Queensland to ban adult shops near schools and churches

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CMOT Dibbler



The new face of porn 


Takes more than combat gear to make a man Takes more than license for a gun Confront your enemies, avoid them when you can A gentleman will walk but never run -Sting, an englishman in new york

CMOT Dibbler





 Takes more than combat gear to make a man Takes more than license for a gun Confront your enemies, avoid them when you can A gentleman will walk but never run -Sting, an englishman in new york

CMOT Dibbler

I'm definitely pro-sex! Hope people fuck away to their heart's content.

What if they like to fuck while watching porn? 

 The truth is that no one is completely anti sex and no one is completely pro sex, so the claim that someone is anti sex is very easy to refute. 

 For example, a leftist with various sexual hangups can say,  without fear of contridiction, "Anti sex?   I'm not anti sex! I have sex all the time!  I had a loft in Toronto in the sixities and God, that place was sex central!  You should have seen all the positions  my sex partners and I contorted ourselves into. Did I tell you that I also drank Absenth and created abstractly erotic paintings?..." 

     I think that in order to avoid dressing judgemental prudes in  the cloak of Kerouac the Hip we should just call them, well, judgemental prudes.  I  don't care how sexually active the people on Babble's  comitee for the promotion of virtue and prevention of vice are.  I care about how they treat others.        


 Takes more than combat gear to make a man Takes more than license for a gun Confront your enemies, avoid them when you can A gentleman will walk but never run -Sting, an englishman in new york

Sky Captain Sky Captain's picture

Catchfire wrote:

What fantastic legislation! Thank god the government is saving us from such evil pursuits. It's about time other governing bodies started following New York where instead of this:


We now have this:


U-S-A! U-S-A!


Excuse me, but a little historical perspective is in order.

Times Square [i]was not[/i] historically a place for all-out porn shows and the like. It was a place where most of the movie and musical theaters were located, as well as a number of stores. Wikipedia can explain it better:


As New York City's growth continued, Times Square quickly grew as a cultural hub full of theaters, music halls, and upscale hotels.

Times Square quickly became New York's agora, a place to gather both to await great tidings and to celebrate them, whether a World Series or a presidential election

James Traub, The Devil's Playground: A Century of Pleasure and Profit in Times Square

Celebrities such as Irving Berlin, Fred Astaire, and Charlie Chaplin were closely associated with Times Square in the 1910s and 1920s. During this period, the area was nicknamed The Tenderloin because it was supposedly the most desirable location in Manhattan. However, it was during this period that the area was besieged by crime and corruption, in the form of gambling and prostitution; one case that garnered huge attention was the arrest and subsequent execution of police officer Charles Becker.

The general atmosphere changed with the onset of the Great Depression during the 1930s. In the decades afterward, it was considered a dangerous neighborhood. The seediness of Times Square, especially its adult businesses, was an infamous symbol of New York City's decline and corruption from the 1960s until the early 1990s.

In the 1980s, a commercial building boom began in the West 40s and 50s as part of a long-term development plan conceived under Mayors Ed Koch and David Dinkins. In the mid-1990s, Mayor Rudolph Giuliani (1994–2002) led an intense effort to "clean up" the area, increasing security, driving out pornographic theaters, drug dealers and "squeegee men" and opening more tourist-friendly attractions and upscale establishments. Advocates of the remodeling claim that the neighborhood is safer and cleaner. Detractors, on the other hand, argue that the changes have diluted or "Disneyfied" the character of Times Square and have unfairly targeted lower income New Yorkers from nearby neighborhoods such as Hell's Kitchen.

In 1990, the State of New York took possession of six of the nine historic theaters on 42nd Street. The New 42nd Street nonprofit organization was appointed to oversee their restoration and care. The theaters were variously renovated for Broadway shows, converted for commercial purposes, or demolished.

