Baggy Pants: From Fashionable To Criminal

Ever see some hip-hop dickhead walking around the mall with his ass hanging out? Well, I started that fashion trend years ago!

My pants sag. I can’t help it; it’s the way I’m built. I’ve got a round belly and a flat butt and it’s a constant struggle to keep my pants up around my waist.

A couple of assholes steal my signature look!

One of my most traumatic grade-school memories is sitting on the floor of the gym during a school assembly and hearing giggles and titters from the rows of students behind me. I tried to ignore it until someone tapped me on the shoulder.

“Hey, man, everybody can see your butt crack and they’re laughing three rows back,” he said.

Blushing deep red, I wiggled and squirmed until my pants were back in place. But a few minutes later they had drooped back down again. It was a very long assembly.

I’ve had this “sagging pants issue” since childhood. Belts help, but they are by no means foolproof. They just give me something substantial to grab onto when I’m hoisting my pants back up. A former girlfriend used to call me “Deputy Droopy Drawers.”  Cute.

The Awkward Years … Every Year

But then, as I transitioned from a teenager to a twenty-something, I was suddenly “fashion forward.” It’s believed that the baggy pants craze started in prisons, where inmates aren’t given belts (to prevent hangings and beatings) and, as a result, their pants sag. But by the late 80s, the trend had made it to gangster rap videos, then went on to skateboarders in the suburbs and high school hallways. Soon the droopy pants look became a part of everyday fashion for kids a decade or so younger than me. I was a fashion pioneer, baby!

But now I’m bordering on being a criminal. Several communities have recently passed laws banning saggy pants. In one Louisiana town, wearing pants low enough to show your underwear or bare buttocks will get you a $500 fine or up to six months in jail. In Trenton, New Jersey, Councilwoman Annette Lartigue is also drafting a law to outlaw saggy pants. Under Lartigue’s proposed law, wearing drooping pants will not only get you fined, you’ll also have to answer questions from a city official about your employment and educational status.

“The message is clear,” Councilwoman Lartigue explains. “We don’t want to see your backside.”

Trust me, Ms. Lartigue, you don’t. But what can I do? My belly…my butt…!

ACLU To The Rescue!

Fortunately the American Civil Liberties Union is on my side. When a baggy pants ban was recently enacted in Atlanta, Georgia, the ACLU stepped in with a cry of racial profiling.

“This ban is going to target African-American male youths,” says Benetta Standly, statewide organizer for the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia. “There’s a fear with people associating the way you dress with crimes being committed.”

So what if I’m not black (and hardly a youth) – I will not be discriminated against just because I’m a misshapen male who can’t seem to keep his pants up! I will stand alongside my baggy-pants brethren (lots of plumbers and carpenters, in addition to all the hip gangster wannabes). We shall overcome!

Now, if I could just find a way to stop stepping on the hem of my pants…


Originally  published in Wayne TODAY, September 2007.

Laughing Loughner Has To Go!

I’m posting this in honor of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who officially stepped down from her post last month. Fuck Jared Loughner!
Why is Jared Loughner still alive?

Why did Time put this attention-seeking douchebag on its cover? Boo!

Dozens of witnesses (along with half-a-dozen security cameras) watched Loughner (allegedly) walked up to Rep. Gabrielle Giffords on January 8 and shoot her in the head at point blank range. They saw him fire on others at the political event outside a Tuscon Safeway, killing six, including a federal court judge and a nine-year-old Girl Scout. Thirteen others were wounded in the shooting.

Whatever your personal view on capital punishment, Arizona has the death penalty. One of the arguments in favor of the death penalty is that it deters criminals from committing similar crimes.

Crazy Laughter

When Jared Loughner was formally charged with his crimes last month, he entered the courtroom smiling. He chuckled as the charges were read. Then his attorney entered a not guilty plea on his behalf.

Not guilty.

Despite dozens of witnesses and confirming video, Loughner still entered a plea of not guilty.

This paves the way for a long, costly trial for Loughner. No doubt his mental competence will be questioned in court. Clearly Loughner’s a madman, but there’s also strong evidence he planned his crimes well in advance. In fact, police seized signed notes from Loughner’s safe that read “I planned ahead,” “My assassination,” and “Giffords.”

I feel bad for Loughner’s parents. I feel worse for his victims. But ultimately there’s no one to blame but Jared Loughner himself. Is he insane? Probably. Is he a danger to society? Unquestionably.

We live in a country where people are innocent until proven guilty. Our legal system grants everyone the right to a swift and fair trial. That’s one of the things that makes America great.

But what about swift justice for victims?

Hey, Hey, Hey. Good-bye

If there was ever a case for eschewing the standard legal machinery and fast-tracking execution, Jared Loughner is the guy. It’s hard to think of another case where someone’s guilt was so blatant. Despite his attorney’s plea, Jared Loughner is not “not guilty.” He’s a cold-blooded, premeditated murderer.

Why should we pay for him to sit in prison, read books, and surf the Internet for the next 65 years? Why isn’t he strapped into Ol’ Sparky, riding the lightning to a Judgement Day beyond the humanity he so despised?

Random acts of violence are happening with greater frequency because A) The world is full of mentally unstable people, and B) It’s easy for them to get guns.

But maybe, if Loughner were executed within weeks of committing his murderous spree, the next campus shooter or workplace rager would think twice before resorting to violence.

So, why is Jared Loughner still alive?


Originally published in Wayne TODAY, February 2011