When the argument about the Fat City Rezoning Ordinance occurred three years ago, proponents of the ordinance focused their energies on demonizing two business types: bars serving alcohol and strip clubs.
Jefferson Parish District 5 Councilwoman Cynthia Sheng and Sheriff Normand talked about the high level of police calls coming from the area due to the bars and strip clubs. When that tactic was debunked, they hammered away at the debauchery and poor public image that the strip clubs brought to Fat City.
As I mentioned yesterday, I’ve never been in a strip club in my life and, chances are, I never will. My only images of strip clubs come from television and movies. A strip club was one of the settings for “The Sopranos”, a longtime favorite of mine.
I knew the strip clubs where there in Fat City, just as I know they are on Bourbon Street. For years, I drove past them and was never tempted to go in.
But, I don’t look down on those people who do visit strip clubs. Just because I choose to not frequent them doesn’t give me the right to judge those who do or those who are employed by them. I would no sooner judge strip club customers and employees as I would judge all Italians based upon the actions of Tony Soprano.
This is America. The beauty of living in a free country is that you have the ability to spend your money where and when you want to. My morals are my morals and I would never infringe on the rights of others to impose my moral on them.
I chose to not visit strip clubs in Fat City but, because this is, or was, America, I also knew that, if I ever changed my mind that I could.
And, I would certainly never seek to determine the moral standards or impose my moral standards on a neighborhood or a community, particularly when I didn’t live there.
Now, after determining that strip clubs and nudity were “evil” and partially causing the disintegration of morals in Jefferson Parish, Councilwoman Sheng and Sheriff Normand, along with members of the Fat City Advisory Board, have changed their minds and are proposing to allow nudity back in Fat City.
Of course, they’re not going to allow strip clubs to return. No, strip clubs are still banned. Strip clubs are “bad” nudity according to Sheng and Normand.
No, now that an out-of-state theater company wants toperform plays and show films in Fat City and the strip clubs are closed and their employees are gone, Sheng is proposing to rewrite the rules that she and Normand thrust upon us.
In the revision, nudity would be allowed if it was part of a performance in a theater, ballet, film or other high-art performance that took place in a theater.
So, essentially, Councilwoman Sheng and Sheriff Normand said that the nude dancing performed in Fat City strip clubs was “bad” but nudity and nude dancing as part of another performance is “good”.
Because I’ve never been in a strip club to see that type of nude dancing (I’ve never seen nude ballet either), I am forced to rely on the experience and vast knowledge of Sheng and Normand for their determination of what is “good” and “bad” when it comes to nude dancing.
Since I am so inexperienced when it comes to nude dancing, I appreciate the fact that Sheng and Normand want to force their opinions on good taste and community standards down my throat, determine what is "good" and "bad" for me and the entire community and become the self-proclaimed arbiters of good taste for Jefferson Parish.
I know I wouldn’t want that responsibility.
See you at the ballet.