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Negativland vs. The Man
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Why I Left Burning Man -- and Why I'm Returning


Part 1:
666 prank offends

Part 2:
666 Complains

Part 3:
Doc responds

Part 4:
Netsters respond

Part 5:
666 CEO responds

Part 6:
666 booty

Part 7:
666 gallery


 

Legal Schmegal!
666 strikes back at D.o.C.

by Deuce of Clubs

(Originally published in 1998)


The response to the 666 cough syrup piece had always been universally positive. Many thought I had made up the cough syrup—only one or two had ever heard of it. But nobody's feathers got ruffled—not even hardcore religious folks—until the lawyers at the newly-reorganized Monticello Companies laid eyes on it. (Monticello—hmm, wonder whether they have the permission of the Thomas Jefferson estate to use that name?) Here was their grammatically-challenged response:

Date: Fri, 24 Oct 1997 13:23:21 -0400
From: Paul K.

[Last name deleted by Doc, who isn't *completely* unaware of what's good for him]

Subject: 666 article

Deuce of Clubs,

I am writing to you on behalf of The Monticello Companies, Inc., manufactures of 666 band cold products. The Monticello Companies, Inc. has undergone a major change in management since the interaction you had with the company. While the 666 brand name does present some marketing challenges, it's has a long history and a strong brand recognition in it's traditional markets.

The product name was very innocent in its origin. Eighty-nine years ago Monticello first made a quinine medicine for high fever and malaria. The first order was written on an order tab with the number 666. The product worked. People asked for the product by its order number and it started to be called "that 666 product". The name 666 stuck, and as Monticello created more products, they also became part of the 666 family. It was not until about 15 years ago when the movie "The Omen" was released, that the numbers by themselves came to have an evil context. Monticello had not answered ten questions about the name during the 70 years of its existence up until that point. However, it was always Monticello's belief that the mark of the beast "666", was not evil unless it was written on human skin. According to the bible, if this number was put on your skin it would show you had given up your Christianity and been marked for identification.

The new Monticello team takes its role very seriously. The quality products they produce are priced well below nationally advertised brands, thus providing high-quality products at large saving for their consumers. Monticello counts heavily on the brand recognition it has built and it's reputation for producing quality products. The management team feels that articles like yours undermine their efforts, and as so are requesting that you remove the page (and links) from your site in addition to any other know on-line versions of the article. In addition to undermining the product-line, the article also offended the team, they have a lot of pride in the products, the company and the long family history they represent.

If you would like, I could arrange to have a member of the management team contact you to discuss this further. Please let me now if you have any questions, and advise me of what action you'll be taking.

Thank you,
Paul K.

[Guy Who Apparently Wears the Lawyer Suit at 666 (Okay, I deleted the name.—Doc)]


Denizens of the net unanimously renounced the works of Satan and sided instead with the Constitution, beginning with this unsolicited parody of the 666 Lawyer letter, by Joe Ault (of joesplanet.com).


Mr. Cooley,

You'll be happy to know that the management team at The Monticello Companies, Inc. has arrived at the new brand names for The Products Formerly Known as 666. Please note the following updates to our product line:

* 666 Cold Preparation (tm) will now be known as Satan's Syrup (tm). Satan's Syrup will carry the slogan, "When you've got a Hell of a cough."(tm)

* Our new remedy formula for the discomfort of constipation will be known as Lucifer's Laxative, carrying the slogan, "It'll scare the shit out of you." (tm)

* Our new Consumer Pet Division will be entering the pet food market with the product, Cerberus Chow, carrying the slogan, "For the extra-hungry dog!" (tm)

We hope these changes will address the concerns you've raised.

Regards,
[Name deleted by Doc]
"No Relation to Ted Kaczynski" (tm)

P.S. We recently found a convenient copy of the U.S. Bill of Rights http://Constitution.by.net/uSA/BillOfRights.html which seems to guarantee certain freedoms regarding free speech. We also heard from several of our lawyer pals that the Supreme Court has upheld the practice of parody as protected by the same document. Sorry about that whole cease and desist thing we "had goin' on" (as the young folks say) - boy, were we wrong!

© Deuce of Clubs


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