Join 3,503 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Slappers
February 2, 2005 2:05 AM   Subscribe

Young UK slappers. Then it gets out of hand. So Clockwork orange got it wrong, violent images wouldn't ruin it for you , you can relive the moment again and again...
posted by dprs75 (54 comments total)

 
"These people who think it is all a bit of a jape could end up in jail.”

he said jape.
posted by three blind mice at 2:17 AM on February 2, 2005


If someone slapped me and took a picture, it better be flash... how else could you get a clear shot of them running?
posted by Dean Keaton at 2:28 AM on February 2, 2005


Such dramatic rhetoric:

“Head teachers in the borough have taken swift and effective action to deal with the problem.”

*sigh* At least nobody is saying that mobile phones are causing the problem...
posted by sninky-chan at 2:38 AM on February 2, 2005


Mobile phones are causing the...

[Preview] Oh, crap. OK.

SUVs are causing the problem. The pollutants are hurting their brains.
posted by pracowity at 3:07 AM on February 2, 2005


We're British. We don't do SUVs.

*slap*
posted by nthdegx at 3:20 AM on February 2, 2005


But my real answer is...

Wasn't David Morley the gay man who was killed by a gang of teenagers? Other than in a broader sense (people with adult bodies and juvenile brains, when left to run in unsupervised gangs, can quickly transform into complete thugs), does it really have anything to do with this stupid slapping fad?

Or maybe it does. Kids aren't supervised enough? Parents have no idea that Johnny's hanging out on the Thames embankment cracking the heads of gay men out for a stroll? But that's not news.

But there are the phones to encourage them...

I still blame the phones.
posted by pracowity at 3:39 AM on February 2, 2005


Perhaps I'm looking in the wrong place but I can't seem to find any Happy Slapper images on Google. How am I supposed to relive the moment again and again...I want photos! slaps dprs75
posted by Tarrama at 3:52 AM on February 2, 2005


As if kids on the Tube / bus weren't irritating enough, now they are slapping random people? I am always on edge when sharing space with gangs of teens and tweenies on London public transport, and I've told a few off for having obscenely loud phone conversations or (god forbid) trying out all their fucking despicable ringtones.

If this "happy slapping" fad continues, it will only be a matter of time before someone is seriously hurt. You know that many of the people on public transport here are on the breaking point already (watch those temple veins throbbing), so it's inevitable that at least one person's camel's back is going to be snapped in half by the rather chunky straw of some chavvy little twat walking up out of the blue and slapping their face whilst their cackling, acne-spotted little fuckwit friends stick their mobiles in the poor sod's face. One day those mobiles will record that face turning to apoplectic rage and hands reaching for the closest available neck to wring.

That being said, I was an insufferable shit at that age too. I just didn't have a cell phone.

So, in short, yes, I blame the phones.
posted by LondonYank at 4:03 AM on February 2, 2005


We've been here before. In the early 90's, there was a similar problem with kids slapping people's faces. This behaviour was a copycat of an advert for Tango (a soft drink) which featured a bald, orange man running up to people and slapping them in the face as they drank Tango. The ad had to be pulled after some kids suffered perforated eardrums.
posted by bap98189 at 4:10 AM on February 2, 2005


I just can't imagine this being widely spread. The kids would get thumped back too often and probably much harder.
posted by Tarrama at 4:16 AM on February 2, 2005


Teenagers are a pain in the arse.
Film at 11.

Bury them at 13 & dig 'em up when they're 25.

Tarrama: I get the feeling that they'd pick a weak target and they'd be in a group for protection. There's also the element of surprise & a quick getaway.

LondonYank: Stress-cases like you deserve to be in a constant state of irritation ;-)
posted by i_cola at 4:27 AM on February 2, 2005


Hehe, i_cola, I have reduced my stress tenfold by cutting down on my commute, and you're right, I let it get to me a bit too much, but I doubt you'll find too many people in England who would say they enjoy sharing public transport with teenagers. I guess that's a universal truth, though.
posted by LondonYank at 4:43 AM on February 2, 2005


No way this could escalate into more violent attacks...it's just kids having fun!

Slap Me !
posted by lobstah at 4:57 AM on February 2, 2005


[old] you've been tango'd [/old]
posted by bonaldi at 5:02 AM on February 2, 2005


I was best friends with the guy who came up with the tango ad at school - very strange coincidence.

