Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Tennessean Perpetuates the After Hours Myths

Jennifer Brooks conveys the myths:
  1. That ending alcohol in after hours clubs will end the music ("The after-hours crowd can't envision a Music City where the music stops at 3 a.m.")
  2. That the lack of after hours clubs means that people cannot drink or be with other friends after 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.")
  3. That Metro's regulation of after hours clubs is coordinated and consistent as it leap frogs surgical control of some clubs in order to impose on all clubs ("The after-hours crackdown, he said, unfairly targets every club in town, rather than the ones responsible for the bulk of the police calls.")

Now let's bust up the myths:

If music stops after 3 a.m. it won't be for a lack of alcohol, it will be because people don't appreciate music enough. People are not sheep who require after hours clubs to shepherd them to alcohol and music. Give them some credit.

And give Metro a lot less credit. Council members are simply trying to patch holes in the absence of a coordinated and consistent effort by Mayor Dean's administration against the worst after hours clubs, which probably make at least as much money as the responsible ones. If a neighbor finding hookers and used condoms on their place the morning after after hours affected someone's profit margin, you can bet that the Courthouse bureaucrats would have made surgical strikes to close the worst clubs as the club owners in the Tennessean article wish.

But then again, why aren't the responsible after hours clubs owners working with neighborhood groups to police and close down the bad clubs? Maybe their posturing is not entirely honest, and perhaps they actually have a vested interest in the bad boys staying open.

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