Maybe someone should read SE Fair Manager Scott Wick the US Constitution

First he stopped people from petitioning their government on the fair grounds (which are owned by the people petitioning the government) now he wants to fine bands for using cuss words (a clear violation of 1st Amendment rights).

Not sure what country Wick is from, but he doesn’t sound like he is from America.

Sure, cuss words and pesky petition gatherers can be annoying, but guess what, they have rights, the US constitution guarantees these rights.

It reminds me of something Lucinda Williams said about one of her songs a few years back in concert, she was going to perform the song on the ‘Today’ show, and they asked her to censor some parts of the song (it is about masturbation, and other stuff). She told them she was going to perform the song ‘as is’ or not at all. This was of course about 60 seconds before air. She performed the song ‘as is’ and she said this, “And guess what? No one died, and no one got hurt.”

YouTube Preview Image

20 comments ↓

#1 Craig on 08.15.12 at 1:49 pm

You appear to be confused about what the First Amendment really protects.

You generally have the right to say what you want about the government etc, but those rights are not universal. For instance the FCC (a governmental body) restricts the specific words that can be broadcast over the airwaves and on television.

Much in the same way, a governmental agency can (and often does) restrict speech which is deemed to be profane or overly offensive or that includes direct (or even perceived) threats.

That said, I’m not even sure this falls under the guise of a public issue since I’m not sure the fairgrounds are considered 100% public. The Lyons family who donated the land where the fairgrounds are based still has some control, so legally speaking I’m not sure you can say it is entirely public land.

Reading the Constitution isn’t quite enough DL… you still need to know how to understand it, apply it, and interpret it. This is why we have Constitutional Scholars – because things aren’t always quite so black and white and it can often take a very long and detailed explanation on why something is or is not Constitutional.

#2 Testor15 on 08.15.12 at 2:53 pm

Craig it is public access ground, controlled by the county through the will’s covenant concerning use. My understanding of the will it has no restrictions on political activity or restrictions thereof. The covenant just states the land can only be a county fair grounds, not to be sold. If an attempt to sell the land takes place, the heirs of WH Lyon get it back. The heirs were only to interested a few years ago to be given the gift back.

#3 Scott on 08.15.12 at 3:33 pm

It’s a non-issue, and attempting to enforce a non-cussing clause in the contracts will just make the Fair and our community look stupid. The idea that a band like Drowning Pool was attracting wholesome families who had no idea about their lyrical content is simply ludicrous.

#4 Detroit Lewis on 08.15.12 at 4:05 pm

Scott is right. If the bands were up there threatening harm to the audience that is one thing, but an occassional F-bomb is covered by freedom of speech.

#5 scott on 08.15.12 at 6:27 pm

Next year’s entertainment will be “The Stars of the Lawrence Welk Show” for the adults, and “Up with People” for the youth.

#6 Joan on 08.15.12 at 7:48 pm

I have yet to figure out what cursing and foul language have to do with music or entertainment. Aren’t the people that write the songs smart enough to figure out other words to use?

#7 sd-cpa on 08.15.12 at 10:24 pm

Thanks, Joan!

#8 l3wis on 08.15.12 at 10:50 pm

Joan, this isn’t a discussion about language. Artistic expression (music) is covered by the 1st Amendment. Trust me, I have followed art and music long enought to know. That being said, I would agree that people who say these words just to say them are losers, but seriously, go to their shows and see who is in the audience. Losers.

While art can be somewhat uncomfortable, remember you have a choice, if you don’t like what the band is saying, you can leave, and demand a refund. Our country is based on ‘choices’. You have a choice.

#9 Craig on 08.15.12 at 11:26 pm

Again l3wis, this is not a violation of Constitutional rights. They do have the right to limit profanity – even the SCOTUS has ruled as such.

Check out FCC v. Pacifica Foundation… It was a case from the 1970s where the government censored George Carlin (who was just as much of an artist as any band). Not only did the Supreme Court rule such censorship was Constitutional, but they have actually used that very case as precedent when siliar cases have bee heard.

Artist or not, there are still times and places where profanity can be censored. Like it or not Scott Wick isn’t in violation of the Constituition.

#10 l3wis on 08.15.12 at 11:35 pm

I will agree, Wick can write whatever he wants to into a contract. But there is nothing really stopping them from saying what they want to. And they can actually fight the fine also. Trust me, I have followed enough censorship cases over the years to know that while it is a nice ‘gesture’ to ask a musician not to cuss, it is simply that, a gesture.

#11 Testor15 on 08.16.12 at 7:30 am

“(AP) WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court on Thursday (June 21, 2012) unanimously threw out fines and other penalties against broadcast companies that violated the Federal Communications Commission policy regulating curse words and nudity on television airwaves.”

See the world is coming to the end, L3wis and the US Supreme Court agree.

