Bruce (kor27) wrote,


Yesterday, I received the following message, shown here in its full, unspellchecked glory:

I am a mental health activist and am upset at Psycho Donuts because a member of my family has a mental illness. Based on this, I don't think it's good that you play your devilish music to promote this bad perception of the mentally ill.

I want to bring it to your attention that you have been playing at Psycho Donuts which has no entertainment license for the city of Campbell. What this means is it's against the law for you to play there. You probably don't know that it was against the law, but it is, and I don't create the laws that we all have to abide by.

As you can see, this applys to both live rock band music and Kerioki.

I'm not a lawyer, but I think that for you to play there in the future, because you know now that it's illegal, it would be considered conspiricy to commit a mistamenor.

Once that is in place, you can play there. Oh sorry ... not 100% true. Since the location cannot have public restrums for the public, basid on California Retail Food Code 114276 (b) 2

it would have to have a "special use permit" to do so to be true.

What this means for you is for you to play there legally, there would need to be

a. An entertainment license

b. Public toylets in the parking lot for the use of the customers

c. A use permit for the toylets

Oh ... I forgot ... Psycho Donuts will also need to have a music license permit as well. unless you ONLY play original music. Actually, I think they need one for playing recorded music or the radio (front and back), but that isn't your concern.

I think it's not good to make fun of the mentally ill. Oh I forgot .. I let the Campbell police know that you guys are informed of the law ... we don't want any confusion in theez troulblin times we have.

I, of course, just had to respond:

Thelma (I hope I can call you Thelma - you didn't actually *sign* themessage, so I can only guess your name from your email address),

If I capture your main point here, you believe that because the store uses the traditional American "cartoon comedy" version of mental illness as a theme, people will somehow confuse that theme with *actual* mental illness. And since you don't approve of that, or, it appears, my"devilish" music, you're going to do your best to harass both them and me.

According to the NIMH, about 1 in 4 Americans suffer from a diagnosable mental illness in any given year. Most of that, of course, is comparatively minor stuff, such as the depression that plagues me periodically, or the alcoholism that runs in my family. However, 1 in 17 Americans has a *serious* mental illness.

What I'm saying here is that we *all* know people with serious illnesses. While I don't have close family with *severe* mental problems (though growing up with an Adult Child of Alcoholic as a father was not
always easy), I have worked with, and in a couple of cases, had very strong crushes on, people with severe problems.

Heck, the last time I did a show at the shop, a good friend of mine came by to sing a few songs. A good friend that some years ago asked me to pick her up when she was released from a mental ward.

Confusing the theme of Psycho Donuts with anything to do with these people would be pretty much the same as confusing a Tom&Jerry cartoon with the behavior of actual cats and mice. Yes, the place is "psycho,"
and it certainly *is* whimsical. It's also, as the manic-depressive brother of one of the employees puts it, "funny."

And it makes a damn fine doughnut.

I don't exactly make a lot of money doing shows there. I do them for a variety of reasons, from the fact that I get to allow children to sing (most of my work is in bars), to the fact that every employee there is a
fun, happy person, to the fact that, in these troubling times, doing what I can to support an original small business that employs ten people is the right thing to do.

Moving on to the rest of your message, I see that not only do you appear to lack a sense of humor, but you also seem to be somewhat lacking in morality. Complaining to people about what one finds disturbing in their behavior is one thing, but trying to find as many unrelated matters as one can to throw at them is *never* morally correct.

All of the licensing and permit issues that you've brought up are the responsibility of the owner. I've forwarded a copy of this message to him, to make sure he is aware of them - which he likely is. The licensing requirements of the City of Campbell are most likely more complicated than can be gleaned by a quick web search, and would require that he talk to the City. I find that in many cases, extremely small events like these require much less in terms of paperwork than it initially appears.

You are correct that he needs a BMI license to have music in his shop. He also needs an ASCAP license, and a SESAC license. All three are required just for him to play CDs. Fortunately for him, once he has those, he also can legally have live music and karaoke. Fortunately for me, I'm specifically exempted from the concern that he actually holds those licenses.

In conclusion, I would respectfully suggest that your time would be better spent providing love and support to your family, both mentally ill and not, rather than searching out people to persecute.

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