Vice Squad
Thursday, May 31, 2007
Two From Wednesday's Trib

It's now Thursday, so you will probably have to sign up for the free registration if you want to read online the two vice articles that appeared in the Metro section of Wednesday's Chicago Tribune. The first concerns a 'racy' billboard outside suburban Glenview:
The 10-foot-by-36-foot sign along Willow Road near Patriot Boulevard depicts a model lying on the beach with lines pointing to "problem" areas on her body, such as facial lines and wrinkles, and corresponding "solutions," including Botox.

By Tuesday, more than 300 people had signed petitions asking the owners of the salon and medical spa to replace the billboard, Thibeau said.
The owner of the salon is a native Parisian -- which seems to be part of his defense -- and the billboard does bring back memories to me of my six-month Paris sojourn last year. (Not much else in the Glenview area has the same effect.) He isn't backing down to the pressure -- either out of principle, I suppose, or because the previously mailed ad featuring the same photo proved to be great for business.

Trib vice article number two was on the very next page in the print edition, in a boon to vice-interested readers throughout the Chicagoland area. This story concerns how librarians are standing up for free speech by opposing proposed Illinois state legislation that would, you guessed it, require internet filters to annoy vice researchers (oh, and for the children). Librarians continue to be my anti-authoritarian heroes, despite that unfortunate reputation for shussing you. And while they may be anti-authoritarian, they can be pretty authoritative themselves. How would a librarian handle some n'er do well using an internet connection inappropriately? With a federal or state law? Noooooo. From the end of the Trib story:
Jane Schulten, director of the Crete Public Library, said filters are labor intensive. She said her small staff might not be able to closely monitor each computer or turn software on and off each time a patron makes such a request.

She said she's only had two incidents in eight years in which a patron looked at something deemed inappropriate. In both cases, a "tap-on-the-shoulder" approach seemed to work, Schulten said.

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