The Coincidental Hour


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We had a fire inspection at Le Mondo on Friday. The inspector told us we needed to have clearer exit signage towards our rear egress because “women, and young people, will always try to go back out the door they came”.
According to this particular power-tripper, women apparently get so frenzied at the sight of fire, so blinded with panic, they cannot read or understand brightly colored five-letter words like E-X-I-T. They just all simultaneously rush to one door, creating a vicious bottle-neck leading to the HELLISH DEMISE OF ALL (except for the intuitive males that cooly and casually strut their way to the rear exit)! I guess places of assembly just shouldn’t allow women if these hysterical life-safety time bombs are going to just clog up the nearest exit in an emergency!
I don’t really have anything negative to say about Baltimore’s “Artist Task Force”, which was formed by the mayor’s office in response to the Ghostship fire and Bell Foundry, but the idea that bringing reps from the fire department to these meetings will have any positive or profound effect on the relationship between artists and code-enforcing authorities is unrealistic.
As long as members of the fire department make statements that imply that women are a liability, as long as artists are keeping it too weird for the average bro to relate to, and as long as the code enforcers can rest upon ridiculous standards and financially prohibitive requirements in the International Building Code, the task force can be at it a thousand years, but artists/art spaces and authorities like the fire department will always by nature co-exist uncomfortably.

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