Which is more threatening to our families and children? Cockroaches or pasties?


Daniel Suddeath’s front page article in the Sunday edition of the Tribune offers a comprehensive preview of Monday’s city council work session and regular meeting, and it looks to be a long, grubby evening at the races.

New Albany City Council: Adult ordinance up for a vote Monday

Among other diversions, there’ll be a first reading of the live adult entertainment ordinance and Mayor Doug England’s long awaited State of City speech.

Reporter Suddeath also duly reminds us that Reclaim Our Culture Kentuckiana (ROCK) intends to pack the peanut gallery with presumably non-religious though generally Bible-clad supporters, meaning we’ll have to arrive awfully early to get good places … and when there are large crowds, we have to be even more careful hiding our flasks.

(Don’t you just hate it when the Johnny-come-lately front-runners take prime spots away from longtime attendees and fans of the spectacle? There really should be a system of season tickets. Wouldn’t you throw in a few buck for seats in the front row?)

Suddeath writes:

In a newsletter distributed by the group Reclaim Our Culture Kentuckiana, or ROCK, people were encouraged to attend the upcoming council meeting to show their support for a new ordinance. Members of the organization filled the Assembly Room of the City-County Building when II Horseshoe was first discussed.

“I am happy to give my support to the efforts of the New Albany City Council, who are working to put the safety and welfare of children and families before the sex industry,” said Bryan Wickens, president of ROCK.

I’ll be more to say about this in a future Tribune column, but until then, am I the only one chuckling at Wickens’ ironic reference to putting the “safety and welfare of children and families before the sex industry”?

Whoa … John Mattingly as sex industry? With genuine respect to Wickens and his crusading exurban Christian soldiers, that’s just ludicrous.

Was it a tacky business decision for the owners of the Rustic Frog to reinvent their business by installing a pole, hiring a motley selection of females to undress for money, and positioning the whole sordid enterprise as a “gentlemen’s club” called II Horseshoes?

Yep, but while it is admittedly difficult to confuse good taste with an act of commercial reinvention that smacks of desperation, can anyone really keep a straight face as they imply that this has anything to do with the “sex industry” as practiced by Theatair X?

Well, not me. It’s laughable, but there’s another, more serious point to be made.

Since my Tribune column of January 22, three ROCK supporters writing letters to the newspaper have attempted to answer my criticisms by saying that the golden culture they seek to reclaim for decent, law abiding citizens, children and families is the one in which government takes law enforcement and its own rulebook seriously, and actively seeks to protect good people from bad things.

Fine by me, and we all should be absolutely delighted that ROCK has phrased its activist position in favor of matters like ordinance enforcement, in the sense that if the organization promises to turn out 50 people in support of an adult entertainment ordinance that will protect the city’s cowering denizens from a half-dozen semi-nude dancers at a roadhouse, it should be possible to harness the zeal for more important campaigns.

Like the overdue repeal of New Albany’s Slumlord Empowerment Act.

Say, ROCK, what about the dozens of children in numerous families who are victimized on a daily basis by the city’s enduring refusal to bring unregulated slumlords to heel?

How many more children are threatened each and every day by the city’s proliferating, sub-standard rental properties than by the handful of dancers at places like II Horseshoes?

Speaking only for myself, I’ll begin taking ROCK seriously when 50 of its members show up for the upcoming rental property inspection and ordinance enforcement segment of the program. They may have to pry the agenda out of Steve Price’s cold, uncomprehending hands, but at least doing so would demonstrate that ROCK’s fervent commitment to law enforcement and family protections extend beyond its current prurient interest in regulating the human sex drive.

Would any member of ROCK care to set me straight? I’m all ears. In fact, I’m proposing an alliance.

Are any of you listening?