Re: Solve the real problems!

1

I saved my mockery (and even wrath) back in the old days for those who chose to wear cloaks: "among all the changes -- good and ill -- that modernity has wrought," said I, "are fucking sleeves really so pernicious?"


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-10-08 1:16 PM
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I think the law's a little more tricksy than it first looks. If wearing baggy pants is an offense, then surely kindly officer Krupke has a reason to bother the young man wearing them, and while giving him a warning, hey now, who knew this young man had drugs/a weapon/an attitude?



Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07-10-08 1:18 PM
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Insert Voltaire quote here.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 07-10-08 1:18 PM
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The sleeve hides the coercive arm of the state, Sifu.

Cala, I know it's an excuse to stop and search. I just wanted to defend our sacred folkways from those who would eat ice cream in public.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 07-10-08 1:22 PM
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Eating ice cream in public is pretty bad. Unless you use one of them tiny spoons, in which case, okay.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 07-10-08 1:24 PM
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Just for that I'm going to go get an ice cream cone.

Also, and this is kind of dumb, but don't the baggy pants usually go with the longer shirts, so while the person's ass may be hanging out of his pants, it's not visible?


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07-10-08 1:25 PM
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There's a choice quote from The Closing of the American Mind that would be really appropriate here, but I can bring myself to look it up because I hate that book more than life itself. Makes for a pretty useful comment, n'est-ce pas?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 07-10-08 1:28 PM
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The buttocks are in any case well-covered by loose, printed cotton shorts. Flesh is almost never visible to the observer.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 07-10-08 1:29 PM
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9

Jesus, between us we'll push this thread to new heights of laziness. What was the gist?


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 07-10-08 1:30 PM
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10

I have that book on my shelf and I've never opened it.

8: Those drug dealers are probably naked under their clothes!


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07-10-08 1:32 PM
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Jesus FL! The gist of what?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-10-08 1:32 PM
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Some years ago Comme des Garcons came out with a pair of trousers with two waistbands -- it was supposed to look like you were wearing another identical pair of pants underneath a looser pair, which were dropped around your hips.

This isn't really relevant. They were nice pants though.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 07-10-08 1:36 PM
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It was something about how folk festivals and other observations of ethnic folkways were inherently a rejection of modernism and a celebration of tribalism and bigotry. More entertainingly put, though not quite as good as Bloom's characterization of pop music, which itself is almost worth reading the book for.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 07-10-08 1:38 PM
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Little Nephew's hip-hop pants would probably run afoul of this ordinance.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 07-10-08 1:39 PM
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The buttocks are in any case well-covered by loose, printed cotton shorts. Flesh is almost never visible to the observer.

"almost never" is a bit strong IME. And the ordinance has separate treatment for actual visible ass cleavage.

AB has a story of a young man (boy, actually - no more than 15) getting off the bus and losing hold of his trousers. Sadly, he failed to own his humiliation and turn it into a defiant moon.

None of which should be read as support for The Man.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 07-10-08 1:43 PM
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BTW, I should note that this

Revert to handwork in a machine age, and you are back in Ye Old Tea Shoppe or the Tudor villa with the sham beams tacked to the wall.
has been rendered quaint by the past half century. I'm pretty ambivalent about it, but let's face it: if Ayn Rand could write that well, these words would have come out of Howard Roark's mouth.

We're all pastiche-makers, now.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 07-10-08 1:48 PM
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Stupid laws like this provoke strange desires in me. I wish to purchase baggy pants, wear them in Flint, while eating an ice cream cone and smoking a clove cigarette.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07-10-08 1:49 PM
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18

For reasons not entirely clear to me this brings to mind the bravest gear review I have ever read: MACABI SKIRT: The Original Adventure Travel Skirt for Men. (Scroll about halfway down the page for full frontal shots of 7 different configurations for full effect.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-10-08 1:49 PM
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The Plumber's Union must be going berserk.

Also, dudes, while all y'all are sitting around in your baggy ass pants tonight, lift a forty for the NC state employee who quit his job rather than honor Jesse Helms.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 07-10-08 1:50 PM
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18 is really spectacular. The series of photos are especially good for the way they build up horror in the viewer: "It can't possibly get any smaller, can it? Dear God, no!"


