The Corner

Grind House

In other news of the decline of Western civilization, this just in from the fading fleshpots of Atlantic City. It seems that one or two formerly illegal vices currently disporting themselves as revenue-generating virtues are not enough, and we now need a third – more flesh. From the Associated Press:

What if, after seven years of plunging casino revenues and fleeing customers, Atlantic City’s real problem was this: People are wearing too much clothing?

Scores, the famous New York strip club, will open a satellite establishment inside the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort next month — the first strip club inside an Atlantic City casino in the 35 years of legal gambling here.

It will be the most audacious adult offering in an Atlantic City casino, though it’s not the first: Revel has offered the Royal Jelly burlesque show since it opened, the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa hosts a burlesque show every Thursday night, and dancers in bras and panties are common on gambling floors, including at the Tropicana Casino and Resort and the Showboat Casino Hotel.

“We feel this is the third leg of the Atlantic City triangle: gambling, alcohol and adult entertainment,” said Bob Gans, the club’s managing partner. “It’s a natural.”

That “third leg” metaphor is perhaps unfortunate, but you get the idea. As Victor points out on the home page today, we’ve entered a Petronian world that fully reflects the values and mores of the progressives and their cultural triumphs of the past few decades. Don’t get too excited, though; pole watchers got more of an eyeful from Miley Cyrus the other day than they will along the Boardwalk:

Patrons and employees will have to behave; New Jersey laws governing casinos prohibit total nudity. In approving the club in December 2011, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement issued a ruling that bordered on an anatomy lesson, governing in explicit detail what can be shown and what needs to stay covered. In short, dancers may strip down only to a G-string and pasties, small fabric patches that cover the nipples. Lap dances are prohibited, as is any simulation of sexual activity.

Because nothing says fun like the words “gaming enforcement” and “New Jersey.” Look, I’m all for sin in the right places. During the Prohibition heyday of gangland nightclubs, places like the famous Silver Slipper featured nude revues, cast by the luckiest man in show business, Nils T. Granlund (whose autobiography, Blondes, Brunettes and Bullets, is a must-read for aficionados of the period). Working both sides of the country, Granlund also personally selected the chorines for Busby Berkeley’s Warner Bros. musicals. And the country was never better, culturally: places like the Cotton Club and the Silver Slipper and the El Fey gave the world Duke Ellington, Harold Arlen, and Lena Horne, among many others. 

But as the old gangsters knew, sin only works when it’s, you know, sinful and the patrons feel they’re doing something naughty even as they’re happily being fleeced. Today it’s a marketing tool, and instead of “Ill Wind,” we get Hannah Montana with her tongue out and her knickers off. Some progress.  

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