[url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Times_Square]Times Square[/url]

In other words, Times Square was restored to what it was before the Depression and other causes had messed it up. The porn stuff (not as good as the burlesque that was likely a part of the entertainment scene)you and others [i]love[/i] came in the '50's, '60's, '70's, and '80's. Times Square was always meant to be a commercial /showbiz mecca, [i]not[/i] a porno mecca (okay, well maybe the abovementioned burlesque theaters in the past). Anything else is part of your imagination, or your specific rememberences of Times Square, limited as is is, and your Disneyfication/anti-Americanism view notwithstanding.The same also applies to Yonge & Dundas, Piccadilly Circus, and the Ginza.


Sky Captain Sky Captain's picture

It seems that what I posted still hasn't got to you, so this time I'll post the experience of a citizen of New York:


Almost everybody rightly celebrates Times Square's revival as one of New York City's greatest recent success stories. Just a short while ago it was sleazy, blighted, and crime-ridden; today it is all but crime free, it has driven out the prostitutes and pornographers who made it so seedy, it bustles with tourists by day and night, and world-spanning corporations such as AMC, Disney, and Viacom prosper within it. But if everyone knows about Times Square's remarkable comeback, few understand what made it happen.

I thought I knew what the ingredients for success were back in 1984, when I worked for Governor Mario Cuomo as head of the Urban Development Corporation (UDC). On my watch, the UDC put in place a gigantic project, first conceived in 1981, to revitalize Times Square, then at its absolute nadir. The $2.6 billion 42nd Street Redevelopment Plan would extend tax-abatement deals to developers and direct them to transform Times Square by building grand office towers, a huge merchandise market, and a fancy hotel; by restoring historic theaters; and by revamping the dingy 42nd Street subway station. Also sponsoring the plan were Mayor Ed Koch and—unofficially but prominently—the New York Times, whose headquarters gave the square its name in 1905.

But almost nothing we planned ever came to fruition. Instead, Times Square succeeded for reasons that had nothing to do with our building schemes and everything to do with government policy that, by fighting crime, cracking down on the sex industry, and cutting taxes—albeit only selectively—at last allowed the market to do its work and bring the area back to life. The lesson: there's a right way and a wrong way for government to pursue economic development. It's a lesson that needs spelling out, since it's crucial to future economic recovery in New York.

It's important to recall accurately what Times Square was like when we officially launched our plan in November 1984, since today you still find a few people perversely nostalgic for it. Samuel R. Delany's new book, Times Square Red, Times Square Blue, is a case in point: it is a lament for defunct Times Square sex clubs like the Capri, the Eros, and the Venus. These risqué establishments, Delany argues, provided a harmless, playful way to subvert stuffy bourgeois morality.

But the Times Square Delany mourns was anything but playful. The area began going to seed during the late fifties after the sex industry—waved on by ill-advised federal and state court decisions that extended First Amendment protections to pornography—edged out and took over once-lustrous theaters that had been economically struggling since the Depression. The decline was rapid thereafter: the porn establishments attracted to Times Square an unsavory and increasingly criminal crowd. Already by 1960, the New York Times was calling the heart of Times Square—42nd Street between Seventh and Eighth—the "worst block in the city." By the eighties, things got worse still, with an amazing 2,300 crimes on the block in 1984 alone, 20 percent of them serious felonies such as murder or rape. Dispirited police, at the time more concerned with avoiding scandals than fighting crime—especially low-level crime like the prostitution that was swamping Times Square—would investigate the serious felonies but mostly stood by and watched as disorder grew (see "What We've Learned About Policing," Spring 1999).

The lawless climate had devastating economic consequences. In 1984, the entire 13-acre area that we sought to revitalize employed only 3,000 people in legitimate businesses and paid the city only $6 million in property taxes—less than what a medium-size office building typically produced in tax revenue.

No legitimate business—indeed, scarcely a normal person—would willingly visit so blighted and threatening an area. As head of the UDC during the mid-eighties, I would walk through Times Square at night, a state trooper by my side, and feel revulsion. We'd hurry past prostitute-filled single-room-occupancy hotels and massage parlors, greasy spoons and pornographic bookstores; past X-rated movie houses and peep shows and a pathetic assortment of junkies and pushers and johns and hookers and pimps—the whole panorama of big-city low life. Everywhere I'd look, I'd see—except for female prostitutes—only men. A UDC study later verified my impression empirically: 90 percent of those who walked Times Square's streets were adult males. Times Square was haunted with them, like a circle of lost souls in Dante.

