So Anna’s “War on Everything” didn’t evolve into a regular segment. So sue me. I’ve been busy.
Yesterday, for example, I was in Ireland. Now, the Emerald Isle has a great many things to be commended for. Rolling hills. Castles. Churches.
Cows. Beef. Guinness. Celts. Kells. Cider. Catholics. Bombers. (Ooh, too soon?)
One of the things the Irish are NOT remembered for – in a post-modern sense of remembrance – is their sense of style. Now, let it be known, yours truly is a demanding audience.
HONESTLY though, even the most forgiving of sidewalk users must occasionally ogle at the fashion war crimes the Irish seem willing to commit on a daily basis.
[Disclaimer: Mrs Reilly, you're most definitely excluded from ensuing rampage.]
I present, your honours, Exhibit A:
The Scobe [var: scobe, pron: skowb.]
Urban Dictionary helpfully defines this particular breed of miscreant as “A variant of the commonly known Dublin skanger, knacker and scumbag. Many specimens like to wear baseball caps with razor sharp creases in the peak, perched precariously as high as possible on their head, which is entirely shaven except for the fringe. Pathetic looking fluff above the upper lip is a sought after characteristic in a scobe. The latest in Reebok, Nike and Adidas apparel – often fake or stolen – can be usually seen hanging off a scobe.”
This is quite specific. More generally, this breed of Irish Manhood can be seen on the streets of Dublin, Cork and Limerick. I did see a couple in Galway, but concentration was reduced.
An aside. There is a school called ‘Scobe Academy’. See here: http://www.scobe.nl
It’s in Holland. Nuff said.
There is also this graveyard. I have no idea of its providence but it’s Irish.
Now the main staple and most instantly recognisable feature of scobe outwear is the tracksuit. I thought my dear friend Janetta was joking when she reported of her year spent at UCD – “You feel so attractive. They’re so ugly! Then again, they wear trackpants in clubs.”
She was not joking.
I photographed this [Exhibit B] ubiquitous pile in a store:
I know there is a recession going on. But COME ON IRELAND. How is your country going to build investor confidence when a goodly proportion of your population deems THIS to be acceptable outerwear? I recommend making dole receipt contingent on mandatory clothing classes.
LEST YE THINK there are no females afflicted! Nay! The female is usually seen in pink sweat pants, hoodies, hoop earrings and hair extensions. Like this example [Exhibit C] I photographed in Galway city Penneys:
According to Urban Dictionary (those kids have sociology degrees you know!), all scobes wear too much bling – all of it fake or stolen. Generally they drive (assuming said vehicle has not been re-possessed) souped-up Fiat Pundos, Honda Civics or Toyota Starlets.
I noticed above all things the peculiar penchant for fake tan. I don’t know which freak pulled a St Patrick and drove all the normal coloured people out of Ireland. But the remaining womanfolk seems to be orange. The range of fake-/self-tanners available is truly startling. If this is an ordinary supply-demand curve, you’d wonder where the recession has gone.
Consider Exhibit D (for D-Class celebrity, the Idols of this category. And yes, again, I took these photos):
To match the heinousness of their skins, Irish women seem to favour THESE shoes. Often with insanely short dresses. We’re talking navel-grazing.
PLEASE don’t mistake above rant for unmitigated snobbishness on my behalf. [Don't let me stop you either]. I’m writing this post out of a profound sense of civic concern. HOW, dear citizens of Hibernia, do you really feel about yourselves? Do you honestly look in the mirror and think the gentle chafe of polyester against your dimpled orange thighs a thing of beauty makes? Do you think the crotch of your velours trackies dragging around your knees, hiding your no doubt perilously small manhoods makes you appealing?
You are a proud nation of poets! Of resistance fighters! Of bards and lyricists! Of farmers and counts! But right now, your leprechauns are dressed the best, what with their waistcoats and buckled shoes. Very 2011.
I implore you, Hibernia, heed the words of your declaration.
We place the cause of the Irish Republic under the protection of the Most High God, Whose blessing we invoke upon our arms, and we pray that no one who serves that cause will dishonour it by cowardice, inhumanity, or rapine. In this supreme hour the Irish nation must, by its valour and discipline and by the readiness of its children to sacrifice themselves for the common good, prove itself worthy of the august destiny to which it is called.
Start with your clothes.