I found myself so fired up over an issue today that before hand I really didn’t give that much thought to. It all stemmed from a blog run by the local newspaper and open to residents of our township to post on. Most of the posts are from the newspaper’s staff so far. I had signed up with hope to find some things to blog about on it. However after today, I’m so disgusted I might not touch the thing.
Basically the back story here is that a few years ago a business owner planned to open up an adult novelties store in the township. The problem was the place he purchased to do so was right on Route 70, one of the major highways going through town. People felt it would be a blight on the town’s image, attract the wrong kind of people, yada yada. This all has lead to a lawsuit between the guy and the township which has just been settled. To keep the guy out, the town is paying him $612,500 dollars, which they claim isn’t coming out of our taxes, but the town’s insurance coverage. I don’t know, but it would seem to me that the township’s insurance fees might go up a lot after this, and where will they get the money for that? Also I think they should have lost their insurance coverage after that amount was paid out. Why? Because I don’t think we should be in the habit of paying off or running out business some people don’t think are “proper.”
Early this morning this post appeared on the blog in question. I read it and had no issues, it was well written, not that controversial and I just thought “whatever.” The only thing I got a chuckle about was the quote of the woman saying “I don’t think that’s the kind of business you want in the same place where children are playing.” Everyone knows where this shop was going to be, and if kids are playing there they are more likely to get run over by the traffic on route 70 than exposed to something seedy from the sex shop.
A few hours later came a similar post, but this one from the township themselves. This is the post which infuriated me. Not because people and the township didn’t want this guy or his business here and basically did everything they could to run him out, but because of the words used in the article.
First up is our glorious Mayor Bernie Platt saying “This immoral business was a direct affront to the integrity of the Barclay Farm neighborhood and our town’s values.” Oh Mr. Platt, as a politician, you really shouldn’t go calling other people or their businesses immoral. Political karma is a bitch and a nasty one at that. Pretty much every politician in the last few years involved in any kind of sex scandal was also it seems a “moral crusader” as well. Imma just saying!
What really ticked me off was the line “Moving forward, the Township revised its zoning laws in 2007 so this type of ambush by a purveyor of smut never happens again in Cherry Hill.” “Purveyor of Smut?” Did we really just say that? I’m sorry, but do I live in New Jersey or the bible belt? I felt like I had been warped to that state (Arkansas I think) that banned the sale of all adult novelties.
On a side note, an article I found on The Courier Post’s website has an almost identical quote from one township spokesman Dan Keashen. Oddly missing is the probably slanderous and libel “purveyor of smut” excerpt.
Now I don’t make it a habit to frequent these stores, but I don’t think we should be denying their existence to people who might want to. I, like most of us adults, have gone into one out of curiosity. I mean in Philly it was a fun silly thing to do with friends. Here in Jersey I accidentally walked into one though as I thought “Fantasy Gifts” was a whole different type of store
It seems a lot of the brouhaha over this is that this was a “residential neighborhood.” Again, it’s on a major highway intersection surrounded by Jersey strip malls. I drive down these street multiple times a week, I never see “kids” playing about or what not. I don’t even see residential houses. I see traffic, lots of traffic and stores.
If people here were worried about protecting their kids from this “immoral smut,” well newsflash, it’s easier for your kids to find porn online than it is to actually get into one of these stores, which always have someone at the counter watching everyone who comes in.
To be quiet honest, I think we also know any one of us can go to any number of regular bookstores in the area, find the dirty magazines on their shelves covered by cardboard, or go to the “Adult Self Help Section” and find any number of books on tantric sex, the kama sutra and all sorts of other “smut,” all with fairly explicit colored pictures. Yes I’ve looked at them, and so have most of you!
However something makes me think the township would not use these words to talk about, oh, Barnes and Noble? I mean can we see the township saying “Say no to getting S&M and B&N!” I don’t think so, because they would then be squashed by the lawyers from the corporate giant.
From now on, whenever I need any kind of “adult products,” rather than going to CVS, that certain aisle in the grocery store, or ordering online; I will go out of my way to give my money to the few remaining “purveyors of smut” in the township, before people decide to run them out of town too.
Oh, and by the way, once the sex shops have been run out . . . who will the empowered people come after next? My guess is the dirty gays hanging their pride flags out where everyone can see 😉