Sprawling in miscellaneous confusion?
This is in response to Regina Baker's Sept. 16 letter, "Hopmonk: We don't want to hear the music."
Ms. Baker, not being of an age to actually recall the Barbary Coast, I had to look it up. Wikipedia has this to say:
"The Barbary Coast is the haunt of the low and the vile of every kind. The petty thief, the house burglar, the tramp, the whoremonger, lewd women, cutthroats, murderers, all are found here.
Dance-halls and concert-saloons, where blear-eyed men and faded women drink vile liquor, smoke offensive tobacco, engage in vulgar conduct, sing obscene songs and say and do everything to heap upon themselves more degradation, are numerous. Low gambling houses, thronged with riot-loving rowdies, in all stages of intoxication, are there. Opium dens, where heathen Chinese and God-forsaken men and women are sprawled in miscellaneous confusion, disgustingly drowsy or completely overcome, are there. Licentiousness, debauchery, pollution, loathsome disease, insanity from dissipation, misery, poverty, wealth, profanity, blasphemy and death are there. And Hell, yawning to receive the putrid mass, is there also."
Wow! Imagine all that coming about because of music once a week. I'm not sure whether I'm afraid of, or intrigued by the possibility that such evil-doings could even gain a foothold in times that outlaw tobacco and opium smoking, but I'm pretty sure that nothing in the above indicated that music was at the root of the evil.
And we probably have noise ordinances within the city limits, anyway, to quash that (sinful?) music. On a lighter note, I went to the Hopmonk Saturday evening for the first time. No music and, in my opinion, the seating was comfortable, but not nearly comfortable enough to sprawl in miscellaneous confusion.