The right to appear foolish -

The right to appear foolish


An New York City judge has thrown out a disorderly conduct charge against a Bronx man who was wearing saggy pants. I’ve written not one but two columns for the magazine about the attempts to ban saggy pants in the US.

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The right to appear foolish

  1. Interesting parallel with another right-to-dress-foolishly under debate right now: The right to disappear in full view within a mysoginist shroud as the submissive modest lady goes about her business. It is not presently clear that the people of Canada feel compelled to defend that right.

    • All other misogynist outfits are ok though, right?

  2. Perhaps this could be tied in with the Vatican's recent crackdown on men wearing shorts, or women showing provocative skin like shoulders or knees?

    • The Vatican is cracking down on men wearing shorts?

        • Well I'll be damned. Silly buggers they are. I can understand requiring a certain decorum when entering a Basilica, but for the entire Vatican City, it seems like overkill.

          • Personally, I would be far happier if the Vatican focussed as much or more energy on members of their clergy keeping their own pants ON. But that's just me.

          • Exactly.

            Focus on priests with their cassocks off, not on people with ….horrors…shoulders or knees showing.

          • So what, there was a sex abuse scandal, so they can't even tell people to dress appropriately when visiting a sacred space anymore?

          • The Vatican Post Office is a sacred space?

          • Vatican City itself is.

            If you want to come to Vatican City as a reverent pilgrim, then you should come dressed respectfully and reverently. If you want to be a tourist who moseys around in flip-flops and disrupts actual pilgrims, you can stay way. If you want to be respectful to what people are doing there, you can do as the pilgrims do and dress in your Sunday best.

            Obviously, the fact that casual tourists were upsetting the decorum of the numerous sites of prayer, the easiest thing to do is just keep them out of Vatican City in the first place. It isn't a very large place you know.

          • If you want to be a tourist who moseys around in flip-flops and disrupts actual pilgrims, you can stay [a]way.

            Not being a fan of powerful institutional control over the lives of fellow humans by the invocation of compelling mythology, I can assure you that a visit to that Head Office features nowhere on my bucket list.

            But tourists-not-welcome is, I believe, a new policy. Have they closed the gift shop(s), then?

          • Control. I decided I didn't want to be confirmed when I was 12, and the Church (through my priest) sided with me against my parents. I didn't attend mass for another 8 years. Leaving the Catholic Church is the easiest thing in the world to do. You just stop going.

            But yeah, there are things are more important than the gift shop.

          • Not with any real authority, no.

          • Well, then you must have even less as a socialist Mike.

          • You know what else? Even though study after study has shown that the Church has a problem with sex abuse equivalent to the general population, and less of a problem than your average public school system, where the cover-ups and lack of accountability were the same, aided by unions and public school officials and staff.

            The Church has had some problems, but they have at least made reforms. What reforms have the public school systems in Canada and the US made? What about the sexual abuse in more liberal denominations and congregations, such as the Anglican Church, the United Church or Lutheran Church, where fear of scandal and trusting psychologists led to same sort of scandal and coverup?

            But that doesn't really matter does it? What matters is that people who dare to take vows of celibacy and spend their lives in prayer are outed for the freaks they are. Of course, we actually know who committed the actual crimes, and they weren't men who lived of celibacy. Generally they had very active sex lives, even aside from the boys they molested. Their superiors who had a similar lifestyle, or were "understanding" about it were generally the ones who covered up too.

            But hey, that's not something we want to think about. Instead, we want to make sure that the only thing that comes out of this scandal is that if you don't get regular sex, you are a potential pervert.

          • Sacred?

            Try no moral leg to stand on.

            For the past 2000 years.

          • Not scared. Just tired of the liars.

          • Yes, we're all tired of the Vatican.

          • You don't become an intellectual by pushing other people down so you can feel morally superior you know.

            You shame atheists that are actual intellectuals every time you claim to represent one, including my wife.

          • No, you become an intellectual by using your mind.

            Anyone who, as an adult, believes in fairy tales isn't an intellectual.

            And no intellectual believes in fairy tales.

          • See that's what I'm talking about. You have interest in teaching or learning anything.

            You just want to feel like you are so much smarter than me. That's why you're not a philosopher or an intellectual Emily. You're just a spiteful person looking to bully people online.

          • I am indifferent to both religion and your feelings.

            Grow up.

          • Certainly you aren't, or you wouldn't have the urge to insult people you see as your intellectual inferiors. You need my religion to mock to make yourself smart, and you need to make people angry by insulting them personally to make yourself feel like you've won an argument.

            Face it Emily, until you start respecting people more around here, you aren't going to be seen as an intellectual by anyone. You can only learn from others, and teach others, if you have a modicum of civility.

          • Teddy dear….if I tried to convince you of the wonders and powers of Zeus or Odin…would you be interested in listening?

            No. Because to you it's mythology. Same for me with your particular deity.

            Your wife may have to put up with this slobber… I don't.

          • Actually, I'm very interested in both classical literature and Icelandic sagas.

            But I don't give a damn if you believe in my religion. But you should respect other people on these boards. For the sake of your own image and desire to be taken seriously, if nothing else.

          • I'm not here to endear myself to anyone, it's not a popularity contest you know.

            If you want to preach, go to church.

          • So if you aren't here to teach, to learn, or to have pleasant conversation… what exactly are you here for?

          • To have an intelligent discussion over the topic listed at the top of the thread.

          • But you see, you don't. You just fling insults and attacks. if you wanted to have an intelligent conversation you'd actually talk to me. If you wanted to teach me something, you'd try to put forth an argument.

            If you thought I wasn't worth having a conversation with because I have nothing to offer, you'd ignore me or dismiss me after just one insult, instead of keeping on coming back.

          • TedTylerEzro, every thread in which Emily comments ends up going the same way. She repeatedly posts brief, meaningless retorts, believing that these will stand up as proof of her superior intellect. Meanwhile, much of what she posts betrays a complete lack of knowledge of the subject matter. For example, she stated with complete authority the other day that mining was not an industry, because it isn't manufacturing. Got that? In another thread, she tossed a Sam Hungtington quote at Olaf. He tossed one back, and she accused him of not accepting reality (apparently some Sam Huntington posts reinforce reality while others don't, and only Emily knows exactly which ones are which – presumably because she's an "intellectual".). Is it any surprise she dismisses 80% of the Canadian population – about the percentage who believe in some sort of God – as intellectually inferior? No doubt the other 20% aren't up to snuff either. There is absolutely no point in carrying on with her. She's not smart enough to realize how…. unsmart she is.

          • Mining is part of a primary resource economy. It was done long before the industrial age.

            You can call it anything you like, but it remains a resource, not a manufactured good.

            I can quote the Bible without believing in it, I can quote Mein Kampf without being a Nazi, and I can quote Shakespeare without having the slightest interest in him.

            See, quoting someone doesn't mean you believe in everything they ever said, or thought or wrote.

            And no, 80% of the Canadian population is not religious.

            That's why most of our churches are empty and up for sale.

          • Oh, I understand there is no point, but I'm having fun.

          • How can mining be an industry when it is covered by a separate government department? it must be a definitional thing! ;-)

          • I was trying to have a conversation, not be converted.

            Why on earth would I try 'teaching' you anything? Brick walls aren't 'teachable.'

          • But they are quite good at sitting still and remaining silent. Which amounts to much the same thing.

          • Now this man I'll readily concede is my intellectual superior.

            Every time he posts, its like his avatar is back from the grave.

          • Exactly, why are you spending your time talking to a brick wall?

            With that statement you've already admitted I'm not worth talking to, so why are you talking to me? What are you trying to gain?

          • I'm not.

          • There are a lot of reasons why Emily isn't a philosopher or an intellectual, and her arrogance doesn't rank high on the list.

          • Since I have never claimed to be either, and since there are none on this site, that's irrelevant.

          • Yikes. A tad touchy, perhaps?

