Sunday, February 19, 2006

Publish Day - Ink Blog - Rub that body

As I look back at the five columns I published this week (This is #4. 1, 2 and 3 are here, here and here, respectively. #5 will hit the site tonight) I can't help but think that I was on a bit of a rant-fest.

I also realize I managed to use some pretty nasty language in the process. To wit, this column includes such phrasings as purveyors of porn, sanctioned house of smut, and my personal favorite, get your jollies. I must not have had enough calming tea when I wrote 'em.

Alas, cretin was massaged out of the published piece. Next time.

Anyway, I originally thought this topic could be wrapped up in one word: NIMBY ("Not In My Back Yard") and initially dismissed it from consideration for that day's column. But as I thought about it more, I realized that there were no back yards anywhere where a body rub parlour would be acceptable.

The thought of an owner of a pseudo-porn shop using zoning loopholes to open up in a neighborhood while city hall shrugged its powerless shoulders dug deep into my brain. I ultimately wrote this:
Body rub parlour toxic for London
Published Friday, February 17, 2006
The London Free Press

Body rub parlours have no place in London’s business community.

They contribute nothing worthwhile to society and serve as vectors for all the things we don’t want in our own backyards: prostitution, drug use and other types of criminal activity.

Despite this, a new parlour proposed for an east London neighbourhood is using a zoning loophole to flout public opinion and set up shop. If there is any sanity left in city hall, this will be stopped.

Body rub parlours – as well as other purveyors of porn like adult video stores and strip clubs – destroy neighbourhoods and the lives of those who live within them.

There is no moral reason for London to have a 24-hour body rub joint. Grocery shopping, maybe. But a sanctioned house of smut, not so much.

To city hall: get a backbone and figure out an effective way to fight off those who threaten to destroy the very fabric of our city.

To anyone who might consider becoming a customer: get your jollies somewhere else.

-30-
Your turn: How does a city fight back against the barely-legal sex trade? How does a city fight back against the illegal sex trade, too? Is there a difference? Should there be? Is prostitution a given on our streets? So many questions...

22 comments:

The Mistress of the Dark said...

My best friend lived in a beautiful section of Pittsburgh...called The Mexican War Streets (Don't let the name of the area scare you) It was gorgeous. At the beginning of her block there was a X-rated movie theater. Time and again the city tried to buy the guy out...to no avail. Oddly it didn't attract more unsavory businesses in the area, but it seemed so out of place.

I will say one thing. It was fun to watch the guys coming out of the theater, pretending like they hadn't been there.

Here via Michele's. Sorry for rambling!

Plumkrazzee said...

The town I live in had a "red light" district for YEARS. Dating back to the 1800's and up until about 5 years ago, you could drive down a certain street downtown, and see any number of undesirables. Hookers, dealers, drunks, etc. I don't really know what happened, but our city DID finally do something. I think it had alot to do with trying to get "downtown" back to a bustling business district. Kind of hard to do that with all the smut on the streets. They condemned a lot of the buildings, revoked certain licenses, and cleaned the joint up. I'm sure it's still there....statistics tell us that it is, however, you are not having to look at it while driving to the courthouse any longer. There are only 2 'gentlemen' clubs here now that openly operate....and yes, it was also due to a loophole. It IS very possible for communities to rid themselves of this trash, but often times no one is strong enough to cut through the red tape. Only if enough people keep shoutin' about it, will your voice be heard. Keep shoutin'!

YellowRose said...

It takes people getting involved and not looking the other way or thinking that someone else will take care of it. A lot of people think that they can't do something because they don't have a voice, but so many things have been achieved by the underdog. We are the ones to make the difference not the city leaders, and that is the sad, but honest truth.

Love the way you get my mind working Carmi! Here via Michele's!

kimbofo said...

I've never heard of the term 'body rub parlour' but I assume it's a different way of saying 'brothel'?

Personally, I would rather have a legalised brothel in my neighbourhood than seeing prostitutes strutting their stuff openly on the street.

Michelle said...

I feel the same way. Our neighborhood doesn't have anything like that around here, but if you drive 15 minutes out of town you will find one. It angers me so much because you have to pass by it to go to a neighboring town to shop. You see ALOT of cars parked there and some that you recognize. They have put up a wall outside the building to shield the cars from view, but it doesn't do the trick. I only think to myself..these men have a family and here they are wasting the money on things like this. They also have a wife and kids at home who probably don't know about their little side shows and think everything is fine.

Claire said...

Yep, you were on a rant! I can totally see your point of view on this one and I'm inclined to agree having worked in areas that attracts the sort of problems you refer to...not pleasant!

Here from Michele's!

Karen said...

Boy, I'm certainly on your side on this issue. Here in Wisconsin, we seem to have our fair share of so-called "Adult Video" stores very near to elementary schools. Can't we put them and all of the recently paroled child molesters in some neighborhood far away from everyone? I guess not, but I sure wish we could. Oy!

