I don't want to be a brick in a wall. All bricks look the same and they are cemented into place, kept in rigid order. And walls divide. And life is like banging your head...


Chav is a word that has become common amongst teenagers and the popular press. It is a word used to describe a particular group of people. The chav has become a figure of fun in comedy shows like Little Britain and Catherine Tate. But what exactly is a chav and why are they here?

In this age of globalization, mass markets and exploitative factory labour, the fashions that today's youth can choose from are virtually limitless and all are affordable. Tesco, Primark and George all do a range of fashionable clothing, but whilst the classic chav may look cheap, in actual fact they have cashed in their giro cheques at high street cash converters, gone for months without topping up their mobiles (Motorola Rzr) and pawned their Karaoke machines in order to afford the labelled clothes that mark out the serious chav. (Unless they have a TKMaxx close by of course. Even if it's not close by, they can catch the bus, or get one of their mates to run them down town in a supercharged Escort slung inches off the ground on low profile tyres, with a blue neon underbelly and an exhaust the size of a canon.)

The Chav wears Burbery. The Chav wears Ben Sherman. Nike, Addidas, Rockport, Timberland. You won't find George on a chav. You'll find George on a wannabe chav, but they're another story.

And there's bling. Proper bling. No Ratners crap here. Proper gold sovereign rings and ropes around they're necks, on the outside of their designer label hoodies, innit.

It's all expensive. The clothes, the cars - well the cars aren't expensive. They pick them up second hand for next to nothing but then they spend a few grand on a spray job, decals and tinted windows. And Lexus rear light units. And those petrol filler alloy things that remind them of F1 cars. And sub woofers that double up as back seats.

But they still look cheap and nasty. Nasty and dangerous. They adopt the body language of rappers and gangstars from the states. They call the police "Feds" and every question tag is reduced to "innit." "That was funny, innit." "We're going out tonight, innit?" "You've got to be in it to win it, innit?"

In this global, postmodern economy we all have the resources, at least in the Western world, to create our own image, our own identity. I imagine the Chav browsing through the worldwide catalogue of looks available, thumbing through the alphabet of cultural uniforms and, under 'W', pointing at a model under the banner, 'Wanker' and saying, "I want that one, innit?"

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