Brickbat: This Would Make a Great Movie with Kevin Bacon


The Norfolk, Virginia, fire marshal has apparently been keeping a close eye on social media platforms, looking for businesses that are planning holiday parties. A fire marshal visits them to warn there can be no dancing at those parties unless they have a nightclub permit. Then the fire marshal's office bills them for the "inspection."

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  1. Is this about twerking? In which case I totally agree.

    1. Being sexy is a lost art.

  2. They could have staved off the inspection and its subsequent bill by slipping the fire marshal an envelope beforehand.

    1. No, this is Norfolk, VA. Norfolk has some seriously strange ways.

      I was in Norfolk to play street hockey, and we met on a local park tennis court. Never mind there were five other courts, and the only people there besides us were the cops who came to stop us. Never mind we had discussed our plans with the parks people and they never had a problem. They threatened us with trespassing and disorderly conduct, then tried to order us to disburse. The only reason it didn’t happen was one of the other team’s group was a lawyer named Chris.
      They gave in, then ticketed him for having the wrong tires on his car. Chris was unconcerned. He explained the ticket was just the Norfolk PD’s minor revenge, a way to waste his time.

      1. The story is better if we imagine that you really meant disburse rather than disperse.

        pay out (money from a fund).

      2. Yeah, a lot of family passed through there during their Navy hitches. From what I’ve heard of the local government, everyone associated with it is deserving of immolation.

  3. Nice racket.
    Government that is.

  4. He sees you when you’re dancing…

    He knows when you’re at a wake…

    He knows whether you’ve paid The Man or not
    So pay The Man for cronies’ sake!

  5. Also, wouldn’t requiring a nightclub permit for a private party that has dancing be a violation of the first amendment?

  6. Sounds to me like we know whats going on man.

  7. This is weirdly heart-warming

    The business owners at With Lavender and Lace and at Satya’s say while their parties are on hold, they plan on pushing for change.
    “What a marvelous opportunity to raise awareness and to build a better community right?” said Logan.

    A Facebook page has been created in response to the city’s ordinance: “Legalize Dancing in Norfolk”

  8. Hey! One of my local municipalities made the news! Oh wait… it’s because they suck.

  9. “Honest, Officer; we weren’t dancing. We were choreographing!”

    1. *being choreographed

    2. Owner of local swingers club swears “We weren’t dancing, we were fucking!”

  10. This comes to mind; “…a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.”. How much of an petty, evil, corrupt fuck do you have to be to do something like this?

    Human history is a series of tyrannies where power becomes increasingly concentrated and centralized, where the individual becomes more and more subject to the whims of those in power, each punctuated by brief periods of time wherein power becomes disbursed. It is during these short times that we are able to make leaps forward but only in proportion to the extent that liberty is able to flourish. Tyrannies have the effect of marching us slowly, at times not so slowly, towards feudalism.

    1. Eventually somebody will post a party online – and when he gets there it will be his tar-and-feathering party.

      1. Then don’t forget the final step of being tarred and feathered: light him up.
        Pine tar and feathers makes for a nasty fire-making material.

    2. Is disbursed the new “tow the lion”?

  11. So can you have dancing IN YOUR HOUSE if you don’t have a nightclub permit?

    When did the fire marshalls get co-opted by the vice squad … from Iran?

  12. Three felonies an hour.

  13. What, no fawning quote from the police chief or fire marshal about conformity with the law and why the law is so important?

  14. Kevin Bacon’s nemesis could be Jim Carrey as Fire Marshal Bill.

  15. We don’t drink and we don’t smoke, Norfolk, Norfolk.

    1. Obviously another local, or a sailor.

    2. We don’t drink and we don’t smoke, Norfolk, Norfolk.

      God, I haven’t heard that cheer since a high school football game in the 1970s.

  16. This sounds insane to us, and like a really good example to point out about out-of-control regulation.

    You know what most people think, though? I think most people’s reaction would be to say, “Well, there’s probably some safety reason for doing this. You can’t just have an unregulated [insert whatever here].” And that’s not a hardcore prog’s mindset; that’s a normal, average person’s depth of commitment to regulation and authority. It’s not rational. People have an unconscious aversion to, well, freedom. Unless all the paperwork has been filled out, people feel uneasy about ANYTHING.

    What this says about the “libertarian moment” is an exercise for the reader.

    1. I actually think most people would disagree with this actually, especially if they were at this party. Almost everyone I know would think this is ridiculous. Except this one dude at work who likes to take the contrarian viewpoint on absolutely everything. But he’s just a dick.

      1. Selection bias. The people you know are not the average person.

    2. that’s a normal, average person’s depth of commitment to regulation and authority.

      This is exactly what Loki said about humans. He almost had his way with total control over a race that desperately wants to be told what to do, if it hadn’t been for those meddling Avengers.

  17. I am so glad I made it out if the CommonReich years ago.

    And we used to have some blowout parties there. I’m talkin like 4 couples doin it in the hot tub type parties. We had like one cop visit super late, which we just used as an excuse to kick out the unlucky attendants. (Aka extra dudes).

  18. It says that the libertarian moment is in the future in space.

  19. Is Chuck worried about getting a bill for an alt-text inspection?

  20. That’s a nice holiday party you’ve got yourselves there. Shame if anything were to, heh heh, happen to it.

    1. P.S. File this under “Without government, who would…?”

  21. This is purely a case of an asshole regulator who believes he is entitled to your money. So then he gets pissed when you are having a party without paying up first because you are essentially stealing from him. Then he comes up with schemes to stalk parties on Facebook to claim what is rightfully his, your money.

  22. Here’s part of the law:

    Sec. 5-19. Definition.

    A “public dance hall” within the meaning of this article is any place open to the general public where dancing is permitted, to which an admission fee is charged, or for which compensation is in any manner received, either directly or indirectly, by cover charge or otherwise, or where refreshments or food or any form of merchandise is served for compensation before, during or after dancing; provided, however, that a restaurant, licensed under sections 4-98.1 and 4-98.2 of the Code of Virginia to serve food and beverages, having a dance floor with an area not exceeding ten (10) percent of the total floor area of the establishment, shall not be considered a public dance hall. The sale of any refreshments, food or any form of merchandise at any such place, or the exhibiting of such for sale, shall be deemed direct compensation for any such dance hall within the meaning of this section. (Code 1958, ? 15.1-1; Ord. No. 33,802, 12-23-85)

    Don’t charge admission, don’t sell food and it’s not an issue.

    Or just go ahead and do what you want and fuck what the city thinks about it.

    I was stationed in Norfolk. Norfolk sucks.

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