English Speaking Gentlemen

English Speaking Gentlemen
Arts & Culture

GQ article that analyzes the growth of this upwardly mobile group that wield enormous influence on our economy and culture. Guardian article looks at Chavs.

Guy Brighton
  • 6 september 2004

On both sides of the Atlantic a group of young males stand out with their sense of style and attitude: Jackasses and Chavs. In the US Jackasses take on a brashness that leans towards the the most vulgar extremities of the American dream, in the UK Chavs have a vulgar attitude to life that would have once been considered extremely unBritish to the rest of the world.

Every [American] city has them, maybe you’re friends with one of them, maybe you are one. Maybe we’re one. Some nights we definitely are. Jackasses…. chick-chasing, chest waxing, red bull and vodka guzzling, barbed-wire tattooed American males.” So reads this month’s US’ GQ article that reports on the growth of this upwardly mobile group that “wields enormous influence on our economy and culture.”

Found at Super Bowl parties, the hotel pools of South Beach or the loud brash bars and eateries of Little Chicago (New York) these men are conspicuous spenders who love their lifestyle and love their brands. They drink Ketel One, they wear Von Dutch, they drink Amstel Light(!), they watch the game together on their Sony Plasma-screens, they drink Cristal and they love to end the night watching ladies in Vegas dance around poles whilst their Jackass bros slap each other on the back.

Six flight hours away, a certain group of young men in the UK seem to have an attitude a million miles away. “You’ve probably seen a few in your high street. You may even know a couple. And have you looked at yourself recently?” read a Guardian newspaper article earlier this year. “‘Chavs’ are the non-respectable working classes: the dole-scroungers, petty criminals, football hooligans and teenage pram-pushers.

Found at the local pubs, provincial night clubs and the sun bleached vacation resorts of Crete and Spain; these men also love their brands and their aggressive outlook on life. Low waged, they base their style on soccer stars like David Beckham: they menacingly walk the streets in nylon sportswear and caps bearing the brands of the major sports brands. Adorning themselves in cheap ear-rings and necklaces they watch the games together on the big screen of the local pubs as their pregnant girlfriends sit and wait outside the pubs, smoking or fighting. They drink cans of Stella, they wear Adidas track bottoms, they don Burberry caps (but not for long), they smoke Benson & Hedges and, as recently reported in the New York Times, they love to end the night by slapping each other around in an alcohol fueled mayhem in every town center across the UK.
Guardian Article
Technorati Jackass Search
New York Times Article

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