#12 Poly43 on 08.16.12 at 7:37 am

Get your money back? In this town? If you still got one of your free passes from the Paywall Leader for this month, this will not surprise anyone.

http://www.argusleader.com/article/20120814/VOICES09/308140015/Letter-Sioux-Empire-Fair-should-refund-concert-tickets

#13 Craig on 08.16.12 at 10:28 am

Testor I’m sure you actually read the full story about those fines right? If you did, you would realize why they were thrown out wasn’t because it was of what was said, it was due to how the fines were structured and the details surrounding them.

The the Fair wants to write contracts telling people to not swear they can. I think it is silly – and I don’t think it will sway anyone to come see a band they otherwise would have avoided (because I dare say those willing to pay for a ticket are well aware of the songs and lyrics a band performs), but if makes them feel better then let them have at it.

I guess inviting someone to sing and then having them drop a few f-bombs is revolting, but yet people are more than willing to book someone like Chris Brown who likes to slap around women. Priorities?

#14 Testor15 on 08.16.12 at 3:51 pm

The courts are throwing out more morality cases

#15 l3wis on 08.16.12 at 10:21 pm

Craig – I am glad you came full circle. Taste and freedom of expression have a lot to do with each other.

You wouldn’t expect to go to Catholic Mass and hear the priest confess he was gay and enjoys anal sex? Would you? But what makes America unique is that a priest has a right to do that, and trying to jail him over it would be nearly impossible.

Open your mind. When people swear too much around me. I just say to myself, “Wow, and I thought I was bad.”

This Zappa video says it all;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ISil7IHzxc

#16 Scott on 08.16.12 at 10:46 pm

Yes, the question isn’t whether artists should or shouldn’t swear. It’s the silliness of putting it into a contract that will be laughed at by every promoter in the country. In fact, if enacted I would expect some sarcastic articles to be hitting various sites within hours. If you’re going to a hard rock or metal show, as the band in question is, then you should know there’s a chance you may hear some words that aren’t fit for Sunday morning worship. If you’re going to a children’s show, you have a different expectation.

#17 Lamb Chislic on 08.17.12 at 6:53 am

http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2012/08/17/russian-court-to-rule-in-pussy-riot-trial/?hpt=hp_t2

Looks like the clowns running the fair now have legal precedence on their side … if they’re running a fair in Siberia!

Seriously, guy, do your homework when you book these bands. You get (and deserve) what you pay for!

#18 Craig on 08.17.12 at 4:13 pm

“Craig – I am glad you came full circle. Taste and freedom of expression have a lot to do with each other.”

Hate to break it to you, but my opinion on the matter hasn’t changed one bit. My initial comment pertained to legality – you claimed it was Unconstitutional and I educated you on that point. The simple version is that it isn’t, and it is entirely legal, thus your statement about it being “a clear violation of 1st Amendment rights” is simply wrong. No other way to slice it.

My later comment was merely stating I think the concept (of a contract) is silly. I don’t get offended by someone dropping a few choice words and I do it myself on a regular basis… pretty much every time I am near Walmart on Louise Ave. However the legality and my opinion of the language are two separate things. I don’t agree that such a contact makes sense, but he isn’t violating the Constitution for suggesting it.

“You wouldn’t expect to go to Catholic Mass and hear the priest confess he was gay and enjoys anal sex? Would you? But what makes America unique is that a priest has a right to do that, and trying to jail him over it would be nearly impossible.”

That is a pretty poor analogy considering Catholic Mass is typically heard on private property. You seemed to be suggesting Wick was violating the Constitution because the Fair is on public property… so I’m not sure I follow your comparison here.

“Open your mind.”

My mind is pretty wide open – like I said I could care less if someone swears and I’m not the type to get easily offended. If I went to a rock concert or a metal concert or a rap concert… or hell even some country concerts (which I wouldn’t go to, but let’s pretend) I would not be shocked to hear someone swear.

I might not expect it at a performance of “Disney on Ice” or something, and I’m pretty sure Jerry Seinfeld won’t be dropping a f-bomb during his act, but aside from a few exceptions it is just part of society and if I was honestly that offended I’d probably just stay home and isolate myself.

I really don’t care what people say – and I’ll defend their right to say it. However, there are circumstances where government can restrict speech over the airwaves and on their property. Not very many cases, but there are times it is legal. Maybe that is changing, but at this moment in time, someone could have an idiotic idea to limit profanity and it would still be Constitutional… even if it is a stupid fucking idea.

#19 l3wis on 08.17.12 at 9:00 pm

I still disagree with you. This right-wing, teabagger, theological, pro-censorship legislating morality BS has to end, and defending it seems a bit absurd and un-american.

I loosely belong to this group, I suggest you read about some of the BS they fight everyday;

http://www.ncac.org/

#20 Craig on 08.19.12 at 12:31 am

Not sure how you can disagree considering we both think it is stupid. You might disagree with how the SCOTUS has ruled on the issue in the past, but those are just facts and history… which is why your statement about a violation of the Constitution was incorrect.

Leave a Comment