August 5, 2013

"It’s not the content... We don’t regulate content."

Said Madison's Building Inspection Division Director George Hank about the order to remove an 8-foot depiction of a stripper with one hand on a pole and the other holding a dollar. He says the law bans signs painted on buildings. But aren't there murals painted on all sorts of buildings in Madison.
The drawing is considered an advertising sign rather than an artistic expression because it directly promotes the business, [Hank] said.
Could Hank explain the gigantic head of a manic, mustachio'd chef painted on the wall of Lombardino's restaurant?

9 comments:

Levi Starks said...

So heres a poll for you:
Was this action a response to:
A) Right wing bible thumpers, or
B) Left wing lesbian feminists.

BJK said...

Time for the strip club to go back to painting itself bright red (or purple, or whatever colors they've used in recent years) to draw attention to itself once again.

I haven't lived in Madison for a decade, but knew exactly which building it was before clicking on the article. The building is on the primary road running from the highways on the east side of town up to the Capital, and is infamous for making itself an eyesore to those people who simply wish it wasn't there.

raf said...

Or C)A strange-bedfellows alliance of the two.

bpm4532 said...

That's the great thing about the English language. So many other words to use so as not to call it content. I'm sure there's something we could use to imply racism or discrimination and thus generate emotion to gain the support of an mal-educated populace.

The Godfather said...

I wonder if the chef sign might be protected by some signage version of the "prior non-conforming use" doctrine. It looks old.

I also wonder whether a content-based restriction might not be valid in the case of the pole-dancer sign. Even if the First Amendment protects strip shows, can't their public depiction, where children can see them, be restricted?

Ann Althouse said...

"I wonder if the chef sign might be protected by some signage version of the "prior non-conforming use" doctrine. It looks old."

Yeah, it's very old. The chef character seems like an embarrassing ethnic stereotype, but it's from another time. It doesn't fit the type of restaurant the place is now. But it's kind of a local landmark.

"I also wonder whether a content-based restriction might not be valid in the case of the pole-dancer sign. Even if the First Amendment protects strip shows, can't their public depiction, where children can see them, be restricted?"

Yes, possibly, but what's interesting here is that Hank denies it. I blogged it because the denial is so hard to believe.

Rich Beckman said...

I wonder if the denial about content hurts him in the long run.

If I'm Vision's I'm replacing that
"Best in Burlesque" sign with one much more graphical.

El Pollo Raylan said...

Yeah, it's very old. The chef character seems like an embarrassing ethnic stereotype, but it's from another time.

It dates from the mid-1960's at least. I remember passing by it many time as a child before Campus Dr. was constructed and it was on the main east-west avenue through the near west side of town.

Rocco said...

The difference is obvious.

The image on the side of the restaurant is clearly an artistic depiction because nobody looks like that.

Whereas the drawing on the strip club is advertising because you really could get a lap dance from Jessica Rabbit.