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Topic: Business license jokes
Message: Posted by: JoeJoe (Jun 15, 2007 01:30PM)
The city has demanded that I obtain a business license to be a "street performer". Part of the business license code requires that the license be displayed. Thus, I plan to pin the darn thing to my top hat for everybody to see as a protest against the city. I am looking for jokes and comedy bits to fit the occassion. They need to be clean as I work with children.

ie: "I don't know if you have a village idiot where your from, but we have one here ... yea, call her the Mayor".

So basically, ideas on how I can milk this for everything it's worth would be greatly apprechiated. If I have to fight the city on this, I want to make it as entertaining as possible for the citizens of the city.

Thanks,
JoeJoe
Message: Posted by: busterjuggler (Jun 15, 2007 09:45PM)
You may think its a joke, but some people in street performing do actually stick them on their hats........

and not as a joke....

James
Message: Posted by: The Donster (Jun 15, 2007 10:39PM)
Did the City Stick it to you or did you get stuck with it.
Message: Posted by: JoeJoe (Jun 16, 2007 06:40AM)
[quote]
On 2007-06-15 22:45, busterjuggler wrote:
You may think its a joke, but some people in street performing do actually stick them on their hats........

and not as a joke....
[/quote]

Maybe in Australia, but here in the United States the Courts have ruled on numerous occassions that street artists are not required to have the same licenses and permits that vendors and merchants are required to have. I am displaying it on my hat as a way of drawing attention to my protest against the City.

-JoeJoe
Message: Posted by: Dan Paulus (Jun 16, 2007 10:56AM)
Make some copies of the license and do a torn & restored.

First tear: "Now I'm allowed to do half may act..."
Second tear: "Now 1/4th..."
Third tear: "Now you only get to hear the jokes..."
Fourth tear: "Now I'm a common street beggar! Quick! Somebody give me dollar before I bring out a squeegee!"

"I guess the city thinks that YOU are not allowed to enjoy a little magic in your day without this piece of paper"

Restore the license: "And no day should go by without a little magic in your life!"

Pass the hat.
Message: Posted by: TroyRoark (Jun 16, 2007 09:31PM)
I'd think if you want to work for any legnth of time, I'd get myself a little frame, put the license in it, put it out while you are performing, and leave it well enough alone.

Funny now could turn into no work later.
Message: Posted by: JoeJoe (Jun 16, 2007 10:35PM)
Troy ... that has to be one of the most ridiculous things I have ever heard in my life. I have the right to express myself and I intend to exercise my rights ... no guts no glory.

-JoeJoe
Message: Posted by: SteveB (Jun 17, 2007 09:24AM)
I am with Troy...they are just trying to seperate you from a common beggar...
I am sure it has been required for many years so they can chase away riff raff...
Message: Posted by: Rupert Bair (Jun 17, 2007 10:51AM)
"Don't worry folks I work here...look I got a license, And a doctors note to prove I'm not crazy...anymore, but I ate it, with some fava beans and a nice chianti"

- M:C
Message: Posted by: JoeJoe (Jun 17, 2007 01:19PM)
[quote]
On 2007-06-17 10:24, SteveB wrote:
I am with Troy...they are just trying to seperate you from a common beggar...
I am sure it has been required for many years so they can chase away riff raff...
[/quote]

No, it hasn't been required for years - I've worked the pitch for years without one. A business license is for the "privilege of doing business" and it is something that can be revoked. A street performer has 1st amendment protection to the rights of speech, expression and assembly. Today they turn our rights into privileges so that tomorrow they can revoke those privileges. In other words ... I am the riff raff they want to chase away!

-JoeJoe
Message: Posted by: pradell (Jun 17, 2007 01:26PM)
Well, there is a difference between exercising your first amendment constitutional rights and selling your wares. Once commerce is involved, your rights change a bit. There is an interest by the state/government in regulating commerce...

There is an article on the gray line between busking and sales at:

http://www.balloonhq.com/faq/twister_busking.html

:magicrabbit:
Message: Posted by: JoeJoe (Jun 17, 2007 02:10PM)
I don't sell anything. Nor do I charge for anything.

-JoeJoe
Message: Posted by: Lee Darrow (Jun 17, 2007 05:56PM)
JoeJoe, by passing the hat, you are actively engaging in an act of commerce, according to the laws of many cities, states and counties, many of which have withstood challenges all the way up through State Supreme Courts and one, if I recall correctly, which went all the way through the Supreme Court of the United States.

One reason for a busker's license is to separate the street hustlers from the legitimate street performers and that license gives the cops the edge when they want to bag the street con men tossing the broads and shifting the shells and TRYING to say that they are "street performers" when they are actually "skimming the rubes."

