I sing in our parish choir. Though I’m a new member of the parish and choir, I’m not new to singing, having sung and been musical since a young child. As a matter of fact, I earned scholarship to attend university on the trumpet. So I definitely know my way around any musical rehearsal or activity.
Recently, we performed at “Santa’s Village,” a Christmas seasonal and decorative activity of Alabama’s Constitution Village in downtown Huntsville. As well, we’ve been “invited” to perform at “Bridge Street Town Centre,” a recently-constructed shopping center, er… excuse me, a “premier mixed-use lifestyle center,” adjacent Cummings Research Park.
Our choir director recently sent out an ‘oh, by the way…’ e-mail message stating in part that there was “some more info about… the release form that needs to be signed and returned” and that “you cannot perform without it.”
After browsing that SEVEN pages of corporate crap… I made the following observations and remarks.
- “Performers are responsible for ensuring that their audience does not block customer traffic, access to vendor stalls, or cause a safety hazard.”
Should we bring our own bouncers, too? (Y’all keep in line, ’cause introducing… “The St. Mary’s Bouncers!”)
- “Juggling knives, swords, sharp sticks or other objects deemed dangerous are strictly prohibited. All dangerous activity will be stopped. Failure to comply will result in a call to Huntsville Police Department and removal from the grounds.”
Dang! There goes crowd control!
- “Drinking of alcoholic beverages or performing while intoxicated or under the influence of controlled substances is prohibited.”
There goes having a beer with a sandwich, and wine with the meal.
- “All signage displaying the name of the act must be professionally made or computer generated. They cannot be handwritten.”
For years, painters have hand-written signs all over this town and America. Would it be acceptable for a computer to print a hand-written font… say, Comic Sans or Chalkboard, for example, be acceptable? And what about Chinese or Japanese? That ancient and classic form of writing is one of the world’s highest forms of calligraphic art which is done exclusively by hand.
- “I give permission to Bridge Street…. including… recordings or videos, without charge and without reservation, all or a portion of my story… I waive any rights…”
Nope. “Audemus jura nostra defendere.” It’s Alabama’s state motto, and means, “We dare defend our rights.” Women? Wanna give up that right to vote? Any non-white folks wanna’ voluntarily reduce themselves to the 1/3 person they were before Emancipation? Nope. I didn’t think so. I think I’ll keep my rights. Isn’t that what our troops are fighting for? Voluntary surrender our rights to some corporate mogul? I don’t think so.
- “… will indemnify, defend with counsel acceptable to… Wells Fargo Bank…”
Wait just a dog-gone minute. Didn’t I pay for their bail-out? And now you want me to have legal counsel “acceptable to…” you? I don’t think so! What’s next? Perhaps my choice of breakfast food is not acceptable. We private citizens accept responsibility. Why can’t corporations?
You know, I’m all for singing and having a good time – such as what we enjoyed at Constitution Hall Village – and we weren’t required to so anything but show up and sing.
This is not fun.
Count me out.