1 Corey Levitan doesn’t want his infant daughter to grow up to be a stripper. “But, crap, good-looking 18-year-old Las Vegas females can earn 10 times what I do in a year by grinding into male crotches to Def Leppard’s ‘Pour Some Sugar on Me,’” he wrote in our May issue. His lighthearted account of trying to raise a Wonder Bread girl in Jelly Roll City sparked some pole-arized (hehe) reactions. Summer James considered the essay a dehumanizing affront to the dignity of sex workers: “Women who do sex work deserve your respect. They are everyday people in your community. They are mothers, volunteers, community advocates; and they are also just people trying to do their jobs. ... Frankly, Mr. Levitan, I think that you or anyone would be very, very lucky to have a daughter who turned out as well as I have, one as well-read, well-traveled and well-educated as I am, one who has made her own way and paid for it all by herself to boot. ... I am a sex worker, and I am an upstanding member of the community, your community and mine, and I am here to stay.” Hold that applause! Reader Howard Watts III argued that Levitan’s hope for a “normal” daughter itself is rotten with embedded sexism: “Stereotypes not only allow us to make classifications that are likely false (like tattoos + heels + short dress = stripper), they actually are the first step on a road to dehumanizing people. Deciding on appearance that women are strippers or asking for sex is the first step in legitimizing the physical and psychological abuse of women.” Other readers were moved to pine for fleeting, toned, supple, jiggle-free youth. Rose Sailcat wrote: “Never even thought about ‘titty bars’ till I lived in Vegas. I’ve talked to many high school girls who are waiting to be of age so they can ‘be on the pole.’ In a city that offers pole classes and rentable poles in case you don’t have your own, I think I’d be tempted if I was 18. But at 61, that temptation has left the station.” Indignant elderly sex workers: She said it, not us!
2 On the Desert Companion blog, Andrew Kiraly wrote about the City of Las Vegas seeking a $1 million grant to help scoot along the delicate and iffy private purchase of the Huntridge (a wish the Centennial Grant Commission granted May 19). Lotsa armchair urban theorists chimed in on what should be done. “... If (Huntridge Revival LLC principals) Joey (Vanas) and Michael (Cornthwaite) can’t figure out a way to fund it, I guess the time isn’t right to turn it into a for-profit business. Let all the machinations go their natural course, then decide maybe the city should buy it and turn it into a cultural center, with Huntridge Revival morphing into a not-for-profit foundation to support and run it.” Review-Journal music journo Jason Bracelin offered some cautionary industry-side insight: “Why would anyone reopen this venue when the market forces that caused it to be shuttered years ago are far more pronounced currently? Look at the venues that have opened in the ensuing years, most of them booked by corporate powerhouses like AEG Live or Live Nation, who could easily outbid the Huntridge for bands. And so the Huntridge would have to get in bed with a company like that, which would create the very scenario it would ostensibly serve to counteract: high ticket prices, over-priced drinks, etc.”
3 Elsewhere on the Desert Companion blog, Heidi Kyser wrote about a General Accounting Office report detailing the unappreciated stresses and strains of drone operators. Reader Terri Skyer appreciated the concern, but points out that you can relieve military-career stress, but you can’t completely remove it — nor should we necessarily try: “The stress these jobs produce are inherent to the job itself. The mitigation of stressors is a welcomed goal that should be applied to all men and women in such fields; however, the nature of the job will not change nor will the dual realities these workers must live with. Besides implementing frequent rotation shifts by adding more qualified personnel, there is little else to alleviate the condition of jobs such as drone operators. ‘Burnout’ is de rigueur to these jobs, because of the dedication required of employees. These were never ‘normal’ jobs to begin with and, as such, require individuals who can live this type of life. You must believe in what you are doing and in doing so, the stresses become manageable.” And if they don’t, hey, there’s always stripping.