By having that license and following the rules, you have a pretty much solid allowance for BEING on the street, doing what you are doing and can show legitimate reason for doing so and for soliciting cash - also showing that you are NOT engaging in illigitimate games of "chance" of a dubious nature (even if your act has none of those things in it - the cops aren't going to stand around for a full show to find out - they do not have the time). By having that license, you have a "Don't Go To Jail" card that tends to keep you OUT of jail and helps keep the street con men off our patch.

It also mollifies the crowd that YOU are not a street con man but a legitimate performer. From their side, that's a Good Thing, too.

Just a different perspective...

No dis inplied or intended.

Lee Darrow, C.H.
Message: Posted by: JoeJoe (Jun 17, 2007 10:52PM)
[quote]
JoeJoe, by passing the hat, you are actively engaging in an act of commerce, according to the laws of many cities, states and counties, many of which have withstood challenges all the way up through State Supreme Courts and one, if I recall correctly, which went all the way through the Supreme Court of the United States.
[/quote]

That is incorrect: “The fact that plaintiff accepts contributions of passersby during his public performances, thus, does not dilute the plaintiff’s protection of the First Amendment“. 1978 Goldstein vs. Nantucket Civil Action No. 79-1455-Z



[quote]
One reason for a busker's license is to separate the street hustlers from the legitimate street performers and that license gives the cops the edge when they want to bag the street con men tossing the broads and shifting the shells and TRYING to say that they are "street performers" when they are actually "skimming the rubes."
[/quote]

It's not a "busker's license" - it is a "business license". It is for the "privilege of doing business". It can be revoked by the City - in other words, it gives them the authority to abridge my freedom of speech (illegal). And I am on private property, so getting tossed as a con man is not likely to happen, I need no permission from the city to perform my act on private property.



[quote]
By having that license and following the rules, you have a pretty much solid allowance for BEING on the street, doing what you are doing and can show legitimate reason for doing so and for soliciting cash - also showing that you are NOT engaging in illigitimate games of "chance" of a dubious nature (even if your act has none of those things in it - the cops aren't going to stand around for a full show to find out - they do not have the time). By having that license, you have a "Don't Go To Jail" card that tends to keep you OUT of jail and helps keep the street con men off our patch.
[/quote]

If this ever does go to court, the question will be what is my intent. Is my intent to make money? Or to present art? I have hours of video footage of me telling people they don't need to tip - tonight alone, I took the tip jar away from two people so they couldn't tip - hardly the actions of any rational business man that is out to turn a profit.

“…while Edward Munch himself would not need a license to sell ‘The Scream’ (or prints of it) from a sidewalk table, a vendor wishing to sell the popular neckties featuring the painting’s distraught figure undoubtedly would need a license. The necktie merchant uses the Munch design not as art in itself, but to sell ties. His end is starkly commercial, with not a tinge of purpose conveying even collateral or residual artistic expression. But Munch did not paint ‘The Scream’ to market pieces of cardboard“. 2004 Christopher Mastrovincinzo and Kevin Santos vs. New York City 313 F SUPP 2D 280

Read that paragraph again ... Munch can sell his painting without a business license, and it is worth a lot more than my act. I don't do magic to market pieces of cardboard either, and I can prove this in court beyond any reasonable doubt. Being in business is a privilege, but expressing yourself is a right - huge difference.



[quote]
It also mollifies the crowd that YOU are not a street con man but a legitimate performer. From their side, that's a Good Thing, too.
[/quote]

I think the marquee out front does a better job than a business license. The business license sends a signal to my audience that I am out to get their money, which is NOT my goal or objective. I wore it tonight and I don't like it - I don't like even mentioning it. I'm not sure what I'm going to do. The law says it must be displayed, but it really has no business being at my pitch. :(

[quote]
Just a different perspective...

No dis inplied or intended.

Lee Darrow, C.H.
[/quote]

No dis taken at all, I'm glad to hear your perspective ... a week ago, it would have discouraged me ... but I've spent every single spare second I could muster researching and preparing. I have a four page appeal ready to submit to the council and hope they realize a mistake was made. :)

I feel it is important to take a stand here, I believe I am within my rights to not have a business license and hope the council will agree with me. If they don't, I may seek a new pitch - I have no intention of turning my "art" into a "business". I have a business license for my magic shop, and I do business there ... but it just doesn't feel right that I need a business license to give away free balloon animals.

-JoeJoe
Message: Posted by: Lee Darrow (Jun 19, 2007 09:00AM)
You have, indeed, done your research. I wish you the best on this.

And you may well win as you do seem to have your ducks in a row, maybe.

