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Skin to win (or at least fill room nights)



Is there anything more frustrating than a stripper who never actually strips?

I'm guessing there probably is (continued racism in America, Canadian governments who allow big industry to buy/write their own environmental rulebooks, driving behind motorhomes with Alberta plates) but regardless, a non-stripping stripper is kind of annoying and Jessica Alba plays one (again) in Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, which opens this week in 2D and 3D at the Whistler Village 8.

The Sin City franchise is based on the epic comic book series by Frank Miller, who shares directing duties here with the always lively Robert Rodriguez (Spy Kids, El Mariachi). This time out the duo have combined a few old Sin City tales with a few new ones and assembled a cast featuring some fresh faces (Eva Green, Josh Brolin, Joseph Gordon Levitt) and a lot of the usual suspects. The story, as expected, is intertwined tales of life, murder, revenge, sex and corruption in a town with a completely rusted out moral compass.

Highly stylized and graphic visuals still drive this noir-fest and this Sin City looks a lot like the last one, which looks a lot like the comic books. Except in the comic books Nancy, (Alba's character) actually strips. Sin City 2 will still be incredible despite Jessica Alba keeping her top on but the question needs to be asked: are her acting skills so essential that she couldn't be replaced by any other actress who would have bared it all? Or has Jessica Alba transcended nudity altogether and can achieve the same effect without disrobing at all? (Exhibit A: Into the Blue). It's a tough call.

Speaking of strippers, it's been a long time since Whistler had any legitimate ones. The official bylaw "prohibiting exotic dancers in any Whistler liquor establishment" was voted into place in January 2010, just before the Olympics rolled into town. I'm paraphrasing a tiny bit I think then-mayor Ken Melamed's official stance was, "We're about to host a big-ass party but it ain't gonna be that kind of party."

In fact, it hadn't been that kind of party in a while. Although, the legendary Boot Pub closed down in 2004 (thus ending a long-running tradition of The Boot Ballet) Whistler's anti-stripping bylaw first popped up in 1996 when a bare-bones nightclub called The Rogue Wolf opened under Tapley's. Rogue management opted to spend all their limited advertising budget on strippers not ads and, thanks to real word of mouth (this was pre-Twitter), it didn't take long until the Wolf was packed. Then Maxx Fish started letting topless girls walk on the bar a couple times a week.

And that was about as far as things got. Someone proposed a "No stripping in the village" bylaw and, although it wasn't actually passed right away, everyone fell in line. The Boot was grandfathered and not within the village boundaries anyhow and The Rogue Wolf closed not long after under accusations of serving minors, serving after-hours, offering "All you can drink" specials, not paying provincial taxes and generally being "rogue".

Since then it's been very Alba-esque in the Whistler stripping scene — lots of bikini and wet T-shirt contests with some oiled up Boy-lesque thrown in for good clean fun. But with that huge perpetually empty bar/restaurant space sitting in Creekside (where Doc Brannigans was) perhaps it's time to take another look at Whistler's stripping bylaw? Should it return to "within the village boundaries"?

Creekside always has been the Whistler ghetto so perhaps we should embrace that and create Whistler's own mini-sin city. There's always a market for vice and in a culture already inundated with twerking, Miley Cyrus and rainbow parties, has the battle for decency already been long lost? If morality is dying anyhow, perhaps there's some money to be made if Whistler makes the switch from half-Alba to full Monty. Just sayin...


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