The social unrest in London has set off an unexpected chain reaction throughout Britain’s trans-Atlantic neighboring country. American hipsters, mostly via social networking sites such as Facebook, have been using the London riots as a timely vehicle for showing off their familiarity with obscure bands, songs, and lyrics.
“I’ve been waiting a long time for something like this,” says Randy Shoegazer, 23, of Oakland, California. “An opportunity like this doesn’t present itself every day, so I’ve been making the most of it. I started off with the obvious ‘London’s Burning’ allusion, but that became way too trendy way too fast. So I mixed things up a bit when I referred to London Police as ‘Werewolves of London.’ I really wanted to show my musical credibility wasn’t merely limited to 1977 British punk.” Shoegazer punctuated his last statement by removing his horn-rimmed glasses (he claims they’re prescription) and wiping the lenses clean on his V-neck shirt.
While Shoegazer’s allusions endeared him to many of his Facebook friends, not everybody was left impressed. Buster Voodoo (who offered to show this journalist his cannabis card to verify that this was, indeed, his real name), 26, of Berkeley, criticized the London riots for lending themselves too easily to scenester similes.
“I mean, how hard is it to search Google for songs with “London” in the title and then casually drop one to your fix-gear friends? There’s an entire Wikipedia page dedicated to the topic, for Christ’s sake. I know–I looked.”
Voodoo went on to issue a challenge to Shoegazer: “Why don’t you try your hand at applying your musical chicanery to political situations elsewhere? Like, Egypt or something? My Mubarak ‘N’ Roll status on Facebook got, like, 17 likes. Step it up to the big leagues, dude.”
When asked about their thoughts on the actual cause of the London riots or their potential effects, both Shoegazer and Voodoo appeared agitated. Shoegazer muttered something about 1984 and “bourgeois squares cramping (his) style.” Voodoo was a little more willing to elaborate.
“I believe that these riots will eventually show that I am second to none at applying my knowledge of obscure music to current events. When everybody was making ‘London’s Burning’ references, I had already moved on to ‘Anarchy in the UK’ and ‘Panic on the Streets of London.’ I only hope that some similar situations arise in other places. Maybe Germany or something, because I have tons of Neue Deutsche Welle allusions I’ve been saving for a special occasion. I minored in German, you know.”
This is a developing story.