|Charles Ray, "Fall '91, 1992," The Broad, Los Angeles.|
A confession: I never quite got strip clubs. They seem so dreary and beside-the-point. (“You just haven’t gone to the right strip clubs,” growled a colleague, when I aired this theory in the newsroom, praising Indiana strip clubs with a gleam in his eye that made me want to rush out and investigate the situation. …)
Sorry, where were we? Yes, strip clubs. Kinda like paying to go to a restaurant where they wheel the meal out, let you look at it a bit, and then return the food to the kitchen untouched. What’s the purpose of that?
The Chicago City Council is threatening to change the city’s long-standing separation of booze and bosoms. Right now, if one of Chicago’s four strip clubs wants to have topless dancers, it can’t sell beer. Except for one club, VIP’s A Gentleman’s Club on Kingsbury, which has somehow skirted the law by paying millions of dollars in back tax in 2012. (Well, four clubs and numerous steampunk “neo-burlesque” special events that pop up at midnight shows all over town, but they dwell in the shadows, in ephemeral, quasi-legality and aldermen seem not to know about them).
Ald. Emma Mitts (37th), chairman of the licensing committee, was sponsoring an ordinance that would allow alcohol in strip clubs. Underline “was.” In the kind of Keystone Kops confusion typical of the council, she said Tuesday she was shocked, shocked to find that her law allows full nudity. The law appears to have been written by VIP’s owner, Mitts suggested, and the alderman only glancingly acquainted herself with it before adding her support. So rather than the law being voted on Wednesday, she has clawed it back for airbrushing....
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