MAN ON THE STREET | How do you feel about same-sex marriage?
By Stephen Nielsen and Mark Newton
“This country “I think that if two “Traditional “I am all for it. I “It should be
is based off people are in love marriage is a think that if two allowed because
religious beliefs, and they love each centerpiece people are in it’s every American
but not ruled by other enough to of our society love they have citizen’s right to
them. Everyone get married they that requires the right to get pursue happiness,
should have should be allowed thoughtful married.” and if that means
the right to get to.” respect.” CHRISTY MYREN two men or two
married, as long JT HOSACK TONY MONTALTO SENIOR women getting
as they love each SOPHOMORE JUNIOR married, that’s fine.”
other.” ANDREW LONADIER
KIRI INGBERG FRESHMAN
W E D N E S D A Y, N O V E M B E R 7 , 2 0 0 7 | P A G E A 5
W H E R E W E S T A N D O T H E R V O I C E S
It’s time to Sagging pants, and spirits
The spirit sags. So do pants all Atlanta Councilman C.T. Martin prejudices across races, generations
over the country. wants lax pantaloons yanked under and classes. And that nether-gar-
For more than two decades now, city indecency ordinances. Shreve- ment parade down the sidewalk – it’s
people generally younger than, port, La., will ﬁne you unless you do few people’s favorite thing.
oh, 45, have been wearing baggy the Tighten Up. So will Delcambre, Real indecent exposure is
pants. It’s said to be an outgrowth La., as much as $500 or six months something to punish. It threatens,
of prison chic. Prison, where you in jail. Dallas is mulling a ban. invades privacy, can traumatize
can’t wear belts. Prison, where Debate is rampant. “Turpitude!” cry and disgust. It’s morally wrong.
baggy clothes help hide weapons. supporters (get it?). “Free speech! The state has a legitimate interest
Down sag the pants, revealing Racism!” cry opponents. in stopping it. But saggy pants don’t
a vibrant garden of ﬂowered, Clearly, some lawmakers feel they rise to that level.
striped, checked and blinding- have nothing better to do. Clearly, True, towns have the right to
Though it seems that campus. There are white boxers for public inspection. they just can’t stand it any more. enact the laws they wish, within the
Along with expanses of skin most Clearly, it’s silly. Constitution. Apparel laws, how-
some college students many organizations people don’t show. It’s also ironic. This, friends, is ever, are not constitutional unless
wouldn’t even realize it, on campus that seek From ancient Rome to downtown payback. Today’s town boards are there’s a clear indecency issue.
2007, kids like to imitate thugs. No peopled by many former children of Surely, to criminalize slack slacks
yesterday was a day of to affect changes, from wonder, then, that prison chic met the 1960s. They irritated, outraged is to drag down the indecency line.
voting for citizens across big to small, on and off Bohemia, fed into gangsta culture, and countercultured their own That’s the humor of it. Kids are
hip-hop, and Skateboard Nation, parents to a mama-no-more, and testing that line, without crossing
the country. The right to campus. and around the world, Louisville probably never thought (once they it, because most kids don’t actually
to Lhasa, Oregon to Ouagadougou, cut their hair, went to business want to be bad. They want the look.
be politically active was If you’re introvert like Eau Claire to Ulan Bator. school, and made a mint) it could (Laws won’t get kids to stop wearing
a hard right to win for some of us out there, Like hip-hop itself, this fashion happen to them. baggy pants. Only the news that it’s
is years old and rather played out. It did. Such is the perpetual cycle: so last year. Only kids decide that.)
humans throughout our joining a club isn’t nec- But town councils all over are aris- “This is a human brain ... this is Ugly is not actionable. Slovenly
history. essary. We at The Cap- ing as one, shocked, crying “civic a human brain on the drug called is not vicious. Irritating is not
image” and “moral decay,” seeking youth.” Saggy pants with skivvies immoral. Still, towns all over want
But a huge chunk of tain’s Log are extending to shove through laws, lest saggy out ... lower back exposed but not all to issue tickets and ﬁnes. Pants Law
pants drag down us all. the way ... it’s the classic kid’s game Mania. Not only are these efforts
the population seem to another invitation for In Trenton, N.J., Councilwoman of play-chicken-with-the-boundaries. moral policing of the most boring,
be unwilling to acknowl- you to write ‘Letters to Annette Lartigue has proposed Deal. least effective kind; they’re also
ﬁnes or community service for To be sure, Saggy-pants chic small-time, petty, misplaced, and not
edge the hard work of the Editor.’ sagsters. Councilman Lincoln is old-timey and ugly. It may be a all that American. Drop `em.
