Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Not-so-late-night clubs may be on the way

Edmonton - Customers of late-night clubs who leave the establishments in the wee hours of the morning are disturbing the neighbours, council says, and should close hours earlier.

Complaints have prompted several councillors and Mayor Bill Smith to ask for a bylaw change that would see the clubs, which don't serve alcohol, close at the same time as bars that do – 3 a.m. They are now allowed to stay open until 8 a.m.

How is this a dumb idea? Let us count the ways:

1). The Whyte Ave. phenomenon. Do they really want the rave kids and the hardcore drinkers all mingling around the downtown streets at the same time in the middle of the night? Seems like they might some complaints about that.

2). The impressionable youth factor. Since a lot of the clients at the all-night, no-booze clubs are underage, does city council think it's a good idea to force them out of these establishments, where at least they can be looked after, and onto the downtown streets in the middle of the night? At, as mentioned above, the same time that the bars tossing their patrons out? Actually, I can answer that one. City Council doesn't give a fuck. Which brings us to the next reason...

3)...The pissant factor. I've always kind of held that one should not give in to the wankers of the world, such as the good folks who get so worked up every time they see a kid with weird hair or odd clothing that they have to go and phone the mayor's office to complain. I sense this nefarious group behind this latest attack (and believe me it's not the first) on youth culture, and it galls me that city council is falling over itself to accomodate these assholes. I mean, even Michael Phair was getting in on the act, and I'd always thought better of him.

4). The what-the-fuck-is-downtown-supposed-to-be-for question. For years there's been whining in all quarters about the deadness of downtown. And now city council wants to make sure that downtown is emptied earlier every evening? Swell.

Anyway, I'm not a patron of rave clubs, or even a real big fan of that scene, but these kids are getting shafted. City council is trying to take away from them a relatively safe haven, and their doing it on behalf of some of the city's most useless citizens. And, if you are one of those who felt the need to phone council and whine about the kids in the after-hours clubs downtown, please move back to the suburbs. You'll be happier there, I promise.

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