DURHAM, N.C. – It must be the New South. How else to explain Sunday night's Sex Workers Art Show held at Duke University's Reynolds Theater? Still, you've got to wonder at any event that opens with a group exhortation of "I take it up the butt!" Wasn't a good, old-fashioned lynching the remedy for such behavior a mere generation or two ago?
Well, it's nice to see that Duke has put that whole lacrosse team controversy behind it.
The show, sponsored by several university organizations, was pretty much typical of "shocking" art: a transvestite emblazoned with the advice to "Fuck Bush" knelt on all fours and placed a lighted sparkler in his rectum, a stripper done up like Lady Justice emptied coins out of her scales and pulled a string of dollar bills out of her backdoor and an unidentified "porn actress" read an evocative poem about her infected genitals called, appropriately, "Staph."
An estimated crowd of 300, comprised mostly of students, laughed uproariously as the freak show continued throughout the evening.
Oddly, following the lacrosse debacle, the university reintroduced an item to its Bulletin of Information and Regulations stating that "strippers may not be invited or paid to perform at events sponsored by individual students, residential living groups, or cohesive units."
Of course, the performers at Sunday night's show were "artists" who happened to strip as part of their acts. There's a difference. Besides, rank-and-file strippers charge a lot more than the $3,500 the various campus organizations paid...especially if there's going to be any butt action.