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 07-10-08 1:52 PM
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17: I wish to purchase baggy pants, wear them in Flint, while eating an ice cream cone and smoking a clove cigarette, and wearing a baseball cap.


Posted by: Lee Siegel | Link to this comment | 07-10-08 1:52 PM
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I second the awesomeness of 18. I admire the way he kept his game face on.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 07-10-08 1:55 PM
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23

Eason (the guy in 19) is a national hero. Fuck Jesse Helms.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 07-10-08 1:56 PM
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21:

The baseball cap's insinuation that life is a game with transparent rules gets to me.

Heh. LS: worst amateur semiotician ever?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07-10-08 1:58 PM
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Quite comfortable, really, but more than one person commented that it looks like a diaper. I have cruel friends.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07-10-08 1:58 PM
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22: I admire the way he kept his game face on.

Yeah, but his statement about the last, Quite comfortable, really, but more than one person commented that it looks like a diaper. I have cruel friends. [emphasis added] makes me think that he may not be truly aware of all Internet traditions.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-10-08 1:59 PM
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Quite comfortable, really, but more than one person commented that it looks like a diaper. I have cruel observant friends.

He does, at least, seem to have a sense of humor.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 07-10-08 2:00 PM
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28

Recently at our local pool, my daughter decided that she wanted to pull down the top of her one piece swimming suit so as to expose her breasts. After some efforts at friendly persuasion failed, she ended up over my shoulder like a sack of potatoes.

Sensing her opportunity at revenge as she was slung over my shoulder, she decide to push down the back of my bathing suit to show a full moon to all.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 07-10-08 2:01 PM
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The guy in #18 really does deserve an "Huzzah!" or two.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 07-10-08 2:02 PM
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21: 17: I wish to purchase baggy pants, wear them in Flint, while eating an ice cream cone and smoking a clove cigarette, and wearing a baseball cap.

All with a studied air of effortless grace.


Posted by: Sprezzatura | Link to this comment | 07-10-08 2:04 PM
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To the original post: you're right, the graphic is priceless. Warning.

Ogged's not here, man. So aside from all that, if you want an argument in favor of public censure of public exposure, it's in the arguments trotted out time and again (sometimes here) that in our culture here and now things are like this and like that, and so we must not buck trends, too much is at stake in our assimilation to modern ways, the cost of dissent is too high, tradition provides stability.

god, even wading in is exhausting.

By the way, I understood that the style of baggy pants derived from prisons: belts are taken away, so that one's pants hang down. It was a signal of disempowerment that was reclaimed.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-10-08 2:15 PM
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31: that's the story, but I'd understood it as showing one's street cred (hey, I've been to prison!) rather than reclaiming disempowerment.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 07-10-08 2:26 PM
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33

Previously noted.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 07-10-08 2:34 PM
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34

The story in 31 would be more credible if they took the pants away with the belts and handed out giant pants.

I've further read that this story dates to LA in the 70s; I'm not aware of loose pants being a particularly 70s thing, but I could of course be wrong.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 07-10-08 2:34 PM
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32: Is there a way to adjudicate between the two? Many people who've obviously not been to prison wear baggy pants now. It seems clear that the stripping of respect that originally attached to being beltless has been redefined.

Baby steps: is the wearing of baggy pants now a respected thing? Well, not in white culture. Then again, neither is the purported reclaiming of the term "bitch."


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-10-08 2:42 PM
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36

Incidentally, the fashion of baggy clothes came to hip-hop from the early house scene in Chicago; early hip-hoppers favoring track suits as well as other, stranger, tighter-fighting things.

Baggy clothes in general as a signifier for moral degeneracy, of a specifically ethnic character even, have a much longer history (cf. Zoot Suit Riots).

As far as being associated with dance music, baggy pants were much the fashion in northern England in the late fifties, during Northern Soul's early run. Maybe they're just fun to dance in?

