It has been a little harder to keep up the blog than I had thought. Work is quite pressing. But every so often, something comes up that the rest of the internets seem to be ignoring. So, in the interest of showing how Boston is changing, I would like to mention that Sunday was the fourth annual “No Pants Subway Ride,” in which people ride the T without any pants.
Of course, as you might expect, the “No Pants Subway Ride” didn’t start in Boston in 2007. It started in New York in 2002, and has since gone international. An example of the influence of the internet! I can hear some of you shouting. Well ... probably not. I mean, I’m sure that this idea in particular spread via the internets, but anyone familiar with the 1960s will find lots of similar events, and let’s not mention the decade after that one. Moreover, the participants physically rally before removing their pants. So please no conclusionamating about the awesome marveliciousness of our new interlinkeded planet.
It isn’t really a surprise to find that it’s spread to Boston ... Boston has a giant 250,000 person college town laid atop the real city of 1.7 million. While Boston itself is not the sort of place that would smile upon pantless T-riding, the college town appended onto it certainly would. So no surprise there. And it has also spread to such unsurprising places as Philly. After all, the city that celebrates Mummer’s Day is not going to have a problem with pants-removing on the Orange Line.
I have to admit that it was a bit more unexpected to find that it had spread to the Mexico City. But when you think about it, that reaction makes no sense. The D.F. long ago left behind its cultural conservatism.
My excuse is that the rapidity of the cultural changes in Mexico between 1990 and today have left me reeling. Still, the United States changed even more between 1960 and 1980. So it is far from unprecendented. And why wouldn’t the chilangos take advantage of the opportunity to ride the subway without any pants?
My worry that it presages the end of Mexico’s unofficial ban on shorts.
Here is a much better photo of the Mexico City event, courtesy of El Pinche Holandés: