Saturday, January 5, 2008

Mouse Problem? Call....Lucifer?

What obviously strikes one's "WTF?!" button first is the name of this here product, a standard mousetrap, that quaint killing machine whose efficient simplicity has given rise to an expression to describe useless endeavors. (No, not "blogging") "Building a better moustrap." Squaring the wheel, essentially. The one pictured here was found at a rural supermarket for a euro, hanging out among lightbulbs and bottles of butane.

But yeah, wtf indeed? "Lucifer?" Can you imagine that flying in the US of A? Procter & Gamble used to use the man in the moon and thirteen stars as a logo and as of 1995 were still trying to shake off charges of Satanism. They've even got a current webpage with info on how "To contact Procter & Gamble about the trademark rumor." Get behind me Satan!

Conveniently, Lucifer's makers have burned their web address on the face of the product. A sign o' the times somehow both incredibly odd and perfectly logical at the same time. Why wouldn't you put it on there?

So, according to the site:
The Compagny Masy Père et Fils is a family company with around 20 employees. [Why don't they know the exact number of employees?]

Based at Nouvion le Comte since 1920 (Aisne department) it has been in business for over a century and is the originator of the design behind the registered trademark "LUCIFER".

Its core business activity is manufacturing mouse traps. It is the only French manufacturer of this product, and supplies 80 % of the national market.

In addition to an assortment of traps and other rodent-busting products, the company makes "food safes" and trestles. Satanic ones.

Post Script: A stumbled-upon article by the improbably-named Texe Marrs points out that there is in fact an American company in the US called Lucifer Lighting. A web search confirms it. "We find our inspiration in many places. But at Lucifer, it all comes back to lighting." The name is so self-evident yet so blatantly provocative in a land where the likes of Texe Marrs are roaming about one can't help but wonder.... (insert Vincent Price laughter here)

Texe pictures an "Illuminati Eye" as seen in a Starbuck's window on his page but neglects to include the Starbuck's logo itself in his list of suspicious icons. It always struck us as a bit darewesay "occult" and lo! maybe there's a good reason for that after all. This oldy but goody traces the origin of the logo to a 15th century engraving of a two-tailed mermaid certainly of alchemical provenance.


  1. Ha! Great find, Daurade!

    Lucifer has an interesting etymology, stemming from the Latin "Lucis" meaning "of light" (i.e., "Lux" = "light") and "ferre" meaning "carry" (e.g., infer, ferry, etc.); in other words, Latin sez Lucifer is the bringer of light (so of course he's really good at catching mice!).

    Does Lucifer mean Satan to the French?

    Here's an article that shines a little light into the shady pasts of a few more companies (thanks to Pynchon-L for the link):

  2. Lucifer, le Porteur de Lumière.

    Lucifer est le nom donné à plusieurs personnages mythologiques, et évoque le diable de la tradition chrétienne.

    Un mythe du moyen-age, celui de la chute des anges rebelles, fait de Lucifer un ange qui fut déchu pour s'être rebellé contre Dieu. Ce mythe relate son désir de puissance et sa lutte contre les anges fidèles à Dieu, qui précédèrent sa déchéance.

    Lucifer est aussi un personnage des mythologies, dieu de lumière et de connaissance.

    Le sens de son nom astre brillant, le lie étroitement a Venus, l'étoile du matin.

    Dans le texte du prophète Esaie, il représente l’hybris, le péché d'orgueil, et la volonté du Roi de Babylone de s'élever au-dessus de sa condition d'homme pour dépasser Dieu.

  3. "How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!" -- Isaiah 14:12

    But "vermo reo che 'l mondo fòra"?

    Not Lucifer. Thing is: Lucifer ain't Satan!

    As you point out so poetically, Gerome's use of "Lucifer" in Isaiah is a metaphor comparing the King of Babylon to the Morning Star. This verse, the one-and-only mention of Lucifer in the Bible, was later misinterpreted as a reference to Satan:

    See also:

    (Thanks, again to the friendly folk at the Pynchon-L for the links--and for the Dante!)

  4. "In the Vulgate, the word lucifer is used elsewhere: it describes the Morning Star (the planet Venus), the "light of the morning" (Job 11:17); the constellations (Job 38:32) and "the aurora" (Psalms 109:3). In the New Testament, Jesus Christ (in II Peter 1:19) is associated with the "morning star" (phosphoros)." (Wikipedia:

    What would Romney make of that, eh? Proof of the Mormon stance (Jesus is Satan's brother)?

    Or take it further: there's the "popular" Gnostic reading of the "text" wherein the god of the Old Testament is evil and not at all the god of the New Testament (aka Jesus) who is here to save us. But maybe this is backwards? Perhaps this lucifer link between Jesus & Satan points to the god of the New Testament = Evil? And the god of the Old Testament = Good? Where the hell do we stand at that (this) point, then? The "jealous" god of the Old Testament is still the Big Cheese? And Christians are really followers of lucifer--perhaps because they turn the other cheek? Are we *meant* to take an eye for an eye, then?

  5. According to this AP article (via Freep) the Starbuck's logo was modified for use in Saudi Arabia to avoid offending local sensibilities regarding displays of the female form.

    The article is about how by 2002 the Saudis had changed their mind. Now apparently the logo seen there is as it is everywhere else.

    The modified logo kept only the crown, as seen here:

    This image in connection with an incident where a woman was arrested in a Starbucks for the odious crime of sitting with a man.

    Might thisPulitzer-Prize winning piece, which appeared a few months before the logo was restored with the siren, have influenced the decision? If so, it certainly hasn't had any effect on Saudi misogyny.

    Someone who won't be winning a Pulitzer will be the author of this goofy piece about the return of an even earlier Starbuck's logo for a limited time. She doesn't seem to be aware that the Saudi logo flap ended 6 years ago.

  6. BTW, a Christian group called The Resistance has apparently called for a boycott of Starbucks because of the retro logo.


    The Resistance says the new image "has a naked woman on it with her legs spread like a prostitute," Mark Dice, founder of the group, said in a news release. "Need I say more? It's extremely poor taste, and the company might as well call themselves Slutbucks."

    Still unsure if this group is real or not....

  7. That Saudi logo can be seen here if yer interested, link in the orignal post was fuggered.


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