attaining this right. No matter what your Green of Pleasantville has pro- sign that somebody’s parents have
posed much the same. In Georgia, failed – but not always. It reinforces The Philadelphia Inquirer
And, yes, we’re talking complaint or compli-
about the college student ment, we always try to
We believe everyone
offer a forum for you to
get your voice heard. Local journalism needs funding too
should be as active as Free speech is another Surely it’s good news when a the public can read them. mental disgraces fall beneath Pro
they can be. For some one of those hard one super-rich couple pledges $10 mil- This is good, bold stuff. Yet the Publica’s gaze.
lion a year to found a crack team plan does have ﬂaws, some of them Unfortunately, the Pro Publica
CNU students, this rights and everyone of investigative journalists whose serious. model suggests that if these people
meant working on a should have the chance mission will be to dig out the best First, Pro Publica’s own ambitions want to make their mark they need
stories they can ﬁnd. are a problem. Its backers make it to pack up and head to Manhat-
political campaign for to excerise it. After all, elsewhere in the news plain they’re in the business of hunt- tan, which already has the richest
this past voting season. We think it’s time for media budgets are bled white to ing big game, “stories with signiﬁ- concentration of journalistic talent
slake the thirst of Wall Street cant potential for major impact.” In on earth.
For others, who lack every student to assume predators, seasoned reporters are ﬁnding outlets for the stories, they’ll This country’s journalism profes-
coaxed to pasture so their pay can “likely be offered exclusively to a sion is already being hollowed out,
the time or speciﬁc their role as a political be banked, out-of-town bureaus traditional news organization, free and it’s hard to see how that process
interest, being politcally entity, in whatever way are shuttered, and editorial of charge, for publication or broad- won’t be aggravated by creating an
energy is redirected onto online cast with an eye toward maximizing elite squad of ace reporters com-
active can be as simple they can. ■ initiatives to engage and cultivate the impact of each article.” posed mainly of top talents who can
as joining a club on twitchy market segments that Together, as the Chicago Reader’s readily ﬁnd work elsewhere - many
shrug at boring old tales of exploi- Michael Miner wrote in one of the of them drawn from places where
tation, injustice and corruption. few criticisms of the plan, these the need for their unique skills is
When today’s chieftains of the elements suggest that Pro Publica acute.
news business consider its future, will proffer top-notch journalism to A culture of accountability, to
they’re more likely to drool over big, powerful news organizations, be truly national, needs to be built
Facebook, the social networking the ones that need it the least. in the provinces as well. If the
sensation, than to draw inspira- Second, is it even true that we Sandlers are thinking about shed-
tion from the great reporting of have insufﬁcient coverage of tough, ding another $10 million, they might
the past. front-burner national stories from consider bringing aboard a second
Show, donʼt tell.
So who’s going to pay journal- the high-impact media Pro Publica kernel of supervising editors of the
ists to do the grimy, old-line work wants to feed? I wonder. With the integrity and skill of Steiger and his
of holding the rich and powerful Bush administration leaking like colleagues. Then they should use
accountable? an overripe melon, and a torrent most of the money to seed news-
Submit an editorial cartoon. Enter Herbert Sandler, a North-
ern California ﬁnancial services
of ﬁrst-rate books about high-level
deception and stupidity, the real
rooms throughout the country with
endowed investigative positions,
billionaire, and his wife, Marion. problem may not be what’s out there whose occupants would be advised
The outﬁt they’re funding, Pro - in newspapers, magazines and by these editors and whose sleuthing
The Captain’s Log wants to see your opinions. Publica, is to be a New York-based online, from domestic and foreign would be focused on the small-bore
reporting powerhouse of 24 inves- sources; it’s what the public can be social and political outrages that
Contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org tigative journalists led by Paul
Steiger, for 16 years managing
induced to pay attention to.
Breaking stories is one thing;
affect people most directly and most
editor of the Wall Street Journal setting the public’s agenda is quite So let’s welcome Pro Publica, and
and a highly respected guy. another. acknowledge the role that philan-
Pro Publica’s staff will work on Third, the implication of the plan thropy can play in funding the
the elusive, important, long-range is that the stories that truly matter indispensable coverage that market
stories that few news organiza- are national. Many are. But many incentives cannot alone guarantee.
tions have the stomach or money more aren’t. The isolated and belea- But let’s also hope this is the ﬁrst
to take on. Once the stories are guered reporters who are breaking step, not the last.
done, they’ll be offered to newspa- their picks hacking away at local
pers and broadcasters or posted zoning scandals, crooked landlords, Edward Wasserman
on Pro Publica’s own Web site so corrupt courts and local environ- The Miami Herald
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