We all need a little humour to make life a little bit more tolerable sometimes. As the old adage goes, “laughter is the best medicine”. Indeed we have scientific research to back that up. Especially in trying times and difficult situations, it helps to let your hair down and have a good old belly laugh.
Or even a gentle chortle. As comedian and political satirist Jon Steward once said, “Comedy is in the middle of a traffic jam, getting everybody moving again.” This time around, though, we’re turning the attention from ourselves and on to some of the most laughable events to have made headlines this year…
Musk be a Mistake
At one point or another, especially after a few too many pints, many of us have had the experience of tweeting something we’d later regret. Except, in most occasions, it doesn’t result in a billion-dollar lawsuit. The same can’t be said about Tesla CEO Elon Musk however.
After months of buzz around Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s claims to buy Twitter, the quirky SpaceX founder has finally declared that he will not be pursuing ownership of Twitter after attempting to terminate a signed merger agreement in April. As a result, Twitter has sued the business magnate for backing out of a US$44 billion acquisition.
Sniping back at the social media platform, Musk has accused the company of misleading him with inaccurate data, obfuscating facts, not notifying him of layoffs and executive changes, as well as refusing to hand over “useable” user data – all of which allegedly constitute a “breach” of the agreement, according to Musk’s lawyers. As the case goes on, if found liable, Musk will be obliged to pay a US$1 billion break-up fee according to the agreement.
Money, muscles and bagels. Hong Kong is known to be one of the safest cities in the world, with murder and theft cases being comparatively lower than other cities. However, a recent scuffle between two establishments has turned sour and you bet social media was quick to catch on.
In June, the infamous Bagel War was the talk of Kennedy Town and almost every English media in the city. Mendel’s, a New York bagel shop went viral on social media for a video they posted to their Instagram page in which men in black shirts were seen blocking entry to the store and telling customers that they were not allowed in, while employees can be heard yelling from inside to customers that the deli was in fact open.
The establishment had accused rival Schragel’s founder Rebecca Schragel of having hired security to harass customers and employees. In the video, customers can be seen struggling to pass through – dodging and pushing their way past the burly men. While many customers and supporters of the eatery were enraged, some found amusement in the turn of events.
It was cleared that Rebecca Schrage, a majority shareholder of Mendel’s was suing her partners for financial disputes.
It’s Not Over Until It’s Over
Nobody wants to be broken up with on text or over the phone. However, that didn’t stop the head of state of Sri Lanka to pack up and flee the country in the wake of anti-government protests in July.
It was confirmed By Mahinda Yapa Abeywardenena, the Speaker of the Parliament of Sri Lanka, that Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had sent over his resignation through e-mail and fled to Singapore on a flight from the Maldives.
Abeywardenena has told media that “we cannot accept such an email at face value” and that the legality of such a declaration needs to be legally verified, ascertained and officially confirmed. The state is expecting a paper copy of the letter but is expecting the letter to come through at a later time as it would be sent from Singapore.
It’s Türkiye, not Turkey
When you think of Turkey, what springs to mind? If you say a large gobbling bird, you’re not alone. Most of us have all been guilty of associating “Turkey” with the thanksgiving dinner table rather than paying any mind to the actual country. In fact, if you type it into Google, you’re quite likely to see pages worth of the large game bird.
As such, the government of Turkey had formally advocated to officially change the country’s name to Türkiye (pronounced tur-key-yay), even producing a video commercial of the movement. It doesn’t help that the word is also alternatively defined as “a stupid or inept person”.
The name was changed to reframe the country’s image and connect it to its cultural roots. The process of the country’s renaming had began in December 2021 when President Recep Tayyip Erdogan issued a statement saying, “The word ‘Turkiye’ represents and expresses the culture, civilisation, and values of the Turkish nation in the best way.” In June, The United Nations officially recognised Turkey as Türkiye and had implemented the change shortly after receipt of the request.
Behind Every Dream is Cartier
Contrary to high end jeweller Tiffany & Co.’s tagline: Behind every dream is a dreamer, a recent legal battle between the high-end brand and competitor Cartier has pit the two luxury brands against each other.
In march Cartier accused Tiffany & Co. of stealing trade secrets of the brand’s bespoke jewellery collection. According to a complaint filed in a New York state court in Manhattan, Tiffany had hired an under qualified junior manager to learn more about Cartier’s High Jewelry collection, in which pieces cost from US$50,000 to US$10 million.
The manager also happened to be a former executive worker for Cartier and was hired despite her six-month non-compete agreement. She was then fired after five weeks. Tiffany had since denied all allegations Cartier has made thus far. Although this isn’t the first legal battle between the two, it’s still a saucy affair to see two major league brands go head to head.
As vague as the lines are between reality and the metaverse, to luxury conglomerate Hermès, the boundaries of copyright is clear.
In January, Hermès sent artist Mason Rothschild a cease and desist letter and filed a lawsuit in federal court in the Southern District of New York for alleged trademark infringement, false designation of origin, trademark dilution, and cyber-squatting.
This lawsuit followed a sale by the artist of reinterpreted Berkin NFTs, coined the word “Metabirkins”, within the metaverse. The NFT features furry renderings of Hermes’s iconic Birkin handbag. Artist Mason Rothschild has since claimed his First Amendment right and right to artistic expression, stating that the Metabirkins are not explicitly misleading.
Much Ado About Nothing
If there is one thing the infamous reality TV family The Kardashians is known for, it’s controversy – and there is a lot – enough propel the family into global fame. For what exactly? Absolutely nothing, allegedly.
Which is ironic since the most famous of the Kardashian-Jenner clan Kim Kardashian has been criticised for an interview in which she advised women who want to make a successful career in business with this statement: “I have the best advice for women in business,” she says. “Get your f—–g a– up and work. It seems like nobody wants to work these days.
The punch line here is that the family has been called out several times in the past, including by Oprah Winfrey and Barbara Walters for having no talent or any particular expertise or professional background. Yet, for two decades they have become a household name across the globe and cashed on millions for their Keeping Up with the Kardashians reality show in which they do, well…nothing…
Text: Staff Writer