Sunday, October 28, 2007

Show Us Your Knickers

Victorian moves to follow US trends and ban the wearing of baggy pants that droop so low they expose underwear have met with predictable derision from predictable quarters.

Youth psychologist Michael Carr-Greg, who believes the best way to deal with the problems of youth is to let them sleep in, said the proposal was irrational and demonised young people by suggesting baggy pants indicated those more likely to engage in criminal behaviour.

Since those youths wearing the clothing style are frequently doing so in emulation of gangsta rappers whose 'songs' glorify crimes ranging from graffiti vandalism to rape and murder (and indeed the saggy style emerged from US prisons where ill-fitting clothing combined with disallowal of belts), it's probably not too far a stretch to say the two - mode of dress and criminal rap sheet - are connected.

But I digress - the interesting point of the story is in a trend emerging in comments by those who support such a ban:

"If that is what it takes to get these people dressing and acting with more decency and respect, they (the bans) should be encouraged," she said.

"We've let the standards drop so far that no one is pulling up people who are doing the wrong thing," he said.
Is the worm turning against the west's corrosive cult of individualism at any cost? We'll see.

In the meantime, it seems a pity that another explanation for the origin of the saggy, baggy pants style turns out to be an urban legend although one suspects jailhouse queens would find it convenient.

-- Nick

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