I don’t go to strip clubs, but I laughed out loud at this piece by Neil Genzlinger on how television has managed to make “gentleman’s clubs” boring through (pardon the pun) overexposure:
The strip club scene has been a staple of television, not to mention movies, for a long time. This isn’t high-class, burlesque-style stripping, which is apparently more intellectually acceptable than sleazy stripping because Frederick Wiseman just made a documentary about it. No, it’s poorly lighted bars, overly loud music, lascivious announcers, thrusting women, shady customers, hints of back rooms where something more than stripping is available.
The scene generally opens with a shot of a clothes-shedding writher — hey, couch potatoes, we’re in a strip club! — then shifts to the central characters. They exchange dialogue that often could just as easily have been delivered on a street corner, but producers and directors have long been committed to full employment for members of the Nubile Actresses Willing to Expose Themselves Guild and thus are quick to toss a strip club into a script where none are required.
Genzlinger goes on to explain that he has no problem with attractive naked women:
It’s not that if you’ve seen one nude woman, you’ve seen them all. But if you’ve seen 50 a week, you’ve seen too many, especially if they’re confined to doing what a woman can do in a strip club, which frankly isn’t much.
It’s not clear who first decided that gyrating around a pole is titillating, though the American Pole Manufacturers Association almost surely had something to do with it. Yeah, I get the phallic symbolism; thanks for the metaphorical whack over the head with a two-by-four. But, sorry, it just looks a little silly. Can’t we have a nice dinner and stimulating conversation instead?
While we’re on the subject, thanks to Frank Ladd for tipping me to a story about a strip club in Kansas City that’s trying to get around Missouri’s ban on nude dancing by showing videos of its dancers without clothes instead of having them take it all off on stage. The reason Frank (and I) found it funny was this line in the article: “Two reporters for The Kansas City Star recently observed the entertainment at the club.”
Yes, it took TWO reporters to, ahem, uncover the strip club story. I wonder how many lap dances they wrote off on their expense reports.