            My comment was about misplaced energy on the part of the leadership of the Catholic Church. You have expanded my 29 words into quite the punching bag with which to take rhetorical aim. I am quite certain — no, bad choice of words — I have complete faith that the argument you are rebutting (especially in, but not limited to, your ultimate paragraph) appears nowhere in my feeble 29 words.

            But it was an impressive swing. Would've made it to the bleachers for sure… if there was a pitch.

          • Whatever. The refusal of the people on this thread to acknowledge the steps the Church has made to combat the problem, and the refusal to acknowledge other institutions (both religious and secular) have had the same problems with both sexual abuse and coverup, tells me what you think.

            If a public school in Toronto had a teacher accused of some sex offense or two, and then decided to introduce a dress code for its students the following year, would the first thing that came out of your mouth be "maybe they should concentrate on getting their teachers to keep their pants on"?

          • The use of the singular ("a school" and "a teacher") is a major impediment to your argument, Ted.

          • Okay, how about all the schools in the city of Toronto? There have been many porn and sex abuse cases in that city alone in the last decade, and coverups as well.

            Heck, there has been 3 sex related charges against teachers in Toronto since May.

          • I will angrily take a stab at any individual who abuses children, and at any institution that abets and/or conceals that vile conduct. How you might conclude otherwise when I took a stab at the Catholic Church in a thread (pause, go back, check just to be sure) that happened to cite The Vatican is a stretch of, dare I say, biblical proportion.

          • Sure, but this issue has nothing to do with the sexual abuse of children.

            The fact that you have to bring the sex abuse scandal into an issue that has nothing to do with it shows that it isn't about the sexual abuse scandal at all. You wouldn't link the problems of sexual abuse in the Toronto school system with an unrelated policy by the Toronto school board.

            So you're playing culture warrior, and you're misrepresenting both the sex abuse problems in the Church and its efforts to stamp it out. I think I am well within my rights to call you up on it.

            Why should I have to take crap lying down about my faith every damn day on these boards? When is the last time I insulted your Atheism? Would you like me to start?

          • It has to do with the Church preening about provocative knees and shoulders, and if you don't see any tie-in, I guess our imaginations wander differently.

            You are "well within your rights" to do as you please. Last I checked, we were having a conversation, here.

            I sincerely hope I have not insulted your faith. The hypocritical institutional embodiement of it, however, is a separate target.

            Agnostic with gusts to atheism. Take your best shot, if you wish.

          • Yes, our imaginations certainly do wander differently. You see a bunch of celibates getting all hot and bothered about too much female flesh. Celibates are all repressed perverts you seee.

            I see people dressed far too casually in t-shirts or tank tops and shorts to have respect for the place they are visiting, a respect which requires a degree of formality. Since I actually know what the hell I'm talking about.

            As for the hypocritical institution, well I can't argue there. Since it is made up of human beings who can be be fallible, evil, or just plain stupid. Of course, the same thing could be said for the nation of Canada (or the US) and its government. Of course, if someone who felt that the world would be better off if either country didn't exist, and proceeded to insult it at every opportunity, I'd imagine you'd get your back a little bit.

            As for insulting Atheism or Agnosticism, I don't think I'd really do that. After all, if I ever lose faith in Catholicism, that's probably where I'm going. Best not to burn my bridges.

            However, I do think that the "New Atheism" movement is made up of ahistorical, anti-intellectual dunderheads who largely think that their embrace of "atheism" is an excuse to treat other people like crap. They do this because they are a bunch of pseudo-intellectuals who mistake ideology and sociology for real logic, reason and science. Read much Dawkins, Hitchens and Harris madeyoulook?

          • Read much Dawkins, Hitchens and Harris madeyoulook?

            No, no, and no.

          • Parallel evolution then. You certainly look the same by what you've said to me in this thread.

          • Not having read them, can I take that as a compliment?

          • I wouldn't.

          • That wasn't the question. Can I?

          • If you think meme theory is biology, go right ahead.

  3. Potter, don't let anyone tell you you're not a serious philosopher.