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editorial

Tightening the belt on saggy pants

While the young should respect their elders by wearing proper garments, Socrates declared, there is “small wisdom in legislating about such matters.” That observation, now more than 2,400 years old, continues to be lost on the elders: Hence the new cable ad campaign to convince teenagers in saggy pants to pull up their britches.

Produced by a group called the Black Mental Health Alliance of Massachusetts, the ad features an actor playing a policeman. He sternly warns that under state laws for lewd behavior, a person who wears deeply sagging pants could face up to three years in prison. Saggy pants are a fashion trend that emanated from prisons, where inmates were banned from wearing belts; but like other such trends, this one has taken on a life of its own, and many kids have no idea of its derivation.

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