Thursday, May 10, 2012
Open letter to the mayor of Alton
Dear Mayor Hoechst,
You lead a river city, and yet you missed the boat.
Burlesque is the art of the almost nude. Burlesque artists do not get nude on stage. They get almost nude. You'd know this if you attended burlesque shows, but you have said you do not, and would not.
Fine, don't. Better view for the rest of us. But don't shut down what you don't understand.
I don't expect that a man of your age and inexperience would know this, but Burlesque is flourishing in our river cities. St. Louis is an international leader in this art form. Alton has been contributing to and benefitting from St. Louis' leadership and success in this art form.
You have put a stop to that.
Mayor, is it better for a city to encourage the vitality of young, creative people, or to destroy it? Do you want lively, engaged people in your city -- or leaving your city?
I am a Metro East boy (Granite City), though I live in St. Louis now. The St. Louis mayor is not much to my liking in his politics, but he has the sense to encourage the emergence of St. Louis as a world city for Burlesque.
Could our mayor find a code violated by our Burlesque performances in St. Louis? Does a fish shit in the river? Does our mayor and our police force allow our Burlesque artists to flourish because Burlesque artists do not, in fact, get naked, only almost naked? Does a fish take a drink in the river?
Mayor, you missed the boat. But it's not quite too late. Come on onboard. The water is fine, and the dancers are almost naked.
cc: Mayor Slay