Tuesday, May 15, 2007

No Accounting for Taste

In what’s being touted as a victory for free speech, Chez Josephine restaurateur Jean-Claude Baker prevailed in a lawsuit over the U.S. Postal Service, which refused to mail annual postcards to patrons because the image was too racy.

Chez Josephine, on 42nd street in Manhattan, is a Hell's Kitchen staple, named after Josephine Baker, chanteuse and Folies Bergère star, who took in Baker “when he was a boy living alone in Paris after World War II.” In memoriam, every year Baker sends out a postcard to patrons featuring an image of Josephine. But this year Baker’s image choice (pictured) was rejected by the Post Office as “pornographic advertising.” Clearly the U.S. Post Office is unfamiliar with pornography.

I ask you, was it worth thousands in taxpayer money to fight mailing this postcard to a patrons of a French restaurant? You can factor the cost of bullshit legal fights like this into this week's $.02 postage increase. I guess it's true there’s no accounting for taste, or when it comes to government, no taste.

Anyway, I'm in a sort of downbeat, Frenchified mood today because Spoon is away in Martinique sans moi. I just may have to hit Chez Josephine tonight for the lobster cassoulet to cheer up and to thank them for, you know, fighting City Hall.

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