Wednesday, August 19, 2015

How I electrocuted my pants before I got to Burning Man

I ruined a pair of pants and I'm almost ready to cry.
These weren't any pair of pants. They were my new sparkly red stretch pants -- ready for their first trip to Burning Man.
My Burning Man wardrobe slants utility and function over sexy and flare. Despite boasting only one real pair of sexy pants, my playa name is Major Sexy Pants, more on that later.
These pants, made lovingly by my campmate Tractor, were going to redefine my swag.

How they died: The pants were placed in a bag with also contained a block-sized (5ah) 12-volt battery. The pants connected the circuit and the pants were fried as the wire melted.
Assessment: No reasonable person thinks "Don't put the pants next to that rechargeable battery." But no reasonable person transports large batteries in the same bag as funky red stretch pants.
Are the pants safe? Hell yeah. If I were in said pants and came in contact with a live battery, I would move. Ladies weren't safe around these pants either. In a small sample size, they demanded to be rubbed.
Burner Bio: Attended six consecutive after first 2009 burn. Camp GYST elder. Major Sexy Pants playa name references my general helpfulness as much as the cut of my pants.

This it/was the year I planned to step up my playa wardrobe. "Radical Self-Expression" is one of the 10 of Burning Man. People have generally interpreted that to mean you don't ware your "default" world wardrobe.  The dusty surface of the lake bed his highly acidic so it makes sense not to ruin your regular clothes, but it also encourages you to step further out of your regular life. (Discussing life outside of Burning Man id generally discouraged.)
Tractor is passionate about getting people out of the cargo pants that she intends to dress 1 percent of Burning Man in booty shorts. Assuming a population of 60,000, that's 600 booty shorts. She's done that number and well beyond, helping people like me and many others.
My first years, we're all about survival, but as my camp has grown I've found campmates that care enough about me to upgrade my style package. The loss of these pants is such a setback.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Orangevale's Pink Pussy Kat left legacy

Orangevale's Pink Pussy Kat a Go-Go may have been short-lived and lacking in grandeur, but it left its mark on American culture through its challenge of perceived and later instituted indecency standards. Having found no recorded account of the club or the trial, I wrote one based on news stories obtained through The Sacramento Bee and an autobiography written by former exotic performer Susanne Haines Register. Please help me improve on this article. -- Ed Fletcher

Tavern owner Leonard Glancy
 is flanked by dancers
Susanne Haines (left) and Shiela Brendenson  
Sacramento Bee August 27, 1969

Orangevale strip club impact outlasts club

The Pink Pussy Kat was a beer bar and strip club noted for its legal wranglings with county and state authorities over indecency standards in the late 1960s and early 1970s. It was located in Orangevale, CA, about 25 miles northeast of Sacramento. 

The bar, which featured beer, food, pool tables and topless (and sometimes bottomless) barmaids is believed to have closed on or around the March 1976 death of owner Leonard Glancy. It was located at 9346 Greenback Lane, in a drab Orangevale shopping plaza.

Sacramento County Sheriff "Big" John Misterly actively sought to reign in the 1960s counterculture movement and tasked detectives with making regular check at the region's adult-themed bars.

On July 27, 1969, dancers Susanne Marie Haines, 22, and Sheila Brandenson,  were arrested after performing fully nude. Owner Leonard Glancy was taken in as well. Topless had been the acceptable practice. Presiding over the trial was Sacramento Superior Court Judge Earl Warren, Jr., who happens to be the son of former California Governor and Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren. Warren still resides in the Sacramento area.

The trial made national headlines after Warren agreed to a defense motion to temporarily move the proceeding to the club and allow the jury to see the offending performance. On Sept. 17, Haines attempted to replicate the dance for which was was arrested. She danced to "Suzy Q," and songs by the Byrds and Jimi Hendrix under dim lights with psychedelic art projected on the walls. On Sept. 22, noted San Francisco topless performer Carol Doda also performed for the jury.

The dancers and Glancy were acquitted Oct. 2, 1969, by the 10-man, two-woman jury, but that was far from the end of the legal fight over nude dancing.

On Oct. 21, Sacramento County enacted an ordinance prohibiting topless and bottomless dancing, and topless waitresses.

Glancy and Haines challenged the constitutionality of the ordinance.

During the legal fight, Glancy turned to various other means to keep his business going, including offering patrons a closed-circuit broadcast of on-site strip performances and putting dancers in see-through panties.

The result of the case, which was combined with other challenges from similar laws, is California’s current practice of not allowing alcohol at fully-nude strip clubs based health code rules.

On May 12, 1970, Glancy was arrested in the shooting of a patron in the parking lot. Glancy claimed it was in defense.

Shortly after her indecency acquittal, Haines left the Pink Pussy Kat. To further her career as striptease performer and capitalize on her notoriety, she began touring gentlemen's clubs across the country as a featured performer. In 1971, she won the title of Miss Nude Cosmos, often known by its more legally dubious name, Miss Nude Universe. During her time on the road, doing a week or more stints at strip clubs, she was arrested more than a dozen times for performing bottomless. By her account, these dances -- and her arrests -- were part publicity stunt, part legitimate act of free expression.

Death records indicate Glancy died in March of 1976.

It’s unclear when the club closed.  

In 1978, Haines, under her married name Susanne Haines Register wrote, “Take It All Off,” an autobiography that followed her path from Mormon schoolgirl to “dope-smoking” dancer and on to her eventual self-described “salvation.”