Tarrama : harder harder.
posted by dprs75 at 5:33 AM on February 2, 2005


Bury them at 13 & dig 'em up when they're 25.

I put the bar a little differently: In my area, the order was "Elementary School - Junior High School - High School". My proposal was "Elementary School - Jail - High School".
posted by Bugbread at 5:39 AM on February 2, 2005


There is some interesting discussion of happy slapping on various discussion lists: here, here, here, here, and everywhere.
The videos r Bluetoothed from one member to another and its amazing how quick they make there way round the country... If u havent seen the girl smoking at the bus stop one try an find it coz its THE funniest one we hav done.
posted by pracowity at 5:40 AM on February 2, 2005


Next thing you know, idle young men will be pinching policemen's helmets.
posted by Wolfdog at 5:53 AM on February 2, 2005


chavvy little twat

Now why can't we Americans have insults that come off like that - a nice balance of derision and quietly detached disdain? The best we can generally come up with is something along the lines of "Fuck you, you fucking fuck!"

(Sure, we occasionally get better ones, but if we don't drop an F-bomb it doesn't seem to be worth the effort.)

Also, this is one more reason I like the camera on my phone. It's removable. It lives in a drawer in my office and hasn't been touched in about a year. I bought a Canon to take photos with; I bought the phone so I could take calls.

I predict the first kid to try "happy slapping" in the states is going to find out why the intended victim bought the .45 automatic.
posted by caution live frogs at 6:10 AM on February 2, 2005


Well if anyone's still in any doubt what 'Happy Slapping is, this board had the following explanation:

"dnt get rude... well happy slaps is summit dey do do dwn ere where i live where dese gang of bois come up 2 u or any1 start chattin 2 u and den slap u really hard sometimes dey film it der fones or da whole gang of dem start slappin u... 4 no reason "

So now we know....
posted by andyHollister at 6:17 AM on February 2, 2005


me propa not buzzin, man.

Anyone else think there's lots of talk about this but not a great deal of video evidence? Given that the whole point seems to be to create videos, I'm somewhat surprised that there aren't that many online.
posted by handee at 6:34 AM on February 2, 2005


I suspect that the videos are spread phone to phone, friend to friend, by people who don't use PCs much. Maybe.
posted by pracowity at 6:40 AM on February 2, 2005


A friend sent me some videos, I could send them along. Email me.
posted by gsb at 7:06 AM on February 2, 2005


I think that a few handguns would solve this problem nicely.
posted by trharlan at 7:11 AM on February 2, 2005


Yes, I'd much prefer to be shot by a random stranger than slapped by one.
posted by ninebelow at 7:13 AM on February 2, 2005


"I think that a few handguns would solve this problem nicely."

That is so Bernard Goetz...
posted by cows of industry at 7:19 AM on February 2, 2005


Can we turn the tables on this and just get a bunch of adults on their lunch hours or after work to go out gang-handed and slap the shit out of some teenagers? It's a good idea they have, it's just being misapplied.

I'd pay for a premium cable channel of nothing but potato chip smelling, puffy-jacket wearing, slack mouthed, greasy teenagers getting smacked (the good ones that leave the white hand imprint) right in the middle of one of their adenoidal solipsistic pronouncements. "No body understa..." SMACK!

Being on the subway around 3pm is a nightmare in New York City, the only real way to manage it is just to close ones eyes and lay about on all sides with a bullwhip until the attention seeking yelling and rustling of Doritos bags stops.

Anarchic random violence is wasted on the young.
posted by Divine_Wino at 7:26 AM on February 2, 2005


Bury them at 13 & dig 'em up when they're 25.
I'm really amazed at the ignorance and rudeness of that comment. Sure, teenagers can be trying, but to completely write people off for 12 entire years? We were all teenagers once. It certainly doesn't help them become more bearable when they are barraged by adults writing them off solely because of their age.

"All seniors should be killed off, they have outlived thier usefulness" Does that sound okay? I don't think so. I encourage you to rethink your comment.

A thought: you don't know the age of everybody you interact with here on this board. It's my understanding that there are more than a few posters here in their 20-somethings. I imagine you were trying to be glib, i_cola, but that was lame.
posted by raedyn at 7:40 AM on February 2, 2005


I'm in no way suggesting that teenage trouble is something new, but it's not just some jokey gang of pimple faced teens having a harmless laugh.

