UPDATED ~ Dear Portlandia: Really?

See updates below.

A few weeks ago I designed a bag for my zazzle store, as an homage to Portlandia, an awesomely satirical show poking fun of Portland.  It was a canvas bag with a dead dodo bird on it, and it said (in very cheerful lettering) “Put a bird on it!”   I put a link to their page so that people would understand why a sad, extinct bird would be a parody of the skit.  I’d put a picture of it here, but I can’t, because the company that owns Portlandia made zazzle delete it because they said it infringed on their intellectual property.  So apparently, you can’t put a bird on it.

It was fine though, because no one actually bought one anyway, but I thought it was funny that a show based entirely on satirizing an entire city would have a problem with my bag satirizing their show.   So I made a new bag satirizing my last bag.

I know. I can't read it either. Hang on and I'll blow it up.
If anything, I'm doing Portlandia a favor by letting people know how serious they are about owning all the birds.

I even explained everything on the actual bag description:

Pretty clear, I think.

And then I tweeted it to @ifcportlandia and said “We’re cool here, right?”  And we were.  Until the next day when that bag was banned as well.  This is when most people would give up, rather than making it worse.  Most people who were not me, that is.

Please click on the links to see the latest additions to my store.

 Option one.

Option two.

Option three.

PS.  I still love Portlandia.  And birds.  Just not at the same time, due to really important and stupid legal issues.

UPDATED:  Holy crap, y’all.  I just got an email from Fred Armisen (co-creater and co-star of Portlandia), telling me that he and Carrie have no clue why those bags were banned, and that they think they’re fabulous.  Then he asked how they could help, and he and Carrie offered to sign some of the bags personally.  Which explains exactly why I love Portlandia, social media, and birds.  I considered making one saying “Carrie and Fred personally approve of the birds on this bag” (and then have them sign it, along with a notary public), but instead I just suggested that they sign one and auction it off to a charity that rescues birds from crack houses.  And we’d call it The GET-A-BIRD-OUT-OF-THERE Auction.  No word yet from Fred.  It’s possible I may have frightened him.

UPDATED AGAIN:  So much awesomeness it needed a whole new post.

536 thoughts on “UPDATED ~ Dear Portlandia: Really?

Read comments below or add one.

  1. I think you now owe the Portlandia people money, since their ridiculousness inspired you to become EVEN MORE CREATIVE.

    I LOVE “Put a herd on it.”

    I love the Beyonce one too, but “put a herd on it.” is just genius.

    Oh, btw, I recently purchased/watched all 6 episodes of Portlandia (which I LOVE) solely because you talked about it. So there, IFC.

  2. My blog site name is portlandiamom so you know I loves me some Portlandia too. Life in P-Town is exactly like the show, replete with organic chicken farms and lesbian bookstores and it is rad as shit! Fred Armisen is a regular at the food cart next to my office so I tend to stalk him. . .but just a little. . .and not in a restraining order kind of way.

  3. Portlanders really wouldn’t care, and I don’t know how they can own all the birds. I blame New Yorkers, out west we have far less sticks up our asses.

  4. I just can’t even, with you… right now… because of all the tears from all the laughing. You will always be my favorite thing about the internet. Besides looking at real estate. And streaming movies. That I pay for. Because unlike some people I don’t steal. Except for porn, but really they just give that away anyhow.

  5. I was not aware that Joe Biden was now the CEO and Chief Cock at Portlandia. But clearly fire must be fought with fire, or, technically, birds. We suggest a 2 out of 3 Texas Chicken Death Match. Beyonce and Biden. Rules? There are no rules in a Chicken fight! Beyonce cracks a low, savage chicken kick to Biden’s dangly bits. End of legal issue. And of Biden’s residual manhood. Yay.

  6. “Put a herd on it” is definitely the new “put a bird on it.”

    “Put a bird on it” is officially dead. And shame on you Portlandia!

    Oh and Robin has the best idea ever. “Put a nerd on it!” I’m making my nerd husband work on this later.

  7. I love option 2, but beware Texas may own all of the herds, and the last thing you want is the American /Texas Cattle Industry to be angry with you… just ask Oprah.

  8. You realize you’ll probably get sued by “The Pioneer Woman” for the “herd” bag, right? ;D (I doubt it, she seems pretty cool, she just posts about cows a lot.)

    This does seem ridiculous… if the Portlandia owners were SMART, they’d offer to hire you to come up with merchandise for them. Sheesh.

  9. I’m going to need you to take down Option 2. My grandpa’s farm owns the rights to all “herd” photos. Maybe try to put a turd on it instead.

  10. I’ve never heard of Portlandia. But hey, can you satirize Missoni? Because I can’t get that shit on Target.com anymore.

  11. I don’t think you can blame Portlandia – I’m pretty sure it’s Zazzle that pulls things pre-emptively without waiting for notification. I once tried to make a Twilight shirt that said “Team Jasper” with a picture of the constipated looking vampire, but it got pulled in minutes. *shakes fist at Zazzle*

    (Sadly, no. It was actually the company representing Portlandia that submitted the complaint. I even got an email from zazzle explaining who the the company was and what they’d complained about. ~ Jenny)

  12. The first bag can be interpreted it as, you liked your porch, so you put Beyonce on it.

    I hope you realize that with this burst of creativity, you’re going to get Beyonce and Portlandia sending you cease and desist correspondence. And maybe to each other.

    ~~if you liked it, then you should have put a bird on it, if you liked it, then you should have put a bird on it~~

  13. The Portlandia folks could take a lesson from the musician, Beyonce, since she seems totally cool (or oblivious) to being the namesake of your chicken. I like Beyonce. Even though I don’t like birds.

  14. Of all the silly things to waste their time on. I’m unfamiliar with Portlandia and now I’m conflicted. Do I check it out because Her Bloggessness likes it or do I boycott because they dissed Her Bloggessness? Curses!

  15. I think they need to look up the word satire as it relates to copyright law. And, Joe Biden is the king of plagiarism. So, if he was the CEO and Chief Cock of Portlandia, he probably would have let all this slide even if it was infringement, which it is not since there is a pretty clear exception for satire.

  16. Hmm. As far as I know, Morris Day is owned by Prince (aka, unpronounceable symbol) not IFC. So, if Prince doesn’t mind, could you make a bag with Morris Day putting a bird on it?

  17. I would have never heard of Portlandia but for you and this post. They should be thanking you. I don’t understand why they aren’t thanking you? They should be autographing pictures of themselves using your bag with the bird just like Wil Wheaton. Don’t they get it?

  18. The Beyonce “Single Ladies (Put a ring on it)” reference is being completely overlooked here.

  19. I was feeling option 1, but then I saw option 3. If I buy one and you ship it and then they pull it, do they come to my house? And then am I under any obligation to serve them coffee or something while I pretend to look for the bag and then tell them one of my dogs ate it?

  20. Fucking. Brilliant. Is it limited to ONE bird that you’re not allowed to put on it? What if you put two birds, fucking… like the way the Portlandia legal reps are fucking up satire/parody?

  21. Howzabout one that says “All your bird are belong to us!” ;D

    Oh Kate @ Savor Fare, that is made of awesome!

  22. Careful with the “herd” one. The Pioneer Woman will sic one of her rodeo-ropin’ cowboys on you. Or one of her kids – not sure which is worse.

  23. So, now I’m confused and I have additional questions. Can I, or not, put a giant metal rooster (A BIRD) on “it” (my lawn)? Are birds allowed on my lawn, garden, or house? Can I OWN a bird as a pet? And I’m not even addressing the whole “bird poop” issue and where I can, or cannot, apply IT.

    too many questions. too many questions.

  24. I’m reading your blog in England, and my fiancé also reads your blog. No one here is watching this ‘Portlandia’ fellow. I think you know who has the most global reach her.

  25. Oh… they are *totally* angry birds. The whole bunch of them. The pigs are hoarding their eggs and now they’re PISSED and taking it out on us. Thanks, Portlandia. Way to run with a good joke that makes people actually interested in you. Fail.

  26. I never seen the show but from what I can gather, these Portlandia people are responsible for killing the dodo and they don’t want merchandise out there because it could be used as evidence against them when this shit goes to trial.

  27. Love option #1! There’s probably a whole bunch of other crap they own too… give them time, they’ll let you know for sure.

  28. I love the new options. Except after the first two, I bet the person sitting next to me $5 that the third option would be ‘put a nerd on it’. I did that because I’m an idiot. An idiot who is now $5 poorer.

  29. Coming from the Uk I have no idea what Portlandia is and as it is my.bed time I shall not investigate untill the morning. But clearly they are in danger of becoming Dodo’s passing up on the free marketing and advertising that your endorsement brings to them. Maybe your next design should have the image of their ceo with his head stuck up the arse of a large Texas Turkey!

  30. They put a turd on it. Holy shit, there’s a bird perched on a tree in my yard, I gotta go wave some legal paperwork at it.

