Category Archives: Social Commentary

Fashionable Criminals

And idiotic ones:

…As she recounts the incident, he snatched the purse and took off.

But then he ran into trouble. As he ran, his loose trousers slipped down below his hips. As he reached down to hold them up, the teen was forced to throw the purse aside.

“That boy, he could run fast but he got caught up by his pants, which were real big and baggy,” says Ms. Chandler, whose purse was retrieved by a parking attendant who had heard her cries for help.

It’s a problem for perpetrators. Young men and teens wearing low-slung, baggy pants fairly regularly get tripped up in their getaways, a development that has given amused police officers and law-abiding citizens a welcome edge in the fight against crime…

…Mr. Green, 30, rode away on a bicycle, with copies of “Donnie Brasco,” “The Bourne Identity” and “Sin City.” When a patrol car knocked over the bike, he fled on foot. As he ran, his trousers slipped down past his hips, and he tripped. He hitched up his pants and ran a few more yards before falling again.

Things got worse and worse for Mr. Green. He finally kicked off his pants and shoes and “ran into the yard of 1720 Beaufield,” police officer Kenneth Jaklic said in a report of the incident. “I ran after [Mr. Green], yelling at him to stop.” Instead, Mr. Green jumped over a fence behind a garage, and Mr. Jaklic immobilized him with two Taser darts in the back…

…Karl Franklin tried to run from police in Tallahassee, Fla., in pants that were on fire. According to a police report, the 30-year-old had stashed a lighted cigarette in his baggy pants and appeared to be preparing to urinate at a traffic intersection.

Seth Stoughton, a police officer at the time, approached Mr. Franklin and noticed the man’s pocket was smoldering. Mr. Franklin, who could not be reached, started to run, but his pants dropped and tripped him up.

Sorry, link is for subscribers only, but I thought that this article was a hoot. I guess I’m supposed to be an old coot because I have such a low opinion of young men’s fashions, but baggy pants don’t just look stupid–you’d have to be stupid to put up with such dysfunctional clothing just to be fashionable.

Not So Homogenous?

So, I was speculating the other day that regional accents and dialects in the US were dying out, when here comes an article on the Colorado accent [there is one?–ed Apparently.] that says they’re actually getting strengthened:

One might assume that in this era of universal education and media saturation, accents throughout the country would be getting smoothed out. (On the TV show “Boston Legal,” it’s hard to find a character who speaks with even a hint of a Boston accent.)

But surprisingly, Labov and his associates have found the opposite is true. They report that “regional dialects are becoming increasingly differentiated from each other.”

In other words, people seem to be accentuating their accents.

The reason for this, Bright suggests, may be that many Americans view the way they talk as a badge of honor.

“I think what it comes down to is a matter of regional loyalty,” he says. “People are conscious of it and proud of it. New Yorkers and Bostonians don’t want to sound like they’re from Omaha.”

This clearly resonates with Allison Myers, who has retained the soft drawl of her native Georgia even though she has lived in Colorado for 14 years.

“People ask me, ‘Where are you from?’ I find it intriguing,” she says. “My accent is not something that defines me in all ways, but it’s something unique about me.”

On occasion, Myers adds, her manner of speaking has even proved to be an asset rather than a handicap, as accents often have become in the past.

“When I first came here, I worked in a restaurant, and we’d sometimes have contests to see who could sell the most bottles of wine,” she recalls. “I won every time, and I do think it was because of my accent. I’d say, ‘Oh, you should trah this wah-un,’ and they always would.”