Linkblogging for 18/11/09

Well, I’m just about well enough to type one of these, after a few days of essentially staring blankly into space (went back to work today, though I probably should have had another day or so off). Proper post tomorrow, I hope:

(BTW for anyone going to the Thought Bubble comic convention in Leeds on Saturday, I’ll be the one with the biggest beard in the place. Feel free to say hello).

Bob Temuka talks about This Is Information, the Moore/Gebbie response to Sept 11, 2001, and compares it with The Invisibles.

Pillock thinks Blackest Night Sucks.

Alix has a modest proposal in regards to road privatisation.

A wonderful post about chavs from The Noughties Were Shit. Read past the first couple of paragraphs…

And Millennium reviews the latest episode of the Welsh Series.

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17 Responses to Linkblogging for 18/11/09

  1. pillock says:

    What the heck is “chav”, anyway? Been wondering about that one for SUCH a long time…

  2. While there is a connection between ‘chav’ and ‘white trash’ (or ‘trailer trash’), what interests me is that ‘chav’ has far more connotations of describing a subculture. Anybody could become a chav by buying those branded clothes, whereas ‘white trash’ is much more a socio-economic term.

    And what’s double odd is that the subculture chav is so American-oriented, raising up American stars like Christina Aguilera into style icons, wearing backwards baseball caps, listening to the cheesiest end of hip-hop,

    I have absolutely no idea why this might be!

  3. pillock says:

    Hmm, I do. Homegrown American culture’s under attack from the McDisney Swoosh as well, eh? It’s not just the rest of us…

  4. pillock says:

    Seems like a bit of a dicey term, though…do you guys feel comfortable using it?

    • Andrew Hickey says:

      I absolutely *don’t* feel comfortable using it, and don’t (if you read the link, it sums up my feelings pretty well). The term *does* refer to an identifiable group of people – a group of whom I’m not the world’s biggest fan – but it”s usually used in a dehumanising way by people I detest (though it is also used by people who come into contact with these people on a day-to-day basis and have good reason to dislike them as a group – it’s more complicated than most such terms).

      • pillock says:

        I read both the links, yeah…and yet that “consumerist” thing Gavin’s talking about confuses me a bit, which is why I ask. It does seem to express a very complex association of meanings…and my big AHA! was, hey, so it is an ethnic slur after all, wow! My ears work! And yet…it’s considered one, it isn’t used as one?

        And yet in another way, it seems as though that ingredient’s still active in the mix.

        • pillock says:

          Isn’t considered one, isn’t used as one”, of course.

        • Andrew Hickey says:

          It’s used as one, but in ‘polite society’ it’s a more acceptable slur than others are, in much the same way as it’s considered ‘acceptable’ to insult transsexuals or to use the word ‘retarded’. ‘Chavs’ are a marginalised group that it’s considered acceptable to hate…

  5. pillock says:

    I mean, it seems more loaded than “white trash” does here…

  6. pillock says:

    Sorry, I have failed to defrag adequately…one moment please…

  7. pillock says:

    …What I mean is: “chav” sounds a lot meaner than “white trash”.

    I’m struggling with that “subcultural vs. socioeconomic” thing…it seems to me there’s something wrong in that, like the idea that one could — or would — choose it. From what I’m picking up out of this thread and out of these links, to be a chav is to be a vulgar person, right? Except there are plenty of vulgar people who aren’t “chavs”, one presumes…and (or perhaps because) vulgarity’s not an absolute sort of a concept anyway, it’s an expression that is utilized by different people, for different purposes.

    White trash…damn it, this is really finicky, Gavin…”white trash”, the socioeconomic thing about it is true, but kind of throws too much cover, because a person isn’t a white trash, you know? It’s a lot different to call a person white trash, than it is to say they are a piece of white trash, because the latter says they’re innately worthless — if you want to fight someone you would call them a piece of white trash. But just to call someone white trash, it’s not much, you won’t fight. Whereas it sounds like you don’t call a person “chav”, you don’t say they are of chav, you say they are a chav.

    Do I have that right?

    So I think the “subculture” thing is giving me a shiver, like that’s the worst of both worlds…you’re stupid and vulgar and you chose it…so the clothes aren’t vulgar in themselves after a while, just becoming “what a chav would wear”…

    I apologize for the stream of consciousness here, by the way. Not imputing any base motives to Gavin, I hope it goes without saying! — just struggling, as I said, with how to reconcile the connotations that apparently swirl around this term. “White trash” inevitably has a connotation of “country folk” — uncivilized, provincial. Calling someone white trash isn’t nearly the same as calling them a redneck, but in either case the underlying thought is usually that they’re not fit for city living. The person who works at the coffee shop and rents the basement apartment with the hot plate isn’t white trash, for example.

    I know this sounds really scattered, whoops.

    • Andrew Hickey says:

      The connotations are partly ‘white trash’ but also partly ‘ghetto’. In fact ‘ghetto’ is probably a closer comparison…

  8. It’s a lot different to call a person white trash, than it is to say they are a piece of white trash, because the latter says they’re innately worthless — if you want to fight someone you would call them a piece of white trash. But just to call someone white trash, it’s not much, you won’t fight. Whereas it sounds like you don’t call a person “chav”, you don’t say they are of chav, you say they are a chav.

    Interesting point. (Though you can actually say someone “is chav”, I think your point probably stands.) Speculating wildly, I wonder if the self-identifying chav is some kind of reaction against the New Labour notion that we should see poor folks as victims, awaiting a nice kind of middle class government to come along and give them ‘opportunities’. Part of the ‘chav’ identity is to be working class but npt poor, hence all the bling and conspicuous consumption. It’s like you’re defiantly rejecting the Blairite hand of ‘inclusion’, but a large part of that is insisting you’re doing okay regardless.

    The last subculture we had which was so class-conscious was skinhead, which had none of the conspicuous consumption aspect to it. It’s uniform was reappropriated workwear, braces and Doc Martins. The ‘blinging’ thing is closer to Mods, who went the opposite way to skins, and were more like social climbers.

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