Grand Divisions

Tennessee Equality Project seeks to advance and protect the civil rights of our State’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons and their families in each Grand Division.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The spectre of Puritanism and after-hours clubs

Quotation of the Day: "Nobody wants to be puritanical and bring a return to Prohibition downtown," said Metro Councilman Mike Jameson, who represents the neighborhoods around Faded."

As a Cavalier Anglican, I know a thing or two about Puritans. They drank. Prohibition was their bastard child perhaps, but they drank alcohol. They were, however, fond of regulating and shutting down amusements. Kings James I and Charles I, wrongly but widely reviled in Whiggish histories of the 17th Century, sought to defend the people's lawful amusements in the Declaration of Sports sometimes known as the Book of Sports, recognizing the working class connection: "For when shall the common people have leave to exercise, if not upon the Sundays and Holy-days, seeing they must apply their labour and win their living in all working-days?"

Back to the 21t Century. Some will say that the word "lawful" is what is in question since there are so many instances of the police being called to the scene of one of these clubs, but much of that seems to be noise related. When you look at who makes up the clientele, we're not far from the Puritan's social control policies, after all: "The after-hours crowd can't envision a Music City where the music stops at 3 a.m. The clubs, they say, are a dead-of-night melting pot, where club kids rub elbows with factory workers and bartenders coming off shift."

Lord have mercy. What will happen if that sort continue to mix and carry on at all hours? Why can't they go home and sleep like decent people with 8:00 to 5:00 jobs?

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