Thursday, January 28, 2010

Is This Really a Problem?

This entire article is what appeared online on Yahoo! News on January 27, 2009:

"WASHINGTON – So you think you can dance at the Jefferson Memorial? Think again.

"A federal judge has ruled against a woman who was arrested for dancing with a group of 17 others at the memorial dedicated to President Thomas Jefferson. The woman, Mary Oberwetter, and others were dancing to music on their headphones near midnight April 12, 2008, the eve of Jefferson's birthday.

"A National Park Service officer told the group to stop dancing and arrested Oberwetter when she refused. Charges against her were later dropped.

"But Oberwetter sued the Park Service last year, claiming a violation of her rights to free expression.

"U.S. District Judge John D. Bates says the inside of the memorial is not a public forum where people can dance, even if it's a silent dance party."

Are...you...shitting...me???

Both Oberwetter's arrest and her suing of the Park Service are frivolous cases. At least her arrest was dropped. But can we PLEASE get her case tossed as well? Here are just my thoughts on all this:

1. If you don't want people dancing, PUT UP A SIGN. My God, are we living in Footloose or something? I'm guessing there is no sign. I'm pretty sure I've been to the Jefferson Memorial. I don't remember seeing a sign.

2. "...the inside of the memorial is not a public forum." Yes, we know to conduct ourselves with dignity and decorum. But, since you don't have to pay for admission to the Memorial, does that take away the privacy of it?

3. How many people were there and saw the dancing? Who complained? I'm guessing it was someone with a corncob up their rear end. Why did they feel the need to complain?

4. They were dancing to music on their headphones...so probably no one else HEARD the music. I'm guessing Mary got a little into her dancing and bumped into someone. (I'm sure they weren't dancing for the sake of the Memorial. They probably got caught up in a song or two they each really liked.)

5. Why was Mary the only one arrested? How old is she?

You know what's going to happen the next time I go up to DC? I'm going to take my MP3 player and my camera. I'm going to dance at every Memorial (tastefully: I'm not going grind on anything or be gross) and I'm going to have whoever is with me take video of my dances. When I get back home, I'll post them online! If you don't want us to dance, like I said earlier, PUT UP A SIGN!!!

Oh, and here's my A-HA moment...check the website for the Memorial (the link is above). There's no mention of dancing not being allowed! Should we let a little anarchy out while we're there?

"Anarchy is the only slight glimmer of hope."
--Mick Jagger


"Anarchy may await America, due to the daily injustices suffered by the people."--Louis Farrakhan

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