Monday, August 24, 2009

Strip Mined

I often misinterpret things. I hear something and take it to mean the exact opposite. I dissect the sentence looking for the correct meaning. Was there a double negative in there that made me take it the wrong way? Is it a dissonance with a homonym? Like, is my fridge wearing running shoes? The other day I had one of the dorkiest misinterpretations ever. Ashamed I kept it to myself, until I confided in Todd in an unguarded moment as we rode together to work the other day.

One day I was listening to NPR on the way to work, and there was some discussion about whether minors be allowed to strip in Rhode Island. Of course, I took it to mean “miners” instead of “minors” and thought, “Seriously? Is this really a problem? Why can’t a miner strip? I mean, if they can’t make enough money mining coal they should be able to dance, right? Who are we to say what a miner down on her luck can and can’t do? This is America, dammit!”

No, of course the controversy pertains to minors. As in people under the age of 18.

Which is a good thing, because I would think that pickaxes, shovels and the stripper’s pole would be a lethal combination.

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Blogger Ginny said...

I love that you're at the forefront for Miner's Rights. You little revolutionary, you!

August 24, 2009 at 10:57 AM  
Blogger BJ Knapp said...

Well, Ginny, somebody's gotta have their backs. Might as well be me, the dorkiest revolutionary ever.

August 24, 2009 at 11:19 AM  
Anonymous crisitunity said...

I will bet MONEY that there is miner feti$h p0rn out there.

August 24, 2009 at 3:19 PM  
Blogger BJ Knapp said...

Well Crisitunity, if you live in Rhode Island, and if the legislators have their way, you'll never know.

August 25, 2009 at 10:18 AM  
Anonymous Taoist Biker said...

Crisitunity has clearly heard of Rule 34.

Personally, my immediate response was, "there's a discussion about minors stripping? Really? A discussion?" That makes about as much sense as worrying about some headlamp-thong combo.

August 26, 2009 at 7:14 AM  
Blogger BJ Knapp said...

TB, here's an article on it from the Providence Journal. Keep in mind that years ago RI legislators made a mistake and accidently decriminalized indoor prostitution. LOL.

PROVIDENCE –– A city councilman has submitted legislation to ban youths under 18 from working in adult entertainment venues in the city.

Richard Shappy, who owns two strip clubs in Providence and is the spokesman for the strip clubs in the Rhode Island Entertainment Association, said Thursday that he and several other owners of adult-entertainment businesses welcome the proposed ordinance and Giannini’s legislation.

“We want nothing to do with [minors],” Shappy said. “We welcome any legislation. We have no problems with it.”

Right now, nothing in state law or city ordinance prevents underage youths from performing at strip clubs. The Providence police discovered this omission when they began investigating the case of a 16-year-old runaway from Boston, who said she was dancing at Cheater’s strip club.

The police had also received reports from the state Department of Children Youth and Families about two underage girls dancing at Club Balloons, a club next to Cheater’s, said youth services police Sgt. Carl Weston. The police checked all of the clubs in the city, but did not find minors working at the time.

The Journal reported on Tuesday that the laws ban photos and films of minors in sexually suggestive poses, but not live acts. The only applicable laws were child labor laws, which restrict work hours and prohibit teenagers from working in specific hazardous jobs.

“As the father of three daughters, I find this omission in state law appalling,” said Solomon, who chairs the council Committee on Ordinances. “The fact that there is nothing on the books prohibiting boys and girls under 18 from working as entertainers or strippers at these establishments is beyond belief. Young people are vulnerable to begin with. They should not be in a work environment that makes them even more vulnerable, and that places them in harm’s way –– both emotionally and physically.”

The ordinance, co-sponsored by Council President Peter S. Mancini and Councilman Nicholas Narducci, would make it illegal for an adult-entertainment establishment to let anyone under 18 provide entertainment or serve food or beverages. Establishments that violate it would be fined $500 for the first offense and $1,000 for each subsequent offense.

The ordinance will be introduced at a special meeting Monday at 5:30 p.m. Solomon said he expects that the police and the owners of strip clubs will testify during the committee hearings, this September.

Shappy, who owns the Cadillac Lounge and the Satin Doll in Providence, said the embarrassing publicity about the omission in the law has given the strip clubs in Rhode Island “a black eye.”

He said that his clubs, plus the others in the Rhode Island Entertainment Association –– the Foxy Lady, Club Fantasies, Club Desire, and the Dollhouse in Woonsocket –– require employees to be 18 or older. Shappy said his clubs require photo IDs and, sometimes, birth certificates, for proof that prospective employees are adults.

The clubs have no trouble finding dancers, he said. The poor economy has driven plenty of women, from all walks to life, to their doors, he said.

“We have so many girls who want to work,” Shappy said. “Housewives, college students, office workers, hairdressers. I have an LPN, an RN, a girl at the ticket counter at Green [Airport]. …

August 26, 2009 at 8:04 AM  

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