  31. Go ahead. The worst thing that’ll happen is they’ll cancel your order and refund your money. I plan on buying the first one and mailing it to the company the represents Portlandia myself.

  32. I had the same thing happen with my “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” store. Nothing I posted actually infringed on any intellectual property, but it was still deleted without warning. This is clearly Obama’s fault.

  33. Clearly this is the best cause you have ever taken part in. People need to be warned about the intellectual property rights regarding birds. I have now been forced to rethink my line of Dodo bird headdresses. I’m sure my investors will want to thank you as well for saving them tens of dollars.

  34. Was having one of the worst days of my life – and you still made me laugh! THANKS!!!!!!
    Option 3 – love it!

  35. Just think, if they hadn’t been ridiculous, you wouldn’t have such a funny story. They did you a favor. And I love #3. Genius!

    Flip them the bird and move on.

  36. Someone above mentioned “put a nerd on it” – you could use Wil Wheaton collating paper for that. It would be awesome.

  37. I cannot decide if their issue with your parody is ironic or just stupid.

    Also torn between bags 2 and 3… but I carry a lot of stuff around so perhaps I should get both.

  38. Awesome! Love all the designs! I think in light of all this a bag that said, “SATIRE. Put a word on it.” would be apropos.

    I think they did themselves a great disservice considering you introduced so many people to Portlandia including myself. Their loss..

  39. Who, or what, in the hell is Portlandia???? I guess now, I’ll have to Google them.

    Guess what Portlandia you just missed out on a huge marketing opportunity; HUGE!

    And Option Three? TOTALLY IN LOVE! I WILL own one, someday soon!

  40. I want to carry number one around with me everywhere I go just so I can look at people’s faces when they try to figure out WTF that bag is talking about. People’s faces that don’t read thebloggess, that is. So basically nobody. Nevermind.

  41. Portlandia should be thanking you for the free advertising. I’m now curious to know what all this bird shit is all about, but since they want to be douches over your bags, I’ll pass. Keep your birds, motherfuckers!

  42. As soon as I am paid again, I need to buy one of the We Own All The Birds. I then need to make it my default zoo shift bag. Because I work with birds of prey, and my coworkers (and the birds) all need to know this. 🙂

  43. Portlandia should pay you for advertising. Beyonce should file a civil suit for their implied ownership against her will.

  44. You should sell ALL THREE OF THEM. Also, maybe you could have a fourth, showing a flock of birds flying over a city dropping off flaming bags of poo, with the caption “Put a TURD on it”.


  45. You are amazing and I want you to be my best friend and we could go shopping and hang out and drink wine slushies and it would be full of awesome and win!

  46. Clearly the intellectual property is owned by my client, Sesame Street, e.g. their popular Big Bird character. And we at the Street have no issue with you using the phrase “Put a Big Bird Turd On It.” This advice was sponsored by the letter T and the Number 2.

  47. Doood. Way to turn a stupid situation around to something positive. Out of curiosity, did you tweet @nprmonitormix (Carrie Brownstein)? I’m pretty sure she’d totes be okay with your totes.

  48. Truly, option one had me spitting my diet Dr. Pepper. Then I saw the other two and couldn’t decide which one was more awesome and clever. Your cleverness quotient is through the roof. : )

  49. I say keep the dodo, and all of the others too! Did the makers of Ice Age sue Portlandia for misrepresentation of the Ice Age dodo? I don’t think so!

  50. And here I thought they were putting birds ON everything. Who knew they had one shoved up their arse too! I’m thinking someone should call the ASPCA ASAP.

  51. Bloody genius.

    ps. If the heart law is anything like the Law of Attraction, then it’s a farce. Ask anyone in law enforcement and they’ll tell you that technically it isn’t even a law!

    That’s why your bags are the shit. They’re based on REAL laws. (Ones that have been passed by Congress.)

  52. Dear Ms Bloggess

    We do hereby claim all rights to any birds. Including the bird you call Beyonce. We expect proof you have melted that metal bird into a shape not resembling a bird… like a few hundred hair pins for example. Further to that, we expect that you do not attach feathers to said hairpins should you choose this option because then you may adorn yourself with plumage and look like a bird. Looking like a bird is also an infringement of our intellectual, spiritual, monetary and satirical rights – as is the use of any word that rhymes with bird. Thus, you must remove your reference to a herd. You may also not try and infringe on our property and rights by using the words nerd, turd, curd, or word. In fact, don’t even use vague references to these words. Don’t make any product with these words. And certainly do not attach plumage to these words. Come to think of it, you should avoid use of the words port, land or ia. We’re staking a claim on those too. If it’s any consolation, we’ve served notice to the state of Oregon that the name of Portland shall be terminated and the city shall henceforth be known as ‘Beyonce’.
    Thank you for your attention in this matter and we are so happy you enjoy our program. We create this for our fans like you and value our viewers immensely. Really.
    Sincerely, The Pordlandia People In Charge*

    * not really. Any resemblance to persons or companies is purely coincidental.

  53. Note to self: Whatever you do, DO NOT PUT A BIRD ON IT. EVER.

    I’m soooo glad you posted this today, because I was actually on my way to get a giant dodo tatooed onto my forehead. THAT would have been awkward.

  54. You should add a silhouette of Oregon with a star where Portland is to the 1st bag!

    Your second bag “Don’t put a bird on it” shouldn’t have been banned as that phrase is not trademarked as far as the trademark database goes (unlike “Put a bird on it” which is).

  55. Option 4! Option 4! Can’t we have one like others suggested with the finger bird on it?? Or the Turd… Maybe Bag #5 is Put a Turd on It like Kathy suggested with an outline picture of someone….

  56. Well, you are wrong about no one buying the “put a bird on it” bag. I bought one and currently use it everyday. Does this mean it is a collectors item now?

  57. wouldn’t it just have been more cost effective for Portlandia to just ask you for a portion of your profit made from the Bird products? i mean come on! It’s free advertising for them and Cash in their little executive pockets…isn’t it obvious?!

    BTW, they should now pay you for all the advertising you are doing for them…just saying.

  58. They don’t own roosters, do they? Can you still put a cock on it? I feel like that would be sort of satisfyingly aggressive.

  59. Apparently they can dish out the satire but can’t take it? I had never heard of the show until you mentioned it, and even though it sounds like the kind of thing that I would find entertaining, I HATE bullies and so now they can just shove it! Stupid effing lawyers….*grumble grumble*

    I found others on Zazzle selling stuff that actually had very similar bird graphics to the ones used in the skit that also said “put a bird on it”, but they didn’t mention Portlandia. Maybe mentioning their name is what got you in trouble? But if whoever had your bags taken down pulled their heads out of their asses for a second they would have realized you were giving them FREE advertising which is a far sight better than you directing them to a picture of Wil Wheaton collating paper.

  60. All of them. I have money like, tomorrow. And I want ’em. Also, I live in Portland. It’s war, Portlandia. WAR.

  61. My (14 year old) son just read this, laughed out loud and said “She should make one that says ‘put a turd on it.'”

    You even make my kids laugh, Jenny.

    (p.s. call me.)

  62. Is Portlandia going to sue me at Thanksgiving when they barge into my house (probably unannounced) and confiscate my table because I’ve put a bird on it? Let’s see if the fine folks at Portlandia realize that all they’ve really done is put a douche on it.

  63. ALL THE BIRDS. all of them. and you can’t have ’em unless you’re here in portlandia. (but really, i’ll gladly share. because you’re awesome.)

  64. Hilarious! I say keep trying! They can only ask you to take it down. You’re only in trouble if you refuse! You can get some crazy satisfaction from knowing Portlandia has to pay the attorneys to research the Trademark infringement and pay for the subsequent notice to Zazzle to remove the item/phrase/photo in question. Here is what you violated – http://tess2.uspto.gov/bin/showfield?f=doc&state=4008:49e08t.2.1. So, when you put a “do not” in front of it – it still contained the phrase “put a bird on it.” I wonder if you could get away with “putting a bird on that?” Or “put a birdie on it?”

  65. seriously? fuck them. you *had* piqued my interest in the show, which i now refuse to mention by name, but i now also refuse to watch the show i refuse to mention by name.

    even though it sounded full of the awesome. fuckers.

  66. Soooo. I really need to see this show because I’m confused about the whole bird thing. Are we minions allowed to watch it still?

  67. On one hand, I feel compelled to watch Portlandia because you find it so awesome. On the other, I feel like I shouldn’t do anything nice for Portlandia until they stop taking your bags down. I’m so conflicted.

  68. What the eff is wrong with people who don’t get how cool you are and that anything you touch turns to internet GOLD? Even if you are told to stop touching it, and then you are compelled to touch it even more, and then it still turns into an internet gem although not gold because gold is too pure, more like diamonds because I’ve heard there’s blood in those or something. Or something.

