Saturday, September 02, 2006

Will 'Fashion Police' Replace 'Dallas SWAT'?

News flash: This fall, a new reality show, The Fashion Police, will replace Dallas SWAT on cable TV! At least, if Dallas school board member Ron Price gets his way.

In an example of what the Texas Public Policy Foundation calls "overcriminalization" reaching ridiculous proportions - i.e., the trend toward making more, and more petty things criminal rather than enforcing existing laws - Price wants the Dallas city council to ban baggy pants. LOL.

No. Really. And not only wasn't he laughed out of the council chambers, the suggestion was taken seriously enough to ask the city attorney to investigate its legalities. LOL.
"I think it's disrespectful, it's dishonorable and it's disgusting," said Price, who made the recommendation last week to the City Council. "I have no problem with the top of your Hanes label being shown. My problem is when grown men walk about the city with pants below their buttocks."
A 26 year old gentleman with sagging trousers but a tucked in shirt "agreed with the proposal that people should be fined for showing their underwear," reported AP

"You've got to be presentable," he said. "Besides, showing underwear with super baggy pants is a look that's "played out," he said.

Arresting people for fashions that have "played out" - that's a job for The Fashion Police. After all, it's important that we ban fashions once they become unfashionable, you know, for the good of the economy.

I nearly didn't write about this. I usually try to make arguments on Grits, not just point and make fun. But what else is there to do when a politician announces, "I don't like your pants, I think I'll pass a law!"? I mean, it's not like Dallas police have anything else to do.

That said, this is too bad an idea not to catch on. Five will get you ten someone files a bill in Texas 80th Legislature in 2007 making baggy pants a misdemeanor. Last session they tried to ban sexy cheerleaders. No. Really.

Another prime example why The Daily Show and The Colbert Report do so well satirizing news stories - who could write satire that matches the silliness and ironies you see following everyday current events?


"Major" Mori said...

Getting started. Not fashionable to charge 10 year olds with "aggravated sexual assault". Can this really be happening in Texas?

800 pound gorilla said...

I'm surprised that you didn't mention the ubiquitous "pile on" penalties. An example of this is adding an additional penalty for crimes committing using a firearm or additional civil penalties for operating a meth lab. You add on penalties for something that is already a crime. On the liberal side there are "hate" crimes. If you torch someone's house or physically assault them you are a criminal and the motive for committing the crime is already a determining factor in sentencing. However, if the victim is gay/lesbian, black or hispanic there is an additional penalty if perpetrator is homophobic or racist.

I'm a radical civil liberties advocate but find myself aligned with religious conservatives on the issue of state interference in family affairs. If a parent furnishes his underage children alcohol or other restriced drugs in a supervised setting and the neighbor objects to this, he can [and some have] been sent to jail for "contributing to delinquency of a minor"]. While I find the use of physical violence and intimidation by parents to enforce discipline objectionable and counterproductive - unless it endangers the child's health - it's no business of government. Teachers find themselves with serious dilemmas when dealing with children of questionable parents - as they are required by law to act as police, in addition to their teaching responsibilities.