Coincidentally, I noticed the “XXX – Garbage In, Garbage Out” billboard while traveling on I-65 yesterday, and having taken an interest in the topic almost 30 years ago while in high school, leaped to the conclusion that it was another wild salvo in the decades-long effort to shut down Clarksville’s Theatair-X -- now sans those legendary drive-in accoutrements, and merely the adult "superstore" crowding the outer fringe of the 10th wonder of the world, otherwise known as the Veterans Parkway chain store paradise, and on an everyday basis scaring away good Christians from supporting the war in Iraq by eating at the nearby Cheddar’s, where each appetizer purchased is another nail in bin Laden's coffin.
Turns out my hunch was mostly on the mark. In this news story, the Courier-Journal notes the most recent …
Anti-pornography effort launched in Clarksville; Billboard targets adult businesses, by Harold J. Adams
A Louisville-based anti-pornography group came to Clarksville yesterday to launch a campaign against pornography and sex-related businesses in the metro area.
Reclaim Our Culture Kentuckiana, or ROCK, held a news conference under a campaign billboard at Veterans Parkway and Interstate 65.
I’m so old that I remember Citizens for Decency through Law, a representative of which made a presentation to my senior civics class in 1978. We’d scheduled an employee of Theatair-X to appear and provide instructive counterpoint, but he cancelled at the last minute. Later that year, he was shot down while mowing his yard. My aversion to cutting grass dates to that time.
At any rate, being innocently asked to “reclaim” a culture so seldom in evidence, and so consistently elusive in a pluralistic society, requires a certain commitment to impartiality and a respect for a multiplicity of viewpoints.
Unfortunately, after visiting ROCK’s website and seeing photos of the group’s president (unsurprisingly, one of several New Albany residents involved) in the general vicinity of our nation’s failed and perfectly impeachable chief executive, and also beaming alongside the banner at the Colorado base camp of Focus on Family, you'll excuse me for guessing that we’ll be having none of it during the course of this latest fundamentalist crusade.
But I’m most curious about this section in reporter Adams’s article:
(ROCK President Bryan) Wickens was joined by Kerry Stemler, chairman of One Southern Indiana, the Clark and Floyd counties' chamber of commerce and economic development council.
"We need ... an economy that our children and grandchildren will want to be a part of," Stemler said.
Boy, is THAT a loaded statement.
Leaving aside the suitability of 1SI’s chairman publicly siding with a haywire religious lobby group, we’ve seen lately that the development council’s tortured definition of a suitably futuristic regional economy still includes a healthy fetish for exurban sprawl, a jolly endorsement of continuing dependence on foreign oil and a concurrently blatant disregard for mass transportation strategies; excuse me for being impertinent, but aren’t discussions over these matters closer to 1SI’s ideal (if not its daily) purpose than providing photo-op succor to native Christian extremists?
Back in 1978, one of our topic presentation pieces was extracted from the pages of Hustler (I’d really prefer you not ask how we obtained it), one featuring photos of disfigured and mutilated corpses and the title, “War – The Ultimate Obscenity.”
Three decades later, it's all I recall from that class. Contrary to popular opinion, I actually did learn something in high school.