  69. Dear Ms. Bloggerress,

    Speaking arbitrarily and with no particular authority on behalf of the City of Portland, where I happen to live, but only since late 2009 (and technically not “in” Portland but close enough to spit, not that anyone in Portland would spit, in public, I mean, especially not over a municipal line), having moved here from Massachusetts which is another story I will tell you sometime,

    I hereby, henceforth and hincewith extend to you the CITY OF PORTLAND HAND OF FRIENDSHIP HAND…

    …as I was saying, The CITY OF PORTLAND HAND OF FRIENDSHIP HAND is a token of our appreciation for your appreciation for the show, Portlandia, which is a satirical show based on the city of Portland, named (the show, not the city) after the sculpture, “Portlandia”, by Raymond Kaskey, which stands (well, kneels, actually) above the entrance to the Michael Graves building in downtown Portland (the city).

    Portlandia (the sculpture) is the second-largest copper repoussé* statue in the United States, after the Statue of Liberty. According to Wikipedia, the ultimate authority on copper repoussé statues (in the United States, anyway).

    A word of caution, Ms. Bloggerress.

    Before you get too excited and, in your hasty excitement, put an image of Portlandia (the sculpture) on a bag and try selling it on Zazzle, with the words, “PUT THE SECOND LARGEST COPPER REPOUSSÉ STATUE IN THE UNITED STATES ON IT “, please note that, unlike the Statue of Liberty, Portlandia (the sculpture) may not be reproduced for commercial use without the express permission of its creator, sculptor Raymond Kaskey. Who will not grant you such permission. Who do you think you are, anyway?

    Ahem. As the script I have been reading says, without all these scribbled notations in the margins, it has been calculated** that the figure of Portlandia, if standing, would be 50 feet in height, thus making Portland the true home of the 50-ft. Woman.

    Not to be confused with brilliant singer, actress and performer Storm Large, who sings “My Vagina is 8 Miles Wide” http://stormlarge.com/8-miles-wide-video/ and who is, in fact, over six feet tall.***

    (True story–I saw Storm Large perform yesterday with Pink Martini, the Oregon Symphony Orchestra, the Portland Youth Choir’s Chamber Choir, and Ari Shapiro, NPR’s White House Correspondent, who, in addition to flying around with the President of the United States in Air Force One, is also one hell of a baritone (and a Portland native), and nearly as tall as Storm Large. Who is one HELL of a singer. Surprise guest during the first of two encores was Emilio Delgado (“Luis” from Sesame Street), who joined Storm Large in singing Sesame Street’s “Sing a Song” (which they sung. Together). True story. Did I say that already? Also the only concert I have ever attended in a symphony hall with a full orchestra that concluded with a massive conga line on both orchestra level and the mezzanine/balconies.)

    If you are beginning to detect a theme of greatness (or, at least, tallness) in Portland (aka “The City of Roses” – many of them quite tall, in fact), I’d like to correct any misconception that the band “They Might Be Giants” are a Portland-based band. They are, in fact, from Massachusetts, which is where I moved from (to Portland). However, I am pretty sure that, at some point or other in their careers, They Might Be Giants did perform in Portland (the city), and it is certainly possible that at some point, during one of their visits, they, or one of their members (members of the band, not–nevermind) might have seen Portlandia (the sculpture), who, being a 50 Foot Tall Woman**** I’m sorry we’ve run out of time.

    In any case, please remember that Portlandia (the TV show) has guest-starred, among others, Gus Van Sant, another resident of Portland (the city) who is a true***** giant. Also, Leverage is filmed here. Unrelated, but true.

    Come visit sometime. Cool city. True story.

    * Repoussé (French pronunciation: [??puse] http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/42/Fr-repouss%C3%A9.ogg
    ** Using a calculator.
    *** Ms. Storm’s vagina is reportedly not actually 8 miles wide. The statement in the song is meant to be metaphorical. This report is not, as far as I know, the product of first-hand observation. Nonetheless, it is considered reliable, given the source (Ms. Large herself).
    **** Or a sculptural facsimile thereof. She is not, in fact. real. Well, she is a real sculpture, but not a real “real” person. Although she might have been based on a model, likely not a 50 ft tall model, though.
    ***** Nevermind. Why do I post these comments under my real name? One knows it will come back to haunt one. Or, in this case, me.

  70. 1. That show is amazing.
    2. Your bag(s) is/are amazing.
    3. I live in Portland, therefore, I’m clearly feeling a kinship right now. Warped as it may be.
    4. To elaborate on the last comment, “You are the wind beneath my wings”.

  71. I’m a little concerned now that one of your fave blogs (in the right-hand column, just in case you didn’t know) is listed as:

    The Mama Bird Diaries: Completely overwhelmed by four kids. And the minivan is just embarrassing.

    Are they gonna go after her, next?! Very concerned.

  72. Geez-o-Pete…you’ve GOT to be kidding.

    They should be happy you’re bringing attention to their satire, so they could be making more money. I had never heard of Portlandia and might have gone to check them out but now I hate them and I don’t even know anything about them! What a ridiculous mindset some companies have…

  73. Oh frack. I was working on a blog post about freaky bird sex. Sigh. How about hamsters. Does anyone own the rights to those?

  74. Being a Lawyer are what happens to you when you lose your sense of humor and perspective. Its a horrible fate and we should all feel very sorry for them.
    I’m sure someday a cure will be found. But in the meantime, its best to just nod your head in sympathy and then ignore them entirely.

  75. Tee hee! This is why I love you – you aren’t a quitter. And screw their intellectual property. I think it’s time to throw Copernicus on whatever pencil-pusher decided to get his/her panties in a knot over your bag, which is awesome.

  76. I’m loving the little disclaimer. The one that says the bag is based on your true life story. I’d say that’s a pretty solid alibi.

  77. I think people who don’t live in Portland are not in a position to understand why a dead bird should or should not be on a bag. None of your business really. Why don’t you all mind your own living environment.?

  78. You are officially now my idol. I have never even HEARD of Portlandia before that tweet last week, and it made me look it up! They should be grateful to you for raising awareness about their stupid show! 😉
    You should sink Copernicus on them. Totally.

  79. I totally love you. You make me smile. You make me snort crap out of my nose. Today was a particularly shitty day….you just turned it around for me. Thanks for that. And frankly, they are a bunch of turds for claiming ownership over the word bird. Screw them! In fact, flip them the bird! Keep it up, girlfriend!

  80. EPIC WIN! I love the one with Beyonce. Aw hell, we all know I love them all. Take that Corporate America! >:P

  81. Had never heard of Portlandia, but I don’t like the way they’re/it’s behaving. Stupidheads.

  82. I’m still waiting for “Put a turd on it.” That would look nice on your front porch next to Beyonce.

  83. How about Fuck You Portlandia?? How about I stop watching your show, which although satirical, is sometimes just plain fucking stupid? Don’t diss my Blogess, or you may find a bird up your ASS. Knock knock, motherfucker.

  84. I’ll bet ya money that the people complaining and pulling your bags are the same people telling you via twitter that you’re cool. Left hand and right hand not in sync, and all that.

  85. Oh no it hit send too soon! I wanted to say I just love number three because I’m still giggling about that one.

    I live in Portland and it’s all true. 😀

  86. you, fred armisen, and william shatner in a cage match. Wil Wheaton officiating – unless he would give Shatner some sort of unfair advantage due to the whole Star Trek connection. Ya think

  87. Fan-freaking-tactic. I think this is an exceptionally worthy cause to take up!

    P.S. Option three – though they’re all awesome.

  88. HAHAHAHA! #1 made my life. However, I don’t think Beyonce will take too kindly to being owned. She seems ver independent.

  89. Option 1 is my favorite. As the granddaughter of a dairy farmer, I also really like the cow one. I am laughing so hard right now. Thank you.

  90. Oh My God, option 3 hands down. And…they shouldn’t argue, that’s not technically a bird – it’s Beyonce. Whether you’ll have to tangle with Destiny’s Child instead remains to be seen….

  91. It looks like the Portlandia people may or may not have anything to do with this. From what I’ve read, Zazzle does this frequently of their own accord. As they cannot claim to have copywritten a phrase that has, doubtless, been uttered before.

  92. Wait, you need to have a RATING on your bags? That already confuses me, but then also a picture of a giant metal cock on your porch is a “G” rating? THAT’S PRACTICALLY AN ADVERT FOR BDSM! Which means that by not allowing you to put a bird on it, the people of Portlandia (or their legal crew) are forcing you into a life of hardcore giant metal pseudosexual symbolism! Which is like human trafficking, but…. with more porches.

  93. I loved your big metal chicken story so much I sent it to my mom. approximately 90 seconds later, my dad emailed me a pic of my mom sitting next to the pool at their new house with a huge metal chicken in the background. Fast forward a couple of months till last week, I asked how the big chicken was, and my dad responded, “the one I photo-shopped onto the picture of our pool?”

