On the off chance that I am not the last literature-leaning person on earth to become aware of what is known as #cockygate, I feel lividly motivated to add my mostly unknown voice to the fray. It has roused the ire of this ordinarily live-let-live easygoing gentleman here in these rocky boonies.
Anyone who dabbles as a hobbyist or has achieved a full-time job status in a realm that so much as tickles a relation to the usage of words that happen to fall anywhere on the informative-creative continuum, should consider it chilling that someone is able to legally take possessive ownership of a single word and given power to prohibit anyone else’s use of a single word. This person (and thanks to this person there are more persons aiming to foster a sort of exclusive orgy that illustrates what happens with an indiscriminate mixing of arrogance, entitlement, and stupidity) must not be allowed to prevail and the message must be crystal clear and the font unmistakably gargantuan.
If there is a holy book that unites all manner of wordsmith, be they breathing among us or still speaking from pages printed in a near or distant past; be it a nobody poet-type like me who considers it a mighty accomplishment to complete a work which length qualifies as a novella, to the Greats like Hemingway or Faulkner or Cather or Poe, that holy book would be the Dictionary.
You know, thanks to the internet, we can access miles of lists and tests happy and quick to tell us who we are or offer clues as to if we might be who we think we are. It isn’t hard for a soul prone to bouts of self-doubt to get the message they are not a ‘real writer’ because this or that list or test decides this question for you.
Well, I think there is a very simple test: a Dictionary. The greater the likelihood that tears of reverential joy would fall on receiving a thick, detailed, dictionary for a gift, the greater the likelihood that the recipient possesses persuasions geared towards some avenue of literary expression, creation, appreciation….
Or for more concise wording: if your idea of a good time is a night spent in a dictionary, you might, you know….
So basically, the vile tide of scum attempting to trademark single words are literally seeking to bring corruption to our Holy Book. They think they are at liberty to come along and decide who among us may or may not access words in the Book rightfully, equally, open for all who have any level of interest in using words for any reason.
They are effectually seeking to force dictionaries to remake themselves so that all words will bear a little TM. If there is an issue that forbids the easygoing, live-let-live writer/poet-type from assuming a Whatever-lackadaisical posture and attitude, this must be the issue. This transcends religious, political, philosophical, racial, sexual, stylistic, etc, differences.
And don’t think that the potential ramifications can’t extend beyond the usage of words. Suppose some wacko psycho photographer happened to enjoy a measure of success with pictures of roses. They get it in their self-absorbed, delusional head, that since a certain number of people love this psycho’s rose photos, they must trademark pictures of roses, else some unsophisticated saps don’t realize the beautiful rose photo they are looking at and possibly purchased was shot and published by someone else. Yeah it sounds nuts. But these people are nuts.
So this kerfuffle blew up way back in early May. I just heard about it a couple days ago. Again in the off chance I am not the last to know of this, all one needs to do is search terms like ‘cockygate’ and many fine articles are out there. Also a petition. I never sign petitions. I signed this petition.
Doesn’t matter if you write poetry, prose, fiction, nonfiction, good poetry, bad poetry, good stories, bad stories; beginner or accomplished, eighteen or eighty; or if you are a reader of poetry, prose, fiction, nonfiction, good, bad, beginners or pros. This/these attempt(s) to take possession of single words, is a direct attack on you.
They are fucking with our Holy Book.
Nothing’s pissed me off, riled my passions, kicked my goat in the gonads, like this. I hate no person for how they live, what they believe, how they vote… but god almighty, don’t get me near these sorry excuses for persons. Dude don’t mess with my Holy Book.