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Sunday, July 13, 2008

Saying No to Crack

posted by on July 13 at 15:32 PM

Flint, Michigan was declared one of America’s most dangerous cities last year, a distinction resented by the police chief. He said it’s a safe town. And to make sure it stays that way, interim Chief David Dicks is cracking down on Flint’s leading menace: Butts.

Sagging pants, popularized by prison inmates, are now deemed illegal in Flint, punishable by 93 days to a year in jail and a $500 fine. But where do loose trousers end and criminal activity begin? The Flint Police Department has drafted this useful diagram to help.


“Some people call it a fad,” Dicks told the Free Press this week while patrolling the streets of Flint. “But I believe it’s a national nuisance. It is indecent and thus it is indecent exposure, which has been on the books for years.”

On June 27, the chief issued a departmental memorandum telling officers: “This immoral self expression goes beyond freedom of expression.”

Chief Dicks is an asscrack, clearly. It would be legal to walk around in boxer shorts—they’re shorts, and shorts are legal—but if you partly wear pants over the shorts then it’s disorderly? If Seattle also had its head up its ass and were to legislate fashion for public safety, we would require looser pants. Hipsters’ pants are too tight. They’re losing circulation to their feet, and, unless we act, it’s just a matter of time until Seattle becomes a city of camel-toe and moose-knuckle amputees.

Via the Chronicle Blog.

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That is all.

Posted by I Am Who Am | July 13, 2008 3:48 PM

Moses Harris must wake up each day and think "I have the best job in the world".

Posted by brent | July 13, 2008 3:53 PM

Moose-knuckle? Wow.
Honestly, I'd expect police in general to welcome the baggy-pants fad - it means suspects can't run very fast when they break down the door at 2am.

Posted by SeattleExile | July 13, 2008 4:06 PM

That's a T-shirt waiting to happen!

Posted by Pinksoda | July 13, 2008 4:10 PM

I also like how the guy in the drawing is blue so that they can't accuse this of being a racial thing ...

Posted by SeattleExile | July 13, 2008 4:23 PM

yeah, seriously, moose-knuckle? Gross!

Posted by Mike in MO | July 13, 2008 4:29 PM

I fully support the Flint approach. Sagging pants are completely de trop.

Posted by Jubilation T. Cornball | July 13, 2008 4:37 PM

and headscarves, like in france.

Posted by ellarosa | July 13, 2008 4:58 PM

@8, more problematic...headscarves are an acknowledged expression of religious belief...sagging pants are a symbol of thug life and the prison yard.

I have a much harder time legislating away the former.

Posted by Jubilation T. Cornball | July 13, 2008 5:26 PM

This is the first time I've heard the immoral self expression argument. Usually the police problem with baggy clothes is that said clothes make it easier to conceal a gun.

Posted by LMSW | July 13, 2008 5:35 PM

Thing is, when I see someone with their pants around their ankles and their asscrack showing, I usually want to exercise my First Amendment right to be all, "Dude, why the hell would you think anyone wants to look at your poopshoot on the bus? Those pants don't make you look cool -- they make you look like a shortbus refugee who can't dress himself. Or like a mindless drone who'd drive a fucking railroad spike through his head if that happened to be in fashion. Or at least that's the impression I'm getting."

And yet, I'm pretty sure I could only say that a certain number of times before shit got violent. So maybe prior restraint isn't such a bad thing after all.

Posted by Judah | July 13, 2008 5:54 PM

I saw a guy the other day in such a "do", and I wanted to run up with him and frantically say: "Here, take this puppy, quick!" and then watch his pants fall down, but I didn't have a puppy.

Posted by Emily G | July 13, 2008 6:12 PM

I don't get why "kids these days" (fuck) want to dress prison yard-style. I'm a chick and I wouldn't want to look like I'd done time - which would mean: 5'' worth of roots growing out, eyebrows all over my face, pasty fatty-pancake face from all the starchy grub, and Unabomber bush. No thanks. Dawg.

Posted by Word | July 13, 2008 7:43 PM

I like how you can see a sliver of daylight through the crotch of style #2.

