This post will contain some irony. Some folks hate irony some hate puns. Both are examples (often) of humor at either end of a spectrum. Irony tends to reside on the sophisticated end although not always. Puns tend to dawdle at the unsophisticated end of the spectrum although, again, not always.
So I’ve been thinking about Eric Ringsred’s travails with the Norshor Theater a magnificiant and historic building that he has heroically and desparately attempted to save without bankrupting himself. One means of keeping the grand old lady afloat has been to tart it up a bit by setting up a “Gentlemen’s Club” on the premises. Let’s not be coy. That’s a strip club. Tongues have wagged. According to Eric, the City of Duluth hounded Mr. Gradisher, the club’s owner, beyond reason and the Trib piled on in an excess of righteous zeal. Then the Trib got to spill more ink on Mr. Gradisher as he began to unravel until an obituary wrung the last bit of ink from possible from the tawdry tale. Perhaps, I should congratulate the Trib for following at least one story to its logical conclusion.
In this day and age of voluntary sex video submissions to the Internet the idea of a strip club is a little quaint. Sure, you might be able to see a pretty girl naked up close and let your imagination wander but you can slake the thirst for skin and then some on porntube. This is a day and age of breathtaking exhibitionism. Yes, on the Internet you can see people stripped of their cloths doing what comes naturally – having sex with a third party filming it with close ups ad naseum. Then again, perhaps there is something to be said about retaining one’s imagination.
As far as I’m concerned this ain’t nothin. What astounds me are all the people who are so hungry for their fifteen minutes of …… notariaty…… that they will reveal far uglier and degrading things about their lives on Judge Judy, Maury Povitch, and Montel.
But the Trib really got into a lather over Eric’s Strip Club which has had me thinking. The aforementioned Gentleman’s club that has been the target of so much disapprobation is not the only one in Duluth.
In the hub of our tourist district Canal Park lies the Club Saratoga a strip joint of some reknown. Long before I moved to Duluth almost forty years ago my aunt and uncle paid it a few calls back in the 1960’s when they lived in the Twin Cities. Back then it was tres chic to go to strip clubs. This was the era of the bump and grind, Sweet Charity and the movie version of Gypsy Rose Lee’s life which I saw with my parents as a grade school kid.
A few years ago the Club Saratoga, which I don’t think I’ve ever patronized, was the subject of a sunny story in the Trib despite the fact that it still apparently offers the old bump and grind. In addition to the late night flesh peddling it also showcases some really great local jazz on weekend afternoons. The Trib’s story mentioned a number of older church women, including the mother of a local judge, who regularly attend the Saratoga’s jazz sessions. Several belong to my church as does Eric Ringsred.
So, there you have it. One strip club gets kid glove treatment by the Trib while another is tormented to the point that its owner/manager commits suicide. There is so much irony in this that its waaaay beyond the “go figure” response it seems to demand.
All I’m sayin is: What’s up with that?