Setting Goals

“Shoreline” © R.L. Herron

We, as a society, talk a lot about setting goals. Goals for our education, goals for our marriage, goals for our children, goals for our jobs and our careers, goals for retirement. Lots of goals. Some as simple as reaching the end of the shoreline in the distance.

Our goals often suffer setbacks as we pursue them. Some setbacks can’t be helped. Others, when you examine what brought them on, should never have happened, because they do not conform to conduct consistent with principles of personal and social ethics.

Perhaps that violation of ethics is what irked me so much about what happened to the goals of teenager Lauren McClusky.

Perhaps you read about her.

If not, you should have. This young lady recently found herself at the center of a dispute over the name she chose for charity concerts she’s produced for the past three years.

The name: McFest.

What’s so bad about that? Good question. They were music festivals she chaired for charity. She chose the name because her surname happened to have a “Mc” prefix as part of it (as did the young lady who was her co-chairman). It seemed a natural.

In 2007 and 2008 her festivals raised $30,000 for the Chicago chapter of Special Olympics. All good things, wonderful things, particularly coming from one so young.

Since her concerts were being so well received, she tried to have the name McFest protected. That’s when her problems began.

McDonald’s Corporation (that’s right, the hamburger chain) filed an opposition. Seems their lawyers see the name “McFest” as an infringement on its trademark, something they refer to as “the McFamily of brands.”


McDonald’s Corporation is way out of line. They have totally lost all common sense and their moral compass is skewed.

Other than the “Mc” prefix, there is absolutely nothing about this young lady’s concerts even remotely connected to McDonald’s Corporation. She’s just a good kid, doing wonderful things for charity. What perverted logic makes the legal folks at Mickey D’s think they own the rights to all names with a “Mc” prefix?

This whole nonsense is going to ensure I never darken one of their doorways again. Which (in my opinion) is probably a good thing, given the food they serve.

The only other thing I can say, particularly to a few of my friends whose surnames happen to be McAlister, McDougal and McCloskey, is watch out.

The golden arches lawyers may be filing papers on you, too.



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