It was a lovely afternoon. I was heading down the expressway toward Atlantic City. My kids, ages 14 and 11, were playing their favorite travel game where they tally up the number of cars they see in their chosen color. Laughter filled the air as we ventured toward the coast.
But, the whimsy of our short trip would soon be shattered.
As we neared the city, I saw something in the distance - I squinted as I tried to make out the image that was featured prominently on a billboard up ahead. What was I seeing?
And then, there it was. Larger than life. A naked butt, covered only by a sparse skirt made of something sparkly. The billboard was apparently advertising a cabaret-style review show at Resorts Casino.
Before I had a chance to warn my little darlings to shield their eyes, their screams of horror announced that I was too late. They had seen the naked butt. I nearly ran the car off of the road as I tried to console them. The outrage! The big, bad casino just inflicted immense trauma on my children. Their uncontrollable cries had me contemplating therapy. Our day was ruined.
Okay, okay ... you got me. I'm just kidding. What I just described didn't really happen. But apparently, there are some who suggest that it could. Frankly, the outrage over this billboard has me scratching my head.
Is this in-your-face advertising meant to grab your attention? Yes. Is it bound to be offensive to some? Undoubtedly. But with all of the problems facing society today, is a titillating billboard really something that ought to get your panties in a bunch?
A leader of a non-profit group whose mission is to educate and mentor at-risk youth was featured in The Press decrying the morally reprehensible advertising saying, "It's insane for kids to see that."
Insane? Really? It's a butt! Take a stroll on the beach in the summertime and you are bound to see bare tushies - admittedly some more attractive than others.
Doesn't the city of Atlantic City have bigger problems than a moderately offensive billboard? Aren't the youth of Atlantic City seeing things that are much more frightening and dangerous in their homes or on their streets? Aren't kids, in general, exposed to far more "insane" things today that are causing them to grow up too soon?
The city of Atlantic City is being taken over by the state. Police officers and firefighters are losing their jobs.
The age of technology that we live in brings with it a host of opportunities for exposure to corruptible material. Risque programming and sexually suggestive music videos are just a click away. Pedophiles are creeping in chat rooms looking for the most vulnerable. Kids are bullying their classmates to death. And offensive images are popping up everywhere, including, dare I say, on kids' Facebook pages.
I'm not knocking anyone for taking a moral stand. But, it seems to me that there are bigger issues to deal with these days. We have to pick our battles. And a billboard depicting a bare derriere should, frankly, be the least of our worries.