Anderson, Todd, Stuart, Autumn, Tynan, Grace
"Umm... I have to kick out a lot of bums and crackheads. Take this."
It was a puzzling statement. He handed us three bags of ground coffee, worth almost fifty dollars. We thought he was a fan of what we were doing, so we smiled at him. He didn't smile back. Then it hit -- we were being kicked out of Blue Bottle Coffee for not wearing pants, and being bribed with coffee to not make a scene. That's probably a smart idea; people who go to respected coffee establishments without pants on might be more prone to causing scenes than the other patrons.
We took part in 2010 No Pants Subway Ride, a worldwide event where people take off their pants and ride on the subway at a particular time. There's no cause, no mission, and no statement. Just hordes of people roaming around downtown without pants.
What I really like about the event is that it takes something people really want to do-- walk around without pants-- and makes it okay. There were over a thousand people participating, both pretty and ugly, thin and fat. People were thongs, briefs, boxers, lacy panties, and superman underwear. It was clear that most people weren't uncomfortable walking around in public in their underwear, they were just uncomfortable with the social stigma of it. Take away the stigma by hosting an event, and it's fun.
Even in an uninhibited person like myself, walking around bottomless fostered a sense of adventure and excitement. After the parade part of the event, five friends (some old, some made during the parade part) and I roamed around looking for adventure. After every stop, no one wanted to go home, so we asked each other, "what should we do next?". We went through Chinatown, visiting a fortune cookie bakery and a restaurant (an Australian girl at the table next to us asked if there was a special event, or if this was an American fad), then we walked back to the mall to visit the spa, and finally ended up at Samovar Tea Lounge.
I've resolved to organize more events like this. Not necessarily big group events that involve pantslessness, but fun events for my friends where we break social conventions and make scenes.
Next time you find yourself bored, skip going to the movies. Get some friends together, take off your pants, and go wander around. Or go to the movies, but take off your pants first.
well, Im from Costa Rica but lived in the states for 3 months, and from personal experience I´ve noticed that people from the US like to wear shorts more often than we costaricans do, even if our weather is quite hot also. Here in Costa Rica most people wear jeans or pants and most people from the US I see usually wear shorts, here or in the US as well, at least quite more often than costaricans do. Maybe I´m wrong, but maybe it is true people in the states have a cultural tendency to like to wear less clothes? Interesting topic anyways.
Having lived in the US for about three and a half years (I'm originally from Europe), I must admit one thing I still don't get is the downright OBSESSION Americans (mainly guys) seem to have about not wearing pants. And just to avoid confusion, let me state here for the record that yes, I'm a guy too, and no, I'm not a nancyboy, or a feminist, or any chump of that sort.
I still have to ask though --
What's wrong with wearing pants?
Yes, I can see the entertainment value in participating in something like a no pants subway ride. Hell, I might even participate in it if I lived in a city that had a subway. Especially if there are girls doing it to.
I can also see why one might opt to not wear any pants while at home.
But I'm not talking about these particular cases. What puzzles me is that guys all over the states seem to constantly feel oppressed by the fact that society expects them to wear pants. For god's sake, there was even a super bowl ad this year featuring a bunch of guys wearing no pants, marching across a field and proclaiming their apparent delight in the form of a song (ironically enough, it was an ad for pants).
If wearing pants is really such a big issue to you, why don't you just start wearing kilts? If enough people do it, it might even become a fashion trend.
I, for one, love wearing pants. I don't see anything wrong with wearing pants. They keep your legs warm. They keep your ass warm. They keep the family jewels warm, especially in FREAKING JANUARY. Why take them off?
As long as I lived in Europe, the only person I've seen not wearing pants was Homer Simpson. From my experience, there are no men who would prefer not wearing any pants -- the "no pants" meme seems to be an entirely American phenomenon.
The only explanation I can come up with is the fact any kind of public exposure of body parts is generally frowned upon, as evidenced by the lack of nude beaches, and general derision of nudists as perverts, while Europe in general is much more tolerant of these things (for example, there is usually no fine for women sunbathing topless on a public beach). If that's the reason behind the "no pants" obsession, however, this would lead to the conclusion that Americans, or at least a sizable percentage of them, are all secret exhibitionists, but lack the balls to stand by it and vote for according changes in the law (i.e. oppose the closing of nude beaches, reform public indecency laws, etc.). Maybe the no pants subway ride is secretly a demonstration of this, but why, then, claim that "there is no message"?
Am I missing something here? Can somebody please explain what the hell is the big deal with wearing pants in this country?
Huzzah for the 2010 No Pants Metro Ride! About 500 of us met up in D.C. to ride around in our underwear for a few hours of frigid fun.
Apparently over a dozen countries and 30+ cities took part in the event. It's both crazy and awesome to think that there are so many people willing to have a random good time like that.
I just read this article about a girl in Austin going to a PUA workshop. Really hilarious, thought you might want to read it. http://austinist.com/2010/01/13/hello_my_name_is_pick-up_artist_boo.php
tanner, I too, have an american flag speedo. my is actually a thong.
I've got a few cool pics of roaming around the town with it on.
I completely forgot about this event until two people walked by me with no pants on in Union Square. I totally missed out!
I heard about this the day after it happened. We do not have a subway in this city and everyone is very prudish but I have vowed to a higher power that next year I will be pants less on a train wherever I may be!
Todd and I hang out a lot, which breeds a sort of familiarity that leads to every phrase being shortened as much as possible. For example, if one's laptop batteries were very low, the word "critbatts" might be invoked. So when we found ourselves standing outside of the VIP area of the X Games in LA, and Todd said, "Dude, let's just smash it", I knew exactly what he was talking about: the Gaijin Smash.
The Gaijin Smash is a term used to describe a certain way of operating as a foreigner in Japan. The Japanese are extremely polite and sometimes nervous around foreigners (Gaijin), so as a foreigner you tend to get your way. I think the phrase came about from some guy smashing his way through the subway barriers without paying, and not being stopped. Todd and I mostly used it to ride our hilarious fold-up bikes like maniacs.
Anyway, back to the X-Games. Thanks to my brother and his good friend Chase Hawk, Todd and I had passes to this year's event in LA. But our passes were weird: they were only meant to give us access to the skate park section of the course, because Chase was only riding the park. But we also had friends competing in the street course, so we found ourselves standing outside the entrance to the VIP area of the street course, wanting to watch them.
~ Peter Brook, The Empty Space
This was written in 1968 by one of the most brilliant minds of the modern theater. I read this over 20 years ago and it is still as relevant today as it was then, if not more so. A performance space need not be contained within a proscenium, nor does it have to have a grid or a flat playing area. It doesn't have to have wings, dressing rooms or even seats, for that matter.
At times throughout history, and particularly since the 1960s, artists have conceived of very dynamic works of performance outside of these traditional confines. But in the last 15-20 years, work of this nature has dramatically expanded. In this study of the evolving notion of the performance space, I will briefly look at the origins of space and the roots of the traditional space. I will then discuss the impact technology has had, and is having, upon the concept of the performance space and then look at some of the exciting ways contemporary artists are forging new ground outside of the traditional structure.
Throughout these essays, I refer to the "traditional space" often. By “traditional space”, I mean a performance venue which has a stage and a section for a seated audience. This includes the classic proscenium stage (which we’re all used to), the thrust stage and theater in the round. The commonality between all of these stages, and which is important for this article, is that the audience is in a passive/receiving mode, and the action - typically comprised of some combination of actors, singers, dancers, a stage, lights and costumes - is played out upon the stage in full view of the audience. This is what I mean by “traditional space”.