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Thanks so much for watching this you guys. This is my first documentary and I can’t tell you how lucky I feel to share this story. The women and men at Big Bons–and in the UP– are deeply resilient and open-hearted, and I fell more in love with them every day I spent at the club. I learned to shoot while making this project, and fucked up a lot but learned a ton and am here to support and give advice to anyone looking to start something similar. I really appreciate you being here and hope you connect with these special people.
It’s so remote, especially when i lived near there 40+ years ago in N. Wis. bordering the U.P. I knew men who never even kissed a girl. ever. “Who? where would i even find a women to kiss?” The day they graduate from school, 95 out of a hundred of them pack their bags, leave town and never come back! Many people live miles, ten’s of miles away from their nearest neighbor Teacher/student romances, May December romances, bad right? No. a friend described it this way, it’s so desolate, so lonely, any two people who manage to get together for love, should be congratulated on beating the odds: that was from my nearest neighbor, an 80+ year old lady who’s husband had died years earlier. Myself, and some neighbors who lived across the lake from me, were her only social contacts other than a once a month trip into town for groceries. Another example, I ran into one of my neighbors who lived about 6 or 7 miles from me while in the grocery store, he told me, i can’t bear to see my two daughters alone anymore, I’ll give you, right now, my blessing to marry either of my daughters, make your choice, wait! he exclaimed, i like you *****, you have a good head and heart, I’ll give you my blessing if you marry both my daughters! They lived 6 or 7 miles down the road from me, and at least 12 or 13 miles from the next intersection which had a gas station, a small church, and a convenience store. Jobs are scarce, money is almost nonexistent. Save the Big Bons strip club at any cost, it’s probably the only chance at any kind of life some of those people will ever get or see. And don’t judge people who’ve had so little chance of any kind at any decent life to live at all. Hey baby, let me stuff this five dollar bill down your bra!! ye ha!! Life goes on for another day!
My wife:” What the hell are you watching?”
Me:” A documentaty.”
Wife:” A ‘nature’ documentary? Do you need some privacy?”
Me:” Damned woman, this is serious. Somebody put a lot of work in this.”
Wife:” I’m sure somebody put something in it.”
Me:” Ha bloody ha.”
Wow. Did not expect to see a documentary about my local strip club on here today. Crazy.
This reminds of a recent vote in my city by Edinburgh City Council, which put a nil-cap on the number of strip clubs in the city. There is currently four well established clubs, three of which are within spitting distance of each other. The ban seems pretty incongruous with what is known as a relatively inclusive and forward-thinking city. The workers whether that be dancers, bar staff, managers, security etc. are losing their jobs in the midst of the worst cost of living crisis in a decade under the guise of “women’s safety issues”. The dancers themselves have basically said well we feel utterly safe in the fully licensed clubs with full-time security and CCTV, but if you push us underground then you take away all of that. So how is that looking after their welfare? It’s really sad, but there’s local council elections soon, so hopefully they can appeal in the near future.