Now, I am not a Sun reader but every now and then I have a look at other news outlets – just to see what’s up;
Me thinks though, a Big pinch of salt with the EU chiefs vagary’s here.....
THE iconic Vespa scooter has been axed after EU chiefs ruled it was not eco-friendly.
The company will stop production of the PX model - a cult bike for Mods - as the two-stroke engine does not fall within emissions guidelines.
The bike features a handlebar gear change, but only versions featuring a fully automatic gearbox will be allowed.
The 125cc model became an icon in the 1979 film Quadrophenia - with Phil Daniels' and Sting's Sixties characters riding them.
News of the closure came as hundreds of Mods showed off their scooters at the famous bank holiday weekender in Brighton, East Sussex.
Scootering magazine editor Andy Gillard said: "It's a shame because the Vespa PX is a design classic. My generation has grown up with it."
Vespa sell 15,000 PX bikes a year.
They are launching a 300cc model and a sports scooter.
OK, bearing the above in mind .........
So, spring is finally here and hopefully bees and things will start busying around in earnest. There has though, been another kind of buzz in the air recently, that of scooters and vespa types;
Swathes of them going up and down the boulevards. I always fancied myself riding one, not particularly for the style, although they are pretty neat, but just to whizz about the city. Vespa that is as opposed to getting moped burns on my legs from the engine – it happens - a friend has recently returned from Greece with just such a holiday affliction.
Anyway, these swarms of scooters seem to have taken over the Need-For-Speed boy racers of late, or maybe it’s just a different group of lads, either way they are well into it, competing for road/cycle space along with another group, the hi-viz jackets of roller blader’s anyone?.
So I did a double take while walking down past a canal-side bar on seeing something like this;
I had to go right up close to check the detail, and to see if there were any clues as to allegiances, I couldn’t see anything suggesting a group, only the ubiquitous union jack. ‘Cos the original riders of this type of bike apparently caused a riot or two when they were part of the Mods and Rockers thing. Not exactly best buddies.
Vespas UK style
I always thought the attention to detail of clothes etc., being very clique and precise. Like Teddy Boys before them, and later Skin Heads with their Sta-Prest, Dm’s and Ben Sherman’s, always neat and obviously a group.
Skinheads with their boots 'n' braces
photo from Tiaras and Trash fashion tribute to Doc Marten's birthday this year
I clocked the cafe terrace to see if I could find the riders. I was looking for a new-ish twist to the moped lads who’d been whizzing up and down through town. I didn’t have to look far – three blokes in their 50’s – 60’s with metallic helmets and fish-tail parkas sat comparing notes. Should have guessed really, it was never going to be a new thing.
Right about then a group of people around the same age passed the bikes which were immediately recognised, one even saying the name “Vespa” with reverence. Apparently Lambrettas were the aspirational posh version.
I thought no more about it, until seeing the England World Cup Bid gaffe (probably not a strong enough a word) over the now ex FIFA Triesman’s comments. Whichever way you look at it, someone in his position should have been extremely careful in saying anything which was potentially repeatable and allegatory. The Mail on Sunday, and let’s face it a lot of reporting is seemingly very underhand, whether or not using the convenient premise of free-speech. Agendas speak loudly.
Teenage identity has been scrutinised over and over again especially since the '50’s. And football identity no less.
But that youth phenomena also fitted into an as-was-then teenage *working class* expression.
For example the Beat(nik) generation of around the same time, were more literary and however their style and identity evolved it was formed on the basis of philosophical musings by people like Kerouac. A similar group mentality perhaps, evolving into hippiedom and beyond with riotous spinoffs, like the '60’s riots in Paris, but this was directed against the establishment.
Most of the confrontational youth groups have moved on from, say, the more obvious preening of the Teds, Mods, Rockers, and Skinhead styles. Some of those decisions were because the stakes of casual fighting in the street over who you were or represented were being cracked down on by long jail sentences rather than fines. The football and fashion and music scenes sort of morphed into designer label casual with brands like Lacoste, Stone Island, Fred Perry, Fruit of The Loom; laddish along with bands like The Style Council, New Order, through Happy Mondays, Stone Roses and Oasis, Blur and indie rock. The designer obsession was also fuelled by the fact the labels had not been marketed at these football going lads, with the price tags being potentially out of reach. Skin Heads also adopted a similar stance with the Crombie coat.
Recently the labels have become less big name brands (as some were adopting a specific label as symbolic of a uniform and with that wider issues of identity and fascism), so moves to more newer labels like YMC, APC and Nudie Jeans were made.
Football Terrace with the 'croc' jacket
photos from the very illuminating stories of football and fashion from label 80's Casuals
Team-sides and separate groups now defined by style-label, money, football colours and district allegiances.
Turf wars and gang allegiances are another side to this.
Whichever way you look at it teens like to identify, teen-blokes have a lot of stuff called testosterone and energy and somewhere amid this is surely a need to find your teen-adult niche or group. A necessary transition, a fun transition, and yes there will always be some who will find an excuse to knock seven bells out of each other.
So, what time is it? A recession, a disenfranchised youth, and hacks and Lords/MP’s doing what they do best.
So on that basis;
Nil point for you Mr Triesman for being irresponsible and knowing better.
Nil point for you Mail on Sunday for being irresponsible, agenda or no agenda.
Nil point for you The Sun for being irresponsible in a different way, agenda or no agenda.
Infighting verbally at this level has definitely got a divide-and-rule feel about it if not a mobish-ness with a silver spoon tit-for-tat-sport all of it’s own.
Us and Them scenarios that are played out in *patriotic* sport rhetoric which is also evident in world politics is paying a price, in perpetuating standoff mentality.
Rather than recognising difference and effort in achieving.
Um......in my book it’s called setting an example?
‘bout time too?.
Youth, Music, Culture, Football and Fashion:
Mark Leckey - Turner Prize winner ;
1999 video, 14 minutes (apparently LUX.ORG do have his work but not this one)
Fiorucci Made Me Hard Core
New post riding by on Sunday........