Friday, July 11, 2008

Belts for Youth: its time has come

Apparently, some folks heard about my "belts for youth" idea and decided to make it reality:
The Christian Science Monitor reported in June that organizers in Atlanta, Detroit, Nashville, and Birmingham have all staged anti-sagging rallies, where high-waistline activists hand out belts to saggy-pants offenders. The Associated Press reported in September that many cities are considering their own droopy-drawers prohibitions. Atlanta is mulling a bill that would impose fines and community service. Several towns in Louisiana have passed bans, including Delcambre, where exposed underwear can result in a $500 fine or six months in jail. Delcambre Mayor Carrol Broussard, while acknowledging that the law may be unconstitutional or unenforceable, said, “We’re going to try.”
(HT: Majikthise) The reason this was brought to my attention is that Flint, Michigan is starting to crack down on this issue, and its police department has issued the following graphic to help inform the public (and no, this is not from The Onion. It seems I have to say that with depressing regularity these days.):
I'm not sure how I feel about this. If people want to look like dorks, is it really the law's task to correct them? On the other hand, I do find the look utterly absurd and repulsive. And there should be some enforceable standards of public decency if we are to function as a society. But I'm sure there are people who feel that my appearance is somehow offensive. In some places and times not too distant from where I am, my long hair might have been the target of a similar crack-down. So should these people just be mocked, or should the power of the state intervene?

Or am I just a totally uncool bourgeois fashion prude who is totally not down with the youth culture of today? Of course, given my age and life status, there's no reason I should be down with the youth culture of today, and it might be a little odd if I was. I guess the question is this: when these saggers get older, are they going to start pulling their pants up, or is this a permanent change in style of dress? My guess is the former.

1 Comments:

Blogger Sarah said...

I was behind the idea of Belts for Youth as a nonprofit entity providing free belts and raising awareness about the absurdity of running around with your pants down, but making it a crime seems very big-brotherish to me. What's next? Laws against mullets, cleavage, panty lines, ultra-mini skirts, or badly-matched clothes? What's considered "decent" is so subjective...

7:30 PM, July 11, 2008  

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