Posted by Fnarf | July 13, 2008 8:24 PM

Very observant of you, Fnarf! There are no dangly bits! Of course, to imply that there were dangly bits would offend somebody just as much as that somebody is offended by public ass crack displays. Some of these folks really are offended by the visibility of UNDERWEAR. For that, I yawn. The whole gangster/prison-worship? Yeah, that's a legit concern. Let's just hope they don't start wearing zoot suits next.

Emily G @ 12, if you handed them a pupppy, they might take it home and beat it and train it to fight.

Posted by CP | July 13, 2008 9:00 PM

#14: Moose-knuckle lodge has a daylight basement.

Posted by flamingbanjo | July 13, 2008 9:01 PM

I was in Memphis a few months ago and happened to walk through the shopping mall attached to the Peabody Hotel (home of the famous ducks who parade through the lobby every morning accompanied by the music of a Sousa march). At the entrance was a sign proclaiming their dress code which included, among other things, the prohibition against wearing baseball caps backwards. I was reminded of the 1935 Nuremberg laws and wondered what 21st Century Nazi had written such a code of conduct but since I wanted to get to the Civil Rights Museum and the Beale Street bars (the latter in particular) I didn't give the matter much thought. When I returned later to retrieve my rental car from the adjacent lot I decided to see if they would actually enforce that statute with a 46-year-old white guy. After all, those laws have nothing to do with race, do they? You know, the South has changed a lot since the days of George Wallace and Bull Connor, right? So I turned my baseball cap around and was actually relieved when after parading around for 20 minutes feeling completely ridiculous (I'm way too old to pull off such a look) a security guard (African-American female) told me to fix it.

Of course nothing could have induced me to walk around sporting low-slung pants exposing half my ass to the general public. I'm not a licensed plumber or electrician, for one thing. And there are enough frighteningly ugly sights in the world already...

Posted by RainMan | July 13, 2008 9:05 PM

Flint? Baggy Pants? Asscrack?

Who has the best Michael Moore joke that would be appropriate here?

Posted by CanWallah | July 13, 2008 9:44 PM

@17, thank god someone is still enforcing something approximating propriety. I'm glad you got called out.

Posted by Jubilation T. Cornball | July 13, 2008 10:22 PM

@19: Unfortunately I complied with the edict. Why I don't know, since 20 minutes in a shopping mall is about 19 minutes and 30 seconds too long for me. Maybe that's why I decided not to stage a sit-in.

Posted by RainMan | July 13, 2008 10:38 PM

"Saying No to Crack"? When the killer headline would have been something like "Dicks Against Butts"?

Posted by Guy Caballero | July 13, 2008 10:44 PM

Why do they hate plumbers so?

Posted by Will in Seattle | July 13, 2008 10:52 PM

Why anyone would want to wear the 21st century equivalent of a hobble skirt is beyond me, but that's the way the kids are these days.

Posted by Catalina Vel-duray | July 14, 2008 6:47 AM

@5: I thought the same thing. "All of those 'blue' guys who are saggin' MUST BE STOPPED."

Stupid, stupid, stupid law. In my dreamworld, tragic fashion is illegal, but here in the real world, I don't think we need the government's help on this point.

Posted by violet_dagrinder | July 14, 2008 8:12 AM

i hope they enforce the same rule for girls who allow thongs to ride halfway up their back.

Posted by tiffany | July 14, 2008 9:23 AM


Haven't you heard? Michael Moore's next movie will be a sequel to "Roger & Me," obscurely yet appropriately titled, "Okay, Lady, Where's That Broken Refrigerator?"

Posted by Jeff Stevens | July 14, 2008 12:27 PM

Indecency? The only kids I see sportin' this style have their boxers pulled up, and their pants cinched above the knee. I've never noticed ass-crack as part of thug-style here.

And I've got boxer-briefs less revealing than what a lot of people go jogging in, who cares? All this is going to do is drive a bigger wedge between police and young people.

Posted by Dougsf | July 14, 2008 2:35 PM

Young people dress like idiots. We don't need a law for that.

Posted by Greg | July 15, 2008 4:32 PM

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