The "Pants on the Ground" Guy Continues His Civil Rights Crusade

3/06/2010 Posted by Admin

The "Pants on the Ground" Guy Continues His Civil Rights Crusade

By our guest blogger, Marie Biondolillo

Do you remember five minutes ago, when everybody was obsessed with the "Pants on the Ground" guy from "American Idol"? If you don't remember, it's probably because the Internet has destroyed your attention span. Don't feel sad though--the good thing about having no attention span is that you'll probably forget that you're sad after another minute or two.

Anyway, here's a primer--there was an old man. He showed up to the "American Idol" Atlanta auditions. He sang a song about pants, and their proximity to the earth. His name was "General" Larry Platt. Everybody in the world thought about him real hard for like one minute. Jimmy Fallon and Brett Favre covered Platt's song, "Pants on the Ground," because they're French like that. The whole world laughed and drank coke and mused over the oddness of pants, and generally acted like babies discovering their own hands and being delighted by them. Then they moved on to worrying about more important things, like health care bills and ecological stability (just kidding--no rational adult would ever worry about anything like that when there are things like Tiger Woods' sex life to brood over.)

But the General was not done. He wanted more fame (and/or infamy--as a culture, we've lost the ability to distinguish between these two things, so you can't blame an old dude for getting confused.) Although he'd gotten Phil Specter busted out of jail in order to produce a real slick version of "Pants on the Ground," which sold 116,000 copies (which is more than the sales of both the "Moonlight Sonata" and "Purple Rain" singles combined), the General still did not feel famous enough.

The fact that the General did not feel famous enough becomes amazing when you discover that he is not just some adorable hobo--he actually is a famous Civil Rights Person. He was nicknamed "The General" by Hosea Williams, a civil rights leader who led many protests in the '60s, including the first march on Selma. Because the General has done so much civil rights activism, the Georgia General Assembly even declared Sept. 4th "Larry Platt Day," due to all his hardcore contributions to the community.

One would think that having a day named after you would be enough fame for anybody, especially if the reason you got your own holiday is that you helped OVERTURN RACISM. One would think that pooping all over that legacy in order to get on TV would be a dumb idea. Then again, one probably didn't write a ballad to pants and their witchy, whiskered ways.

Well, the General did. And he's determined to make sure that nobody ever forgets it (as well as to ensure that the reasons that he is actually awesome are lost to the annals of history.) To this end, he's been performing "Pants: A Retrospective" at various night clubs around Vegas. TMZ has photos and video of the General moaning his pantaloon poem to clubbers while unwisely clad women clutch at his coattails. It's exactly as depressing as you might expect--like watching your grandpa get crunk with a bunch of divorcees. Vegas is already a sad place--it doesn't need any more drunk grandpas.

But maybe I'm wrong. Maybe this "Pants on the Ground" tour is actually some kind of subversive political action intended to help . . . pants aficionados? The garment industry? Belts? After all, fewer and fewer people are wearing belts nowadays, at least not for their intended purpose, which is holding up pants. Instead, you see a lot of "fashion belts," which are belts that serve no purpose other than proving that their wearer has an accessories budget. Hipsters especially enjoy abusing belts, using them as waist or hip decorations instead of as a pant's best friend. Perhaps by reminding us of the dire fate awaiting all improperly fitted pants, the General is taking a brave stance against belt abuse. All things considered, "Pants Safely Secured at the Waist by a Leather Friend" just isn't as catchy a title as "Pants on the Ground."

Soldier on, General.


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