"I come out in my Sarah Palin suit with my hair up and my glasses, and I dance and strip and give away a lot of Palin paraphernalia," she says of her two-night performance at Thee DollHouse. "It's going to be fun."

Ann, who once appeared in a live sex scene with a Mitt Romney look-alike almost as stiff as the real thing, swears her performance isn't political commentary. "I'm sure that there will be a bunch of people from the convention there," she says, "but I'm not here to make fun of politicians."

There is at least one Tampa luminary for whom flashing T&A will be about more than making some cash. Joe Redner, the 72-year-old owner of Mons Venus, is a philosophizing free-speech advocate who has donated his land to the Occupy Tampa movement. He's also a pain in local politicians' asses. In 1976, Redner took over a bar called the Night Gallery, and after hearing on the radio about the Supreme Court's decision to allow nudity in movies, he concluded that nude dancing would have to be protected as well.

For years, Redner played cat-and-mouse with Tampa police. When a girl stripped onstage, undercover cops would arrest her. But as soon as they took her outside, Redner would replace her with another. Then he'd go bail out the first girl. "It took nine girls on a three-girl rotation for us not to get shut down," he laughs. "They ran out of undercovers!"

Redner himself was arrested dozens of times. Eventually, he won an injunction against the city's nudity ordinance. Since then, he has run eight times for political office. In 2007, he lost in a runoff for city council with 44 percent of the vote. He has pretended in court to be gay in order to prevent a homophobic law from being enforced. His battles have pitted him against Hillsborough County Christian fundamentalists such as state Sen. Ronda Storms, who has likened Redner to the devil.

Like other strip club owners, Redner says he looks forward to taking Republicans' money. But he sees it as long-overdue economic redistribution from the rich to the poor (his dancers are self-employed, receiving 100 percent of their lap dance fees and tips).

"The big businesses, energy companies, and banks that back the Republicans have been stealing from the little people for years," he says. "Now we're going to take some of their money. I'm glad to.

"I'm already used to the invasion of conservatives," he continues. "They've invaded our whole country and taken over our whole system."

He won't be in town for the RNC. Instead, he'll be in Las Vegas for a strip club convention. It's better that way, he says. In Sin City, Redner won't have to watch Mitt Romney preach about "family values" while calling for a war with Iran.

Redner wants no part of Romney's America. He gazes around at his club. "I prefer to be in here with the decent humans," he says.

After he left Florida's RNC and Nixon crushed George McGovern, Hunter S. Thompson was in no mood to forgive America.

"The 'mood of the nation' in 1972 was so overwhelmingly vengeful, greedy, bigoted, and blindly reactionary that no presidential candidate who even faintly reminded 'typical voters' of the fear & anxiety of the 1960s had any chance at all of beating Nixon," Thompson wrote. "All they wanted in the White House was a man who would leave them alone and do anything necessary to bring calmness back into their lives — even if it meant turning the whole state of Nevada into a concentration camp for hippies."

Forty years later, many Americans are again greedy and afraid — afraid of immigrants, afraid of upsetting "job creators" by not giving them tax breaks the country can't afford, and afraid of paying 11 cents more for their pizza so that the kid delivering it can have health insurance.

Who knows where President Mitt Romney plans to put the hippies. But one thing is for sure: He'll leave Americans alone, just as the Sunshine State has left Floridians alone all these years. Ponzi schemers will proliferate. Developers will bulldoze pristine land into parking lots. Everyone will carry a gun. Unless you're poor, of course. Then you'll have to piss into a cup.

But if 16 years of Romney and Ryan's right-wing republic get to you, take Thompson's advice: "Load up on heinous chemicals and then drive like a bastard."

Mexico, here we come.

« Previous Page
My Voice Nation Help

Ha! I guess the 3 republicans in SF converged to troll this page tonight. I usually loathe the SF Weekly as too libertarian for my taste, but this time they aced it with this story! Excellent analysis in my opinion. As a former FL resident, I attest to everything in the article being absolutely true! That's why I don't live there anymore, thank goodness! Overheated, godforsaken barren wasteland if there ever was one. It's the land of runaway capitalism, although in fairness you could say that already about this whole country. Greed will finally destroy it, as already has done in FL, a place where dog-eat-dog is the norm for every interaction, and almost complete destruction of the public sector has taken place. Good job, 1%! Soon you won't have a country to exploit anymore, thanks to your own moronic short-sightedness and self-interest!


Wow! Who pissed in your cornflakes?  Amazing the ranting and raving going on here when the excesses of the other party are just as great, if not more.  I would rather attend an 'orgiastic' event than a massive rock style festival set up to pay homage to a demagogue with no practical experience.  I guess it's all ok under the new era of subjective journalism.


Illustrations by a Rick Sealock... That's a 'Nom de Plume' for Ralph Steadman , right ?

I'm thinking 'copy rights' and so on...

red.marcy.rand topcommenter

What a rant ! Did either Big Bruce Brugmann of the SFBG or Big Bruce Anderson of the AVA buy out SF Weekly ? Your rag is starting to read like a print version of KPFA.

All Commie crapola, all the time. I bet your face looks like Robert Gammon's hemorrhoids.

We have enough of a one party state around here with goy boy Miller's 69ing for the Marxist in the

Black House.


Wow maybe a little harsh, although your frustration is understandable, perhaps not everyone in Florida is all bad.

Isn't it almost amusing to see very rich people from private Gated-Communities organize their very own private Gated-Republican Presidential Convention. They are pretty busy making elaborate preparations, so that they won't have to see or make contact with any of the Riff Raff, or as we lovingly call them Mr & Mrs America, Mom, Dad, Granma & Granpa or Plain old American Tax Payers.



San Francisco Concert Tickets
©2014 SF Weekly, LP, All rights reserved.