The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #70587   Message #1205321
Posted By: Áine
11-Jun-04 - 03:26 PM
Thread Name: Song Challenge! Part 97
Subject: SONG CHALLENGE! Part 97
Hello again, Dear Challenge!rs ;-) If you're one of our 'old timers', you'll remember the Easter Bonnet Special Song Challenge! Part 11, which involved the City Council of Gretna, Louisiana voting to keep the tradition of panty-throwing alive during Mardi Gras (. . . we're pro-panties -- it's on the record). Well, how things have changed in the past four years!

Here, to give your creative brain cells a bit of a ping, is the following real life story. So, get out your pens and paper and start slinging those songs -- but hold on to your pants!!

Talk About Gettin' A Hitch In Your Gettyup! (May 2004) In a state where the best Mardi Gras beads go to women who flash their breasts during parades comes a legislator who wants to ban low-riding pants that reveal underwear or the "cleft of the buttocks." "In our society, we have a line of decency that should not be crossed — and that line starts around the waist area," the bill's sponsor, Democratic state Rep. Derrick Shepherd, said recently on the Louisiana House floor.

If the bill becomes law, violators who publicly and "intentionally expose any portion of the pubic hair, cleft of the buttocks or genitals" may face a $175 fine or 24 hours of community service.

The Louisiana chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union opposes the measure as a violation of free expression and one that is ripe for selective enforcement by police. "It's stupid," Louisiana ACLU executive director Joe Cook said. "There are more serious problems for the state than sagging pants. It makes us a laughingstock."

The bill, introduced last month, has been mocked on Comedy Central's "The Daily Show," which aired a segment called "Thong of the South." Headline writers from as far away as Australia are having a heyday with lines about "cheeky" legislation and a "crackdown" on low-rise pants. But supporters of the bill recently told legislators that the clothing style is no joke.

Some people "purposefully expose their private parts," Opelousas Police Chief Larry Caillier said. "You've taken this in a jovial manner, but you don't see what we see, you don't have to look at that."

Glenn Green — a city councilman from a New Orleans suburb that in the past tried to enact a similar ordinance — said the state "should be able to say what is moral, what is decent and what is acceptable behavior for young people," he said.

Rep. Danny Martiny, Republican chairman of the House Criminal Justice Committee, agreed with the idea but said the law is unenforceable. "I don't know that it's respectful to pay my respects at a funeral without my shirt on, but that's not illegal; that's just stupid," he said. "Government can't fix anything." The bill was passed by the committee last week and is awaiting a full House vote.

GO FOR IT, Challenge!rs!!

-- Áine