Is British Subculture Dead?
2020. And this year has got us thinking.
It has also got us pondering the state Youth Subculture is in. Even the mainstream hasn't been so uncool ever in history. Young lads these days seemed more self obsessed than ever. The order of the day is teeth from Turkey, ripped skinny jeans and six pack abs over 6am wake-ups, clobber, booze and aggro. Where are all the men's men at? I would take the chavs and scallies of the early 00's over this lot ten times over. With their trackies tucked in socks n'all.
In hindsight, we've seen it coming, all of us. Social Media has spawned a generation of self-obsessed, insecure clones that live for likes and not the moment. I remember when people started to sign up to Facebook around 2007 and anyone who was anyone at football thought this was abhorrent. Prior to this, any pictures we'd post online would be of pixelated faces on closed forums and message boards, and some were totally against pictures online full stop, which was totally understandable. They were the rules though, no mugs on show, who knew where they'd end up?
As for signing up to Social Media platforms and willingly having pictures of yourself posted on there with your interests and personal info to boot, you may as well just hand yourself into the police now. MySpace was perhaps the best platform for creative expression without the intrusion. In fact, an updated version of that could perhaps work well now.
At around the same time as this Social Media/Hell surge you had the progression of mobile phone tech speeding at a fast pace. Inspired by awful hooligan films, you had young 'uns who just wanted to run around with a mob filming every confrontation or "off" that took place, probably so they could tell their mates that they were fully paid members of the casual scene and Category C Hooligans. Back in the day, a camera whilst the aggro was going on would have you seen as a grass or a journo (same thing) and you'd get a slapping.
I suppose this post might come across as a little whingy, and it is. We are getting older , so it's kind of justified and looking back at some old photos has had us getting somewhat nostalgic. In the early days of Social Media it wasn't as intrusive and was fun for creatives such as ourselves to express the culture that your'e involved in. Plus the forums and message boards where a great place to meet and have a laugh with like-minds. At present though, it seems to be sapping the Sub out of Subculture and taking away the underground vibe of it all.
So, when the football comes back. Let's put down the phones more, fuck all the hashtag hooligan stuff off every now and again and start living the moment as a football fan again. As for the clobber, we've got some work to do. Thanks to Instagram, everyone in Europe and beyond dresses like the British Casuals back in the 90s, including the British! Sure, for obvious reasons oneupmanship is harder to achieve these days but it should still be desired and sought after.
So youth! Say a big "Fuck You" to your skinny jeans and straight pearly whites! Prove us wrong and ignite and reinvent British Subcultures. The Birds secretly want you to be real men again anyway.
PS. And those of you already doing it and flying the flag.
We salute you.