Michele sent me back again. Happy Sunday!

maggie said...

Hey, me too. Glad somebody is saying something about it - words linger louder than dirty looks... especially if they're written and published.

We live in small town - but that's not to say that a "Body rub parlour" couldn't open downtown in the future. Sad thought - gotta love our free society.

Hi - via Micheles :)

jennypenny said...

I just find the whole "massage parlour" deal so gross!! I mean come on if you have to pay for it it's pretty pathetic. I think that people should stand outside of those places and take the peoples pictures coming in and out and publish them. Yah people have a right to privacy and all but if they don't want thier wives and bosses knowing they are going there then they wouldn't go.

Here from Michele's

margalit said...

Boston chose to gentrify the Combat Zone right out of existance. Seriously, it's gone, just like Times Squaare. Yes, there is still prostitution going on, and we have massage parlors, but we don't have live shows and strip bars in the city anymore. OUtside the city in the burbs is another story. One thing they did do in Boston is to publish a John's list in the city paper. You could find the list of those Johns arrested in raids. Man, that was a wicked time!

I wish prostitution was legal and sanctioned by the local governments. Then it would be safer, less dangerous, and less likely to be disease ridden. I don't think it's ever going to be possible to stop the sex trade, but if it were monitored by the government, then we would have a lot less of the slave trade (approx 190K in the US from the Baltics and Russia/Ukraine) and a lot less of runaway kids being dragged into the sex trade by unscrupulous pimps.

Michele...

The Torch Singer said...

man...you are a busy boy!!!!!!

Kat said...

I don't understand. What is a body rub parlor (as compared with a massage parlor)?

I liked Kimbofo's comment.

Also, when you mentioned calming tea it reminded me of something that happened to me recently. I went to Starbucks to get their chamomile tea, which is called "Calm." But I said the wrong word, and ended up ordering "Awake," their highly caffeinated black tea. It was NOT a relaxing afternoon.

Stephanie Davies said...

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Kat said...

Okay, and I just read the title of the post and saw "Rub That Body"--hilarious!

Beanhead said...

Not sure how they fight back because in our city they are big business and they are everywhere.

Here via Michele's

The Gnat's Trumpet said...

Yeah, I'm with Kimbofo too. The biggest problem with all of these activities, if you ask me, including drugs, is the fact that they are illegal. If they weren't illegal the violence would go away because the police and the courts would be available to handle disputes. Michele sent me.

deputyswife said...

Good grief, I think I would go nuts if we had a place like that around here. Right now, our state is targeting the sex offender that live too close to a school or daycare. In our town, that is pretty much every neighborhood. A recent city ordinance has banned this. Pretty much a sex offender can live no where in our town. While I know this somehow does not sound right, because of my small kids, I don't really care.

btw, Michele sent me! But I always enjoy coming here!

Star said...

There is a similar situation happening not too far from here. THere was a neighborhood meeting about a "Gentleman's Club" opening in a very family oriented seashore community. Who, besides the club backers , would be for such a thnig?

Lisa said...

We're dealing with this where I live. It's what they call a "bikini bar" and technically nothing "illegal" is going on there... But its an eyesore in the neighborhood, and its also less than a mile from our neighborhood school. We drive by it every day. I believe this establishment has been raided several times, but for legal reasons that I don't understand, he's still in business.

Valbee said...

There's a theater not far from my house, with the beautiful old style marquee, that only shows XXX films. It's tried on more than one occasion to go "legit" and show non-pornographic movies, but I guess it couldn't survive in this day and age of "Super Mega Mulitiplex Cinemas." Maybe someday, the owner will retire and someone will try to do something unique with it. After it's sterilized, of course.

colleen said...

Is it not the same as a massage parlor?

We don't tend to have that kind of problem in the rural town of Floyd, but we have a lot of people who do massage.

CanEragon said...

That's a real touchy issue for me. I live a block off the Western end of St. Catherines street just shy of Atwater, and within 50 yards of our building sits a few porn shops, strip joints, etc... I really care about my neighborhood because it is such squalor and needs a rebirth BADLY!

Here our local government is as powerless as its people to affect change, because to do something would imply they acknowledge a problem. And we all know who has their hands in the kitty of the porn industry and fighting them is a futile effort, at least here in Montreal.

I am all for cleaning up Canada, because what we see today is only getting worse. Drugs, prostitution, kids in trouble and addiction, all this leads to things we would rather not see for our children.

Porn is something I have learned to deal with, because of where I live, St. Catherines street is rife with all kinds of things I'd rather not see or have to have forced down my throat every time I want to take a walk somewhere!

Hey man, wanna come see???
um, no thank you !!

Jeremy!