Naked Lunch: Banned Again?

An AP dispatch from Greenville, Maine:

A sandwich called the Skinny Dip, featuring sliced prime rib in a baguette roll, has been offered free of charge for three years to anyone willing to plunge naked from the dock at the The Black Frog Restaurant into a lake....

But now the promotion is running into trouble: A patron apparently suggested to selectmen that the activity be banned.

The naked lunch issue surfaced this week when Town Manager John Simko presented the Black Frog's application to renew its liquor licence.

Simko said he had been approached about the nudity and suggested that Police Chief Scott MacMaster speak to the owner.

The Black Frog's menu is here. I think the chief might have gotten to them -- there's no Skinny Dip in sight.

William Burroughs reads from Naked Lunch here. Frank Zappa reads from Naked Lunch here.

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  • LarryA||

    It's fun. Of course it should be banned.

    Blasted nannies.

  • Episiarch||

    Maine seems like a place that would be very libertarian, and when you go to your camp there and stay totally out of the way, it also seems like it. But in reality Maine has quite a lot of residual puritanism, welfarism, and taxation.

  • ||

    Considering the ocean temperature on Maine's coast, I'd wager that the Skinny Dip is much shorter than a normal French Dip, and probably raw pink rather than medium.

  • Frank||

    Good, this is very offensive, illegal, immoral and should not be tolerated.

  • ||

    Episiarch, As a former resident of New Hampshire, I can say Maine is like Burlington, VT, only spread out over an entire state. In addition to the crunchy granola, there is also the puritan streak you mentioned. Bad combo.

    The only reason NH (I knew) residents didn't mind Mainers is that, unlike Massholes, they tend to stay in their own state, (and they drive much better when they do cross the border).

  • ||

    Is a free sandwich worth having to explain "Shrinkage!"

  • ||

    TANSTAAFL

  • ||

    de stijl,

    Except for naked people in Maine.

  • Steven||

    What would happen if someone did this and children were present, this could be harmful to them.

  • VM||

    Steven - that was exactly Dan T's thought on yesterday's "profanity in Michigan" thread!

    and please note, instead of asking you, "why, that is interesting: how exactly would this be harmful to children", I will make a sign out of construction paper that says "Steven" on it, hang it around the Noam Chomsky Blow up Doll's neck, and proceed to go to town.

    That'll really add the Tabasco to the hamster sandwich!

  • ||

    VM, I don't recall commenting on any such thread yesterday...

    But anyway, my position on stuff like this is pretty consistant - as long as they don't violate anybody's basic human rights, I'm cool with letting other communities govern themselves however they best see fit. Which, it should be noted, is really a more libertarian view than the standard "everybody should govern themselves as we see fit" argument often presented here.

  • Steven||

    "why, that is interesting: how exactly would this be harmful to children"

    Corrupting the morals of a child is a felony.

  • Timothy||

    I think we should light children on fire moments after birth in some sort of baby pyre...they'd be protected from everything harmful then. They'd never see a penis or a vagina, they'd never hear a dirty word, they'd never get obese or have a heart attack. Perfect, flaming safety for all.

  • evenStay||

    Those people should keep their clothes on, just as G-d intended!

  • VM||

    hier is an impostor?

    hrumph.

    actually - there have been several "religion of 'free market'" posts of late. you'd'a loved em :)

    *passes Timothy the BBQ sauce.

  • ||

    But anyway, my position on stuff like this is pretty consistant - as long as they don't violate anybody's basic human rights, I'm cool with letting other communities govern themselves however they best see fit.

    And here we are, all quibbling over your interpretation of "anybody's basic human rights", which in Danspeak translates to "no rights at all unless graciously granted by 51% of the voters, but hey, you can always leave town ..."

    ;)

  • ||

    I can think of at least two things wrong with that title...

  • ||

    VM -- were you talking about BBQ sauce or "BBQ sauce" (the XXX version)? Cause we know you're all about the 'batin.

  • ||

    And here we are, all quibbling over your interpretation of "anybody's basic human rights", which in Danspeak translates to "no rights at all unless graciously granted by 51% of the voters, but hey, you can always leave town ..."

    Not entirely accurate, but since "rights" are a subjective (actually kind of religious) idea, I guess we do need to establish who decides what those rights are.

