Hoodies, Baseball Caps and Ganja, Oh My
May 16, 2005 1:01 PM   Subscribe

Hoodies, Baseball Caps and Ganja, Oh My Fresh from his accountability moment, Tony Blair is tackling some of the thorniest issues facing British society: criminalising "hoodies" and baseball caps while keeping marijuana decriminalised (despite a "get tough" pre-election stance). In the midst of a moral panic, Blair recently came out in support of moves to ban the wearing of hooded leisure tops in public, especially when coupled with the nefariously potent symbol of evil: the baseball cap. Meanwhile, the committe whose recommendation resulted in the Commons reclassification of cannabis in Britain to a Class C drug (a misdemeanour equivalent to possessing a prescription medication without a valid prescription) says it sees no reason to reverse its decision, even as Olympians are tarred and feathered. Meanwhile, sales of verboten hoodies can only increase, while cannabis becomes distinctly less cool.
posted by meehawl (43 comments total)

 
Ha!
posted by keswick at 1:33 PM on May 16, 2005


wow.
posted by delmoi at 1:34 PM on May 16, 2005


Wow, I almost didn't believe that combination at first.

Wait, isn't Britain cold and rainy? Could that be why young poor people flock to cheap ways to keep their head dry?
posted by lumpenprole at 1:38 PM on May 16, 2005


we have a "hoodies" tag now...that's good, I knew something was missing here at the old meta....
posted by HuronBob at 1:39 PM on May 16, 2005


I am all for banning baseball caps in one circustance: if you're over thirty and wear it "playfully askew" a la Scotty from the Little Rascals. That should be outlawed. First offense: caning. Second offense: Life without.
posted by jonmc at 1:40 PM on May 16, 2005


Blair basically wants to make it illegal to be a chav, then? Is he going to ban clown pendants and those rings with the coins in them next?
posted by Mayor Curley at 1:40 PM on May 16, 2005


Well, damn ... guess I better go prepare for my fall UK trip with a Neighborhoodie that says, "No, I'm not going to slap you."
posted by grabbingsand at 1:43 PM on May 16, 2005


Just when I'm thinking ol' Blighty is the place to be, they up and try to ban emo kids.
posted by aaronetc at 1:43 PM on May 16, 2005


I agree with the Scotty rule.

However, I'm thirty-five and go to work each day with my Flogging Molly hoodie. And in my bag: green BoSox hat. It's de riguer in Boston.
posted by jsavimbi at 1:44 PM on May 16, 2005


Meh, seems like similar american desires to latch on to sinking pants as a delivery vector for loose lips and child hood pregnancies. Are you really saying they should back off their marijuana decriminilization or that the inconsistencies between the two are mind boggeling? I really can't tell. If you do have beef with their changes to marijuana legislation i suggest you take a look at some statistics and try to convince me why decriminilzation is a bad thing.
posted by sourbrew at 1:49 PM on May 16, 2005


I want to know why now? Wee neds have been running around causing havoc for years. The hooded top has always been the necessary accoutrement for the aspiring car thief, bus stop melterer and allround ipod thiever.

We've been here before in the UK of course. What with Back to Basics (a John Major attempt at instilling Victorian values which saw loads of Tories shacking up with birds half their age whilst dishing out the moral porridge) and the campaign in Scotland against Ned Culture. Check out this NSFW site - although its only really not suitable if your boss can understand the patois of Irvine Welsh books
http://www.glasgowsurvival.co.uk/

As for it all its a moral froth that will soon be forgotten in a society that really isnt that bothered. A good advert for the Bluewater Shopping Centre though.
posted by ClanvidHorse at 1:49 PM on May 16, 2005


blair == Tory.
posted by delmoi at 1:54 PM on May 16, 2005


hah! brits are as crazy as uhmurkens!
posted by quonsar at 2:07 PM on May 16, 2005


I understand from the links that some criminals wear hooded sweatshirts but banning hoodies to stop crime is like banning umbrellas to stop rain.
posted by aubin at 2:14 PM on May 16, 2005


