Pots and Kettles

I was uptown yesterday. There was a young black man, walking alone, down the dirt sidewalk of fairly busy street. His pants were sagged around his upper thighs, making it very hard for him to walk comfortably or casually.

In fact, he was struggling noticeably with the height of his belt line, and as I waiting patiently for an opening to turn down a street, I chuckled at his need to defy fashion norms. Then, suddenly, the young man stopped walking. He looked around in all directions, and when he saw that none of his peers were present, hoisted his pants up to their intended position, adjusted his belt accordingly, and continued on his way.

I laughed and I laughed.

How easily the producer of this sign seems to have forgotten that they were once a dirty, pot-smoking, free-loving hippie.
How easily the producer of this sign seems to have forgotten that they were once a dirty, pot-smoking, free-loving hippie.

The particular problem of sagging pants is all over contemporary media, gaining national attention, and even spurring local leaders to threaten ordinances that would make such clothing misuses fineable and illegal. Some of the offending individuals proclaim that their chosen pant-style is freedom of speech, and therefore cannot be “silenced”. While that may be up for debate, the truth of the matter is that they are probably and generally after something that is as old as youth itself: attention.

Generation after generation, the young people of this planet have strove to outdo their predecessors, in terms of standing out. The parents of today turn up their nose at such abhorrent behavior, yet forget that their generation is defined by hard drugs and the kind of open sexual policies that created a viral pandemic.  And their parents blamed them, wholeheartedly, from behind their rose-colored glasses, after defining their own generation with bucking American ideals and refusing to join society in a timely manner.

It goes back as far as we’re willing to look. Every preceding generation “grows” out of their rebellious quirks, and forms an unspoken bond, usually just in time to find something insignificantly wrong with their kids, something they swear will cause the destruction of everything, as if too many belt buckles too close to the ground will magnetically destabilize the Earth’s core.

Today, kids are branching off into multiple groups, and finding one’s own rebellious acts now has options. Earlobe spacers, tattoos, death metal, voting for socialists: its all a way to tell mom and dad, “I’m not like you.” Funny thing is, they’ll grow up to do the exact same thing in reverse, and most of them won’t even realize it; let alone admit it.

Not only is this song spot on, and the video brilliant, I thought it captured the essence of this blog rather well.

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