Where the LC is concerned, locals don’t much talk about dancing anymore. That dust-up seems almost forgotten, shoved aside by the latest drama over the Lahaina nightclub Paradice Bluz, which grabbed three strikes for over-service and a liquor license revocation in just six months.
But recently a friend sent me a copy of a June 3, 2007 New York Times op-ed that brought back all the LC dancing prohibitions (no dancing outside the specially marked dance floor, no dancing with a drink in your hand, etc.). Written by no less a personage as Barbara Ehrenreich—her 2001 book Nickel and Dimed, on what it’s like to work low-wage jobs, should be required reading in every journalism school—the essay rails against various dancing restrictions in New York City bars.
“[D]isputes over who can dance, how and where, are at least as old as civilization, and arise from the longstanding conflict between the forces of order and hierarchy on the one hand, and the deep human craving for free-spirited joy on the other,” Ehrenreich wrote.
After briefly highlighting the history of anti-dance rules (like much of Western Civilization, they go back to the Romans), and dissing former NYC mayor/current Republican presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani for cracking down on dancing in his bid to turn “Manhattan into a giant mall/food court,” Ehrenreich makes this fundamental point: dancing is a uniquely human activity.
Ehrenreich ends her piece by calling on New Yorkers and “all Americans faced with anti-dance restrictions” to “stand up and take action” by “high stepping into the streets.”
At least the LC can’t say no to that.