You know, a lot of these unruly youngsters wear "blue jeans" and "sneakers". I wonder if we should do something about that, too...
posted by Specklet at 2:20 PM on May 16, 2005


I love how, as pot becomes less illegal, it becomes less popular.
It really goes against the whole "if we legalize it everyone will become an addict!!!" party line.
posted by Kellydamnit at 2:25 PM on May 16, 2005


Compromise: slutty Texas cheerleaders agree to wear hoodies and caps and the young Brits agree to wear haltertops and strike a risque pose to the strains of "Toxic" before toking up.
posted by joe lisboa at 2:25 PM on May 16, 2005


You can have my hoodie when you pry it from my cold, dead hands.
posted by black8 at 2:30 PM on May 16, 2005


ya know... if we all just went naked there would be a lot less crime....

I'll start....
posted by HuronBob at 2:46 PM on May 16, 2005


the inconsistencies between the two are mind boggeling?

Yes. Some cultures ban hoodies, others ban alcohol, while others consider women in public in anything less than a burkha disgraceful. Yet all of them are convinced that theit "solution" is necessary to make their society better. Yet they all manage to "decriminalise" substances and behaviours that others find criminal or sinful.

People are weird.

i suggest you take a look at some statistics and try to convince me why decriminilzation is a bad thing.

I have no desire to convince you of anything in particular. I do, however, note that prior to the DEA re-scheduling taking effect in 1986 Ecstasy was a minor, low-rent drug, but that its popularity boomed following its prohibition. The ban both remade it as a "cool" drug and reshaped its economic incentives to enable a self-sustaining ecstasy marketplace to emerge. Decriminalising cannabis in Britain has reduced its rate of spread within naive youth cohorts to the lowest growth rate for a decade. So it goes.
posted by meehawl at 2:56 PM on May 16, 2005


Banning of hoodies and baseball caps could be seen as a part of a beautification program.

And jonmc, make that "over twelve," not "over thirty."
posted by QuietDesperation at 3:48 PM on May 16, 2005


On Bliar's absurd campaign against hoodies I can only appreciate and applaud the first two letters in yesterday's Guardian.

That man is such an insufferable ass, as well as being a war criminal.
posted by Decani at 4:32 PM on May 16, 2005


.....a war criminal huh?
posted by rulethirty at 4:51 PM on May 16, 2005


That's right, rulethirty. A war criminal. As in, someone who authorised participation in an illegal invasion and attempted to justify it with lies, distortions and cherry-picked data.
posted by Decani at 5:04 PM on May 16, 2005


A politician who lies? and he's opportunistic? and selective about what he tells us?

Stop the fucking presses!
posted by jonmc at 5:06 PM on May 16, 2005


Meehawl posted "criminalising 'hoodies'"

Mayor Curley writes " Blair basically wants to make it illegal to be a chav, then?"

I may be missing something, but which article says anything about criminalizing hoodies? What I can see is that a shopping centre banned them, and Blair said "Good job".
posted by Bugbread at 5:55 PM on May 16, 2005


shhh, bugbread, you'll spoil everyone's persecution/paranoia buzz.
posted by jonmc at 6:00 PM on May 16, 2005


joe lisboa writes " Compromise: slutty Texas cheerleaders agree to wear hoodies and caps and the young Brits agree to wear haltertops and strike a risque pose to the strains of 'Toxic' before toking up."

joe lisboa wins.
posted by BoringPostcards at 6:26 PM on May 16, 2005


Take away hoods and then all you will have left are harmless lums.
posted by srboisvert at 7:31 PM on May 16, 2005


Careful, those hoodie-wearing yobs might become SCALLIWAGS! I'd hate to be a dusibin in Shaftsbrie tonight!
posted by keswick at 7:45 PM on May 16, 2005 [1 favorite]


baseball caps? ... hoods? ... aren't we behind the times?

doo rags, guys, doo rags
posted by pyramid termite at 9:02 PM on May 16, 2005


A politician who lies? and he's opportunistic? and selective about what he tells us?

Stop the fucking presses!
posted by jonmc at 5:06 PM PST on May 16 [!]