All of us involved in the redevelopment project were New Yorkers, born and bred. We remembered a better Times Square. In the early fifties, Times Square had been a childhood delight for me. On Saturday, my father and I would bus down from Harlem to see a movie, often a Roy Rogers or Gene Autry cowboy picture. Then we'd get something to eat at Nedick's and afterward just stroll around, gazing up at the giant signs that adorned Times Square's buildings, then as now. Mario Cuomo and Ed Koch had similar happy memories. The mayor was old enough even to have heard firsthand accounts of Times Square's heyday during the 1920s, when 13 theaters studded 42nd Street between Seventh and Eighth and lit up in neon the legendary "Great White Way," as theatergoers crowded into the latest creations of impresario George M. Cohan or of musicians such as George and Ira Gershwin. The regret we felt over the passing of this glamorous world of our youth gave the project a powerful emotional boost.[quote]

[url=http://www.city-journal.org/html/9_4_the_unexpected.html] The Unexpected Lessons of Times Square’s Comebac[/url]

 Do I want poor people thrown out of their neighboorhood because of new developments? No, I'm poor myself (I've been on ODSP for quite a while) and I wouldn't want that to happen to me. But at the same time, I don't want my city's high street to look like, and be, a shithole. If that means having to have AMC set up theaters or Best Buy set up a store, then so be it. I'd rather have that than have decrepit looking businesses on the main square, and I suppose most New Yorkers want that too, as well as the right to be able to walk on a street without being mugged (which happend to my sister and her husband when they visited there).  Besides, the guy in this article I posted also isn't hot with the way Times Square was revived, either, as can be seen in the rest of the article.


martin dufresne

Thanks for pinging us on this, Sky Captain. I like that notion of "perverse nostalgia" - it is very chic in Montreal these days as the "red-light" district is being made into a corporate and artistic heaven, regardless of its history of impoverished, rural and immigrant women's exploitation.

I am also struck by the observation that "90 percent of those who walked Times Square's streets were adult males. Times Square was haunted with them"... The sterotypical media representation of prostitution strips always shows the women - often with no regard for their rights - or a cliché symbol such as fishnets stockings or very high heel shoes. Johns, pimps, voyeurs and thrill-seekers remain invisible, unaccountable.

I'll pass this on to colleagues in Montreal. We are looking for ways to support people who want to reclaim their neighbourhood from these invaders, while steering them away from this social mindset that presents women as the cause of their exploitation. Pointing out how Times Square had become an empty shell - taken over by the industry and its clientele may help. There has already been a resounding success here in holding off the "entertainment" industry, when the citizens of the impoverished borough of Pointe St-Charles managed to block a billion-dollar re-installation of the Montreal Casino project in their backyard, a few years ago.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Is that snarky elucidation targetting me, Sky Captain? If so, why are you so hostile?

It's interesting that your quoted passage cites Times Square Red, Times Square Blue because, surprise, that's where I draw a lot of my historical context from. However, I am a student of cultural study, so my primary texts come from writers like John Rechy's City of Night and I'm not prepared to discard it based on a guy who thinks building fancy hotels and getting rid of male gay cruising zones is 'cleaning up' the place.

In fact, the author of our extract cites 'legitimate business' and what the readership of the New York Times thinks of Times Square as marks against it, when I am saying that Times Square was about transgression, not 'legitimacy'. Indeed, the fact that the police were essentially policing the boundary, but not the interior, of Times Square points to the fact that they were keeping transgression, specifically sexual transgression, from leeching into everyday life. They were not concerned about the health or well being (just 'serious' crime that made it into mainstream news) of the liminal inhabitants of Times Square, they were only concerned with whether or not the 'legitimate' electorate could ignore them.

Perhaps if you could become less snotty and more in earnest, I could understand your motivation here. But as it is, I fail to see where you're coming from.