Fear and loathing in Tampa

The Village Voice has a great story on the RNC convention, but this is my favorite part. This guy sounds like a great character:

There is at least one Tampa luminary for whom flashing t&a will be about more than making some cash. Joe Redner, the 72-year-old owner of Mons Venus, is a philosophizing free-speech advocate who has donated his land to the Occupy Tampa movement. He’s also a pain in local politicians’ asses. In 1976, Redner took over a bar called the Night Gallery, and after hearing on the radio about the Supreme Court’s decision to allow nudity in movies, he concluded that nude dancing would have to be protected as well.

For years, Redner played cat-and-mouse with Tampa police. When a woman stripped onstage, undercover cops would arrest her. But as soon as they took her outside, Redner would replace her with another. Then he’d go bail out the first woman. “It took nine girls on a three-girl rotation for us not to get shut down,” he says, laughing. “They ran out of undercovers!”

Redner himself was arrested dozens of times. Eventually, he won an injunction against the city’s nudity ordinance. Since then, he has run eight times for political office. In 2007, he lost in a runoff for city council with 44 percent of the vote. He has pretended in court to be gay in order to prevent a homophobic law from being enforced. His battles have pitted him against Hillsborough County Christian fundamentalists such as State Senator Ronda Storms, who has likened Redner to the Devil.

Like other strip-club owners, Redner says he looks forward to taking Republicans’ money. But he sees it as long-overdue economic redistribution from the rich to the poor. (His dancers are self-employed and receive 100 percent of their lap dance fees and tips.)

“The big businesses, energy companies, and banks that back the Republicans have been stealing from
the little people for years,” he says. “Now, we’re going to take some of their money. I’m glad to.”

Redner doesn’t hide his opinions. He doesn’t have time to. He’s got stage-four lung cancer and a deep cough that reminds him of his inevitable death. He doesn’t want to see the country he has gone to jail for more than 150 times—yes, a country with titty bars and pornography—thrown out for a reactionary Reich.

“I’m already used to the invasion of conservatives,” he says. “They’ve invaded our whole country and taken over our whole system.”

He won’t be in town for the RNC. Instead, he’ll be in Vegas for a strip-club convention. It’s better that way, he says. In Sin City, Redner won’t have to watch Mitt Romney preach about “family values” while calling for a war with Iran.

Redner wants no part of Romney’s America. He gazes around at his club. “I prefer to be in here with the decent humans,” he says.

Virtually Speaking Thursday

Virtually Speaking with Jay Ackroyd – 6p pac | 9p eastern

Pink is for Boys. Jay talks with Jo Paoletti about the contributions of nature and nurture in gender identity formation.

An Assoc Prof in the American Studies Dept at the Univ of Maryland, Jo Paoletti researches how consumer culture shapes identity and how “identity work” influences consumer culture.


Jo Paoletti: http://www.pinkisforboys.org/

Sarah Hoffman: http://www.sarahhoffmanwriter.com/

Labels are for Jars: http://labelsareforjars.wordpress.com/

Anne Fausto-Sterling: http://www.annefaustosterling.com/blog

Peggy Orenstein: http://peggyorenstein.com/blog.html

Princess Free Zone: http://www.princessfreezone.com/

Hanne Blank, author of Straight: http://www.hanneblank.com/

Tentatively titled: “Sex and Unisex: Fashion, Feminism and the Sexual Revolution;”Jo’s current book project – inspired by the War on Women – looks at the 1960s and ’70s.

Listen live and later: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/virtuallyspeaking/2012/08/24/jo-paoletti-virtually-speaking-with-jay-ackroyd

U.S. court backs King Coal

Yes, there are many troglodytes posing as federal judges. Greenland is melting along with much of the ice at the North Pole. Middle America is reeling from a drought that next year will push food prices sky-high. The air is filthy with carcinogens and other nasties. But don’t mess with our coal-fired economic “recovery,” you treacherous tree huggers:

A US appeals court overturned a key Obama administration rule to reduce harmful emissions from coal-fired power plants on Tuesday.

The Columbia district circuit appeals court said in a 2-1 decision that the Environmental Protection Agency had exceeded its mandate with the rule, which was to limit sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions from power plants in 28 mostly eastern states and Texas.

The court sent the cross-state air pollution rule for revision, telling the agency to administer its existing clean air interstate rule – the Bush-era regulation that it was updating – in the interim. The EPA said it was reviewing the ruling.

The decision was cheered by Republicans who have made the EPA and President Barack Obama’s environmental policies a major campaign issue ahead of November elections. The agency is risking a fragile economic recovery by saddling US industries with costly new rules, Republicans say…

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