They tell me things were pretty exciting around here last week. I would have known firsthand about all the notoriety that our “Best of Utah” cover and photos generated, but alas, I was sucking down one more of my favorite new drink, a chelada, down in Cancun, Q. Roo, Mexico. Somebody had to do it.
As I drank one of my many cheladas, I remembered something one of those golf cart cabbies had told me once in Mazatlan. I had asked him to pull into a store to buy some beer. He did, and at the counter he asked if I would buy him some also. I figured, why not, and we left the store. As soon as we got into the cart/cab he popped open a beer and guzzled away as we drove to our hotel. I asked him if that was legal and he just laughed. He said, “In the United States, you think you are free, but in Mexico, we are free.” I couldn’t agree more.
All over Cancun you can buy these crazy wood carvings of people copulating, or pipes of all sizes shaped like a penis. All over Cancun you can buy postcards of the butts and boobs that you can see for free at the beach. Nobody seems terribly distraught about that, not even the kids, mine included. That’s freedom—either buy it or don’t buy it, look or don’t look. Compare that to what I just read in the May 2001 issue of Brill’s Content: “Maybe we’re going to take them out of all the government buildings … maybe they’ll have to say, ‘If you’re going to give those away there’s going to have to be some way to make sure children don’t access them.’ I don’t know. But we’ll find out.”
The person quoted was Utah’s very own matron of morality, Gayle Ruzicka, and she was talking about Salt Lake City Weekly. Hey, Gayle, if you really want to make sure people don’t pick up our paper, how about we call up Brill’s Content and ask them for permission to run that God-awful, snarly, sour-as-the-wrong-end-of-a-lemon photo of you on page 95 of their May issue? If we run that as a cover, nobody will pick us up! And that’s freedom, too. Maybe it’s just me, but I really wonder about people who preach “free agency” while squashing “freedom.”
Ruzicka’s problem with City Weekly apparently centers on same-sex personal ads. But given that we dolled her up in our “Best of” issue, she could be mad at that, too. Meanwhile, pass me another chelada.