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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Rocky Horror shit show rages on in Carrollton

Carrollton mayor Wayne Garner treated us all to a good laugh last week when he chose his battles very wisely and used his authority to prevent a community theater group from performing the "very offensive," "adult-themed" Rocky Horror Show at a county-owned facility.

The laugh riot continues! A few days ago, the Times-Georgian ran an open letter from Garner to the citizens of Carrollton. You guys. When it came to canceling the play, his hands were tied. Here are the highlights (emphasis added by moi) ...

In regard to my decision to cancel the “Rocky Horror Show” play scheduled for production at the City of Carrollton Cultural Arts Center in Carrollton, Georgia — I feel that I, as your mayor, had no other choice.

On Sept. 13, 2011, I was contacted by the city manager, Casey Coleman, who informed me that he had received a video of actors rehearsing a scene in the play, titled “Touch Me.” After reviewing this video, I was in absolute agreement with Mr. Coleman that this play could not be performed in the Cultural Arts Center. It is not an appropriate use of tax dollars, city property, city manpower or other city resources.

Some people have stated that I violated their “First Amendment” rights, and I strongly disagree. This is not about “First Amendment” rights; it is about utilizing the proper venue. I sincerely believe in the “First Amendment,” and further believe that this group of individuals wishing to perform this play has every right to perform it in the proper setting. However, I do not believe that it is suited for our community-oriented Cultural Arts Center. Simply put, if it is to be performed, it should be held in an appropriate venue.

I, for one, have a hard time believing Garner believes in the First Amendment, mostly because puts "First Amendment" in quotes like it's not a real thing. (As an aside, Garner's chief claim to fame was his five years as commissioner of the state Department of Corrections, when he routinely held "prison raids" that resulted in numerous lawsuits claiming prisoner beatings and other abuse.)

Since Garner's digging his heels in, local bookstore owner Josh Niesse has launched a Kickstarter page so the Carrollton County Community Theatre can raise enough money to put on the show an "appropriate venue." Not that they should have to.

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