  • ||

    hier is an impostor?

    hrumph.


    Not me, and doesn't even read like something I would write.

  • Sulla||

    VM, I don't recall commenting on any such thread yesterday...

    But anyway, my position on stuff like this is pretty consistant - as long as they don't violate anybody's basic human rights, I'm cool with letting other communities govern themselves however they best see fit. Which, it should be noted, is really a more libertarian view than the standard "everybody should govern themselves as we see fit" argument often presented here.


    Can you give us an idea of what you consider "basic human rights"? This seems like a pretty basic human right - the right of two consenting adults to form a contract.

  • ||

    "Not entirely accurate, but since "rights" are a subjective (actually kind of religious) idea, I guess we do need to establish who decides what those rights are."

    Certainly we need to establish what they are, but the nature of the rights argument is that these things we agree on should be durable in the face of local whim - otherwise they aren't rights.

  • VM||

    wasn't sure if you were setting something up!

  • ||

    Can you give us an idea of what you consider "basic human rights"? This seems like a pretty basic human right - the right of two consenting adults to form a contract.

    I'm pretty sure that the right to form any contract the want is not among those rights.

    Although in this case the issue seems to be more along the lines of an activity (public nudity) violating community standards. Certainly nobody is saying the restaurant owner and customers are not allowed to agree to a contract over a sandwich sale - they're just not allowed to agree to a contract that harms others.

  • ||

    Maine seems like a place that would be very libertarian, and when you go to your camp there and stay totally out of the way, it also seems like it. But in reality Maine has quite a lot of residual puritanism, welfarism, and taxation.

    Ayuh, not much libertarianism around here, especially in southern Maine. You are correct Episiarch, plenty of puritanism, welfarism, and lots of taxation (or fees, as the state government likes to call some of them) here.

    BakedPenguin,

    Aha, a former NH resident. Yes, Maine drivers are much better than Mass drivers.

    Hugh Akston,

    Greenville is no where near the coast. Which makes it much colder.

  • ||

  • ||


    Steven | October 16, 2007, 11:19am | #

    "why, that is interesting: how exactly would this be harmful to children"

    Corrupting the morals of a child is a felony.



    I submit that a child is far more likely to be "corrupted" by ingraining the notion that the human body is sinful to look at and should be covered than by actually seeing a naked human being.

  • ||

    I submit that a child is far more likely to be "corrupted" by ingraining the notion that the human body is sinful to look at and should be covered than by actually seeing a naked human being.

    But if people don't become ashamed of their bodies, it could lead to, I don't know, healthier attitudes towards sex?

  • ||

    Clint Bolick's phrase, "grassroots tyrrany" is useful here. SoCons can be just as much nanny staters about their pet issues as their leftist counterparts are about theirs. State and local government regulations are a frequent tool both camps use to impose their values on their neighbors.

    Kevin

  • ||

    I submit that a child is far more likely to be "corrupted" by ingraining the notion that the human body is sinful to look at and should be covered than by actually seeing a naked human being.

    But if people don't become ashamed of their bodies, it could lead to, I don't know, healthier attitudes towards sex?


    I actually agree with you, but I still respect the people of Greenville, Maine to decide for themselves which approach works better.

  • ||

    Clint Bolick's phrase, "grassroots tyrrany" is useful here. SoCons can be just as much nanny staters about their pet issues as their leftist counterparts are about theirs. State and local government regulations are a frequent tool both camps use to impose their values on their neighbors.

    I guess we need the libertarian nannies to protect us from our own voting decisions?

  • ||

    But if people don't become ashamed of their bodies, it could lead to, I don't know, healthier attitudes towards sex?

    Depends if you're talking about Raquel Welch's body or Rosie O'Donnell's body.

  • ||

    I actually agree with you, but I still respect the people of Greenville, Maine to decide for themselves which approach works better.

    There is a distinction between "the people of Greenville, Maine" as individuals with individual rights and "the people of Greenville, Maine" as a collective in which the plurality of voters has the right to impose its will on every individual.

  • ||

    There is a distinction between "the people of Greenville, Maine" as individuals with individual rights and "the people of Greenville, Maine" as a collective in which the plurality of voters has the right to impose its will on every individual.

