Working as a nightlife columnist basically ensures easy entry to any club in the city—except during unusual moments when clubs are hosting pro-Republican parties. Saying, “Hi, I’m from The Village Voice” to the GOP guest-list maven is a surefire way to get the door slammed in your face, especially since Village Voice translates in Republican as “Commie liberal homosexual MICHAEL MOORE lover.”
So it was time to go undercover. Team Fly Life had an in to a bona fide GOP event last Wednesday at Bowlmor Lanes (so hip!), thrown by the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call. First, I had to remove facial piercings, make my hair big with rollers, and cover up the large tattoo on my arm with a nice, conservative, button-up long-sleeved shirt. I looked like I was going to work as a low-paying secretary, not clubbing. Choosing the makeup was even more challenging—should I go for the KATHERINE HARRIS dragon-lady look, or keep it apple pie? I picked the latter and headed to the very empty party. But once convention festivities were over, the Enemy would arrive en masse. While the event was coma-inducing dull, we do have one tip for the non-Republican promoters: Complimentary champagne upon entering is a must.
When Republicans started to arrive, I became nervous. I needed to infiltrate their scary world. I wanted to get a peep inside their psyche. What makes them tick? Why do they oppose gay marriage? How can they still believe WMDs are in Iraq? And most pressing, how did they become such bad dressers? We met an INDEPENDENT ANALYST WHO PURPORTED TO BE A GREEN, but who looked conservative enough to pass as GOP. With his help, I weaseled into a conversation with a NICE MIDDLE-AGED COUPLE FROM D.C. who worked as Bloomberg lobbyists. They had just left Avalon (né the old Limelight), and we had this exchange:
Nice Republican Couple: “We just came from Avalon. It was so crraaaazy.” Devious Spies: “Hmmm.” [We think to ourselves, you don’t know crazy. Crazy is when a girl has sex with an amputee’s prosthesis onstage during convicted murderer MICHAEL ALIG‘s Disco 2000 party. That’s crazy.] Nice Republican Couple: “KID ROCK was going on at one. The music was soooo loud, you could feel it go [makes thumping motions on chest to demonstrate the familiar sensation we’ve experienced nightly for 15 years].” Devious Independent Analyst Spy Guy: “Yes, did you know that the guy who used to own that place was supposedly running an Ecstasy drug ring? It was a big drug place.” Nice Republican Couple blanches and looks queasy: “Oh.”
Who knew knowledge of the Limelight would come in handy at the RNC? This seemed like a good moment to flee—besides, my hair was drooping, and without the big, bouncy Texas look, my true identity would be revealed.
Over at the Frying Pan, a bazillion fake Republicans in faux bling, glamorous gowns, and snazzy suits gathered for the BILLIONAIRES FOR BUSH Coronation Ball, where they toasted and lambasted the Evil Dictator. To my horror, I discovered that while I was chatting up nice Republicans, OUTKAST’S ANDRE 3000 was partying it up with the Billionaires, and had just left. How I curse thee, GOP! Otherwise, the night was going swimmingly, but then a sea of blue overflowed onto the pier. It’s the police, checking for dangerous fruit flies! To be fair, OFFICER RHOADES from the 10th Precinct was very cordial, even as a deep-in-character Billionairess pushed the envelope by bumping and grinding against him while slurring against those “damn liberal Democrats.” The police found no fruit flies, but did find the club without its temporary assembly permit, so alcohol was OK on the boat, but not on the pier. So they didn’t shut down the party, but they said there’d be no more alcohol. Hey guys? No alcohol means no party. OK?
Officer Rhoades explained the inspections were the first round of defense for a club before the bigger nightlife squads like MARCH showed up. He said that on the first visit, the cops might ticket a club for 20 violations, but on the next, they usually give out fewer summonses. It almost sounded reasonable, and with some of the Billionaires reaching belligerent-drunk status, cajoling the cops, and implying the visit was only ’cause it was a Democratic event, I started to feel a kinship with Officer Rhoades. But then I realized that not only was I being buddy-buddy with a cop, but I was still wearing my “W ’04” sticker, and I was about to be brainwashed. Snapping out of it was difficult, but I now have perspective. Bless the GOP and the NYPD—without them, I’d have nothing to write about.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on August 31, 2004