We Don't Cause Trouble, We Don't Bother Nobody?
By Sarah Dahnke in Arts & Entertainment on Sep 4, 2007 3:40PM
As a boater on Lake Michigan, you're entitled to profanity-free air. At least that's what a group of 300 boaters and motorists, who came together to protest on Sunday night, are saying. They're, as the punny Trib puts it "honking mad" about the youth-infecting rap music that's been occurring at Northerly Island for the past two weeks.
There were apparently complaints after the show on Aug. 26, which included Wu-Tang, MF Doom and Pharoahe Monch. (Boaters don't take kindly to girls being asked to "rub on your titties.") Sunday's Snoop Dogg show (part of the Download 2007 festival) really put them over the edge, though, and inspired them to come together for one collective honking of their horns at 8 p.m. that evening.
Despite the fact that performers at Northerly Island abide by noise guidelines set into place in 2005 and that the venue posts a schedule of its performers for the boaters and everyone else to see, people are still pissed that while sitting outside enjoying the nice, sunny weekend, they had to hear rappers allegedly talking about bustin' caps in cops. In fact, the Trib quoted one of the protest organizers as saying, "You shouldn't be able to do that, out there in the open air."
Actually, Mr. Protest Organizer, a little something called the First Amendment says you can. These performances you are not too excited about take place at a venue with a permit to book live music shows. And while the music shows must abide by set guidelines, i.e. maintaining certain noise levels, censoring content is not the venue's steez.
Looking at the upcoming Northerly Island schedule, which includes Stevie Wonder (anyone want to give us tickets?), Joss Stone, Common and the Beastie Boys, we're pretty sure the boaters and lakefront path enthusiasts will be a little happier with the words they hear blasting out of the speakers, invading their eardrums. We just hope these silly protests don't affect the booking choices of Live Nation (the company that operates Northerly Island) next year. As much as we respect a child's right to go his or her whole life without hearing RZA yell "bring da mothafuckin' ruckus" (but what a boring life to lead), we also respect the whole Wu Tang clan's right to proclaim they "ain't nothin' to fuck with" to the entire Chicago boating community. Game on.
"The worst part of censorship ..." photo via net_efekt.