The Saggy Pants Police

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All the cool kids are doing it.  In today’s society, one’s street credibility is directly proportionate to how far one’s pants sag from the waistline.

“See that guy with the spider web tattooed to his elbow?  He killed a guy.”

“So what?  I expose my jockey shorts.  Ain’t got nothin’ on me.”

As impressive as it is to watch these young bulls trolling down the streets, holding their pants up with their hands, thus negating the use of pants in the first place, some people don’t care for it.  Surprisingly, some people are repulsed rather than impressed falling helplessly witness to some asshole’s asshole.  They are calling for a ban on saggy pants.

It’s a fine goal, to be sure, requiring that today’s youth be fully clothed in public at all times.  A ban on saggy pants would free up pant-holding hands for more useful activities like helping old ladies across the street, picking up litter, or planting community herb gardens.

But where exactly are these saggy pants being banned?  Are they individual places, like church or school?

“Tighten that belt, son.  God doesn’t want to see your Calvin Klines.”

Or is it a more substantial, earthwide ban?

“I’m sorry, sir.  Your pants are two inches below the minimal earth requirement.  Please board this shuttle for the moon.  No one cares what you look like there.”

But what’s more important is that, no matter where they’re being banned, who is supposed to be enforcing this?  Perhaps it is another task that will fall to local police departments.

“License and registration, please.  Have you been drinking tonight sir?  And how many inches of your boxers are exposed?  All right, I’m going to need you to step out of the car.”

Or perhaps there would be instituted a saggy-pant taskforce, specifically created to tackle the plaguing problem of droopy drawers.  They would stalk the streets, on the lookout for fashion offenders, just waiting for the next bare-bottomed offender.

“Yo!  Quick, tighten your belt!  It’s the saggy pants police!”

We all encounter stuff we don’t like.  And sometimes we can see things without being able to put our fingers on it precisely.  We say, “Ban saggy pants!” but what we mean is, “Can we please return to a culture of self-respect?”

Irregulatble regulations are certainly not the way to go about it.  Instead of disallowing sagging pants, what we should be doing is allowing public pantsing of those who refuse to wear their waists on their waists.  You don’t like your pants on your hips?  Well now they’re around your ankles.  You’re welcome.

 

Of Course You Use Algebra, Liar

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The above e-card is traded among internet users like a steamy hot potato of mirth.  “Haha, Math Teacher,” you say as you post it to your Facebook wall, “look.  Teenage me was right!  I said I would never use this, and I never do.”

It’s okay – you may not be a liar.  You may just be confused.  Maybe you’re blinded by lingering disgust with your algebra teacher.  I’ve seen him, I get it.  No one should have that much exposed chest hair.  And who is he kidding with that gold chain and faux skinny jeans?

But that doesn’t change the fact that, like it or not, you use algebra every day.  No matter how resistant you are, it’s an omnipresent function in your life.

Let’s start with work; it doesn’t matter what your job is.  If you’ve ever sat and wondered how many hours you would have to work before you could afford a whole ounce of pot, you were using algebra:

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The argument that people make here is always this:  “Yeah, but it’s not like I’m sitting down with a piece of paper and figuring this out.  I’m not really doing algebra.”

Of course you’re not using a pencil – this is really easy math.  You don’t take out your notepad and perform long division every time you want to know how many dimes are in a dollar fifty, but you’re still dividing.  This is how your lounge-lizard of an algebra teacher got his job in the first place.  Yeah, he’s probably as dumb as you thought.

So, when you were surmising how many days it would take to watch all seven seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer in a row, you were using algebra.

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When you are trying to figure out what the MPG is on your Volkswagen Beetle in an effort to convince your girlfriend to let you trade it in for a motorcycle, you were using algebra.

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You were futilely using algebra, because buddy, that is a pipedream.  Your best bet is to go back in time and keep her from convincing you to buy the thing in the first place.  In fact, your best best bet is to go back and get the motorcycle before your meet her at all.

And to posit the claim that you “didn’t use algebra once” today, you would, in fact, have to use algebra to assert that claim in the first place.

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Algebra is probably the most useful math you’ve ever learned, once you could multiply and divide.  But you can throw away your protractor because, geometry?  You’ll never need that.

Maybe She’s a Good Witch, Maybe It’s Maybelline

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It’s one of the most famous scenes in one of the most timeless movies ever made:  Dorothy opens the door of her wooden, Kansas-built, tornado-blown, sepia-hued cabin and steps into a Technicolor world of song, (well, more songs) (different songs) and enchantment.  She takes her first strides into this new world and then either one of two things happen:

One, Pink Floyd starts playing “Money” off of their Dark Side of the Moon album, and you and your friends start to shout “Dude! Dude! I told you man, it’s like a conspiracy or something, man!”  And you’re too busy jumping around excitedly in your “legalize it” tee shirts to notice anything else that follows.

