Disney trademarks “Seal Team 6”

United States Naval Special Warfare Developmen...

Image via Wikipedia

Disney has trademarked the name “Seal Team 6”, just two days after President Obama announced that Navy SEAL Team 6 killed Osama bin Laden.

The trademark application came on May 3, just two days after the bin Laden killing was announced, so it is safe to assume that this is not a mere coincidence.

CBS news reports that: “In addition to “entertainment and education services,” they cover toys, games and playthings (including the legally all-embracing “hand-held units for playing electronic games other than those adapted for use with an external display screen or monitor”); gymnastic and sporting articles; clothing, footwear and headwear; Christmas stockings, Christmas tree ornaments and decorations; and – no doubt ideal for depicting raids in Pakistan – snow globes.”

I wonder if they are going to make an animated film about the SEAL Team 6 killing of bin Laden?

Man throws snowball at police, faces court

Firstly, welcome once more to Police State Britain, soon to be renamed Airstrip One. A man who threw a snowball at a police officer just before Christmas faces a second court hearing next week after being charged with “common assault”.

Dean Smith, aged 31, had been playing with his family and five-year old stepson in the snow. A playful snowball fight ensued, and Dean threw a snowball at a police officer who was nearby. Nothing more happened until three days later when police officers arrived at his house in a riot van, handcuffed him, and charged him with “common assault”. Now I don’t know what nationality the officers were, but here in Airstrip One snow is not that “common”. Personally, I would have called that an uncommon assault. After all, it’s not everyday you get “assaulted” by snowballs, is it?

It’s a total joke,” said Smith. “I had been playing with my stepson, having a little snowball fight. I had one snowball in my left hand and saw the police officer and just threw it at her as a joke – I’m not even sure it hit her. Nothing happened so I didn’t think much more of it. Then three days later [the police] turned up at my house in a riot van and arrested me for assaulting a PC. I couldn’t believe it – I thought they had the wrong person.”

Nobody has been able to believe what is happening,” Smith continues. “Even other police officers I have spoken with since were laughing, saying they can’t believe [the case] is going ahead.” The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) is deciding whether to proceed with the case or give Smith a caution. “What really gets me is how much money this has cost the taxpayer,” Smith said.

Talbot Campus on #dayx3*

The cold cuts deep despite the sun’s subtle warmth. A young girl pulls her coat tight around her, shivering in the bitter air as she makes her way to the warmth of Poole House. Shelter.

Inside, the canteen marks a departure from the desolate barrens of the outside world – conversations compete for attention as students sit nursing hot drinks, discussing the ebbs and flows of existence. Despite the chatter, however, many seats are empty; the abandoned tables contrast with the hub of activity that the canteen usually brings. The cashiers wear Christmas hats, trying to invoke some festive spirit. A tiny Christmas tree sits atop a counter, looking forlorn. Today, we mourn.

Today is the day that Parliament votes on the proposals for the rise in tuition fees; today is the day that our government votes to condemn future generations to a lifetime of debt. Perhaps this is the reason Talbot Campus is so empty, so unwelcoming – a taste of things to come. I head out of Poole House and make my way to the AUCB campus, to see if the atmosphere is any different. As I step onto AUCB soil, the rays of the sun hit me in the face, blinding me. The campus, however, is also deserted. A stack of abandoned goods lay strewn on the side of the path – chairs, desks, planks of wood, a TV. As I make a right and head down the path towards the courtyard, I see a few students wandering aimlessly, some sitting on benches smoking cigarettes in the bitter cold as a bulldozer makes its way towards a construction site, scattering a few students who look lost. The atmosphere here is no different from Talbot Campus; it is empty, uninviting and desolate. Today the whole of Bournemouth University appears to be in mourning, the outcome already pre-empted by the few who walk the twin campuses with no real purpose. I depart. A small procession of students passes, some carrying placards, making their way to the SUBU coaches bound for the London protest. Some have not given up yet, imbued with a fighting spirit and a sense of optimism. They are chatting amongst themselves, laughing. It inspires hope in me.

In the circle courtyard outside Poole House, a banner reads: “Bournemouth University against Education Cuts”. The courtyard itself is empty. Work is still commencing on the newest “state-of-the-art” lecture theatre, the construction site fenced off. Who knows whether it will ever be filled once the cuts start to bite? I head back into Poole House, into the warmth. Grabbing a coffee, I sit down and mull over the scene before me. Suddenly, Christmas music pipes up, lifting the bleak mood. BU language society members stand in a line, enacting the songs in sign language for those who sit attentively. People clap. I chuck a few pence into the donation pot and make my way out, hands in pockets, deep in thought.

*#dayx3 is the twitter hashtag for the third day of student demonstrations which took place on the actual day that Parliament voted on the proposals to raise tuition fees. I wrote this feature on dayx3, as I walked around Bournemouth University’s Talbot Campus. It was a cold winter morning, and the campus was fairly quiet, perhaps an indicator of things to come, I wondered. I filed this under Comment as well as Fiction>Stories, as it is also a piece of creative, journalistic writing.

Captain SKA – Liar Liar

Brilliant song and video focusing on the coalition government’s damning cuts – a protest song with a beat and a real message. Check it out and buy the single! There is a movement to get this song to Xmas no.1 – let’s do it!

Released 12th December for XMAS no 1.
Available from:

Proceeds to: Crisis, Disability Alliance, FalseEconomy and Women’s Health Matters. Launch gig for “Liar Liar” and FalseEconomy website 13th December, Vibe Bar Featuring Captain SKA, comedian Josie Long, Hackney Colliery band and DJ Jamie Renton (Chilli Fried)