As someone who travels everyday on London public transport, and who last year fuond himself unwittingly in the middle of a knife fight between about thirty kids from the two schools near my house, I'm all too aware that there are some pretty nasty teens out there, and if it's them doing the slapping (and that's what I always assumed, not having been witness to it yet), then London yank is right when he says that there's every chance of the situation escalating.
posted by ciderwoman at 7:43 AM on February 2, 2005


raedyn
to steal a phrase from my adolescence, you are buggin'. Was a joke, no?
posted by Divine_Wino at 8:02 AM on February 2, 2005


I say bash those with the phones!
posted by phirleh at 8:07 AM on February 2, 2005


chavvy little twat

Now why can't we Americans have insults that come off like that - a nice balance of derision and quietly detached disdain? The best we can generally come up with is something along the lines of "Fuck you, you fucking fuck!"


caution live frogs, I am American, I just work here :)

I have reached the point (5 years in) where English slang has fully wormed its way into my vocabulary, yet I am still clearly identifiable as a Yank, thus inhabiting a inter-cultural no man's land where I am going to stick out like a sore thumb whether I live here or back in the States. Haven't got the accent, though, and I am suspicious of people that try to affect it (hello, Madonna?)
posted by LondonYank at 8:11 AM on February 2, 2005


Madonna has an accent? A link to audio... please.
posted by gsb at 8:14 AM on February 2, 2005


Bury them at 13 & dig 'em up when they're 25
I'm sorta with you on this one except I keep bumping into wonderful exceptions to the rule.
Like the 2 teenage lesbians I met who pogoed with this old sod on a friday for most of the night.
Like the young black man who was working on christmas eve to pay for some trainers for his girlfriend who was so charming on the train home.
Like the 2 young white men who scaled a fence to get the football back for some children - who I looked at really badly initially.
Although the gang of kids with the hoods up smoking weed on the street corner and shouting is a bit scary.
posted by dprs75 at 8:14 AM on February 2, 2005


This is why I own an ASP baton...
posted by longbaugh at 8:14 AM on February 2, 2005


I don't understand. Don't these teenagers have parents?
posted by kindall at 8:31 AM on February 2, 2005


Madonna has an accent? A link to audio... please.

Well I couldn't find audio of it but a simple Google search will point to any number of discussions on the issue.

I remember it from a few years ago: when Madders first moved to London and all of a sudden she was down the pub (the Dog & Duck in Soho) all the time letting the paparazzi take pictures of her sucking back pints of bitter and wearing a flat cap... it was hard to take for a while. The posy English accent just put the last nail in the coffin of her street cred, such as it was.
posted by LondonYank at 8:53 AM on February 2, 2005


Force those teenagers to wear thick glasses and play dungeons and dragons. That kept me out of trouble (and out of touch with the opposite sex for many, many years). "I rolled a 4!" "Congratulations! You slapped the troll!" That sort of stuff.
posted by Panfilo at 8:56 AM on February 2, 2005


I'm amazed I haven't heard about this til now, considering that I spend (what feels like) half my life on London public transport.

If some little shit tried this crap on me, they'd just get a broken jaw for their troubles. Seriously. I was a little bastard when I was a kid, and had my fair share of run-ins, but at no point did I go pouncing on passers-by.

Bastards.
posted by influx at 9:12 AM on February 2, 2005


Great oportunity to foment a gang war!

1. Simply 'happy slap' a relative or friend of one gang leader, with excessive force.
2. Shout the name of rival gang you wish to destablise during attack.
3. Send film out using anonymous phone.
4. Stand back and avoid the carnage.

Result - power vacuum allowing entry of your gang into lucrative dealing, standing around by the off-license and robbery markets.

Kind of like some countrys' covert operations. Aledgedly.
posted by asok at 9:20 AM on February 2, 2005


If someone happy slaps me, they are only (indirectly) punching themselves in the face.
posted by recursive at 10:37 AM on February 2, 2005


Happy Slapping means something very different from my own childhood.

A series of victimless crimes, so to speak.
posted by bardic at 10:41 AM on February 2, 2005


It's easy to talk as if you'd punch the offender's lights out, but there probably will be several of them, perhaps each as big and strong as you are, and maybe more practiced at making people eat their own teeth. It isn't as if they are slapping because that's all they know how to do.