  94. I’m a big fan of number one and two. That’s ridiculous that they keep pulling it. If anything its advertising their show that I had never heard of until you put a bird on it!

  95. I don’t know if anyone else has suggested it in this thread, but your third bag should’ve been a hand giving you the middle finger and the words ‘put a bird on it’.
    S’more appropriate, given the circumstances.

  96. I am a freelance promo writer for “said” bird network. Hilarious!!!! Portlandia will be back soon!!!

  97. What is going to happen to all of the people with bird tattoos? Will they be hunted down and forced into laser removal or skin grafting? When you put a bird your body, do you gain ownership to the bird rights, or lose ownership of your arm, lower back, shoulder blade, etc? I suggest everyone wear pants and long sleeved turtlenecks until this thing blows over.

  98. There’s a difference between satire and cashing in on someone else’s satire. Your RESPONSE is satire…simply copying the Portlandia phrase is copyright infringement.

    Another example. When the show Family Guy remakes a clip of the Simpsons (yes, I know they’re both owned by FOX) that features “family guy-style” script and art-work – that’s a parody/satire. If Family Guy was to simply play a portion of The Simpsons, that would be theft…or, what you did.

  99. OMG, this post made me laugh and laugh. Thank you, Jenny, for sharing your sense of humor. And satire. (Can one have a sense of satire?) Anyway, this was hilarious. I might go buy the Beyonce on the Porch one. 🙂

  100. This reminds me of the great blow our country experienced, when the last U.S. maker of plastic, pink flamingos, shuttered its doors in Florida a few years ago. They would’ve been all over this like mad-eyed gulls on rotten squid. Floridians, besides. Small business fighting against a corporate monopoly. Sometimes, you just don’t feel a loss until it becomes this personal. For shame, “Portlandia” gatekeepers, for shame.

    And to #12, “…I blame New Yorkers, out west we have far less sticks up our asses.”:
    Why don’t you come and SAY THAT TO OUR FACES, WESTSIDE SLACKER.

  101. Given the evolution of the story, #3 is the funniest joke here. Love it!

    It does sound to me like the protections of satire were on your side, but we all pick our battles. Never understood why companies fight so hard against free publicity, though. 😛

  102. You are more understanding than I. I would have a different kind of bird for their micromanaging of my zazzle store products.

  103. My husband is a legal nerd (here in Tx, if you ever need representation) and says all’s fair when it comes to satire. Take that Portlandia lawyers!

  104. OMG! I’m laughing so fucking hard right now! LOVE the first option. All tho all are funny. I may have to buy all 3!

  105. Greetings from the real Portland! And frankly, my dear, we don’t give a damn what you put on anything else. But here are some suggestions for more bags:

    William Shakespeare: Put a Bard on it!
    William Byrd: Put a Byrd on it!
    Barn wood (see Regretsy for back story): Put a Board on it!
    Scrabble fans (me!): Put a Word on it! (and make the tiles spell BIRD)
    Musicologists: Put a Third on it!
    Dyslexics: Put a Drib on it!
    Carpenters: Put a Brad on it! (or fans of Mr. Pitt, I suppose)
    Sesame Street: Put a Bert on it!

    If you come to Portland I will bake you a (gluten-free) cake.


  106. The funny thing is you are dominating their Twitter feed. I see those bird bags coming back REAL soon.

  107. I would’ve given them the bird. They obviously have had a radical humorectomy and should be removed from public exposure immediately. Any satirical show that can’t take a joke on itself is a shonda and people shouldn’t be exposed to it’s hippocritical mass.

    If I wasn’t saving all my pennies for that genuine orange alligator Hermes Birkin bag, I would order a Beyonce organic grocery tote tout suite!

  108. I was in downtown Portland, in The Pearl District, and saw Fred Armisen where we were eating, he waved at us so I guess he’s ok with waving or interacting with regular folk, even though we are far from regular, actually irregular but that isn’t my point. My son lives down there and has seen him on numerous occasions, so, if I see him or my son does, we will ask him about this and see what he says. It’s probably not him making this decision but someone sitting chained behind a desk in the basement of an abandoned warehouse with nothing better to do. My son is really good at talking to celebrities, me I completely freeze but I will have the conversation in my head and it will go really well.

  109. Just made their show, I suspect their banning your items on Zazzle has just promoted their show to quite few folks that would never have heard of it otherwise.

  110. I love your tote bags! I want to buy one and walk around with it in Portland. And I might start putting Beyonce stickers on random stuff, to contribute to the “put a bird on it” movement.

  111. lol, though I love all three options, I think #1 is best. ^_^ Damn those lawyers, they are so uppity! Sidenote: I saw Beyonce hanging out on the roof of a building in Anchorage Alaska last week, you need to check up on that girl, she can’t be running across the states all willy nilly, especially here, where there are bears that could eat a large metal chicken…or a small child.

  112. In Portlandia, you put a bird on it. In Soviet Russia, IT puts a bird on YOU.

    But in America, you apparently just get it removed from your shop……. 😛

  113. They sell Beyonce’s at H-E-B for $99. I was going to take a picture of it and text it to you then I realized I only stalk your blog, rarely comment, and sure as hell don’t have your phone number. So here’s me telling you!

  114. All your birds are belong to us.

    Portlandia’s lawyers are being rather dickish. And I have a hunch they are on very thin legal ice here.

    But, whatever. You’ve made some awesome lemonade out of their lemons.

  115. No, I’m pretty sure parody is protected speech. I love Portland, but seriously? SERIOUSLY?

  116. I <3 you!!!!! (Every time I plan to post a comment, it just all comes down to that—you are TOOOOOO FUNNY!)

  117. I was doing pretty good until I read a comment that said Joe Biden was the “Chief Cock” and then I just spit hot chocolate all over my monitor.

  118. Me and my husband visited Portland this past March and I can attest to the fact that they DO put birds on everything.

    And all the foodtrucks, oooohhhh the foodtrucks….

  119. Have you considered adding Bird Feathers?? I think that would add an instant….’Yes, I took this there’ element……
    I mean BESIDES the CLEARLY displayed Option 1, 2 and 3 ‘Levels’ 😉

  120. I like the poop in the bag on the porch idea. Maybe you could do one for French people. Put a merde on it. And then, for Quebecois, since they like there poutine so much, you could Put a curd on it. But that would require fries, and they may not be healthy enough. Call ’em pomme frites and maybe everyone will be happy.

  121. I just posted a few days ago re: the Portlandia bird thing but it was more a free ad for all the bacon-flavored random things in this world with a spoof ‘Put some bacon on it’ spin.

    Holy s**t these guys don’t own bacon TOO do they?

  122. I see Kate @ Savour Fare’s “If you like it then you should have PUT A BIRD ON IT”, and raise you a “If you like it then you should have PUT A BIRD ON IT MOTHERFUCKER”. But I’m sad to see the dead dodo go.

  123. so what if you put a little balloon that says “ole” I mean, they can’t own Spanish birds too right? also, they should be paying you, i hadn’t even heard of Portlandia before they banned your bag!

  124. I am getting obsessed with this now and its so fun! How about:
    Place a feathered creature on whatever

  125. I’ve never seen the show (because I’m a weirdo with no cable) and I saw a tweet last week or whenever it was to the bag and was confused and thought at first Zazzle didn’t like your Beyonce stuff and was really pissed and then I forgot all about it until just now. So, good thing I didn’t actually boycott Zazzle. Quizno’s is still feeling of the effects of my boycott that started in 2003.

  126. So, when are you going to impinge on the intellectual rights of that popular iPhone app, and Put An Angry Bird On It? Woo hoo! Two lawsuits for the price of one!

  127. Maybe it was really just zazzle? Either way it is stupid. You should be allowed to do whatever you want, in my opinion. The second bag is really hilarious, though!

  128. BTW, Shel Silverstein rocks.
    I just discovered he wrote that song (A Boy named Sue).

    I also just learned that, that, in addition to my childhood favorites, “The Giving Tree”, and “Uncle Shelby’s Zoo” (Don’t Bump the Glump!) and my early-teens poetry companion, “Where the Sidewalk Ends”, Silverstein wrote most of the songs performed by Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show.

    Including a song titled “Ballsack” (which I assume is about the famous French novelist and playwright).

    True Story.

  129. I will be buying the first one and taking it to my typical Portland workplace. Please make matching panties.


  130. muahaha, put a heeerrrd on it 🙂 Take that, Portlandia’s lawyers 🙂
    Have you told them “your wrong”? Maybe that would’ve worked..

  131. I have a hugely obnoxious cockatoo who
    screams,”Hi Bird!!” everytime I get on the
    phone. Please post Portlandia’s address as it
    seems I need to forward this bird to it’s rightful
    owners. She mostly just bites men. And lawyers.

