News - Was the Gold Club trial justified?
Yes. It's not the sex itself that bothers me, but the trappings of power and respectability that surround it.
The Gold Club trial was a necessary wake-up call. Not because it struck a blow against the mob (it didn't), but because it may have shamed us into starting to outgrow our creepy, pathetic sex-trade industry.
It's not the sex itself that bothers me, but the trappings of power and respectability that surround it. The lingerie-modeling studios littering Cheshire Bridge Road probably generate more illegal sex than strip clubs, but at least elected officials don't openly accept donations from those places. At least our tax dollars aren't being used to promote them via the Atlanta Convention and Visitor's Bureau.
At least they have the decency to act like a marginalized industry.
It's when titty bars go mainstream that the ethos of those places leeches out into our public life. When that happens, nobody can avoid being degraded by it.
Ten years ago, I watched a miniskirted shoeshine girl groveling for pocket change while kneeling at the feet of a conventioneer in a corridor of the Georgia World Congress Center. It was Christmas, and I don't know who was the more pathetic in this tableau: the half-dressed woman kneeling in a public hallway with her ass in the air or the guy getting his rocks off by paying her to rub her spit on his shoes, flash her breasts and make small talk while schoolkids tramped by on their way to the Festival of Trees.
That's vice, Atlanta style, and the Gold Club trial has done a wonderful job of illuminating this reality. Thanks to the feds and to news managers who never grew tired of running footage of naked women straddling firemen's poles, we're now internationally known as Sex Club Central.
We're known as the place to be for dumb jocks who don't seem to mind getting their privates tongued while club managers look on, and for even dumber strippers who seem to think that sucking off jocks for a living won't negatively affect their school-aged daughters.
To hell with Whatizzit. Our city mascot ought to be that pony-tailed wrestling executive who paid a dancer to screw his wife but can't remember watching them do it because he drank too much beer first. What'll we call him?
Now that a deal's been cut and the feds are taking possession of the Gold Club building, I think we should move to preserve the space, like a sperm-sodden version of Margaret Mitchell's garret, to remind us of another toxic illusion we can hope to outgrow one of these days.??