Besides, if you are big enough to threaten them, you aren't the one they're going to attack. They find easy targets and catch them off guard. If that's you, by the time you've picked yourself up and wondered what the hell happened, they will have run off to send video of your stunned mug to their friends.
posted by pracowity at 10:57 AM on February 2, 2005


For those wondering what the slappers might look like, here's a site full of them. Remember, the first life you save may be your own.
posted by haqspan at 11:12 AM on February 2, 2005


Divine_Wino wins.

Like the 2 teenage lesbians I met who pogoed with this old sod on a friday for most of the night.

Is that a euphemism, or were you actually bouncing around on a pogo stick in the dark for endless hours?
posted by five fresh fish at 12:17 PM on February 2, 2005


At least she drinks good beer LondonYank.

And I agree, English has a fine range of bad language, and far too many chavs.

Has there ever been a London MeFi meet?
posted by hardcode at 12:34 PM on February 2, 2005


We were all teenagers once.

We were not all bullies once. I'd go so far to suggest that most folks here were the victims rather than the aggressors. It's tough because we're stuck between sympathizing the stupid schools for deciding the phones are the problem and really wanting someone to take the fucking bullies away.

Teachers have never figured out how to stop bullying. On any level. Which is too bad. They can, however, implement an arbitrary rule, the original impetus for which will soon be forgotten, and which will be the bane of completely innocent kids.
posted by rustcellar at 12:36 PM on February 2, 2005


Yah, I gotta say that as a teenager I was never 1/1000th the fuckwitted asshole that the slapmeisters are.


Teenager != rotten little shit.
posted by five fresh fish at 1:12 PM on February 2, 2005


To quote from one of the above boards:

"yh but da truth is dat if ur normal... u av somfing rong like ur ugly or summit... or if ur really goodlookin u av a really bad personality... its true dnt u fink?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????"

Feeling better now thanks.
posted by marvin at 9:38 PM on February 2, 2005


Like the 2 teenage lesbians I met who pogoed with this old sod on a friday for most of the night.

fff: Is that a euphemism, or were you actually bouncing around on a pogo stick in the dark for endless hours?

Pogoing is the old sorta punk dance where you try to bounce as high as you can occasionally using neighbours to get higher - no pogo stick involved. Sometimes some friendly wrestling thrown in.
posted by dprs75 at 2:43 AM on February 3, 2005


the rather chunky straw of some chavvy little twat walking up out of the blue and slapping their face whilst their cackling, acne-spotted little fuckwit friends stick their mobiles in the poor sod's face.

Dear LondonYank: Mayor Ken owes you the freedom of London for that. Thank you. I hope you get to see a Burburry-checked cameraphone rammed right up some shitehawk chavster's rancid arse.
posted by riviera at 3:29 AM on February 3, 2005


Thanks riviera, I am brimming up here really.

I posted about this on a London site I contribute to (in order not to offend the self-linking gods let's just say it ends with "ist") and one of the commenters left this rather fun link, which is a Flash interpretation of the London Underground rant song which made the rounds a couple weeks ago. Should give you some idea of why Londoners complain so much about public transport.

[This could not be any more NSFW if it tried, but it's worth a look]

http://www.backingblair.co.uk/london_underground/
posted by LondonYank at 6:22 AM on February 3, 2005


I really do wish people would stop using the word chav. For one, it's become practically synonymous with 'poor person' while retaining it's disdainful, hateful connotations, and it's driving all the wonderful regional descriptors for the youthful proleteriat underground - bam, ned, spide, scally, etc. - all of which contain an element of fondness, not just outright hatred for the bus-stop haunting truant underclass.

Still, I don't suppose I'll have time to think that if someone slaps me and videos it. I'll be too busy running away, terrified.
posted by jack_mo at 10:43 AM on February 3, 2005


So Clockwork orange got it wrong, violent images wouldn't ruin it for you , you can relive the moment again and again...

Correct me I'm wrong, but in Clockwork Orange, it isn't the violent images that ruin it for you, it's the pavlovian association with the drugs that Alex is fed while watching violent videos to make him feel ill...
posted by Bugbread at 3:54 AM on February 4, 2005


« Older Electric Sheep: Collaborative Fractal Generation...  |  We Were All On That Train... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments