Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Leave yer attitude at the door

Man, I hate Bluewater shopping centre. But anyway. Hooded tops, baseball caps and swearing have been banned there in a police-backed decision. Apparently the 400, constantly-monitored CCTV cameras and the "dedicated on-site team" of Police have actually done.. not a lot. So now they're drawing up a "code of conduct" (i.e. their own law) to stop people from being antisocial (including smoking, leafleting or canvassing).

This is our nation's future, right here. When we've fallen apart so much we don't know how to treat each other, the only solution left is more and more stringent rules to keep out the people we've already kept out for ages. Hardware and force are our new-age replacements for commitment to society, and arrogant selfishness embeds itself firmly as the mantra of the masses.


Scribe said...

From the BBC Feedback topic, "Bob" from Pittsburgh, USA comments well:

"I see a society in very deep trouble if they must ban caps and hoods to feel safe."

(Of course, if the hoodie-wearing hoodlums were smarter, they'd start wearing suits to try and get businessmen banned... ;)

Charlie Williams said...

It's a bit weird this one - the idea presumably is to stop people walking into the shopping centre with their face covered up (and let's face it - a scarf and a hoodie can achieve this pretty well).

But if that's the case they've shot themselves in the foot because hoodies are not the only way to achieve this.

I own a hat - it's a good hat - a fedora. It has a nice wide brim and I quite like it, particularly because it keeps the weather off. However I have noticed that it makes me anonymous to most CCTV systems. CCTV cameras are generally fixed high in the ceiling to get a good view and to prevent vandalism - but anyone wearing a wide brimmed hat has their face totally covered from the system.

In defense of hoodies, they are one of the most sensible fashions I have seen in recent years, being both warm and comfortable. So it's hardly surprising that they are so popular.

By focusing on a particular item of clothing Bluewater are adopting a seige mentality from a particular sub-group of youth (specifically the warm young people). It's no longer about individuals - it's about the perceived break down in trust between different fragments of society.

The irony lies in the fact that these sub-groups are considered among the most profitable to most marketeers and sales people.