Re: Yes, I'm Sure
June 18 2002 at 2:50 AM

Response to Yes, I'm Sure

I would doubt that rolling up the left or right pant leg has a single, traceable source - especially considering that people have been doing it since the invention of the bicycle. It's been in America for nearly a decade (that I know of), and I'm sure it has come up in other places as well.

I also can't see American gangs having any association whatsoever with Triads outside of Lethal Weapon movies. Please correct me with evidence if I am wrong. I'd actually be very interested in seeing that.

It certainly has its connection to gangs, though - be it Chinese, German, or American. And why not? It's an easily-created sign that can differentiate lowlifes of all flavors from quite a distance - all the better not to bust a cap in--... er- whatever. Excuse me while I roll my eyes.

I'm sure more than one sub-culture made that connection at relatively the same time. It's about as elementary as the concept of gang colors and signs.

That being said, since it is such a simple gesture of whatever possible connected meaning - much like the good ol' middle finger - I wouldn't doubt one bit that it could have a different meaning in one culture than it has in another. It isn't copyrighted. So, maybe it really does mean "peace" in Japan. Hell, even "Auld Lang Syne" is only "Auld Lang Syne" by melody in Japanese ("Hotaru no Hikari").

Go ahead and ask how many Scottish know that there is a Japanese version to their song. And, I wouldn't be surprised to learn that there are a few Japanese out there who don't know that the original notes were written for a traditional Scottish song. (There, now I'm only somewhat off-topic.)

Of course, I'm only grasping at straws with this connection, but I think you see what I mean. "Auld Lang Syne" has differential legitimacy through history. Rolling your pant leg up is just trifling.

If you can prove my theory wrong, I'd be interesting in reading it. Did Wu Tang Clan uncover some horrible Triad kung fu movie from the 1970's and copy what they saw?

Let's just pray that should his friend travel abroad, he knows to straighten his pant leg at the airport.

Take care!

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