Friday, July 17, 2009

Society Has Dropped The Belt - Guest Blogger

If saggy pants fall in public and there's no common sense to pick them up, does society even notice?

Moreover, if underwear were intended to be seen, wouldn't we call it outerwear?

Is this particularly disgusting and undeniably perplexing fashion trend just a matter of a simple generational divide? Twenty years from now will these same quasi-flashers be busting a three piece sag? I have my doubts.

It is more probable that we could trace the root of this pandemic of baggy britches to those who first neglected the use of the belt – the parents. Somewhere along the line, Mom and Dad replaced the type of familial cowboy diplomacy that was used for so long for a more positive, Obama style, if-I-could-just-talk-to-them method of parenting. My rather unpopular stance is that young people always need a belt, if not one to hold up their shorts, then certainly to hold up their behavior. In most families corporal punishment has gone the way of the dodo bird, and following closely behind can be seen respect for authority. I'll not be the first, nor should I be the last to say it, but kids have plenty of friends. What they really need are parents. They really need parents who love them enough to keep them in line.

I had a strict disciplinarian as a father. I didn't always like it then, but I am very thankful now. He demanded the kind of reverence that led me as a young man to ask his permission about getting a tattoo. He asked why and where. I responded with a ridiculous, “Because I really want a tattoo...” and pointed to my left shoulder. Typical.

He replied by reassuring me that I would regret it one day, telling me that he wasn't paying for it, and thanking me for respecting him enough to talk to him first. For the record, the day of regret came rather too soon than I ever anticipated.

From a very early age I was taught by all adults to say yes sir or ma'am and no sir or ma'am. If I neglected to do so in the presence of my father, I was sure to be picking myself up off the ground. It was a given.

In that day, not very long ago, there were many more societal “givens” than there are today. While there were expectations, they were neither unreasonable nor oppressive. Instead, they were normal, sensical, and purposeful. Eerily similar to belts, these expectations helped both father and son. These expectations of honesty, integrity, and courtesy warded off shame and public humiliation, simultaneously guarding society from being subjected to outward moral deviation.

When it turned from being encouraged to almost criminal to correct children alongside the Hamburger Helper, as barometric pressure drops so did the level of respect for one's elders. In no certain order, Junior's grades slipped, then went his pants, and now civility itself slides further and further south. Sadly, because we have criminalized the belt, all we have to look forward to seeing is civilization's dirty boxer shorts.

-Michael Andrzejewski


Jill said...

So true! I'm glad there's still at least one person that's not afraid to say the truth, even if it isn't politically correct!

The Hat Chick said...

I spanked my children when they were younger and, because I did, I don't need to now. When they were younger, a spanking corrected a serious infraction when they had no way to understand how bad the action was otherwise. Now that they are old enough to reason what is right and wrong, safe and not, I rarely spank. At this point, spanking is reserved for willfull disobedience.

Today my boy wears his belt, but occasionally he still gets spanked with it.

Rob and Deanna said...

I couldn't agree more. Once again, an excellent article! Not having respect for authority or your elders is the trend of the day, & blows me away when teens talk to adults like they are equals. I know this isn't the main topic of your article. BUt... I think they walk hand in hand with where this generation of kids are today.

Amrita said...

Brother you had a very godly Christian up bringing.

I abhor those underwear flashers. Its fashion in India too.

God's Been Good said...

I thought that America only carried that trend...AMEN, Brother! Keep preaching on!


Mrs. Tracy said...

I was in line at the grocery the other day when I noticed the guy in front of me reach for his wallet. He had to bend down and reach into his back pocket which was nestled nicely behind his knee! could anyone think that looks good?

Anonymous said...

Well, first off, BRO Michael, i agree with you, although my children rarely wear belts, but they also know they better keep their britches pulled up or they WILL be embarrassed in public! Now on to Nina, it was funny, i knew when reading the first sentence that this was not you! lol! I came real close to taking a pic at Wal-mart the other day and sending it to you! There was a woman who has a bun in her hair and then had a little mermaid SOCK over it! She was old too, i thought you would appreciate it! lol, love you guys lots, Lisa Stampley!

Betty said...

I call those pants "sh*tcatchers" and they are a mayor pet peeve of mine. I loathe them and agree with what you wrote they represent!
I also agree that kids need their parents, not more friends.
Great post!!

Anonymous said...

Love Hat Chick's comment and agree completely.

As we were driving home from the grocery store yesterday morning, my son asked "Why is that guy riding his bike in his underwear?"

I guess he's going a step further than sagging pants. Maybe he just lost his pants because he didn't have a belt!

Oh, and in some states, spanking is criminal. How is that?

Dani Joy said...

I despise this fad! I would preach against it too if I could.

Marytoo said...

Amen! I could not agree with you more.

One good thing about this trend, though, from my son the police officer...It seems that having one's pants around one's ankle hinders one from being able to run very fast, thus making it much harder for them to run from the cops... What a deal, huh?

And on another ridiculous note, I wonder how long before "going south" joins the list of politically incorrect things no longer to be used to describe something negative... :-P

Mom said...

Can we say Uncle Zac?

Starla said...

Amen!!! My mom worries about my nephew and niece because their parents are no longer together and there mother thinks you can say you are a Christian and live any old way. My mom told me one day that she believes they are to far gone to understand the standards of the Bible. Please pray for them.

TCKK said...

Well said!!

Mom said...

Looking back at this post and thinking... I was so angry at my son on Monday. Why? Because he wears his pants this way. Maybe not as low as the picture but none the less, he still sags. The more I thought the more angry and upset I got. Many times I have thought about what he would be like had I done a better job at parenting. You all pray for me(and him) because this haunts me most every day of my life. I pray the Lord will get a hold of him the same as he did Nina.
(Nina and Zach's Mom)

Marytoo said...

Oh, Mom... You know all of this, but here is a refresher course:

Every parent has regrets. We can do our very best, which of course is never enough, but even if our very best is very good, our children will still do what they will do. Even God, the perfect Parent, has wayward children.

And, obviously, you did some things right. You have Nina, whom I know only from this blog, and she is beautiful.

So, about that boy of yours ... quality takes time, and it isn't over until it is over. Keep praying for him.

Be blessed. :-)