Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Naked in Vermont

Personally, I'm thinking this is funny. I'll bet you we have some readers who won't.

Seems that the Brattleboro, Vermont (not known as "New England's Las Vegas") has a problem with naked teenagers. There's a big parking lot known as the "Harmony Lot," where kids hang out, pun intended. Hmm, looking around on Google, I see that the Law Enforcement News was writing about this hang-out way last year:
Harmony Lot - a popular teenage hangout bordered on nearly all sides by commercial buildings in downtown Brattleboro - has been a hot spot for drug dealing, vandalism, fights and car accidents, the police chief said.
"I think they should get off their (duffs) and out of the cars and do some community policing," said [Nancy] Braus, whose store has entrances from Elliot Street and Harmony Lot. "I never see the police patrolling the downtown on foot." Brattleboro, Vermont Police Plan Cameras Downtown

I love the fact that, whatever this lady actually said, they paraphrased it with the word "duffs." Is a duff ever anything, except something you get off of?

OK, so anyway, the kids, it appears, have always hung out in the parking lot. And I guess some of them realized there was no law against going naked.

So they did.

Last week, the Selectboard (like a city council) decided not to pass a new law.

Remember, this is Vermont.
The Selectboard decided to hold off until next year on an anti-nudity ordinance, calling it a "knee jerk response to an isolated incident."
"Winter is coming. If spring comes and we still have a problem, we'll take another look at it," said Selectboard Chairman Steve Steidle. Board puts off nudity decision

Ah, yes, the wise elder speaking.

We'll just let those kids freeze their duffs off.
Board member Dick DeGray suggested young people in the Harmony Lot police themselves and be considerate.

"It's a respect factor," he said. "Just because you can do it, doesn't mean you should do it."

Ian Bigelow, who hangs out in the Harmony Lot, said it will probably blow over and suggested it's time to move on.

"There's not a movement in Brattleboro," he said. "It's just silliness that got out of control. It's cold here most of the time and I think we should forget about it."

See, part of the problem is figuring out ... what's wrong with it. I mean, we're all naked under our clothes, right?

So this little town ended up on Dr. Phil and those kinds of shows. Embarrassing to the city fathers, I'm sure.
Tuesday's debate on nudity was in response to resident Theresa Toney complaining at a previous Selectboard meeting about a woman in the Harmony Lot who walks around topless.

"I just think it's anarchy, because they won," she said Tuesday after the meeting. "It's inappropriate behavior for downtown. It has nothing to do with the weather. There's good behavior and there's bad behavior and that's bad behavior."

Yes, I love that reasoning. Good and bad behavior are defined, I assume, in Heaven, and certain people, such as Theresa Toney of Brattleboro, Vermont, have the gift of seeing the difference.

Is there another point of view? --Of course.
Adhi Palar, guilty of parading around in his birthday suit last month, spoke of upholding freedom and the value of the human body.

"Our acting in nudity is an act of celebration of this history and traditional values as a place where you're allowed to be nude," he said. "I find that important and I find that proud."

OK, kid, sure.

Here, wrap yourself in this flag.
Peggy Frost, a Vernon resident, found it disturbing. It's traumatizing to children, she said. Parents should teach their children the difference between the male and female anatomy -- they shouldn't see it on the street. She said she refuses to shop in Brattleboro until the issue is resolved.

"How can children tell the difference between a nudist and a pervert?" she asked. "They can't until it's too late."

What a terrific question.

I just love that question.

More differences of opinion:
Rev. David Garrecht, from Guilford, said the media attention to the public display is painting Brattleboro as an X-rated town that tourists will simply pass by.

Remillard said the incident has done damage to the town, and wanted to know how it could be resolved.

"We have been the brunt of phone calls from all over the world," Remillard said. "The media has made this into nothing less than a circus. I want to know how they are going to fix it.

"The effect was beneficial," said resident Spoon Agave. The sidewalks were packed on Friday night (for Gallery Walk)."

Hey, look at those works of art over there!

I do wonder, though, what it means to be the "brunt of phone calls from all over the world." Like, people call up from foreign countries and make jokes about it?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well I gess we know where jimK is going on his next vacation/business trip.

September 13, 2006 1:55 PM  

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