Thursday, August 25, 2005


Sorting through the detritus of my family's vacation, I have just been confronted by a small flyer for the Vermont Teddy Bear Company. On the cover, which you should be grateful I'm not reprinting here, there's a teddy bear wearing sunglasses, wearing a white t-shirt, and blue jeans rolled up at the bottom. Aside from the "Mom" heart tattoo on his left arm and the fact that he's a teddy bear, it looks like a shor from the photo sessions for Springsteen's Born in the U.S.A. cover. Indeed, the words "Born in the USA" appear under the bear, along with a trademark notice. The company was founded in 1981 and a quick search suggests they've been using the "USA" slogan only recently. But what if the teddy bear people indeed own the use of that term and they get a piece of Born in the U.S.A.? Yeah, I highly doubt it, too, but at least there'd be some rock'n'roll money coming into Vermont not tarnished by association with Phish.