Dark's Corner

Catching Up: October 19th, 2000

It’s been a busy couple of weeks, we’re still catching up around Dark Studios and the USGIGTV offices. With an expanded plate of projects, I find myself catching snippets of the real world hither and yon.

So, with not a lot of time on these hands, I’m taking the cut-and-paste route this week to shed some light on wackery taking place in downtown Orlando. This is a post on the Orlando Weekly website called “Flyer Ban Downtown”:

I got to talking recently with some musicians about an ordinance that passed on August 21st, 2000. Concerning Sec. 43.87. “Solicitation and off-premises canvassing on public property in

the Downtown Core District of Orlando, Florida.”

I hadn’t heard jack about this, but it concerns the panhandlers downtown and everyone who’s been lumped in with them. Business owners, organizations, local bands.

First, Orlando requires panhandlers and street musicians to carry a license to beg–then they banish them to little blue boxes away from the main stream of pedestrian traffic.

The ordinance states: “‘Off-premises canvassing’ means person-to-person distribution on public property of written, printed, drawn, or illustrated matter, in

whatever format, advertising or promoting a business or business activity, including, without limitation, handbill, circular, dodger, pamphlet, paper, booklet, sample or device. It does not include newspapers or other printed matter contained in receptacles.”

I don’t know about you but I’ve never had anyone lay a “device” on me while strolling down Orange Ave. If anyone has experienced this, do share.

That would include BAR coupons, Tabu entry passes and band flyers, unless they’re in newspaper format and distributed in tubes, I guess. On one hand, this sure helps clean up the rubbish that’s created by the residue of unwanted flyers that are routinely dropped by people each weekend. But according to MC Stonehenge of MT Minds, the city simply refuses to hire streetsweepers to work on the two busiest days of the year because of the weekend labor costs. Who knows if this is bullshit or not–but it sparked a huge discussion, enough to prompt me into researching the language of the ordinance to see what it really meant. Bands have a hard enough time getting promotion out–flyers are about the cheapest way to go and it’s really only partially the band’s fault that they end up as garbage. Maybe there aren’t enough trash cans, maybe musicians should take the time to talk to people before shoving a flyer in their hand–that’s always a stunning invitation. A conversation with that flyer might just get a new body in the room as opposed to “HERE! COME! SEE! PLAY!” I don’t mean to go on a rant here. Fuck it. I did mean it.

Maybe people are just lazy slobs–whatever the point, if we can’t distribute flyers on the streets of downtown, we’re going to squeeze into the clubs and cause massive traffic jams by the restrooms, and those areas are congested enough. Is there something that we could or should even do about this? Or is it worth the effort? I know some folks are passionate about it, and others could give a feather and a fig because they don’t flyer for their shows anyway.

By the way–and there’s enough cops down there with intent to harass–there’s a stiff fine for not complying with the ordinance–enough to print up thousands of flyers.

Yikes.

;;end post;;

We’ve got a “Discuss” feature here, though it rarely gets used. Readers of Ink 19 online have proven to be fairly shy across the board when it comes to feedback on the columns here. They used to be shy at the Orlando Weekly’s Music message board, but a recent interplay of anonymous and well-known musicians has turned the proceedings into a red-hot soap opera of semi-epic proportions, it’s a small town after all. Funny though, you can still surf over to Liz Langley’s “Juice” board and blow cobwebs off of the messaging area, and she’s one of their big-ticket talents. Then again, she doesn’t seem to be asking for input either.

But I am, and hope you’ll take the time to put forth your insight on any and all of the subject matter that’s covered in “Dark’s Corner.” Starting with this ordinance thing.

Getting back to the Orlando Weekly, they put on a good show at the House Of Blues with their annual Orlando Music Awards program. As we expected, Mohave didn’t win the World category, but were glad that Umoja took the trophy. We at least have the chance to see them more than twice a year. Other than the annoying commercials intercut with the video segments and an inexplicable appearance by multi-million record selling act The 69 Boyz, the show was a blast and though I’m not sure a good time was had by all, I at least walked away with a warm feeling in my heart and a huge chunk of the guitar that was smashed onstage by Steve from Precious.

Rock ‘n’ Roll, till next week.

Pa gjensyn,

“bfsig”


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