Cheer Up, (Neon) Goth

Unable to deal with the claustrophobic politics of countryside living for more than four days at a time (See blog post entitled The Claustrophobic Politics of Countryside Living, coming soon), I fled back to Cardiff last weekend with the view to heading to Bristol to see the much acclaimed Banksy exhibition.

Unfortunately, the queues were so long and the weather so bakingly hot that we decided to give it a miss. It’s alright though, because what mine wretched eyes encountered not long before this was no doubt just as memorable. Outside Cardiff Central, dozens – nay, scores – of teenage lads had gathered, all wearing the most stomach churning rainbow of neon and fluoro. Initially I thought they might be part of a travelling theatre group, or possibly French exchange kids (you know how they are), but no.

And they all just lounged around apathetically, looking – in a ridiculous contrast to their super-cheerful attire – mopey and sullen. Which, of course, isn’t unusual for groups of disaffected youths, but they were just so shockingly bright. And they were wearing diamond earrings and had what looked like fake tans. These thirteen year old boys had fake tans.

Then I noticed one of them had a stereo; I suppose akin to what the older generations might have called a ‘boombox’. Certainly in keeping with the retro fluoro theme they had going on, I thought, until they turned it on and what trickled out of the speakers at such a pathetically low volume was not angry metal or sweary rap, but a happy hardcore remix of The Smurfs theme tune.

And they all just stood there, in their eye wateringly bright hoodies, with their fake tans and huge diamond earrings glinting in the sunshine, listening to The Smurfs and sighing occasionally as they stared at the floor, looking despairingly lost.

Internet culture, methinks, has a lot to answer for.

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