DANCING IN THE DARK: There Are A Million Stories In The Naked City But This Isn’t One Of Them

Strip clubs are a magnet for violence? No, liquor licenses are magnets for violence. Liquor, cocaine, steroids, testosterone, asshole parents that didn’t raise you right or love you enough — these things, together or alone, cause violence. Strippers are just the floor show. And prostitution? Well that’s a whole other brutally honest hours-long conversation that we as a society will probably never have and so in the mean time we will continue to lie to ourselves with empty platitudes and cheap pieties. But two quick things about that: Prostitution is the logical extension of a bartering system that goes back at least as far as Adam & Eve — they don’t call it The Oldest Profession for nothing — where women trade sexual access for food, shelter, protection, companionship, commitment, or 2.5 kids and a Beemer in the driveway alongside the half-twin in Haddonfield. Which makes us question the prioritizing of valuable and limited law enforcement resources. Drug-addled underage runaways strolling the grimy, crack-scarred avenues of Kensington are beaten, abused, disfigured and worse and human-trafficked Asian women are living lives of quiet desperation and indentured sexual servitude behind the unmarked doors of China Town massage parlors and the cops are cracking down on some South Philly roofer getting a tug job from some tramp-stamped single mom from South Jersey? Please. As for the Daily News, you are a tabloid, we get it. Your job is to light up the lizard brains of the lumpen proletariat with some combination of the three arrows you have in your quiver: fear, anger and arousal. Fine. We all gotta make a living. Just don’t try and pass it off as public interest journalism, or pretend you really care about remedying all the sociological pathologies touched upon in this story. If you did, you wouldn’t put busty blondes in handcuffs on the cover, you’d put the sad, sad men that help them, one dollar in the g-string at a time, pay their rent on the cover. But we all know that sad, sad men don’t sell papers, they just buy them. Fact is, you are no better than the stripper you shame on your cover: both of you are selling titillation to horny voyeurs for a cheap buck. So let’s let’s stop pretending we’re above it all. As for the reporters writing this story, and for that matter the street level vice cops making these busts, we don’t hold you directly responsible, we know that these agendas come down from on high, and like the guards at Treblinka, you were just following orders.

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