What's the matter with kids today, with their vaping and their Buku and their twerking and their bubble tea and their naked bike rides?
Advocate columnist Dan Fagan caught wind of Saturday's World Naked Bike Ride in New Orleans, and he was not happy about it, not one little bit:
Something happened this past weekend in New Orleans that reminded me of how different it must be for parents raising kids today than it was in the 1970s. The World Naked Bike Ride 2018 proudly displayed 300 bicyclists riding the streets of New Orleans — some scantily clad, others completely naked, leaving nothing for the imagination.
To which I say: Good. If it takes a few hundred bare butts and boobs on wheels to slow the once-bohemian Faubourg Marigny and Bywater from further turning into bland upscale oatmeal incredibly expensive real estate, bring on the nekkid bicyclists — and the marching bands and the drag queens and the bears in
assless chaps [ed. note: all chaps are assless] crossing the street from the Phoenix to Mag's 940.
[jump] "As a general rule, children, and protecting their innocence, has become less a priority than it once was," Fagan complains. "We used to be a child-centric society. Not so much anymore."
I'd argue that we've never been a child-centric society — just look at the state of public schools in Louisiana and around the country, as well as the priorities of our current state legislature — but there's also a difference in looking out for the welfare of children and thinking we have to mold the world around them and their perceptions. The Marigny is not Chuck E. Cheese. It never has been. No one is urging Mandeville to become the Marigny — so why should the Marigny become more like Mandeville?
Judging from the Facebook comments on Fagan's article, a lot of people don't want to see naked bike riders. Fine. Rest easy. It's not like they're everywhere — just in a tiny portion of one Louisiana city, once a year. In the rest of the year, and in the rest of the state, you're unlikely to see any more than a Spandex bulge here and there. So for two or three hours once a year, in one specific neighborhood known for its freewheeling nature, you might encounter a boobie. Or a butt. And you are free to turn around and walk in the other direction.
"'Mommy, why are all these people not wearing clothes?' is not a question most parents want to hear," Fagan says.
Fair enough, but I'd rather field that one than "Daddy, what does 'grab them by the pussy' mean?"