||Gay Tiki sucks.
Joined: Jun 26, 2009
|Posted: 2013-07-25 08:50 am  Permalink|
Let me be the first to say it: gay tiki sucks.
And since it’s an obvious and easy cheap shot, let me go ahead and beat the p.c. numbskulls to their cries of “homophobe”!
No, this isn’t a gay-bashing topic, but specifically about the recent decision of the Atlanta Trader Vic’s to host an evening of singing drag queens in the bar. In fact, that is scheduled for the night of this writing. I broached the topic in one of John-O’s threads (here… http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?mode=viewtopic&topic=37580&forum=1&start=255), and inadvertently derailed it: apologies, John-O. It is controversial, but then again you kinda brought it on yourself by veering into “gay tiki” subject territory your-own-self.
I’ve had the privilege of introducing or re-introducing a few bisexual/gay friends to this Trader Vic’s, so keep your character aspersions to yourself. I can tell you for a fact that most of my gay/lesbian friends wouldn’t necessarily appreciate singing drag queens as entertainment, especially considering what they’re paying for purportedly high-class dining.
But to reiterate the objections to cross-dressing entertainment in the tiki bar, it’s simply irrelevant to the tradition of tiki. Irrelevant, and therefore inappropriate. A number of you have opined that it’s preferable to the closure of the restaurant, and while any closing of a prominent landmark like a Trader Vic’s is the stuff of nightmares, I’m not sure it’s a question of one or the other. “Go gay or shut down” is simply not within the realm of reason, but it cuts to the larger question.
Even if the franchise permits a certain amount of discretion from venue to venue, is a regular appearance of singing drag queens an element that benefits the brand?
Regardless of how popular tonight’s cabaret turns out to be, are the dollars this particular location generates on one evening worth the negative associations the entire brand will be burdened with over the long haul? How many of the general public who venture into TV’s on drag night will stick around? How many will associate Tiki with singing drag queens, if they have no familiarity with tiki other than Party City plastic and Parrotheads?
Do we really want to hear all the jokes about our “fruity” drinks?
Of course, by the Atlanta TV’s logic, there’s no reason not to book Pink Floyd tribute acts, gospel quartets, or The Mormon Tabernacle Choir. If irrelevance is no objection, in fact, I’ll see your aspersion and raise you one. Why not book a good old-fashioned vaudeville act, with participants in black face? It’s just campy, kitschy dress-up, after all, and anyone who’s uncomfortable with it is probably just a hater and needs to get over it. We could also have male strippers come in once a week: no one should be uncomfortable with that, especially the families who bring their kids in.
I suspect this decision by our local TV’s has more to do with the latest in a long series of managerial changes, than a conscious, well-considered business plan that will reflect well on the larger corporate membership. I know of no restaurant/bar chain that has consciously courted this type of entertainment. I’m not familiar with a Rocky Horror equivalent of Hooter’s.
I poke fun, but seriously, it’s not like Atlanta is lacking in venues that cater specifically to this sort of thing: The Clermont Lounge is notorious far & wide for its adventurous, gender-bending offerings. And that comes back again to the responsibility of living up to your founding mission: providing a high-quality, classy faux-Polynesian environment with entertainment (when entertainment is even deemed necessary) to match the cuisine.
And no sir/ma’am, this don’t cut it.
Now let the contrariness flow. I know that I could state unequivocally that the sky is blue, and before long there’d be twenty different dissenting opinions. It’s endemic to online chat, and I’ve long suspected that there are many of you out there on TC who’ve paid not once, but three times to see Johnny Depp dress up like a pirate.
And that’s an automatic “gay” right there.
Joined: Jun 06, 2003
|Posted: 2013-07-25 09:03 am  Permalink|
Joined: May 16, 2008
From: Dogtown, USA
|Posted: 2013-07-25 09:23 am  Permalink|
Joined: Aug 05, 2011
From: Long Beach, CA via Dallas, TX
|Posted: 2013-07-25 09:29 am  Permalink|