Wednesday, 28 February 2007

The Gang Brand

Apparently there has been some talk about banning gang patches.

I have no coherent political opinion on this, because I cannot be bothered formulating one. I'm currently worrying about a chipped tooth and that's taking up all of my spare IQ points for today. M'kay? It's not my fault, dentists are expensive, and I might just need one if I don't want to end up looking like a gap-toothed gang 'ho.

However, despite my refusal to err on the side of vaguely intelligent I oppose any proposed ban.

Quite frankly, I like being able to see who is who in the filthy underclass world. When I'm sitting in public and I see a wave of Mongrel Mob patches wander past I know who to stare at. When I roll on up to the Highbury Shops and see Black Power patches sitting at a table outside I know that it may not be the best time to use that ATM.
When I see a dude with swastikas as personal adornment I know he's going to have a bitch of a time the next time he lands himself in Kaitoke Prison.

Quite frankly, in our capitalist society product branding is what we do.
Gang patches are branding. Kinda of like the Nestle logo, only less evil. Or the Act Party colours, also less evil.

And I'd personally much rather be able to openly identify gang affiliations. They wear their silly patches, then we know who they are, easier identification. And they choose that. So let them. If they want to run around advertising that they're criminals then shouldn't that make things a little easier for law enforcement? See gang patch, rock on up and check their car, check identity for outstanding warrants, etc. It's win win. They get their little 'woohoo, look at me the big tough gang member' kick, the rest of us get to see who we're dealing with.

Another thing that worries me about the mere idea of banning gang patches is tattoos.
Have you seen some of those ugly fuckers?
Now, what if they decided that they might just listen to the ban. Bahahahaha. Because they pay a whole lot of mind to our societies other laws right?
But let's just go out on a limb here and assume they don't just tell ya'll to get fucked and wear their traditional patches anyway. And then lets consider gang tattoos. Because the patch is worn as a sign of pride, the 'I'm a fucking staunch cunt' kind of pride. And I suspect they might want to hold onto that, after all it's their shtick. So what's another option? Gang patches tattooed on backs, and bunches of filthy yucky men wandering around topless. Now that folks, is scary!!

On the other hand, I possess vague memories of pubs like The Albert having little signs informing customers that no patches were to be worn in their pub, along with other questionable items of clothing. It seemed to work. I never once did see an obvious patched gang member there.
But that doesn't mean they weren't there. And it doesn't mean that they couldn't cause trouble. It would have just been harder to identify the grubby bastards.

So why not let them have their freedom of expression, and violate them in other manners, like constant police harassment?

As for the public, we've really got to collectively stop being intimidated by gangs. We outnumber them. That's something I really wish more people would consider. If the people of Wangas really don't like them hanging around how about a community project of marginalizing the gangs via collective action. I always wonder why this never seems to occur to community groups.

The only thing I really wish for is better patches. You know, design wise. I don't think whoever came up with them was very talented, and think it's about time the gangs upgraded their branding. Kind of like companies do when their old logos get a bit dated and tragic.


Mrs Smith said...

Great post. Perhaps they could get Vivienne Westwood to come up with a fetching new logo? Something snazzy in tartan.

Ms Klake said...

Oh Yes, Vivienne Westwood! I'm sure she could take their filthy homeless hobo look and turn it into homeless hobo haute couture.

I really do think the NZ gangs need a bit of a makeover. If they have to do their thing they should do it better. It's an endless disappointment to me that NZ does not have stylish and intelligent organized crime gangs.

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