Joel's astute observation of postcode politics reminded me of a comedy gig I went to recently. Actually, it was at the Latitude Festival, a bastian, if ever there was one, of pleasant middle-class festivals. Not a drop of litter, aside from the odd stray copy of The Guardian, of course. Anyway, it was in the literary tent (you see, what other festival has those?), and some gently satirical anecdotes were drolly being wheeled out by some excellent comics, as us polite and well-informed audience members (drones) clapped & laughed in all the right places. Suddenly, apropos of absolutely nothing, a black man wandered in and stood right in front of the stage, shouting "SW19... SW19". His baseball cap was, naturally, on his head backwards. After a full minute or so of people thinking this was funny/strange/part of the act, someone behind me heckled this already bizarre heckler with "That's Streatham, isn't it?". And how we laughed, for yes, it was Streatham. So the audience proceeded, independently of each other, to shout out our own postcodes. It strikes me as interesting now, as this Brixton shootings gig approaches, that something so arbitrary as a postcode can be worn like a badge of honour.

Incidentally, for those of you who don't know who in blazes I am and what the hell I'm doing commenting on your blog, my name's Gavin and I'll be singing some songs. I wrote the first one yesterday actually, after I spent a long long time on the worldwidewonderweb. I live in Crystal Palace, which is a short bus ride/15 minute walk to Brixton. However, I started thinking about how much I actually know about black gang culture, considering I live close to one of its hubs. Not much, is the simple answer. Now, this McDonalds thing looks like something which was nothing to do with gangs or drugs or even being black, but from what I can gather seems more to do with CCTV footage of two dubious looking 17yr olds "popping in and out" of the 'restuarant', coupled with one man who took offence to something they may have said. Something I read in one of the articles online struck me as quite prudent to this debate "In the USA they work out how many jails to build in an area, by looking at the literacy rates of 9yr olds in that locality". So much of this black gang culture seems tied in to education, as young Afro-Caribbean black men in the UK are more likely to be excluded from school and get poorer grades, so is it any wonder they feel disenfranchised? The key part of the article (which sadly I cannot find anymore) read "How do you tell someone that instead of potentially earning thousands of pounds a week selling drugs, they should work as a £5per hour shelf-stacking gopher?"

For some reason, all of this has led me to writing a song about me acting as some sort of white middle-class saviour to these outsiders. The song I wrote last night is basically a gangsta anthem for my acoustic-folkie 'crew'. I think it works, but I should imagine you will be the judges. Curses! Now, like the rest of you fine artists no doubt, I have to make all my disparate thoughts come together into something vaguely resembling cohesion.

Best of luck to you, and thanks for letting me into your little 'gang' of bloggers. Now I know how 'webcameron' feels...


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