Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A “sign” of the times …

   One can either frown, chuckle, or ignore the story of the efforts of Reading, Ohio (north of Cincinnati), to regulate the placement of a busty mannequin as an attraction outside a barbecue restaurant.  (After asserting that the mannequin was an unpermitted sign, the city’s Design Review Board reportedly required that she be covered up; the barbecue owner reportedly plans to appeal.)  One can also not care whether the case raises issues of first amendment rights to free expression, or is just a case of regulating commercial advertisement.  But one cannot deny that we will be hearing more land use cases such as these, as American commercial land use advertisements become, like our society as a whole, more confrontational (consider the punch-counterpunch commercials between Apple and Microsoft), more approving of “shocking” behavior, and more obsessed with selling through titillation …

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