Or, two, you’re not high, and you watch as a magic bubble appears and out pops a glittery, pink Glinda.  Then she and Dorothy begin the most notorious of dialogues:

Glinda:  Are you a good witch or a bad witch?

Dorothy:  Who me?  I’m not a witch at all…Witches are old and ugly.

[Munchkins laugh]

Dorothy:  What was that?

Glinda:  The Munchkins.  They’re laughing because I am a witch.  I’m Glinda, the Witch of the North. 

Dorothy:  Oh, you are?  Oh, I beg your pardon, but I’ve never heard of a beautiful witch before.

Glinda:  Only bad witches are ugly. 

And since you’re not high, you notice it; you think to yourself, “Wait a minute.  If only bad witches are ugly and good witches are beautiful, shouldn’t the Munchkins know whether Dorothy is a good witch or a bad witch just by looking at her?”

On the one hand, Dorothy isn’t a witch.  And she is not from Oz, either; she’s from Kansas.  In both regards, one might make the argument that this good-to-beauty equivalency doesn’t apply to her.  And, of course, it doesn’t…in Kansas.

But, as Dorothy notes herself, she’s not in Kansas anymore.  She’s in Oz.  And in Oz, only bad witches are ugly.  In Oz, good witches are beautiful.  And in Oz, the Munchkins want to know whether Dorothy is a good witch or a bad witch.

Yes, Dorothy, you should feel insulted.

The good news for Dorothy is that, since they don’t immediately assume she is a bad witch, she isn’t essentially ugly.  They’re not hiding behind their giant, glazed leaves going, “Who is this beat-down butter face?  Better stay away from her.  She’s a bad witch for sure.”

On the other hand, they’re not sure she’s a good witch, so she probably won’t be signing any deals with Emerald City Vogue or Oz Maxim any time soon.

What’s worth noting is that the famous “are you a good witch or a bad witch” exchange is entirely fabricated for cinema.  This notion that “only bad witches are ugly” was made up by the screenwriters at MGM, in all their post-Depression sexism.

In the original text, the good witch who greets Dorothy outside her twister-fallen house (who, by the way, isn’t even Glinda) is old and “covered with wrinkles.”  Her hair is white and she walks with an arthritic limp.  And the conversation goes something more like this:

Dorothy:  Are you a real witch?

Not Glinda:  Yeah, but I’m a good witch.

Dorothy:  But I thought all witches were wicked.

Not Glinda:  No.  And I know that cause I’m a witch, and I’m good, so there you go.

Of course in the cinematic version we made the good witch beautiful because film is a visual medium, and by making her beautiful she becomes a visual foil to the ugly Wicked Witch of the West.  Or maybe smiley redheads in glittery, pink dresses sell more movie tickets.  Whatever.

Either way, it does not explain why the dialogue had to be changed.  There is nothing inherently “good” about being beautiful, nor young.  If you don’t believe me, Google Amanda Knox.  Go ahead.  I’ll wait.

By changing the dialogue to suggest that Dorothy isn’t beautiful enough to be obviously “good,” all it does is add a whole other layer of grief for Dorothy to work through with her therapist: a severe complex of negative self-image to add to the rest of the post traumatic stress problems she will unquestionably develop after this harrowing trip that no one will even believe she’s taken.

Fit Is the New Skinny, Which Is the New Fat, Which Was the New Fit

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It’s all over the web:  fit is the new skinny.  In other words, being fit has replaced being skinny as the most desirable physical trait.  Being fit now puts you at the height of sexual allure; being skinny just makes you skinny.

This shouldn’t be surprising.  The cultural ideals about what makes sexual partners appealing change all the time.  That is because it isn’t about what your body is, it’s about what your body says about you.

If you had been a skinny cave dweller, you would be last on Neanderthal Magazine’s Most Eligible Mate’s list.  Instead of sexy, your fellow tribesman would say, “Do not choose skinny for mate – likely has parasite.  Choose mate with six pack.  Can outrun many mountain lion.”  They walked around on their new bipedal legs saying, “Fit is the new standing upright.”

Then as time went on and society changed, so did the idea of what was considered sexually appealing.  You get agriculture, you get civilization.  You no longer need to wrestle bears to survive overnight.

You get money, and now money gets food.  The more money you have the more food you can buy.  And suddenly your BMI is directly proportionate to your gross annual income.  If you are skinny it means you’re a poor-ass mo-fo who likely slops muck out of pigpens for a living.  If you’re fat, you’re a banker.  You’re a lawyer.  You’re the duke of Montchestershire.

