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CINDY'S DANCE BAN MISGUIDED.

Byline: KIMIT MUSTON Local View

I am currently re-reading the Bible, and I've been impressed with how much time and effort God spends in the Old Testament chastising the Israelites.

No matter how many miracles Yahweh performed for them, from smiting mighty Pharaoh, splitting the waters and the rock, to manna in the desert - which was a miracle they could actually digest - the chosen people kept choosing to violate every moral code Moses laid down for them. Which is why God had to keep chastising them.

Sodom and Gomorrah were just one bump in a very bumpy road.

Given the Lord's difficulties, it makes you wonder how humans could ever expect to successfully regulate their neighbor's morality, but the Los Angeles City Council has decided to give it another try.

The council voted 13-0 last week to order all women in ``adult cabarets'' who disrobe on stage for a living to remain at least six feet away from their audience at all times. If the mayor signs this ``no touch'' rule - and what politician would veto a measure like this one? - there will be no more lap dances, no more dollar bills deftly tucked into G-strings in Los Angeles.

And pigs will grow wings and learn to fly.

Thank Councilwoman Cindy Miscikowski for this one. We should call this bill ``Cindy's Law,'' since she's the one who pushed it through.

Why? Because, in Cindy's own words, ``Los Angeles has become a mecca for these clubs.'' (I assume she later apologized to Muslims for her unfortunate co-joining of their sacred city with L.A.'s flashy fleshpots.)

Los Angeles already regulates adult entertainment. Section 12.70 of the Building Code specifically prohibits an ``adult cabaret,'' defined as a ``nightclub, bar, which regularly features live performances which are characterized by the exposure of 'specified anatomical areas,' from being built within 1,000' of another adult entertainment business or within 500' of any religious institution, school or public park.''

And you should read paragraph thirteen, which defines the ``specified anatomical areas'' which are being displayed. Boy, are they ever specified. I think we need to protect our children from exposure to the L.A. Building Code.

There are only about 24 strip clubs in L.A., and given our population of 3 million, and given how scattered the clubs are by the building code, the city is hardly swamped with fleshpots. LAX is not jammed with flights of lap-dance-seeking tourists. Our city's reputation is hardly that of lap-dance heaven. And yet Cindy felt the urgent need to eliminate the audience participation aspects of adult entertainment. Capt. Stan Proctor of the LAPD vice squad explained: ``We think it will help us control prostitution.''

Well, a couple of months ago the dancing ladies themselves crowded the council chamber to protest the elimination of their livelihood. Many of them pleaded that Cindy's Law would leave their children hungry and their college tuition unpaid. But Cindy washed her hands of the dancing ladies, shutting down the public debate before last Tuesday's council vote.

What a shame the dancing ladies weren't unionized, because you know Cindy never met a union she didn't like. And a business lobby backed up by a union lobby armed with Cindy-friendly contributions has proven more effective than costly lawsuits at stopping the council. I guess we'll have to suffer the lawsuits again, and the lawyer for affected cabarets has promised them.

Because adult entertainment offends a lot of people, it gets treated differently. But could you imagine a car dealership saddled with the kind of restrictions an ``adult cabaret'' suffers?

And not only do the cabarets survive, they prosper. Looking at the city tax revenues they produce, it's enough to confuse a church elder. Either there are a few very wealthy, very morally degenerate people getting lap dances or a lot more men who don't use drugs and don't frequent prostitutes go to strip clubs than are willing to admit so in public. Which makes them the real silent majority, I guess.

I'm not playing devil's advocate here. There are a lot of people more qualified to do that than me. I don't frequent adult cabarets and I've never had a lap dance. I have lived in a neighborhood plagued by prostitution and it's not pleasant. Still, I just don't see how outlawing lap dancing is going to eliminate prostitution.

If Moses couldn't do it, what makes Cindy think she can?
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Title Annotation:Viewpoint
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Sep 21, 2003
Words:738
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