Free(-wheeling) Enterprise?

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Posted May 30, 2007 by Last Call in Clubs

Fort Worthian Dean Wilkin, according to a Star-Telegram story last week, is trying to open a strip club in Arlington. As you can imagine, he’s having a helluva time.

The location of Wilkin’s Corral Cabaret in the Great Southwest Industrial Complex, at 112th Street and Randol Mill Road, appears to satisfy Arlington’s strict criteria for sexually oriented businesses. It’s more than 1,000 feet away from a church, school, residence, or another sexually oriented business. But Arlington has been trying for years to foster a wholesome family environment by keeping sexually oriented businesses out and destroying existing ones. (Exhibit A: Fantasy Ranch, which after years of harassment by the city decided to turn itself into a bar-bar.) Along with city council, Great Southwest and other area businesses are planning to oppose Corral Cabaret’s opening.

Local pastor Bob Oliver told the Star-T that he’s going to encourage his flock to “reach out” to the clientele and workers. (If my experience with church-y types is any indication, then Oliver’s heterosexual male congregants will be doing a lot of reaching out, crumpled dollar bills in hand.) Now, the free-enterprise person in me believes that Wilkin has every right to pursue the American Dream so long as he hews to the law of the land. And, naturally, on principal, I applaud his fight – political zealotry is the scourge of humanity, here, in the Middle East, and in Asia. Basically, everywhere. But I wonder why in the hell he’s putting himself through the wringer?

He’s probably wasting his time and the city’s. There have to be more hospitable spots in the Metroplex. One last thing. Something that Pastor Bob said has stuck with me. At one point, he’s quoted as saying that strip clubs represent a “horrible abuse of women.” Funny, but couldn’t we say the same thing of most fundamentalist organized religions? Tiger City? No biggie, but someone may wanna tell the Fort Worth Convention and Visitors Bureau that Fort Worth is commonly referred to as Panther City, not as FortWorth.com may indicate, Tiger City. On the bureau’s nightlife page is a rather large image of what is clearly not a panther but another species of big cat. Think orange, black, and white stripes. Not a solid coat of black. Think Tony the Tiger. Not Eldridge Cleaver.

Not sure how such an admittedly tiny oversight could have happened. But it may have something to do with the Fort Worth Zoo, a bona fide tourist destination whose home page, FortWorthZoo.org, features what appears to be the same image. Still, what makes sense on the zoo’s homepage doesn’t make any sense on a convention center’s, especially when the image is not identified and is on a web page associated with a city that’s associated with a particular type of animal. You may think I’m overreacting, but I live in Fort Worth – if I’m not nearly constantly defending my city or making sure it’s properly portrayed to the rest of the world, then I’m not breathing.

Beastro Speaking of the Zoo, next Friday, June 6, is Beastro. Held in the lobby of the administration building, the Zoo’s inaugural foodfest will feature a live performance by the Gin Blossoms and samples from a bunch of area restaurants, including Lonesome Dove, Piranha Killer Sushi, Reata, Bistro Louise, Hot Chocolate, Texas De Brazil, Eurotazza, Sapristi!, The Classic Café, The Melting Pot, H3 Ranch, and more. Tickets are $85 and must be ordered in advance – no tickets will be sold at the door. Visit the website or call 817-759-7373.

Contact Last Call at lastcall@fwweekly.com.


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