Monday, June 21, 2010

Buzz kill: Sullivan Island may ban hootin’ and hollerin’

Posted By on Mon, Jun 21, 2010 at 11:47 AM

Do what? What kind of snooty, pretentious bullshit is going down in Sullivan Island town council meetings? Is the random happy or drunk person singing and woot-wooting really that big of a problem? What's next — a ban on laughter?

According Charleston's Post and Courier, the town's new ordinance is an effort to "keep the peace." If it's approved, that means no whistling, no singing and no hootin' and hollerin' on Sullivan Island's streets.

According to the proposed law, it would be illegal to yell, shout, hoot, whistle or sing on public streets especially overnight from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. or at any time or place if it's annoying people nearby, in an office or in a home. The new provision would be ratified at the regular July council meeting.

This strikes me as odd on a couple of levels.

One, it makes me wonder if the town disinterested in tourism. Or, maybe they're only interested in a certain class of tourist?

Two, I recently spent time in Europe where it's not only common to leave your windows open, it's also quite normal for the random drunk to sing past in the middle of the night. In the three weeks we were there, in various villages and cities, we heard laughing and singing outside our hotel all of four times ... and it only lasted for a minute or two each time. Oh, and it wasn't annoying at all — it was amusing.

My husband and I commented that it was nice to hear others having a good time. We talked about how we never hear our neighbors in our sealed-tight suburban home. In Europe, the drunks' goofiness made us smile, reminded us of our youth and only added happy texture to our vacation memories.

Residents of Sullivan Island, ask yourself: Is everything else so wonderful in your town that the council can't think of anything else to regulate? That's a super-de-duper problem, but that doesn't mean they should be muzzling the segment of their population that likes to have fun. In fact, I'd like to suggest that all of the council members have a couple drinks and think this thing through one more time.

Seriously, screw this ordinance nonsense going on in South Carolina. In a time when things seem to be falling to shit — the world economy, the environment, politics, jobs— why take up valuable council time to be a buzz killer?

This new ordinance — and Charleston's old one, which is identical — smack of nothing but lame-ass snobbery. Makes me wanna go down for a visit and organize a little mid-summer street carolin' — hootin' and hollerin' welcome — just to protest the stupidity of it all.

Then, you know, I don't know if I'd want to go back. I'm not a big fan of repression and I've already seen the sights those two places have to offer. Plus, when I've got vacation dollars handy, I'd prefer to spend them in a place where you're encouraged to have a good time.

Lighten up, South Carolina.

If the ordinance passes, even this type of singing could be banned, because, you know, it's so offensive.

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