  132. Place a warm-blooded egg-laying vertebrate characterized by feathers and forelimbs modified as wings on it.

    I love all three bags!

  133. People put birds on everything. What gives them a right to stop you from putting a bird on a bag. Are they going to stop everything on all products with birds on them. Your bags are cute. Give the show the bird mentally. They are crazy. WordPress featured a blog and they show the cutest bird ever. Scroll down to the Puffin. http://nicoleishida.wordpress.com/2011/09/12/newport-oregon-day-two-the-aquarium/
    OH NO, maybe Portlandia will have it taken down because they put a bird on their blog.

  134. They probably are really just mad that they paid some marketing douche to make show swag and there you were making cuter and more relevant merch.
    Rather than thinking the moral if this story is don’t credit the source because they will screw you (not in the good way ) I come away with riff on the idea until it’s dead and the witty is gone (probably buried in bird shit) , which by the by I wont threaten legal action if you use any
    Put a word on it ( with crossword full of birds)
    PortlandYah they have birds on stuff
    Portlandia put a turd on it
    Put a BIRthDay hat on it (bird in redonk hat)
    Put a bard on it (Shakespeare)

  135. As a former patent secretary, I wd suggest having Beyoncé planking and then you cd claim a design differentiation. And i commend your followers for not having brought up turd. Oops, that sentence was wrong on a couple levels…

  136. Satire and parody should so totally be legal.

    The problem is that you have to be capable of recognizing it first, and I have to say that those of the lawyerly persuasion tend to be severely deficient in that ability.

    And then I found five dollars.

  137. I love your bags and Portland is fucking hypercritical. Damn shame. But u figured out that humor is the best way of dealing.

  138. I think the answer here is to get the makers of the Dodo Pad involved. That shit is covered in Dodo’s, it’s made by some rare survivor called Lord Dodo (not sure if there’s a Lady Dodo but there might be an opening for both bird and title of nobility there for some ambitious young lady) and I have a feeling Lord Dodo and Portlandia could get down to some real my lawyer will call your lawyer excitement for us.

    Also, if they own ALL the birds, could you tell them to come collect the two pigeons that are trying to turn the fig tree by my trash bins into their home sweet home. They scare me to death flying out at me cooing so the bin bags are piling up.

  139. Okay, option one is just going to get you in trouble with Hyperbole and a Half – since she *owns* the “…….ALL the…..” shit.

    Option two – whoa, goin’ for the big chicken on the block, eh? Do you know how hard it is to get the cows to focus long enough to paint those “Eat mor chikin” billboards? Well, do you? There are some reaaallly pissed of ad folks drafting some kind of cow cease-and-desist right this moment. Smooth move, missy.

    Option three – really? Are you deliberately trying to alienate Victor? Beyonce is the (second) love of his life and you mock her! How dare you…

  140. OMG Please don’t let these get pulled before payday!!!!! I’m in love with the Put a Herd on it version!

  141. Yeah, all I could keep thinking is, “All your birds are belong to us!” lol! Love your bags, especially option #3!

    And omg, love the suggestion from your commenters for “Put a nerd on it.”

  142. If I was Chick-fil-A, I would so totally steal “Put a Bird on it.”

    It would be on my take-out bags today. Seriously.

  143. You watch “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” right? Because I would totally buy something that infringed on their intellectual property rights. Especially if it was a pocket pussy (cocksleeve? handheld vagina?) that was printed with “Now you’re just mashing it.”

    For the record. Zazzle sex toys.

  144. Two more suggestions: “Satire is protected, bird brains” (obviously featuring the same dodo) and “Put a bird on it” with a nice sketch of the middle finger? =)

    I laughed quite loudly at the “Put a herd on it”. It woke up the baby. Oops.

  145. “if you liked it, then you shoulda put a bird on it…”
    oh wait, that’s copyrighted? okay, FINE then.
    “if you liked it, then you shoulda put a herd on it…”
    really? REALLY? FINE.
    “if you DON’T like it, then you can put a TURD on it!”

    how’s that, motherfuckers?

  146. Holy shit. I love you and all your commenters. Seriously, it’s like you are in the room with me sharing my beer and laughing. Not that I’m home alone drinking or anything….

  147. “Put a bird on it” will now be my new “put a sock in it” . I think understanding satire and having a sense of humor have just been placed on the extinction list. And apparently our next evolutionary advance is a ‘pole up the ass’. Just a thought.

  148. So, you can’t write “Put a bird on it” but any other phrase is okay? Then what about interchanging a specific bird with the word bird. Like “Put a robin on it.” Or “Put a dodo on it.” Or my favorite “Put a Mockingbird on it.”

  149. I support this. I also support possibly reshooting the entire show frame by frame with finger puppets. BECAUSE NO ONE CAN BE LITIGIOUS WHEN FINGERS ARE ALONE – LET ALONE PUPPETS.

  150. How sad that a company who has nothing to lose and everything to gain by you promoting their show/product has to be an asshole about it. I say put a turd on it.

  151. You know, this sounds suspiciously like when the Marx Brothers were threatened by Warner Brothers with a lawsuit for making the film “A Night In Casablanca”. Groucho’s response was that he didn’t realize the Warner Brothers had all the rights to the city of Casablanca, but if they wanted to argue about it he was pretty sure the Warners were infringing on the Marx Brothers’ ownership of the word “brothers”.

  152. you are like a lovely larry david of the south. and i mean that in the nicest possible way

  153. How about a bowl of cottage cheese with the caption “put a curd on it”? Or a photo of Bill Gates (“put a nerd on it”).

  154. Oh my God, do they not realize that they are now benefiting from The Bloggess Effect? How many of us really ever watched Portlandia? I’ve seen previews, but never put it on. But now, because The Bloggess has proclaimed her undying love for it, even through the suffering and torture of having to recreate fabulous Bird Bags, I am going to give it a shot. As are many, many others. Get a grip, Portlandia lawyers. Jen did you a HUGE FAVOR.

    And I, for one, want to own a bag with Beyonce on it. And maybe a pair of matching earrings. Yes? Giant chicken earrings? Ones that aren’t so heavy that they make my earring holes get all stretchy and gross, though. I’m 35 years old. I make it a point to keep my holes as tight as possible.

  155. I havn’t seen the show, but unless they used the same dead dodo in their skit, I can’t even imagine how they think they have any kind of legal claim. There is no intellectual property in a joke, or a single phrase out of a tv show. These kind of cease and desist letters are just bullying. They have nothing to lose, since they know you don’t want to go to court to fight this, even though you would clearly win.

    This kind of thing makes me feel angry and helpless. It makes you just sillier and more in their face. This is why everybody loves you.

  156. I had not seen that clip! And you know, I was recently in a craft store, looking at stencils, as I am wont to do, and saw a whole lotta birds one and thought, hey – that could be cool. Annnddd, now it’s ruined. Damn you, Portlandia! Damn you to heck! Oh and also damn you for being mean to the bloggess. Alright, seriously though – stencils. Bad? Good? I can’t decide. I’m thinking bad though. Damnit.

  157. This post nows comes up on a Google search for ‘Portlandia’. As more people read, tweet and FB this post, I think Portlandia will lose ratings and gain much hate e-mail. For dissing the Bloggess, and being a bunch of cocks.

  158. I established an Adult Hide-n-Seek league out here in western New Jersey and the cops were all over us like white on rice. My court date is next Tuesday…..I only WISH I had just stuck to putting birds on shit….

  159. Hi there! Your site is amazing.. I am constantly linking you up on my FB page and laughing with tears!!

    I would like to link your page to mine , but wanted to make sure it was okay with you first…

    I just launched yesterday and so far am having a BALL!!

    You can check it out at

    Let me know either by comment or email if it’s okay with you for me to add you to my links.. .

    (No problem. You don’t even need to ask. Thanks! ~Jenny)

  160. I don’t think the issue was is making it, the issue was in selling it and using it for (potential) commercial gain. Personal use, satire, fair use…it’s all a sticky ball of lint.

  161. re: yvonne – I just don’t really want a bag that says “put a cock on it”. But I’ll take herds, nerds, words, and swords (slant rhyme, anyone?)

    Put a Word On It might actually get pulled as well, if it that word was bird.

    Oh, the tangled web we weave.

  162. Option 3 rocks. If I were the sort to have a bag, I would have that one. But I am, sadly, bagless. Maybe a manbag?
    Keep on keepin’ on. I bet you can make more bags than they can make lawyers.

  163. Wait a minute. Which came first? The chicken or the dodo? Because if you had Beyonce first, then *they* owe *you* an apology and you get to claim ownership of the birds.

    If not, maybe they need a knock-knock visit from Beyonce. And her sharp points.

  164. As a result of your blog someone from Maine is on the Portlandia site to find out what all the fuss is about. They should be thanking you! More traffic for them!

