Monday, April 14, 2014

Reading the list of articles on banned tattoos, saggy pants and use of profanity, I found myself wondering why so many people have spent so much time and effort on these issues. In some ways I do understand the point of view of all parties involved, but in my opinion all of these problems have simple solutions, except maybe one: military tattoos. I have always found the simplest solution to problems such as profanity and saggy pants to be to remove yourself from the situation. In my experience, if you are in a public space where you are seeing or hearing something undesirable, you have the freedom to move to a different space or look away. 
In the article highlighting the use of profanity in Massachusetts, I found the argument of the reverend and 80 year old lady to be absolutely ludicrous. What I found even more ridiculous was the fact that this town voted to issue fines of 20$ for use of profanity by a vote of 180-53. So now this town is going to pay police officers to walk around and give tickets to people swearing? Or perhaps someone might call 911 in order to report a case of profanity! I find this to be a complete and utter waste of resources. If someone is using language that is offensive to you, move; go somewhere else. Find a different place to eat, drink, hang out or walk around. If this 80 year old lady feels like profanity is going rampant throughout her town, she can move. That is one of, if not the greatest part of America. If you don’t like your current situation, for any reason, you have the right and ability to change it. For me, the same logic would apply to the saggy pants.
Saggy pants have been popular since I was a young child, and I personally have never understood it. That does not mean that people are not entitled to wear pants around their knees or however that person would like to wear them. Similarly to my logic with use of profanity, if you don’t like to look at people with saggy pants, look away. There is nothing forcing someone to look at someone else’s boxers or underwear. At the same time, I don’t think anyone should be able to show their bare bottom in public. I believe that is already a law (public indecency), so why should there be any discussion about it? If someone’s butt is hanging out for all to see they should get a fine. 
I will now talk briefly about the article on tattoos in the military. I am someone who has multiple tattoos. I have always chosen not to tattoo anything below my elbows, knees or above my collar line because of the associations some people hold of those with tattoos. I have done this because I always want to be able to cover my tattoos if I choose to do so. 
In terms of the military, I completely understand if the military does not want recruits that have tattoos in highly visible areas. My problem with this article is when the military chooses to take recruits with undesirable tattoos when they need recruits to fight wars, but then force them to get them removed when they no longer need as many soldiers. I find this to be a typical way in which the military deals with recruits. I can speak to one experience of a good friend years ago.
About 7 years ago I had a friend that was considering joining the army. My friend, Ben, had graduated high school a year earlier. He decided not to go to college and was working odd jobs until considering the military. He was worried that a prior drug conviction would effect his chances of being admitted to the military. After Ben’s interview with a recruiter, he informed me that the military was in dire need to recruits due to the escalating conflict in Iraq. This was surprising to me because I always thought the military had plenty of reserves, but this was obviously not the case. Ben decided to join the Army, and his prior drug conviction was never spoken of after his initial interview. It was as if the drug charge never existed; the recruiter completely disregarded it after Ben agreed to a 4 year term of service. 
Although Ben is now out of the military and again a civilian, he does have many tattoos around his neck and forearms. I could not imagine forcing Ben to remove his visible tattoos if he was still in the military. Why should he? Because the elite in the military decided they don’t want anyone more visible tattoos? “Sure, give us your life for 4 yeas. The war might even take your life. But you’re not allowed to mark your skin in these areas.” Essentially the military takes what they can get, while they can get it, then when there aren’t any wars to be fought, begin to weed out the members of the military that might be undesirable to some. If you ask me, changing military policies for men already enlisted men should be a violation. 

I just find topics of discussion such as saggy pants, profanity and tattoos to be completely senseless because all of these things have to do with OTHER people. Why can’t everyone just appreciate their own values when it comes to the language you use and style of clothes you wear? Why do people feel the need to manage someone else’s life? I will finish with the wise words of my former college roommate: “Don’t worry about me, worry about yourself”. 

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