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 fight to clean up Lafayette Parish could get some added ammunition with two ordinances up for votes Tuesday by the City-Parish Council targeting litter-bugs.
By striking a deal to lessen the blow of health insurance changes on state workers, school employees and retirees, Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration lowered the volume of criticism but gave itself and local school boards a new budget headache.
With the airport tax coming up for a parishwide vote in about a week, the Broussard City Council and its mayor have come out in support of the proposal.
Protesters rallied peacefully in several Louisiana cities in the wake of the Missouri grand jury decision not to indict a police officer in the fatal shooting of Michal Brown.
US cities bidding on Olympics; Guard prevents more Ferguson riots; storm threatens travel and more national and international news for Wednesday, November 26, 2014.
Wednesday's Blogs from the Bog!
The U.S. rep billed LSU for work allegedly performed on the same days Congress voted on major legislation and held important committee hearings on energy and the ACA.
Abysmally low participation by the public has prompted the council to scuttle the 2014 survey with plans to simplify it and try again next year.
The village now says the ordinance will likely be overturned and authorities will more vigorously enforce existing leash laws.
Bill Cassidy cast an early ballot Tuesday, seeking to draw renewed attention to a race that has fallen off newspaper front pages and away from people's minds as they plan holiday meals and shopping schedules.
Battered all night by Baltimore's relentless pass rush, Drew Brees could feel his protection collapsing and Terrell Suggs getting ahold of him as he urgently unloaded a pass to the right flat toward tight end Jimmy Graham.
After a convincing defeat at the polls on Nov. 4, Earl “Nickey” Picard has decided to let bygones be bygones with his former right-hand man Brian Pope, announcing his support for his former employee’s runoff bid to become Lafayette’s next city marshal.
Saturday the athletic department did everything possible to ensure the 2014 Ragin’ Cajun seniors remembered fondly their last home game. Rain and lightning never arrived but turbulence did in the form of the Appalachian State Mountaineers.
Even stranger than the Republican Party’s decision to hold a “unity rally” earlier this month for Congressman Bill Cassidy in a Baton Rouge bar, Huey’s Bar, was the fact that the establishment was named after Louisiana’s most famous Democrat.
Bar Code is not a gay bar.
After failing to pass a medical marijuana bill last year, state Sen. Fred Mills, R-Parks, is telling supporters he will return in 2015 with legislation that focuses on different applications like oils and pills.
Voters, obviously, are not yet tuned into the 2015 ballot, despite the intriguing races it will host.
By now, the story of how longtime LSU coach Dale Brown discovered Shaquille O'Neal has been told many times: Brown happened upon a massive 13-year-old at an army base in Germany, stayed in touch with him and eventually became like a second father.
Fate simply wasn't ready to give the New Orleans Saints a break from longtime nemesis Steve Smith.
Lafayette Police have had a busy day.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration will use $130 million in patchwork financing from a tax amnesty program, insurance settlement, uninsured motorist penalties and other excess funds to close most of the state's midyear budget deficit.
Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu said she disagrees with President Barack Obama's actions on immigration, hoping the latest controversy doesn't worsen her campaign difficulties.
Gay-rights advocates challenging Louisiana's same-sex marriage ban announced Thursday that they have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review their case before it is heard by a federal appeals court.
Thinking himself the “son of God,” the man charged with the 2013 killing of an officer of the Chitimacha Tribal Police will not stand trial following a ruling Thursday on his mental competency.
Either Saints coach Sean Payton doesn't want to tip Baltimore off as to who'll start in New Orleans' secondary on Monday night, or he really doesn't know yet.