Though Collins makes clear his belief that the Festival International board would never add language to its contracts restricting political expression, he does state that the organization will impose restrictions on "vulgar language, sexually explicit lyrics, hate mongering, and the advocacy of violence." Most people agree that these things require limitation, and thus there are laws on the books restricting them. If the festival's restrictions are intended merely to point out that the law must be obeyed, they are redundant and unnecessary. If they are to be stronger than the law, then individuals will end up making moral judgments they have no right to make. It is precisely for the protection of our diverse community that no one should be allowed to impose standards other than those made by elected officials and expressed in law.
I can think of several local and international artists who might be banned from the festival under the "sexually explicit lyrics" heading. There are many important acts who could be considered "hate mongers" if one disagreed strongly enough with their politics. Plenty of artists could be shut down under the "advocacy of violence" ruling. For instance, many reggae artists refer to violence in powerful songs like "Burnin' and Lootin'." Should they not be hired, or should they be told to play only non-controversial songs? Who decides what is and isn't controversial?
To provide a local example that will seem silly at first, what would happen if someone were to sing the line "I'm gonna break your face!" in the popular song "Don't Mess With My Toot Toot"? I'm certain that my 3-year-old daughter would be distraught at hearing those words. Do I want someone at FIL imposing a limitation on it for her sake? Absolutely not. Not in this case, not in any case.
Or, ask yourself what would happen if a punk rock or hip hop group got up on stage and chanted "I'm gonna break your face" aggressively for five minutes straight, pumping their fists in the air with angry looks on their faces? Would that be different, even though the words are the same? Who would decide? Who has the right to judge?
I know the answer to that question. Judges. The elected ones.
The Louisiana House overwhelmingly rejected a repeal of the state's unconstitutional anti-sodomy law Tuesday.
The Louisiana Senate sided with Gov. Bobby Jindal and the oil industry Tuesday, agreeing to void a lawsuit that a south Louisiana flood board filed against more than 90 oil and gas companies for coastal damage.
Wednesday's Blogs from the Bog!
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Wednesday, April 16, 2014:
Acadian rep notifies would-be supporters that an April 25 fundraiser for the embattled U.S. rep won’t go on as planned.
While it isn’t all too unusual for public bodies to have hired security present during meetings, the LPSB’s push to do so is arguably a response to the antics of one board member.
“I’m running. Why would I be raising all this money? Just to have to return it to people?”
With incumbent U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu watching from afar, and with a united Democratic Party in her corner, the fight to get the GOP officially behind Congressman Bill Cassidy is gaining just as much momentum as it is hushed controversy.
15th Judicial District Judge Durwood Conque has announced that he will not seek re-election after 27 years on the bench.
The controversial standardized tests are set to be used in third-grade through eighth-grade public school classrooms next year.
The Louisiana Senate has agreed to prohibit unmanned aircraft from flying over chemical plants, water treatment systems, telecommunications networks and other items considered "critical infrastructure" in Louisiana.
It didn’t take long for KATC TV 3 to jump all over the news of a dead body found in Girard Park, but in its rush to produce headlines, the local TV station got sloppy.
An unholy trinity of civil-society upheavalers whose first names are not Conner, Tanner or Logan are facing charges in Eunice.
Now that lawmakers have shot down efforts to cap annual interest rates for payday loans, supporters for stricter regulations of the storefront lenders are rallying behind another strategy.
The Appropriations Committee held public testimony day, letting people talk about what they like or don't like about Gov. Bobby Jindal's budget recommendations for the 2014-15 fiscal year that begins July 1.
Lafayette police are investigating the death of a 21-year-old woman whose body was found early Sunday in a drainage ditch in Girard Park.
Former Grant parish District Attorney Ed Tarpley says he's running for the U.S. House seat currently held by Republican Vance McAllister of Swartz.
Louisiana-Lafayette got strong starting pitching and timely hitting to hold off Arkansas-Little Rock 6-3 in Sun Belt Conference baseball in Lafayette, La.
Chris Williams knows how to pilfer from the public coffers, this time with a back-pay lawsuit filed three years ago against the Lafayette Housing Authority, which netted the former city-parish councilman a cool five figures.
McAllister's office vowed that he intended to stay in office — for now. As for questions about whether he would stand for re-election in November, those were dodged.
The Green Army's Lafayette brigade has announced it will pay a visit Friday morning to Sen. Page Cortez to urge him to vote against Sen. Robert Adley's SB 553, which the group is calling the "Big Oil Bailout Bill of 2014."
For the sixth consecutive year, Andy Nyman, LSU associate professor of wetland wildlife management, and his service-learning students plan to spend spring break differently from those students flooding the beaches of Florida.
When a BP oil well began gushing crude into the Gulf of Mexico four years ago, fisherman George Barisich used his boat to help clean up the millions of gallons that spewed in what would become the worst offshore spill in U.S. history.
The legislation — House Bill 503 by state Rep. Thomas Carmody, R-Shreveport — passed by an 8-5 vote and advances next to the full House.
The Republican Party of Louisiana has had enough with the philandering hypocrite Vance McAllister. David Vitter? Eh...