Tell me I’m dreaming. The Las Vegas moral brigade — a county commissioner, a rape crisis maven and the Hard Rock Hotel — are up in arms over the poster for a local Guns N’ Roses concert.
Seriously, the Hard Rock Hotel? Where rock star John Entwistle overdosed on cocaine and died? Please pinch me. Wake me up.
Surprisingly, involved in this ethical spectacle is County Commissioner Mary Beth Scow, a former three-term School Board trustee, who represents the theocratic, anti-gay, anti-women’s-rights faction of the community.
Adding to the outcry over the GN’R poster, Scow has reportedly said: “This kind of advertising is not consistent with the values of this community. Too many people think it’s OK to mistreat women, to abuse them. This is an attitude we need to change.”
No shit. But during her lengthy School Board tenure, Scow consistently voted for the anti-teacher, casino-backed education reforms of the past decade. Because more than 70 percent of public educators are women, she was thus voting to lower women’s pay and to take away their workers’ rights. In other words, Scow herself was willfully engaged in the ongoing mistreatment of women.
Incidentally, the poster in question depicts a woman strung-out on a street (maybe a teacher?), leaning on a fence painted as a Chinese Communist flag. Standing directly over her is a predatory robot with a ball of light for a head (reformist politician?). Above them in the sky, a big, red whirling monster with talons (the casino industry?) is flying over the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign behind that Chinese-flag fence (symbolism?).
Hannah Brook, director of The Rape Crisis Center, reportedly said of it: “This is not the type of message to portray to tourists coming to our city. We want them to know it’s a safe place to come.”
Really? Actually the poster pretty much depicts what many of us witness, one way or another, daily. Think of the Naked City right around the corner from the Strip, or, if you will, of the local teacher murdered by marauding thugs while walking to school one morning two years ago. Safe, indeed.
Sadly, the Hard Rock has turned itself into the Soft Rock Hotel by regretting “that the Guns N’ Roses advertising for their current shows has offended any member of the community.” In fact, the new politically correct Soft Rock Hotel has apparently erased the strung-out woman from the poster posted online. We’ll have none of that in our town.
Of course, the beauty of this satiric poster art is the reaction, or overreaction, by Scow, Brook and the Soft Rock. In a town where a female county commissioner allegedly gave head to a strip club owner for Crown Royal bags full of cash, in a town with billboards advertising jobs to masturbate live in front of cameras, a town with a billion-dollar sex-trade industry, a town where thousands of mothers in skimpy outfits serve cocktails for tips … methinks the moral brigade protests a bit much.
A mime passing through our city once said, “Vegas is a mad dream.” Now, I don’t know Guns N’ Roses’ singer Axl Rose from axle grease, but in a what-happens-here-stays-here gambling culture, I’d say his band’s poster is a fairly accurate picture.
Oh, please pinch me. Wake me from this mad dream.
CHIP MOSHER is against abusive behavior.