||"dawnbreak in the west"|
Monday, October 08, 2012
Skinheads and rockers
Patrick H. at VFR, on the Skins and the Rockers:
I am arguing that the true harbingers of the doom that has overtaken England were not the flower children, but rather the violent, profane thugs who displaced them. The hippies were helpless in the face of the challenge from their physical superiors, and effectively ceded control of the culture to them without so much as a whimper. The hippies were mostly middle and upper class, hopelessly effete, Eloi waiting to be consumed by the boot-wearing short-haired Morlocks of the lower classes. The skins and hooligans weren’t effete at all—violent, crude, proudly stupid, proudly lower class, they took over almost completely, and almost right away.
My grandfather, who fled Britain for Salazar's Portugal in 1970, told me much the same in the 1980s and earliest 1990s.
I was a teenager at the time. My vocabulary was "rock music", "punk music", and the various stripes of pop music. I had no idea about rock-ers, and little more about skinheads. What my grandfather was telling me seemed like a foreign language. I just assumed that he didn't understand what the music scene was in the UK, like he had filtered it back to me through a haze. I also figured that he had overstated the importance of these subcultures in British culture.
(At this time, I was also quixotically trying to expose my grandparents to Fleetwood Mac's "Rumours", some U2, and - sorta - the Stone Roses. They wouldn't accept much of this. Although they, and some expat friends they'd invited over, would allow that some U2 and some Fleetwood Mac songs were easy on the ear - but, still, ephemeral. I learnt, then, that retirees have no patience for ephemera.)
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