As I said, I am not a lawyer and was only presenting possible arguments that the City might present that run counter. You seem to have several of those bases pretty well covered. However, the Munch argument could be countered as SELLING something does require a state retail tax license and, if you give someone a balloon and they pay you for it, the State (if no one else) might reasonable try to claim tax revenue from the "donation." It's been done, I believe even successfully, before.

Just an fyi that you might want to cover as well.

Check the tax codes on retail sales, particularly, on this one. Even with the ruling above that you cited, which is hypothetical and an example in another case, not pertenant to the Munch issue itself, directly, if the Munch painting sale were to come before the Bar, the tax point would most probably be a key point - and THAT could be a major sticking spot.

But it is a reach, I admit.

Lee "loopholes R Us!" Darow, C.H.
Message: Posted by: MichaelKent (Jun 19, 2007 09:27AM)
The general public does not know that this is a rule that has only recently been imposed upon you. Therefore by displaying the license in a manner that makes it look like you don't like the rule, you will come off to the general public as someone who is new to the game, which we know you are not.

I think the idea of protesting the display of a license is sort of immature, but you didn't ask for our judgement on the subject - you asked for jokes or gags to help make your protest entertaining. If you must do jokes/gags about it, I think the idea of a torn & restored license would not only be entertaining, but would get the point across.
Message: Posted by: JoeJoe (Jun 19, 2007 10:20AM)
Lee: That shouldn't be an issue, since the City does not collect sales tax - that is for the State to do.

Michael: The public has been very supportive, "are you kidding?" ... "that's ridiculous!" ... "you don't need a license!".

I am not protesting the "display" of the license, I am protesting the license. It is on display in my hat because I really don't have anywhere else to display it - I'm standing in the middle of a wide open area, not like I can hang it on the wall. I would prefer to not display it at all, but the law says I must.

My appeal with the City Council was filed yesterday. If the Council votes against me, I will consider court action. If I cannot afford court action, I will find a new place to perform. I am not going to perform under a business license that creates the impression on people that I am a salesman trying to shake down their kids for money.

We're talking about first amendment rights to speech, expression, and assembly. These are rights that belong to us - not to the City Council. The only way you can ever loose your rights is if you give them away. And I am not giving away my rights, it would be a disgrace to everyone who has died to give them to me.

Incidentally, I am licensed to do business and collect sales tax in Horry County where I run a magic shop. But I am not legally required to have a business license to give away balloons and perform for free at Barefoot Landing, and I am not going to sacrifice my art for profit.

-JoeJoe
Message: Posted by: tony2514 (Jun 19, 2007 11:27AM)
JoeJoe.

Just display the licence, man. Why?

1 Your audience come first. They don't want to be preached at about the cities shortcomings.

2 As you say, it is a business licence and can be revoked at any time. Why take the risk of having your licence revoked just because you p****d off some one in City Hall.

3 There are far worse injustices in the world - get over it or go to court, but don't subject your punters to it (supportive or not)

4 Your saying you don't need a licence does not make it so. If that is what the City says then that is what is required unless you change the system legally.

I like your village idiot joke, however. The way round I would do it is.

"I don't know where the mayor's from, but there's a village somewhere missing it's idiot"
Message: Posted by: JoeJoe (Jun 19, 2007 12:53PM)
[quote]
1 Your audience come first. They don't want to be preached at about the cities shortcomings.
[/quote]

If you are in business, I imagine the customer does comes first. But that is a subtle difference in what I do - I don't worry about what the audience wants, this is my magic show not theirs. If I wanted to give the public what they wanted, they could sit at home and watch their own show. Munch did not paint "The Scream" wondering if the public would approve of it or not.

[quote]
2 As you say, it is a business licence and can be revoked at any time. Why take the risk of having your licence revoked just because you p****d off some one in City Hall.
[/quote]

Even if the license was revoked, I would still have the right to perform. I am not trying to **** off anyone, I am standing up for my rights as an artist. Next, you will need to be licensed to doodle a picture on a napkin in public. Then they will want to make voting a privilege so they can later revoke it if they don't approve of how you vote.

[quote]
3 There are far worse injustices in the world - get over it or go to court, but don't subject your punters to it (supportive or not)
[/quote]

And I have stood up for larger injustices as well, my Snowstorm in Myrtle Beach video was an appeal for world peace and nuclear disarmament ... I made that video on a $500 budget with absolutely no intention of ever recovering it. It was not a business decision, it was an artists choice. Any injustice is still an injustice, and I hope that I always have the peace of mind to stand up for what is right ... regardless of how big or small of an injustice it is.

It is not me that is subjecting anyone to it - the law states the license must be displayed. That means people must be able to see it. It turns me into the guy that gives free magic shows and balloons into a salesman trying to turn a profit - I don't like displaying it. It disrupts my pitch and my show. I am only seeking to display it in an entertaining way that so that it blends in better.

[quote]
4 Your saying you don't need a licence does not make it so. If that is what the City says then that is what is required unless you change the system legally.
[/quote]

The courts saying I don't need a license makes it so. As of right now, the only person that says I need one is the business license inspector - who is not elected and does not make law. Ultimately, it is not her decision. And I am going about the change you speak of, which is why I filed a four page appeal with the City Council.



[quote]
I like your village idiot joke, however. The way round I would do it is.

"I don't know where the mayor's from, but there's a village somewhere missing it's idiot"
[/quote]

I think it works better like that, asking a question first throws me off beat. Plus I can target the business license inspector instead of the mayor. Thank you.





This thread has been an interesting eye opener for me. I really didn't expect all this ... it really seems people just think that because the government tells you something, you are supposed to believe them and do as they say. I don't understand that line of thought, it is foreign to me. The government is run by people, and people make mistakes which is why our government is not perfect. We have a system of checks and balances in place, and with any government decision it is important to apply that system of checks and balances.

Barefoot Landing has offered to reemberse me what I paid for the license, but the money is not the issue - I have declined their offer. The city has given me lemons, and win lose or draw ... I am confident I can make lemonade with them. To me the entire issue is just plain silly, you almost have to joke about it. Shaking down clowns and magicians for spare change? Please.

-JoeJoe
Message: Posted by: hawkbird (Jun 26, 2008 09:35PM)
Wow this was a great thread on an interesting subject and circumstance..I totally agree with you Joejoe...You are one of the few people left who has the guts to stand up against big brother. I agree that the license display would be a bit disruptive and take away from your performance by people discussing your intent and not set on watching your performance, other disrupting issues to to go along also...Maybe they could just issue a badge with a rabbit and a number on it or stamp a number on your arm or forhead! (near future)
I sold some stuff awhile back at a tradeday in our area...the owner that rents the lots gave me a brown coin envelope to deposit the calculated sales tax for what I sold! I have a small catamaran sailboat 16ft no motor but still have to by a boat tag for it...they charge you for wind..God knows what the fee would be if I farted and they new it..haa haa..Epa would step in to..for sure...Hope they don't catch up with me on the beach with my metal detector...humm.. God Bless..hb:)
Message: Posted by: NJJ (Jun 26, 2008 11:34PM)
"We now HAVE to have a business license to busk here. Which is good and bad. The bad news is I now have tons of paperwork, red tape and bureaucracy. The good news is....I can take credit cards" and pull out a credit card swiper.

"Street performers now have business license, beggars collect sales tax and that dog needs planning permission just to p*** on that hydrant."

"I am SUPPOSED to have a business license to perform here but stuff that! I am claiming this space as new country. Welcome to People's Democratic Republic of Joe Joe. Our chief export is entertainment, our chief import is your money and national anthem is Living on a Prayer/Abracadabra/*** the police/any funny song you like."

"I am supposed to have a license to perform here but I found out the hunting license is $20 cheaper then the business license. So the show is the same its just that I am legally bound to shoot, gut and skin one of you."

"I am supposed to have a license to perform here but I found out the fishing license is $20 cheaper then the business license. The show is the same its just that I am legally bound to throw back any little ones! Nothing under $5 folks!"

"I have to have a license to perform here. Why do I need a license? They only thing I drive away is audiences!"

"Ladies and Gentlemen, the government has told me I HAVE to get license because I am engaged in commerce. Which means anyone who doesn't put money in my hat is STEALING!"

"This is my business license. It's just like a driving license. They are stressful to get, hard to study for but...if you don't have one someone might get killed!"
Message: Posted by: jocdoc (Jun 26, 2008 11:38PM)
Wow - someone was feeling very productive tonight. These are excellent!

jeff in san diego
Message: Posted by: The Awesome One (Jun 27, 2008 09:26AM)
[quote]Munch did not paint "The Scream" wondering if the public would approve of it or not.[/quote]
Maybe so, but I'm pretty sure he didn't paint it while shoving his silly idealogical rants done the throats of passerbys.

Good luck with the court case, I think you will need it.

By the way Nick, those lines are fantastic.

Adam
Message: Posted by: NJJ (Jun 27, 2008 06:44PM)
One of the goals of art is to be able to express emotions and thoughts in a way that words can not. By creating an 'aesthetically pleasure' vehicle for your opinions, you can communicate them to the audience without just ranting.

"This my business license! that's right folks! I can escape from handcuffs, ropes and chains but I can escape red tape!"

"This piece of paper tells you all that this is a business and that I am a business man. If that's true then the pimp working the corner down there must be corporation"