You. Are. Sexy.

Until food becomes mass produced.  Now everyone has access to food.  Now everyone is eating.  And eating.  And eating.  Motherfucker, we can’t stop eating!  Now everyone has extra junk in their trunks.  Pot bellies are no longer reserved for the rich.  (Is there nothing the poor isn’t taking from us!)

That is how skinny became sexy in the first place.  For the first time in human history, the less child-bearing your hips were, the more attractive you became.

So why is fit the new skinny?  In a culture where toned abs and thighs no longer suggest you can protect the pack from the routine Tiger attack, why has it become attractive again?

Fit is indicative of health.  In lieu of chasing wild boars all day, one becomes fit by exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy diet.  Fit translates to, “I’ve got my shit together.”  Unlike skinny, which is the new assumed-anorexic or drug addict.

In this culture, fit has become sexy because it assumes you lack emotional problems, which is the least attractive quality you can have in 2013.  If you’re fat it translates to “you have no self control,” and if you’re skinny it means “you have emotional issues.”

Eventually something will replace fit as the paradigm of sexual attractiveness.  But until Cosmo runs the headline, “Bionic Is the New Fit,” it’s either therapy or taut thighs.

“Blowjob on the Lawn” Decision-Making Criteria

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It starts with this:  “I’m getting a blowjob on the front lawn!”

Firstly, let me congratulate you on the blowjob.  I think we can all agree, that’s kind of like a mini-Christmas that just popped into your week.  But, though you’re excited, here is at least three reasons why that is probably a bad idea:

1.  This is not your house.  And the guy that lives here really loves that lawn.

2.  Other people still exist around you.  Probably the idea that you might get caught in the act is appealing to you, but that shows a complete lack of consideration for the guy that has to find you.  No one wants to catch you with your tumbly junk out and your naked ass hanging imprudently in the air.  If we did, we’d just install semi-transparent sliding glass door on all our bathrooms and rip them open the moment we saw you leave to pee.

3.  Regardless of where you are, this is probably illegal for some reason or another.  Call it public lewdness.  Call it endangering the welfare of a minor – I mean, you are in suburbia and at least half the windows in your view are owned by children.  And if you so much as bend a blade of grass on that guy’s lawn, that’s destruction of property; I told you.  He loves that lawn.

It is not infrequent when someone is at a crossroads between something they want and something they need.  Sometimes it may be easy to confuse the two; I mean, who doesn’t feel like they need a blowjob sometimes?

But “best interest” is usually a long-term endeavor.  It can be hard to choose what will service you best in life, when it seems like the world is falling to its knees in front of you.  (That one was a bit of a stretch, but I feel like it was worth it.  I mean, three penis references in one sentence?  That’s big.)

Sometimes fulfilling a present want can interfere with accomplishing a long-term goal.  For example, once you’re caught in public with your pants around your ankles, you can no longer pursue your lifelong dream to teach kindergarteners.

When I am faced with a tough decision regarding my wants and needs, I like to ask myself a series of questions, fondly referred to as the “Blowjob on the Lawn Decision-Making Criteria”:

1.  Is this something I can be “caught” doing?  If so, it is inherently a bad idea.  “Caught” results in negative consequences, invariably.  Some of them are punitive, like being arrested for public drunkenness, at least.  Some of them are social or personal, like losing the trust of a friend.  Either way, a price is being paid, and it will never serve you in the long run.

2.  If this is something I can be “caught” doing, but I still want to do it, can I change the time and/or place to make it more acceptable?  For example, could I, instead, just get my blowjob in the privacy of someone else’s laundry room?  There, “caught” is then transformed from “What the fuck are they doing out here?  Uncouth.  Inexplicably uncouth,” to “Sorry, dude, I didn’t know anyone was in there.  …Could you just run that whites cycle, while you’re there?”

3.  Have I been drinking?  Because if I have, I should really wait and mull this over once all my neurotransmitters begin working properly again, and my biological inhibition control turns back on.  Making decisions under the influence might get me a blowjob on the front lawn…or it might get me into a parachute made of Batman bed sheets that I am going to test off my roof.

It’s not a long list, but it’s proven to be a good one to live by.  I’ve never been to jail and am free to teach whatever age child I choose.  And as a bonus, my ass has the crisp smell of freshly laundered, springtime linens.

Newsfeed: Where I’m At

I am starting to run myself around town like the local Pink Lady.  I have contributed articles anyone may be interested in viewing at the following sites:

“This Is Your Brain On…” discusses what your brain is really doing when you think you are texting while driving.  Available here.

“Framing Your Emotions” is an article speculating on the reasons why someone might choose to buy a piece of art.  This can be viewed on the Docent Dose.