Also, you know what sociological meaning it has? Fuck-all. Kids thought it looked cool, and was different, and signalled in-groupiness like every other fashion trend ever to be decried as a symbol of moral decay.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-10-08 2:42 PM
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37

36 expanded: which is all a way of saying I don't buy that "it's like prison!" business for a second.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-10-08 2:43 PM
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38

I read somewhere that the Zoot Suit was also a sign of rebelliousness because in the war rationing context, it was not an efficient use of materials.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 07-10-08 2:48 PM
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39

I was going to try for a faux-earnest sort of 'but if kids just wear their pants any old way then we're letting them think it's okay to do everything any old way and while clothes may or may not be minor our culture and middle class lifestyle are not and we cannot have them rejected out-of-hand!' but then I felt like 13 stole my thunder. I say with some sarcasm and not for the first time in my life, thanks a lot, Jesus.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 07-10-08 2:56 PM
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37: Okay, thanks. True enough. One question: is there a difference between baggy clothing in general, and specifically the pants hanging down around your ass? Because the latter is a noticeable thing, relatively recent.

I don't quite know what to say: of course these things develop over time, and ultimately become divorced from their original sources.

No sociological meaning? Sifu, I'm shocked at you!


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-10-08 3:02 PM
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I second the awesomeness of 18. I admire the way he kept his game face on.

The motion has been seconded, I call for a vote.

All in favor . . .


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 07-10-08 3:04 PM
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My thought on seeing that graphic is that my son and a lot of other boys are going to get arrested, then, because part of what happens when you buy kids clothes with room to grow is that they hang lower on the hips than boxers do.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07-10-08 3:46 PM
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Having watched in awe as young males wandered through the mall in pants clearly 8 or 9 sizes too large, I am puzzled by two things: How can anyone dressed like that a) ride an escalator without being pulled into the jaws of death; and b) run from the cops. [I used to ponder the latter when watching NYC streetwalkers in 4" heels.] It would make far more sense, if one were a gangbanger, to wear fairly form-fitting garments with some stretch, and really good running shoes.

There was a fashion in LA a few years ago that dictated the removal of laces from running shoes/skater shoes. I threatened the Offspring with painful things should he adopt said idiotic mode. Not that he was prone to doing things that attracted the attention of the LAPD, but hell, we have earthquakes around here.


Posted by: DominEditrix | Link to this comment | 07-10-08 3:48 PM
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b) run from the cops

This was the subject of a novelty song I heard at Amnesia last year called something like "Grab Your Dick When You Run, Gangsta Boy", about the time the singer had seen a bunch of guys in extremely loose pants grabbing their dicks while they ran. From the cops. So their pants wouldn't fall.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 07-10-08 4:13 PM
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b) run from the cops

This was the subject of a novelty song I heard at Amnesia last year called something like "Grab Your Dick When You Run, Gangsta Boy", about the time the singer had seen a bunch of guys in extremely loose pants grabbing their dicks while they ran. From the cops. So their pants wouldn't fall.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 07-10-08 4:13 PM
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b) run from the cops

This was the subject of a novelty song I heard at Amnesia last year called something like "Grab Your Dick When You Run, Gangsta Boy", about the time the singer had seen a bunch of guys in extremely loose pants grabbing their dicks while they ran. From the cops. So their pants wouldn't fall.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 07-10-08 4:13 PM
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47

That sure was annoying.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 07-10-08 4:13 PM
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48

then say, hey, laterz! Off to the pool!
but you people contact him by e-mail i suppose
would you say hi from me if you have a chance
about baggy pants, i thought it's b/c younger kids used to wear their older brother's clothes or parents used to buy their kids outsized things to last longer maybe, and there are kids anything they wear look cool so their peers copy them and it's get widespread, street fashion of basically poor pragmatic people, very natural
the other very hot day i wore a thong flip-flops, but b/c our lab's cold i wore also socks inside, people looked strange at me and i thought i'd understand any clothing deviation if it's dictated by necessity
about the best traveled skirt, our national garment deel is the most pragmatic thing ever, it can be used as a tent, blanket, or futon plus to its usual utilization


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 07-10-08 4:56 PM
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49

47: Maybe you should pull up your pants when you comment.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07-10-08 4:59 PM
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the other very hot day i wore a thong flip-flops, but b/c our lab's cold i wore also socks inside

I'm hoping there's an 'and' missing there, read. You didn't happen to post a picture on your blog, did you?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 07-10-08 5:08 PM
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the flip flops are thong like constructed, with a big toe only strapped like, so if to wear socks and that flip-flops, sure it looked strange to people


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 07-10-08 5:11 PM
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51: I think Jesus McQ. was implying you wore a thong and flip flops, read. But you can ignore him, for his mind is in the gutter.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-10-08 5:19 PM
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there were mistakes
-'s, gets and -a
now hopefully there's no confusion


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 07-10-08 5:19 PM
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See, I was thinking that the 'and' would go between 'thong' and 'flip-flops'. I'd have just linked to Standpipe's blog, but now that this is Standpipe's blog, I'm not sure what the protocol is anymore.

And now I see on preview that I'm pwned by Stanley. Oh, humanity!


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 07-10-08 5:21 PM
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52: We're all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the thongs.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 07-10-08 5:22 PM
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But flip-flops without socks are strictly forbidden in laboratories. Therefore it should be normal to wear socks with any type of shoe.


Posted by: Fatman | Link to this comment | 07-10-08 5:23 PM
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"Oh," s/b "Ah" in 54. Not that it had to be a Bartleby reference, but why not?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 07-10-08 5:27 PM
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We're all in the gutter

I did not mean to suggest that I was in any way above the fray. Rather, I rushed to explain my fellow gutter-goer, for I understood him immediately.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-10-08 5:29 PM
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The sleeve hides the coercive arm of the state

Hence our sacred Constitutional right to bare arms.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 07-10-08 5:31 PM
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56 yeah, so i wear usually other closed shoes in the lab, but that day i forgot to bring, and had to wear outside sandals
the flip-flop example was just to suggest baggy pants' useful purpose if there is any


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 07-10-08 5:34 PM
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50: To an Australian (possibly also to a Mongol), "thongs" = flipflops. Hence confusion in a backpacker hotel...
AJ: Do you mind if my friend and I use your bathroom, because ours is a bit filthy?
Large friendly Australian: Sure, as long as you wear thongs.
(thoughtful pause)


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-10-08 5:36 PM
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One of the commenters over at Reason mentioned hearing the Flint police chief on the radio defending the ordinance on the grounds that it might help some kids get a job because they won't make the mistake of showing up with baggy trousers to a job interview.

I'm not sure why they don't just go the whole nine yards and mandate that all youth wear a crisply pressed white shirt, freshly polished Florsheim loafers, and hair combed neatly with Brylcreem.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 07-10-08 5:40 PM
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Back before it was what just about every male between preteen and postadolescent wore, and therefore before the horses left the barn, the association with prison cred mentioned above might have made a sort of "broken windows" argument not-crazy.

I think it's very bad policy to focus on stuff like this, even though I'm sympathetic to policing—more it seems to me than most people I know, including here; may be a Canadian thing.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 07-10-08 5:52 PM
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Prediction one: Barack Obama will be asked about this controversy by a member of the press corps.

Prediction two: Obama will ingeniously pivot the question to say that the problem is that mothers and fathers and siblings and neighbors have neglected their proper role of enforcing tasteful fashion, and putting the police on the job is a well-intentioned, but ultimately misguided to use the law to do what only families and communities can properly accomplish.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 07-10-08 6:17 PM
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the other very hot day i wore a thong flip-flops, but b/c our lab's cold i wore also socks inside

You can wear socks and flip-flops if you're in the sciences. It's expected.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 07-10-08 8:14 PM
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66

Aren't sagging pants like so 1990s? Why has the look come back so suddenly?


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 07-10-08 8:20 PM
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#66. I was watching a bunch of youts pass me on their way to a show not long ago and nearly every one of them wore black knee-length (or just longer) baggy-ass pants with lots of pockets and chains. I think Sifu is on to something in #36: kids/guys wear them because a) they can fly free in them b) they're cheap (I expect) and c) they piss off the old people.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 07-10-08 8:32 PM
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Never underestimate the appeal of pissing off old people.


Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 07-11-08 3:54 AM
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It's expected
usually i don't do that kind of 'nerdy' things
it was like a growing landmark
a few yrs ago i still would prefer pantyhose over sweatpants in - degrees of cold


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 07-11-08 7:57 AM
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would have preferred if it's in the past


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 07-11-08 1:17 PM
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