Banned in Boston, Part 1 and Part II
: The Phoenix has two excellent editorials
about how city officials are now busy banning certain activities, just like the old days of ‘Banned in Boston.’ The first ban involves a gay nightclub, Machine, that recently booked a drag performer
who (and let’s be blunt) is effectively putting on a minstrel show. The city put pressure on the nightclub to cancel the show, which it did. As the Phoenix puts it: “Is Knipp’s show offensive? Probably. As a rule, blackface, which originated with white performers blackening their faces with greasepaint or burnt cork and caricaturing plantation slaves as happy-go-lucky simpletons intent on pleasing their masters, is offensive. But we have no way of knowing for sure if Knipp is a talented performer getting away with outrageous satire. ... Not that it matters, anyway. Free speech is free speech, even if it’s offensive. Knipp has every right to perform on stage dressed as an aging black woman with 19 children — if he can find a venue that will host him. And Machine had every right to be just such a venue.”
The second ban deals with the proposed smoking ban in Boston’s restaurants and bars. The Phoenix’s view (which is in the same editorial at the bottom of the link above): “Rather than instituting sweeping bans, we should let businesses, employees, and patrons decide if they want to allow smoking on the premises. This kind of micro-management by local government is bad social policy and bad business. ...Compromise, cooperation, and reasonableness aren’t concepts embraced by an administration that sometimes seems committed to squeezing the life out of nightlife.”
'Squeezing the life out of nightlife in Boston.’ Yep, that seems to be an appropriate epitaph for Boston.