    Right. And as I've said before, a balance has to be struck. Individuals do have a right to do certain things, and the collective does have a right to impose certain rules on individuals.

    In this case, I'm just not sure there exists a natural right to jump naked off a public pier into a river in exchange for a sandwich. So I think the city is justified in outlawing that - even though I personally don't think it's that big a deal.

  • Sulla||

    I'm pretty sure that the right to form any contract the want is not among those rights.

    Can the right to formation of at least some types of contracts be considered a basic human right? Do I have a basic human right to contract with my neighbor to provide my labor in exchange for some food?

    I am not suggesting that rights be unlimited. Basic human rights may interfere with each other. My basic human right to life does not mean I can kill you if I need your heart for a transplant. My point is that the right to agree to a contract to exchange goods or services for a sandwich is a basic human right and should not be lightly dismissed. Basic human rights should be infringed only when there is a conflict with another basic human right. I do not believe there is a basic human right to have the town in which you live be free of public nudity.

  • Chucklehead||

    I'm pretty sure that the right to form any contract the want is not among those rights.

    One could argue that it is the fundamental human right, Dan. A person alone in nature has no rights, as there is nothing around to recognize them. Add one other person, and now you have the framework for which rights can exist. By not attempting to kill one another on sight, they've already made a contract.

  • Sulla||

    I do not believe there is a basic human right to have the town in which you live be free of public nudity.

    Just so I am not misinterpreted - this does not mean that Chester Molester can prance around naked in front of the elementary school. Reasonable restrictions on nudity are okay. Society shunning nudists is okay. A government agency interfering with the freedom to contract to exchange services for goods, when the services consist of minimal public nudity in a manner designed to prevent children and uptight adults from seeing it, is not okay.

  • ||

    I'll agree that people do have the right to enter contracts with others. But I do think that one of the fundamental jobs of government is to regulate such contracts to make sure they are fair, enforcable, and not harmful to those outside the scope of the contract (ie the public).

    So in this case, nobody objects to the basic contract of a business providing a sandwich in exchange for money. The objectionable part is that instead of money, the contract calls for an individual to do something that the community has (or might) deemed detremental to the public good (public nakedness).

  • ||

    A government agency interfering with the freedom to contract to exchange services for goods, when the services consist of minimal public nudity in a manner designed to prevent children and uptight adults from seeing it, is not okay.

    But you'd surely agree that it's equally not okay for people outside of your community to decide what the standards of public behavior should be instead of you and your neighbors.

  • ||

    But you'd surely agree that it's equally not okay for people outside of your community to decide what the standards of public behavior should be instead of you and your neighbors.

    Spoken like someone who thinks the federal government should be rolled back to its 19th century size and scope.

  • Sulla||

    But you'd surely agree that it's equally not okay for people outside of your community to decide what the standards of public behavior should be instead of you and your neighbors.

    Well, I'm not going to raise an army to force the citizens of Greenville to allow public nudity. I disagree however, that the standards of the community should dictate public behavior anywhere (at least through governmental action). Suppose community standards frown on same-sex kissing in public or public religious activities? I don't think government should be able to ban activities simply because they offend "community standards." That's why I'm (more or less) a libertarian. I believe in that freedom to act is better than the tyranny of the majority.

  • ||

    Maine seems like a place that would be very libertarian



    I've never been there, but from what I gather it would be a very unlibertarian place. There's more to libertarianism than a mere mild social tolerance. You need economic tolerance as well, plus low levels of taxation, regulation and government.

  • ||

    Depends if you're talking about Raquel Welch's body or Rosie O'Donnell's body,.

    Actually there are those turned on by large women. Does the word Rubenesque ring a bell?

  • ||

    That's why I'm (more or less) a libertarian. I believe in that freedom to act is better than the tyranny of the majority.

    Until somebody steals your stuff.

  • Sulla||

    That's why I'm (more or less) a libertarian. I believe in that freedom to act is better than the tyranny of the majority.

    Until somebody steals your stuff.


    Haven't you heard? In the paradise of Libertopia there is no need to steal - the lack of government regulations makes everybody so wealthy that crime is nonexistant.

  • ||

    Brandybuck,

    You are correct, taxes and regulation are the norm here.

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