If you don't make it undesireable to do, there's no reason to stop it.
That said, no legislator/politician will ever pass a law that imposes a death penalty for passing/introdusing bad law/policy due to corruption/lies.
posted by Balisong at 10:50 PM on May 16, 2005


make that .. Death penalty/$2 fine...
posted by Balisong at 10:53 PM on May 16, 2005


Never mind me invading iraq ! look at those hooded kids instead !
posted by sgt.serenity at 2:10 AM on May 17, 2005


No one knows what it's like,
To be a dustbin,
In Shaftesbury,
With hooligans...

cheers keswick baggins

;)
posted by longbaugh at 4:26 AM on May 17, 2005 [1 favorite]


Are you really saying they should back off their marijuana decriminilization or that the inconsistencies between the two are mind boggeling?

Well, from my American, libertarian perspective, it shows that a country that seems to be ahead of us in one respect (decriminalization of marijuana) can still be horribly, horribly backwards (criminalization of hooded shirts). Which is overwhelming the feeling I ALWAYS get when I look at Europe: they have so many things we can learn from balanced by so many things that horribly, insanely wrong and backwards.
posted by dagnyscott at 8:54 AM on May 17, 2005


overwhelmingly, that is. I keep messing up my word endings here.
posted by dagnyscott at 8:55 AM on May 17, 2005


dagnyscott writes "it shows that a country that seems to be ahead of us in one respect (decriminalization of marijuana) can still be horribly, horribly backwards (criminalization of hooded shirts)."

Well, yes, I suppose it can be horribly backwards, if it were to criminalize hooded shirts. Which it isn't doing. But if it were doing so, then, yes, it would be horribly backwards in that way. In the same way, it could be horribly backwards by reinstating slavery, or burning people at the stake for saying the world is a sphere. It isn't doing those either, but since we're talking pure hypotheticals, it could be so.
posted by Bugbread at 1:10 PM on May 17, 2005


What I can see is that a shopping centre banned them, and Blair said "Good job"

And what do you think is the effect of a nation's leader publicly endorsing profiling? If Bush had stood up after September 11th, 2001, and publicly supported the boneheaded and random beatings and discrimination against people in the US of Arab or Muslim appearance, how sensible would that have been?

Where do you draw the line? Blair and Prescott are effectively endorsing a public taboo on specific items of clothing. They are saying that community centres and malls be allowed to discriminate on the basis of appearance. That's a recipe for arbitrary racial profiling, class discrimination, and being detained for "walking while black/chav". What's next, ban any Britons with West Indian features or dress because of the Yardies? Ban anyone Irish because of the IRA?

And I think if that means that in situations like the Bluewater centre that they just simply say we are not going to do it, we are not going to have these people, I am afraid that is just the way it is, then I would back that up completely.

First they came for the hoodies
and I did not speak out
because I did not wear a hoodie.
Then they came for the baseball caps
and I did not speak out
because I did not wear baseball caps.
Then they came for the Prince Alberts
and I did not speak out
because I was not pierced.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left
to speak out for me.

posted by meehawl at 1:36 PM on May 17, 2005


To be honest I think you'll find virtually nobody in this country has any love for the little charvas that the ban would affect. It's a class thing. Middle class "mosher" kids in Slipknot hoodies don't commit vandalism - theirs is only a brief rebellion before settling down into their normal place in life. The charvas (a whole underclass unto themselves) will only ever be weevils on the delicious biscuit that is my nation.
posted by longbaugh at 11:51 PM on May 17, 2005


Meehawl: Out of curiosity, do store policies denying entrance to people without shoes or shirts annoy you as well?
posted by Bugbread at 12:07 AM on May 18, 2005


Middle class "mosher" kids in Slipknot hoodies don't commit vandalism

I see, so now you're setting up a caste system of differentially driscriminated hoodies. It's this kind of broken logic that leads to sumptuary laws.
posted by meehawl at 4:34 AM on May 18, 2005


I adore little charvas. I quite like the big ones too.
posted by TimothyMason at 5:10 AM on May 18, 2005


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