  165. I love reading the comments on here. They make me feel better about myself, because now I know there are people out there who think like I do! I’m all for the Beyonce bag! Although, if we could get some “put a nerd on it” action, I would totally buy that crap, too.

  166. re: Jordan Actually I wrote, put a cock “in” it – meaning, tell those stupid people to stuff it.

  167. –>I love option 1 even though I have no idea what Portlandia is about except they crap on all birds that don’t belong to them, which apparantly, is zero.

  168. I NEED a put a herd on it bag. I don’t know why that’s my favorite, I just know it to be true. I should probably order one now before the Cattle Herder’s Association of America contacts zazzle & makes them take it down. They’re gonna have to wait though because I’m sure all of zazzle’s phone lines are tied up right now with the calls from Beyonce’s people (as in the one married to Jay Z, not the giant metal chicken one).

    This is just another example of corporate America ruining it for the little people. I think you should fight this. I actually did manage to stay awake during some of my IP law classes. I’m with you on this one. We”ll take it to the mattresses!

  169. Elizabeth (comment 217) made me gigglesnort with this alternate:

    [For] Dyslexics: Put a Drib on it!

    Too funny! As I often say (probably infringing someone’s copyright), dyslexia a terrible thing is.

  170. Question: Will you be pissed if I put “Bloggess: The Maxi Pad” on a pair of panties or maybe a pair of sneakers at my Zazzle store? Money is a little tight in my household, and I can’t help but feel like they would sell like hot cakes. Or hot pads, rather.

  171. I love those totes. Also, Zazzle is run by a bunch of douchebags who delete merchandise for the sole purpose of being total twatwaffles. We’ve had nearly all our merchandise deleted by Zazzle for coypright infringement, never mind that the logos were, um, created by my co-writer’s husband. ZAZZLE OWNS EVERYTHING, MOTHER FUCKERS.

    That reminds me, I haven’t tweeted them any hate-tweets lately. BRB.

  172. I say, put a cat on it, because… well, just because I like cats…. and they like birds…so it’s all related. And I’m pretty sure that all the crazy cat ladies (I mean that in a good way, ladies!) are too disorganized to sue, so you’d be golden…

    And you make my day with every post!

  173. Oh dear God…your post…and your tote bags…and then all the comments…

    It’s too much, a sheer avalanche of delicious amusement first thing in the morning. I may not be able to stop laughing all day!

  174. As a librarian, I deal a lot with issues of “fair use”, and in my very non-expert opinion, this definitely falls within the bounds of those rules.

    (1) Your use was transformative- The riskiest one here would be the first bag, because you used the slogan word for word, but the later ones are definitely far enough off to be allowable.

    (2) Your use was minimal- did you place a video player within the bag with the entire skit on looped playback? Duh. No. You only used a very tiny smidgen of the skit.

    (3) One of the major criteria used in determining what is fair use and what is not is the new product’s (or copy’s) effect on the market for the original. In this case, if anything, you increased Portlandia’s market (I definitely want to watch more now, even if the production company does consist entirely of idiots).

    So I say FAIR USE! And Portlandia lawyer fail.

    Also, option three. Makes my life awesome.

  175. Love the bags! Same ting happened to me – Zazzle pulled my shirts poking fun at Twilight characters. *Fictional* characters that I made fun of.

    I blame Zazzle for not standing up for our rights.

  176. Well, I got lucky — Hubby ordered the original bag for me and it arrived last week! So, it’s limited edition right? So cool.

    And I confess I had no idea of the tie in with the TV show, I thought the reference was pure Beyonce (“put a ring on it”).

  177. I will be finding a way to get this story to Carrie Brownstein. This is unacceptable.

    And I will find a way to order a Beyonce bag. I will.

    In February, right after Portlandia premiered, my boyfriend and I were in town there overnight. We skipped the streets singing “The Dream of the 90s is alive in Portland”. *And* they had little toy horses on random street corners. I will post pics. It was amazing.

  178. Nooooooo!
    Am kicking myself now. I totally wanted one of the dodo bags, but was deciding which style I would be able to carry most often (a bag like that deserves to be seen). I should’ve just bought on impulse.
    I hope you don’t mind if I infringe upon your intellectual property and make my own…

  179. P.S., now we REALLY have to present the real Beyonce with your design number 3 on a T-Shirt so she can post herself wearing it and caption it “I put a bird on it….. and I liked it.” (Sorry Katy)

  180. Can I put in a formal request for a 2012 Bloggess Calendar? I’d so buy that. And put it on my desk at work.

  181. I tried to read every comment to make sure someone didn’t already think of this, but I totally lack that level of motivation. So if I am stealing a commentor’s intellectual property right now, sorry.

    Go with option #3 and create your own empire called PORCHLANDIA. I think you own it. We’ll all go to teh mat for you. Beyonce needs to be on a beer label before this is over.

  182. OMG I am going to roam the streets of Portland and give Fred & Carrie a hug! I KNEW they could not possibly be against this. Also, I am with Julie on requesting a 2012 Bloggess calendar. 🙂

  183. I’m not sure Fred scares easily. We gave it a try yesterday when about 40 members of our local soccer supporters group was on set. He’s a good sport, as is Carrie. Can’t say enough nice things about them both.

  184. I am a notary public AND live in Portland. Let me know if you need my assistance in any way. PS–Thank you for putting a herd on it.

  185. If I infringe anyone’s copyright on my blog I am naming you as co-defendant then I know I will be OK!

    The Bloggess for World President – I’ll vote for you

  186. The thing is, Zazzle™ is overtly oversensitive to copyright infringement and will pull stuff that even smells as if it might be slightly related to something that reminds them of that time they saw a giant © under a mug while waiting line at Starbucks™. They’ve removed stuff from my store that is purely textual and makes no reference to anything except being moderately and self-referentially funny, which is apparently a service mark of BBC One and/or Stuff on My Cat. So. I like your attitude about it. A lot. Except that you will have to remove your entire post at some point when it is discovered that this exact attitude is allowed only at the sole discretion of the Cheezburger Network.

    Blessings and best wishes,

  187. the descriptions on your new bags are priceless, in context. Ill have to check out the rest of your blog when I have time.

  188. Also, if you had one of those 395 days calendars which had fabulous quotes from your website I would totally buy it and put it on my desk at work.

    Imagine my glee when I flip the page and the quote staring up at me “a hug is like a strangle you haven’t finished yet”. SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

  189. Omg the update. This day just keeps getting better.

    And…I wish you would have followed through with your idea, because I would probably buy multiples of the notarized “Fred and Carrie personally approved” bag. Fab. Ulous.

  190. Holy crap! That is the best update ever! Jeals as hells. I also think that “Put a bird on it” should mean the same thing as “This bitch deserves an award” since that’s how I use the phrase. Well, really, I use it whenever I can, in whichever context I think it could possibly fit. So, in that spirit, PUT A MOTHA FUCKIN GOLDEN OSTRICH ON FRED ARMISEN’S HEAD!

  191. What’s so awesome about all of this was that I didn’t know about Portlanida, Fred, or Birds until I read this post. MADE OF AWESOME. Approved by Jen.

  192. You rock (as always Jenny!) Portlandia rocks (fell in love with it at Webvisions in Portland this year – where the creators & producers talked about it)…
    But Fred Armisen now absolutely rules for emailing you!

    I’m afraid that you, Fred and Carrie are not allowed to be in the same room though – the rest of us would be laughing so hard we couldn’t breathe and probably pee in our pants… So no. No. Don’t even think about it.

  193. Option 3, hands down (hand’s down?), but then again, I can’t see anything Beyonce related without totally cracking up.

  194. My husband calls his *ahem* his bird. No way in HELL am I giving it up to the Portlandia folks, don’t give a shit what they claim they have rights to!

  195. So, here’s the thing. I had NEVER heard of the show before this brew-ha-ha. But now guess what I’m going to go OUT OF MY WAY (because i chose to pay for a gym membership instead of cable) to make sure I watch? Portlandia. You are now officially helping them and they should thank you by letting you sell your bags that still don’t make any sense to me but who cares.

  196. Dang, I had no idea it was possible to love Carrie Brownstein any more than I already do (don’t call the cops). This coincides nicely with the kick-assness that is the new WILD FLAG album. Brownstein love FLOWING from my little bird veins. (And Bloggess love too, duh.)

  197. I like that Terry? is unsure of his/her name.

    Oh Fred & Carrie… could they BE any more awesomer??! I super love that they responded. I got to meet Carrie earlier this year & she is the sweetest badass. Have you heard of her band Wild Flag? They just released this video

    & it makes me want to hump the screen a couple times. At one point they put on animal masks & mow the lawn. You will (probably) love the shit out of it.

