Last week, you probably know by heart, Hon controversy turned red-hot again as much despised Hon-trademark-owner Denise Whiting’s worker bees issued local Hampden merchants a long list of restricted items they may not sell at next week’s Honfest, including anything bearing the sacred Honfest logo, but also stock merchandise which connotes the iconic Hon look, like cat’s eye sunglasses and aerosol cans.
Last year, of course, locals were shocked and disgusted gangbusters to learn that Whiting not only owns the rights to everything three-letter-H-word-containing, from restaurants to napkins to underwear to feather boas, but since she founded and runs Honfest, she gets to call the stingy shots there as well. Or so she thinks.
Anyway, after Whiting issued her list of demands and restrictions–among them that merchants must not promote religious or political messages in conjunction with Honfest–locals railed again against her control-freaky ways. Some merchants promise they’ll disregard her rules. Certain vocal attorneys have suggested that Whiting’s flier, in as far as she aims to silence topical debate, violates free speech. (We still expect to see politicians aplenty handing out “Vote for Me” messaging; September is right around the corner!)
Without question, we agree with Whiting’s critics: That honey is one piece of work. But another question emerges, as we once again review the wacky Hon aesthetic to which Baltimore has hugged tightly for decades now. What is so appealing about this hackneyed persona, beehive-topped, burly, bespectacled, and beaded? Sorry to say it, but we are so over that gal, nearly as much as we’re over Ms. Whiting’s bad behavior. Really, doesn’t our bright and thriving Baltimore deserve a more stylish mascot? Any alternative ideas? Please let us know what you think, darling.
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