Thursday, March 31, 2005

Here We Go Again, Indiana

Ahh, it's always lovely to wake up to a local Indiana "dumb hick" story in the national news. Say what you will about obscenity, local officials' right to enforce a law, or bitter yard art business owners, this has gone from county dispute to national news in a short day. Newsflash: Genitals exposed on bad, cement fake yard art. OK, we get it, your religious moral outrage wants the local dealer of big cement pots, virigin marys and bad Venus de Milo copies to cover up their naked statues. Maybe some parents found their 8-year-olds were sneaking down to the yard art place to see the "nekkid ladies". Oh, wait, there have been only two complaints? Is this like the conservative Christian group that's generated 98% of all the FCC television complaints? I like how the Sherriff is reported to be "cracking down" on the business. Now, can we do something about those yard geese people dress up in little outfits? From the San Francisco Chronicle:

Business told to hide nude statues

Associated Press

The Venus de Milo had better wear a top and Michelangelo's David should put on some pants if they're going to be seen at a yard art business. Bartholomew County officials told the business near Interstate 65 that it must move cement copies of the classical statues _ and about 10 others _ out of public view because they are obscene under Indiana law.

"It's not fair to point out our business, and personally, I don't find them offensive," Ginger Streeval, a co-owner of White River Truck Repair and Yard Art, told the Daily Journal of Franklin for a story Wednesday.

Frank Butler, the county's zoning inspector, disagreed. "They have nudity ... and that should not be in the view of a minor," he said. Indiana's obscenity law prohibits the display of nudity where children might see it, he said. The law also stipulates that such material is harmful for minors if, "considered as a whole, it lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value for minors." The sheriff's department and zoning officials cracked down on the business about 25 miles south of Indianapolis after receiving two complaints about the statues.

But Ken Falk, legal director for the Indiana Civil Liberties Union, said nudity has been part of art for hundreds of years and that using nudity to define obscenity could raise serious constitutional questions. "Just because something is nude doesn't mean it's obscene," he said. "If that were the case, most Renaissance art would have to be put into back rooms or hidden."


At Fri Apr 01, 12:18:00 AM, Anonymous Dave Taylor said...

Ahhhh... another reason we matriculated from Purdue just in time, Renee. And we neatly avoided have the Governator in California. Now we're in Boulder watching CU slowly crumple in on itself (today's headline: "applications down 12% for 2005-2006 school year at University of Colorado, Boulder").


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