Go-topless protest debate continues

Controversial statements displayed in Downtown Asheville * Photo: Max Cooper


Downtown Asheville's outdoor "nudio studio"? Or what would Carl call it?

Jennifer Saylors gives her perspective at Blogasheville.com about the recent go-topless protest in Downtown Asheville: More>

And here's proof that nudes at a downtown fountain will draw crowds and gawkers — not to mention MORE business to Downtown Asheville merchants: More>

Topfree Equal Rights Association takes note of Asheville's topless protest: More>

What do you call this topsyless-turvey event? A protest? An abuse? A fest? Former Asheville City Councilmember Carl Mumpower, the town's token conservative who keeps trying to be relevant, is circulating an online petition that says the event was child abuse, not a protest, and he wants Asheville police to start arresting folks who went topless or organized the gig or did something or other that "The Mum" didn't like.

Asheville artist Lisa Ring calls it like she sees it, too: "The topless deal downtown? Oh, you mean Asheville's Titty Fest." So what do you call this grin and bare it and bear it of an event that has all the makings of yet another Keep Asheville Weird event? "Nekkid and Proud" — Lisa's take on the Drhumor Building in her Paris of the South watercolor series — might provide some inspiration. More> 

Just when the furor was dying down about the go-topless protest in Downtown Asheville, former Asheville City Councilmember Carl Mumpower emailed a slew of press releases to area media along with a link to show video of topless women parading in the shadow of the Vance Monument. So if someone missed the whole affair and didn't know where to go to see some video footage, Carl helped them out – and that included DowntownAsheville.com, which was just going to ignore the whole thing as yet another protest that keeps Asheville on everybody's mind. Welcome to Asheville! And maybe musician Denise Ostler will have to write another verse to her "Welcome to Asheville" song that includes the predictive line, "We have pretty, pretty mountains here." Or maybe Ostler or some other local band could strum and drum up a musical tribute to Carl Mumpower and perform it at the upcoming LAAFF, LEAF or MOOG festivals: More>

Carl Mumpower upped the ante by circulating an online petition that said the event was child abuse, not a protest, and that he wanted the Asheville police to start arresting folks who went topless or organized the gig. The media had barely heard from Carl Mumpower in quite awhile until this protest came along. The last time Mumpower created a lot of public noise was when he made a number of loose accusations against local restaurants who, he alleged, might be employing illegal aliens; that made him few friends in the downtown business community when he was running against Heath Shuler for U.S. House of Representatives. More>

And the go-topless event just keeps giving: most recently Asheville Citizen-Times columnist John Boyle wrote on Aug. 29, 2011, "Enough of the topless nonsense already," but that only served to fuel the debate more. Why? Because, like Mumpower, Boyle has his following. Unlike Mumpower, Boyle RIGHTFULLY has a following; that is, Boyle works hard to make perfect sense. Mumpower, on the other hand, seems to work hard on any topic that that will give him  maximum publicity with the least effort. Sarah Palin could learn a few moves from him: making the Asheville Citizen-Times is one thing; making the national AP is not too shabby for a lone candid conservative in the midst of a hooterville of candid liberals. More>

But who's really to blame here? Maybe it's Hooters restaurants: years ago it had the nerve, gall, hutzpah, smarts, and/or capitalistic instinct to take a once forbidden slang word for a woman's breasts, throw some smart owl's eyes on it all (as if that made it okay), and went on to sell their brand of sexy hooters and hamburgers to hungry, mostly, male customers. Even little bitty Asheville has a Hooters for gawkers to go to once the noise from Mumpower and others dies down. Need an Asheville Hooter photo fix fast? More>

Email the Editor, ANY editor – any columnist for that matter – to post your words of wisdom, outrage, insight, humor and/or irony about owl-less hooters on Asheville's square. FYI: Titty Fest and Nudio Studio are running nek and nekkid for top(less) and tasteless honors on what the event should be called. More importantly, should it be an ANNUAL event? Give your vote: More>

Or email Raelianews.org your go-topless sentiments, which covered the news big time, and made the claim that more people attended the protest than any other public gathering in Downtown Asheville this year, save Bele Chere; they may be right about that: More>

And the Asheville bloggers keep blogging. Of course! More>

But the big question is how will ExploreAsheville handle the whole thing, especially with ANTI-go-topless demonstrators, lead by Carl Mumpower, are publicly calling the Asheville police "the boobs." So maybe the impetus for the event should be blamed on the Buncombe County tourism board or the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce. Jus' sayin,'  a case could be made for that: after all they were the ones who came up with the city's ad slogan, "Asheville, any way you like it." Perhaps any way you DON'T like it, too. More>


Click to view a PRINTER-FRIENDLY version of this page!