Thursday, August 23, 2007

Hey kids, rock and roll. Nobody tells you where to go, baby.

I’m a fatality on the side of the fashion highway and I’m too damn old to want to dress like a twenty-something. The baggy pants culture has mystified me since it began, especially when baseball players began wearing their pants as though they were track pants but, to each his/her own. Now the kids have attracted the faceless bureaucrats and power mad creatures that lurk in the halls of government.

Atlanta City Councilman C.T. Martin has sponsored an amendment to the city’s indecency laws that will target clothing styles in which the wearer’s undergarments are exposed. Under fire would be baggy pants worn by young men and boys as well as styles favored by some young women and girls where their bra strap or the strap of their thong is exposed. Of course this amendment will get shot down for it’s extremist idea but the seed is planted. The tree expected to bear fruit is one of control over you and I and powerlessness to defend ourselves against an oppressive state.

I hate to say this but we have evil fucking rednecks all over the place that detest the baggy pants hip-hop culture styles that have found their way out to suburbia. It’s not because they don’t like the style or because they are too old to “get it” the anger and hatred is much more simple to understand. The stereotypical young, urban, and black thug epitomize this style. Don’t think for one second that we in the south have a monopoly on ignorant rednecks. Some of the biggest rednecks I ever met lived in Connecticut. Ignorance and hate know no geographical boundaries.

The point is this amendment will get support from the super radicalized extremists of both the left and the right. This leaves the other 60% to 80% of us asking ourselves what in God’s name does the city government have to do with policing the clothing we chose to wear or express ourselves with? The ultimate resting place for this amendment is in our minds. It is a reinforcement we have to subconsciously process. The government, ultimately, controls everything about you and your life and if it chooses to, it controls what you can and cannot wear.

A few years ago the City Council passed amendments to chase homeless people off the streets. They criminalized panhandling and began rounding up and shipping violators all over the metro area. Why did they do this? Complaints from the forces of downtown gentrification who were offended by the homeless asking for help. Some went as far as to say the homeless would “get pushy” sometimes. The idiocies of statements like that don’t even need to be addressed, they are self-evident.

Homeless rights advocates fought back but the groundswell was too much for them to overcome. Now, you are a criminal in Atlanta if you have no home and try to ask for money or help from folks on the street. The Atlanta Police Department will take you to jail for it. Now, a City Councilman doesn’t like the way young people dress, so he wants to amend the laws to absorb his fashion sense. What is next? If I wear a t-shirt down near the capitol that mocks our Governor’s “Sonny Do” list, will I spend nights in lockup at the Fulton County jail? If I put a bumper sticker on my car stating that Police Chief Pennington needs to go back to New Orleans, will my car be impounded and will I suddenly find myself in the backseat of a patrol car, at the mercy of the cop who is offended by my exercise of free speech?

Time and time again we have seen the rights of decent, regular Americans stomped on because they had something negative to say about their leaders. The current masters of government have turned it into an art form. To be honest, I wonder if I will ever get a visit at my front door for what I write here in this blog. We all know that all of our email, web traffic and phone calls are being monitored by the agents of our government. We are at their mercy because we allowed them to take control of our lives.

First they will tell us what we cannot do. They will tell us we cannot question authority, we cannot dress a certain way, we cannot say certain things. Once we are beaten down far enough, and live in constant fear and dread for the government targeting us for seemingly innocent “violations” of their codes, we are then ready for them to begin the real "control" phase. The final phase of control is not to tell us what we cannot do; it is the phase where our behavior is guided based on the mandates of government. Government sanctioned clothing, government-sanctioned entertainment and government sanctioned lives for its citizens.

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