  198. So rad. Just to let you know I’m a notary that lives in Portland, works very close to the areas they are filming, and they’re filming right now. Just sayin’. 🙂

  199. Classic beyond belief! The “We own all the birds” had me laughing so hard I choked.

    I’m checking into whether or not I can get lawyers involved on that. 😉

  200. I feel you could make a tote with a hand flipping the bird saying ‘Put a bird on it.’

    You know they would take it down, but you’d get to give them the finger when they go to look at it 🙂

  201. OMG, and just as I was going to suggest you do a shirt/bag with a middle finger and the words, “Bird? On it.”

    Yay Portlandia. How cool.

  202. It’s impossible to express how happy you make me. 🙂 “If they like it, then you should have put a bird [back] on it!” 🙂 Wait! Beyonce?

  203. Shoot. I was all ready to crow (bird! crow is a bird!) about snagging one of these bags before they got pulled — maybe the *only* one — and now I hear that they’re going to let you sell them anyway.

    So the priceless-banned-one-of-a-kind-illegal dodo bag I bought my wife is now worthless. Thanks. FOR NOTHING.

    (But it’s a nice bag and my wife loves it. Maybe we can get it notarized that it’s pre-legal-kerfuffle and thereby more valuable?)

  204. Don’t worry, Jenny. He’s probably just checking out your bona-fides with Wil Wheaton. And Will Shatner.


  205. As an attorney this post struck me as a situation where the clients didn’t know what their lawyers (or legal department) were doing. Your update confirms my suspicions. It seemed odd that the creators of the show would knowingly alienate a member of the media whose readers are their target audience. Good on you, Fred and Carrie. Hopefully some associate is getting his ass chewed, or better yet, a partner for authorizing the letters to zazzle.

    From a legal standpoint, I think your first bag was a satire, but it’s a close call and an argument for infringement could be made. Your subsequent bags were clearly satire and, I believe, protected by free use. Zazzle reacts to every claim with a better safe than sorry attitude because they don’t want to be charged later on down the line as a defendant. Not to mention there is quite a bit of infringing material on sites like zazzle and cafepress. Of course, just because you are in the right legally, doesn’t mean there wouldn’t be a fight in court. Except here, where the owner of the copyright tells you how awesome you are.

    In a related note, I’m disappointed by the surprising lack of sugar themed limericks in this post.

  206. You continue to be my heroine. Not to be confused with heroin. I wouldn’t shoot or snort you. Thank God someone asssociated with that shit came to their senses!

  207. Based on this discussion, Portland is also the City of Notaries. Clearly, what we are missing downtown is a copper repoussé sculpture of a 40 foot notary*.

    Bloggess, your next challenge awaits.

    *With a bird on it.

  208. I am now convinced to watch Portlandia. Good work spreading the love through, well you know, being banned

  209. I also really, really love this show. By the time you got to the third or fourth shirt design, I was thinking you might have gone a little too (but hilariously) far. The fact that Fred Armisen contacted you is EPIC, though, and proves that stalker-level fandom does sometimes pay off. 😉 I think you should patent that auction idea before someone decides they own that, too.

  210. 1) If you ever do make a “put a nerd on it” bag, the font should probably be Helvetica.

    2) If you REALLY want to start some trouble, use a picture of a roast chicken. “Put a bird on it – his name is Brandon and he grew up on this really great organic farm outside of town, here’s his dossier…”

  211. LOVE the bags! I am quicky becoming as addicted to your products as I am to your writing. Thanks!

  212. Thank you for introducing me to Portlandia! How awesome is that? I’m officially in love with you, Jenny, for being ridiculously cool!

  213. It’s funny to live in Portland where birds abound and appear on EVERYTHING- yet to SAY you’re putting a bird on it is to mock a show that apparently owns the rights to put birds on things. Or at least to say that a bird is on something. I think Portland should own the rights to put a bird on something. It was our idea, after all.

    I really like your blog and it’s really cool that you’re thinking about those poor birds who need help getting out of the crack houses. Those poor birds.

  214. I’m from Wisconsin (although I now live and sweat in Texas). No potluck is complete in Wisconsin without cheese curds. So …
    I’m thinking ….

    Put a curd on it.

    Love you. You are why the internet is awesome.

  215. Just read the update – AWESOME! I’m glad Carrie and Fred aren’t douchebags who want to get every little cent possible (unlike their lawyers, apparently).

  216. Just another testament to your awesomeness. I would have scared all the neighbors with my screaming had I gotten that email! Yay for you!!!!

  217. I cannot believe that you got them to email you. That is beyond “Made It” status. I think it’s a step away from worrying about paparazzi and tabloids.

  218. I love the ‘put a nerd on it’ request; I agree. And then I thought, mix it with Beyonce, you need to make it a shiny or sparkly nerd. Which lead me to think abou Twilight, and I realized that any of this kind of awesomeness would totally get pulled, so that was a pointless thought.

  219. please quit all your endeavors (other than writing for thebloggess.com) so you can become a part-time bird bag designer. you are much needed in the unsatisfied satirical bird bag market.

    just please consider.

  220. I think getting birds out of crack houses is a project that has been far overlooked. I teach in the ghetto. Those birds are everywhere, their molting feathers get stuck in your mouth when your walking outside, and they are making a huge poopy mess in the streets. Get those birds outta there!

  221. AHA! see, i knew i could still love Portlandia – and especially its stars!

    the moral of this story is – blame all the lawyers.
    maybe you could make some dead lawyer tote bags – “put a lawyer on it!”

  222. I have to go with option 3:-). You really made my day! I wish I could write such genius things too.
    By the way, I have been to numerous Home Goods stores in a 50 mile radius….I have purchased many items but no Beyonce.

  223. Crap. Now I have to hide all the birds I drew in my notebooks… Portlandia might take them, and then I’ll really be in trouble in class.

  224. There are a couple of good bird charities- The Oasis takes in rescues that have special needs ( Some of them could have come from crack houses). Or there are organizations working to cure Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease.

    Just in case they get back to you on that idea.

  225. I think it’s fairly obvious that it’s Zazzle that hates birds, or owns all the birds, or wants to own all the birds. Maybe it has nothing at all to do with Portlandia!

  226. How about, ” if you like it, then you should’ve put a bird on it” by Beyonce of course.

  227. I’ve heard and read a butt-load of complaints about Zazzle yanking things without warning and for no good reason or citing completely ridiculous IP reasons, then refusing to discuss it with the person whose stuff they yanked. I bet your loyal readers would happily suggest a good, new supplier if you asked!

  228. I LOVE that you got a response! Portlandia made the right decision – they must have known, somewhere deep within their subconscious, that if they didn’t give you what you wanted you’d send Copernicus out to get them.

    Smart move, Portlandia. Smart move.

  229. You made my day. Laughing so much the dog is looking at me like I’m nuts. (Not that that’s unusual.)

    By the way, Beyonce’s cousin lives in the field, I’m sorry “driving range” behind Hoots County salon in Humble.

  230. Having never seen Portlandia, I went straight to the Beyonce song reference…

    Also, you should give Zazzle a “put a curd on it” bag. Or GURD, or nerd, or turd, or word, or even a zurd. Whateverthefuck that is.

  231. I love option one.
    But it should be called a Budgie Tote instead of Budget Tote.


    Three Birds One Tote.

    Three Birds One Stoned. (is medical pot legal there?)

    One Stoned Bird

    Stoned One Bird


    I should stop drinking and take my dog out to poop.

    Also I should update my blog. Seeing the same post come up on commentluv over and over is making me feel inade…(how ever you spell it)

  232. Tell Fred that if he and Carrie sign the bags AND send you a picture of themselves holding twine then all will be forgiven.

  233. it’s already been said, but the first thing that went through my mind was “if you wanted it, you shoulda put a bird on it” – the music and everything. my brain is special like that – it plays songs for situations, but this one was quick! thanks for being you. option 1 made me bend over laughing, it was like a spit take fit of a laugh. still makes me feel good to read your adventures and get my therapy laughter on.

  234. i think i just fell in love with you.

    (option 3 is my fave. if i could afford anything at all, i’d buy one in a heartbeat!)

  235. oh my. i’m a portlander- i love you, i love portlandia, and i love fred and carrie. i would also love a signed bag- combining all of my loves. please don’t scare them away- convince them to sign 10 bags- then auction them for a worthy cause!!

    (p.s. ‘put a herd on it’ is good- really good.)

  236. Well I’ve never heard of this show, but I do like Fred Armisen. And if you scared him, I will be VERY disappointed…in HIM.

    How the hell can anyone be afraid of a woman who has a homicidal stuffed monkey named Copernicus, a giant metal chicken named Beyonce and makes horror themed doll houses?

    Oh and who’s also on crack.

    What the fuck is there to be scared of? You’re COMPLETELY NORMAL and kind of vanilla.

    Fred Armisen is a pussy.

  237. I live in Portland and approve this message. I NEED your bag. Dead Dodos are a definite plus. I am wearing a John Deere cap non-ironically (and am from TX originally) so this would complete my “fuck you” outfit more comfortably than trying to tote (heh) around a 5′ tall metal chicken with shivs-for-points would. realistically.

    However when the word “realistically” comes into play I check out. 😉




  238. If these people are really asking zazzle to pull the bags, they must be dumber than a bag of hammers, because you can’t get better free publicity than to let Jenny silkscreen your intellectual property onto her products.

    By the way, I got “dumber than a bag of hammers” from the movie O Brother, Where Art Thou, so Jenny, you can probably expect a call from George Clooney asking you to remove this comment.

  239. I’m probably completely ignoring the point of this post, but as a law student I couldn’t help but be offended that your rights were infringed upon. Unless the company owns that image, which I seriously doubt, then there was no reason why they could send a take-down notice to zazzle. In fact, frivolous take-down notices are prohibited. If you’re interested (though I doubt it and obviously understand if you aren’t) this would fall under this case right here:

    Of course, I am a law student, not an actual lawyer, but it definitely ticks me off that they would infringe your rights. On the bright side, if they were stupid enough to sue you, they’d be in for a nasty surprise when they find there is a whole body of law in your favor. 🙂

  240. I’ve never heard of Portlandia, but that’s some funny stuff right there!
    I wonder what zazzle would say about the signed bags?? 🙂

  241. Apparently, I am culturally deprived, as I have never heard of Portlandia before this. Could be because I’m from Ohio; we’re rather insular folk. I DID think the bags were funny, though, and that’s AWESOME that the show actually contacted you. By the way, I know you hear it all of the time, but you’re freaking hilarious- keep it up! 🙂

  242. I think I’m in love with you, errrr if I was gay, which I’m not, err which there’s nothing wrong with, but I’m not, but I do think I’m in love with you. You make my days so much better (and they were pretty ok to begin with, not that there’s anything with bad days, err, but they’re not). ok …. i’ll quit rambling now…. really I will… err…. (awkward silence).

  243. How ’bout “put a bird IN it” and have a Dodo printed on the inside of the bag.
    I would think it’s not too difficult to turn it inside out for printing.
    I’d buy one.

    So there you go. Have an idea.
    But if you take it and make a million dollars…you need to buy me a few drinks.

  244. Love, love, love, love, love, love, love.

    Also, holy shit, you have almost 500 comments. You should really put in some non-flat rate ads.


  245. From New York Fashion week, ending today, looks like there are some designers that are going to be hearing from Portlandia:
    Sally Singer, editor-in-chief of T: The New York Times Style Magazine.
    “A woman only needs so many pairs of chic black pants,” Singer says. “Or so many cream jackets. What does she need now? She needs a dress covered in birds — or that’s what the [retailers] hope.”

  246. I hope they really appreciate the ton of free advertising they got by this. I never heard of Portlandia prior to reading your post. In fact, I’m not sure I had ever heard that Portland was an actual city before. So double bonus!

    Great stuff. Glad there was a good outcome.

  247. As someone who lives juuuuust north of Portland, I have never watched Portlandia – I don’t need to, Portland is just across the river from me. I can assure you those people are crazy, probably don’t get satire unless it’s on their side and I think it’s AWESOME that you satiriezed the show. It makes perfect sense that they would pull it. I think it’s great that Fred has stepped forward to help and hope you do hear back from him – and keep up the good work!

  248. Flocking hilarious! Love the Bloggess….but my bird of choice is the FLAMINGO!!!! So fun!

  249. The co-creator of Portlandia is obviously too busy looking for worthy bird crack houses to respond to your email! The real question is who to invite to the charity ball? Wil Weaton is an obvious choice since he cares about all things that fly, especially aliens and crack-addicted birds. You’ll probably have to make sure to work around his schedule, though, as I’m sure he’ll be busy with crack-addicted alien charities most of the year. Or awesome conferences. Like you always say, one of those!

  250. I hate to be the wet blanket here, but parody and satire certainly involve taking a concept or an idea and exaggerating its ridiculousness in order to expose what is silly about it. What you’ve done isn’t really parody or satire, it’s just a direct copy of what they’ve done, so if anything, it’s an homage. It’s an homage in the same way me recording a Beatles song exactly the same and releasing it in order to make money without any licensing is an homage. And I also don’t think they’re saying they own “birds”. They’re saying they frown upon people putting a bird on something IN CONJUNCTION with the exact unique and recognizable catch-phrase from their show; “put a bird on it”. I’m not usually the fun police, but I really don’t think they were wrong and I’m surprised no one else thinks so. However, I do think the other ones you made are very clever, and you’re not getting complaints about those from Portlandia’s representation.

  251. Heh, yeah Zazzle does this a lot – they take down your shit and make up a story that some other entity complained, when in fact it’s just Zazzle inconsistently applying their nebulous intellectual property rules to make it look like they’re doing something. I had this happen on the very first day I had my Zazzle shop – supposedly Universal Studios complained about something of mine that had a 2-word phrase on it that had also been in a movie. I somehow doubt Universal has nothing better to do than stalk fledgling Zazzle shops for this stuff, especially when there’s still like 6 shirts for sale by different owners with the exact same phrase. Not that it was that great anyway. But still! *shakes my fist at Zazzle*

  252. You could save crack from bird houses then sell it and use the profits to buy more oversized metal chickens. Beyonce MUST be getting lonely…

  253. I’m with Melissa Bee (comment 458 above). Someone needs to make a music video of Beyonce (the giant metal chicken) singing All the Single Ladies… If you like it then you shoulda put a bird on it!

  254. I like that the new bags have the “Approved” message on them. The bag I bought for my wife does *not* have it, as I bought it before it was pulled.

    It’s like having those Spider-Man comics where Harry Osborne was on drugs and the comics code wouldn’t put the official seal in the upper right corner…!

  255. I would just like to point out the word Zazzle. say it. Zazzle, it’s like bedazzle, or razzles, remember razzles, candy and gum at the same time! Any world with azzle in it sounds like a heap of good time fun having! Of course they are assholes for trying to smother your creative genius, but still….zazzle…zaaaazzzzzle

  256. With the type of power you have, you could cure cancer…or at least pay off my student loans.


  257. WTF is portlandia? I know better than to google from the bloggess. I am not comfortable with the odd wildlife turn the blog is taking. If I see any guest posts from Lisa LingI think I am unsubscribing, I mean , I was down with Beyonce but its just gettin weird.

  258. I live 10 minutes from Zazzle’s HQ and personally know/party with a couple of their employees. They have a whole team of people (20-somethings who mainline redbull and fry their brain with sub-par dubstep all day) and their sole purpose is to go through new entries and flag anything that might remotely resemble something similar to another thing that may be copyrighted at any time in the past, present or future. Love those guys, but they’re total hipster-douchebags and therefore cannot distinguish between paying homage to one’s muse and simply (and cheaply) ripping off someone elses’ style.

    I sent your blog entry to my friend who works there (who totally owes me) and told him to stop flagging you. Probably won’t help but it’s worth a shot.

  259. Put a bird on it?! Seriously? Only someone like Fred could make that funny, and only someone like the Bloggess could actually sell it. I think I love you. Now go put another bird on it.

  260. And see, here I subscribe to the idea that if at first you don’t succeed, quit before you make a damn fool of yourself. I would’ve just gone back to my corner with my worm sandwich and left well enough alone. Good on you!

  261. Totally zazzle, not the Portlandia people. I feel your pain. I just had a copyright thing with Zazzle this week too. Read on the internet that they are highly inconsistent on enforcement. P.S. One of my facebook friends just posted your bird blog post. I love that it is still circulating.

  262. You could always go with “Put an Evolved Dinosaur On It.” Only the smartest people will get that one, right?

  263. The “Get a Bird out of There” Auction is GENIUS. And I know a great place for the donations. The Iowa Parrot Rescue. Mike plays guitars and sings to the birds and finds many, many happy homes for birds that have been left behind, abused, or simply outlived their humans. Here’s the link: http://mikeoso.homestead.com/rescue.html

  264. I just wanted to be the 500th comment. I’m not a big fan of birds, other than chicken and turkey. The rest of them are kinda mean and hateful acting. It’s like they think they’re better than me or something. I hate a snooty bird. Of course, I like Big Bird. Who doesn’t? He’s not snooty. He’s just kinda dumb. Like, if Big Bird went to school, you know he’d totally be on the short bus.

  265. I doesn’t look like anyone else has suggested this, which I find harder to believe than that I am just a crummy comment-searcher; but just in case that’s so: what Fred and Carrie could do to help is find some way to diss Zazzle on the show. And make it really obvious, like someone tried to sell a bag with the preamble to the Constitution on it but Zazzle pulled it for copyright infringement (or some similar situation that would suit the show).

  266. They should be thanking you! I was not familiar with “Portlandia” at all until your posts. So, now they have an additional viewer — all due to you and that bird (or not)! 🙂