Civil Discourse Now

Where the far left and far right overlap for fun and enlightenment

   Because the Super Bowl® has occupied Indianapolis, the NFL® flew in (at City expense, of course) a special photographer for book-ins at the Marion County Jail. Actually, the effort was to make sur…

   Because the Super Bowl® has occupied Indianapolis, the NFL® flew in (at City expense, of course) a special photographer for book-ins at the Marion County Jail. Actually, the effort was to make sure one person was not available to take those head shots. The NFL had sought to hire the photographer responsible for the most famous head shot of all time. Long after Nick Nolte has retired, and 48 Hours is mentioned more frequently in trivia contents than discussions of really cool cinema of the 1980s, his face and frazzled hair from the day of his arrest in 2002 will live on.

   With all the celebrities arriving in Indy for this event, there was a concern that one of them might be photographed in similar fashion (or lack of fashion). So the logic was to hire the guy who took the photo, sign him to a two-week contract, put him up at one of the snazzier hotels, and preclude his services from being available to anyone else. Unfortunately for the organizers of this Event That Will Change How the World Looks at the City of Indianapolis, when the deputy in question stepped off the Gulfstream IV, the truth was revealed. The photograph was a spur-of-the moment taken with a Polaroid®. Some City officials were upset, but a deputy from California and his wife right now are, and will for the next two weeks, be quite happy. The NFL® could not care less about an expense it does not have to pay. They simply went about the task of finding the person who took James Brown’s mug-shot.

   Okay, I tend to be satirical on occasion. Yesterday we attempted to record an event of civil disobedience in Broad Ripple. I wrote yesterday that those (few) downtown merchants who are locally-owned (as compared to outlets of national chains) and who are upset about the manner in which the Event has taken over everything, did not want to allow us to shoot from their establishments because of fear of retribution by the City. So we shot at Big Hat Books (on the second floor as usual, and people on the street cannot see into the second floor) and, afterward, walked down to Broad Ripple Avenue with the signs we had made. We froze out butts off, but did not receive a citation from Zoning Code Enforcement. Zoning Code Enforcement was other places. Some passersby honked their horns. Some waved. A few looked confused. (Why would "Super Bowl®" and "Constitution" be on the same poster?) The Parking Ambassador who passed us a couple of times tried not to make eye contact with us. We were out there for half-an-hour and finally walked back to Big Hat.

   The point remains that the City enacted an ordinance that is part of its was to entice the league of which our local professional football team is a member (how’s that for a description parallel to that of Lord Voldemort®?) As was explained on the Show yesterday (and you can watch the Show on the website CivilDiscourseNow dot com), this all is a serious matter. To put up a "temporary" sign, one must apply for a license, pay a fee, and pass muster of whomever the Grand Poobah of Signage is for the Super Bowl®. This ordinance violates the right to free speech. There are time and place restrictions that have been upheld by the United States Supreme Court. Such restrictions are few and strictly construed. Also, the people of this City and this State have been hosed by our politicians. Okay—that might be redundant and silly. Of course we have been hosed by our politicians.

   Enjoy the next week. Enjoy the traffic jams. Enjoy the "event parking" in the middle of a weekday downtown. Enjoy the prices jacked all over the place. This is the only time the Super Bowl® will be played in Indianapolis. We shall pay for years, through our taxes, for all the things the NFL® required of us (as tribute) to play host to the event-that-shall-not-be -named. Next Sunday, relax at home. Fix whatever it is you fix to eat during a football game.

   And watch the stands really closely. See if you recognize any members of the City-County Council. Okay, that is misleading. It is my understanding that City-County Council members were not given tickets to the Event. Rather, they were given the opportunity to purchase tickets at face value. That ranges from $800 to $1200. Scalpers are getting about $3000-$4000 per ticket according to various sources on the internet. So, if you voted for an intelligent person to represent you in the City-County Council, she or he will not be in the stands. That person will have scalped the tickets—and accepted an invitation to one of the corporate suites at the stadium. And you cannot see into the suites very easily; especially when the network’s cameras do not turn that way.

   One point I want to add. Someone posted that I should root for the Patriots, as their owner paid for construction of their stadium. That is right. The owner did that. I really, really do not want to cheer for the Patriots. But the point is well taken. Robert Kraft footed one hundred percent of the bill for their stadium. I will ponder this over the next week.

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Comment by Mark Small on January 30, 2012 at 6:41am

Nicolas,

Thank you for the more thorough research than that in which I was able to engage yesterday. When I was a kid (only a few decades ago), there was none of this. At least I cannot recall stadiums being built at public expense. Anyway, push the numbers from one column to another---if taxpayers cough up money for the development, I think it qualifies as a subsidy.

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