics for pointing out the problems with your offerings. You should know better. And every time you threaten to sue us over stuff like this, we will:
a). Reproduce the original criticism, making damned sure that all our readers get a good, long look at it, and;
b). Publish your spurious legal threat along with copious mockery, so that it becomes highly ranked in search engines where other people you threaten can find it and take heart; and
c). Offer nourishing soup and sandwiches to your models."
- Cory Doctorow, of Boing Boing
Recently, high-profile fashion designer Ralph Lauren featured an emaciated-looking model in a magazine advertisement for his fall collection (contained via hyperlink within the preface, herein). An editor from the Boing Boing website posted the same image as a Photoshop Disaster, in turn commenting: "dude, her head looks bigger than her pelvis." Subsequently, the Ralph Lauren legal team responded with a complaint inciting the DMCA - in that Boing Boing's reproduction and claims were in violation of the scope of the Fair Use terms and qualifications which allow media to "reproduce creative content for the purposes of commentary and criticism."
Boing Boing's "Photoshop Disaster" image-hosting provider (Google) removed the image and comment. However, Boing Boing's Canadian host did not, and in response to Ralph Lauren's complaint, Boing Boing's "bigger" editor posted the above comment... effectively giving a "future warning" to the American designer.
I've yet to (nor will I, under my own moral volition) pass the Bar Exam, but I have attended law school. I read magazines, watch television and films; furthermore, I am also interested in fashion evinced within the scope of such media outlets to be a form of art. For all intent and purposes, they visually represent the climate of a culture, which also bear the alternative quality of serving as a veritable time-line. As such, the images may be especially important for future generations' retrospective inquiries - where history books and verbal recollections often obfuscate and divert the truth.
"Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it" - George Santayana
So, here is my pithy attempt to break things down, as seen through my own "civilian" eyes. We are now in the aptly-titled digital era; and like the inevitable triggers of quashed hope from bygone "era's," our very own can be sparsely manifested through a quibble between an innocuous blog, a clothier and the United States Government. I honestly pray that you, the reader, whomever and wherever you are, can infer my conclusion to work towards some type of outcome that doesn't lead the populace deeper into hell.
The hyperbolic "wool" has been pulled-over our eyes for quite some time by the media's promulgation of mistruth. And within this age, every single individual with a connection to the internet is becoming the media. Accordingly, on the dismal chance I live to display this advertisement to my progeny - akin to my grandfather bequeathing me a comprehensive collection of Time, Life, LOOK and Newsweek magazines that spanned a course between the assassinations of John F. Kennedy+ and John Lennon - I can indignantly mumble, "kids, this Polo advertisement was when truth took it's official shit and made a head-first dive into irrelevancy... and nobody really gave a flying fuck."
Accordingly, I offer the following to Doctorow of Boing Boing in regards to the clever ultimatum "C." (above):
As much as I'd personally appreciate a soup and sandwich (I'm poor and hungry, myself); in vein of what I'd like to classify as "neo-Warholian" - perhaps it'd be more efficacious should you just shove a can of Campbell's Tomato and Rice directly up your anus (without assistance from the Adobe Creative Suite, naturally) for the sake of making a statement - as opposed to hackneyed anti-epigrammatical "jurisprudence."
"Art is always and everywhere the secret confession, and at the same time the immortal movement of its time" - Karl Marx
+ it remains notable just how much more clear (and different, even) the Zapruder images appear now, as opposed to those in December 1963 news magazines... y'know, whatever...