The Times has published an intriguing allegation regarding the background to the pedal-by shooting of Rhys Jones that, perhaps better than anything else I’ve read in the last few days, explains why its important that we crack down on teenage street gangs in the UK:
Detectives believe that Rhys, 11, was accidentally hit by a stray bullet as he walked through a pub car park on the private Croxteth Park housing estate.
The intended victim is believed to have been a senior member of the Strand gang — known as the Nogga Dogs — who had started a relationship with a girl from Croxteth Park. The gun boy was allegedly ordered to carry out the attack by an older member of the Croxteth Crew gang. The Croxteth Crew is based on a nearby social-housing estate.
Nogga Dogs? Croxteth Crew?
Fuck me, Britain’s teenagers really should be staying away from this whole street gang thing…
… because they’re shit at it.
‘Nogga Dogs’, for fuck’s sake!
What the fuck is a ‘Nogga Dog’ if its not a character from a pre-school TV show on CBeebies?
One of the recurring themes of late over at Tom Watson’s blog has been a new CBeebies show called ‘In The Night Garden‘, which features characters called ‘Igglepiggle’, ‘Makka Pakka’, ‘Upsy Daisy’ and ‘The Haahoos’. ‘Nogga Dog’ sounds a perfect name for a new character in the show, and if not there then it certainly wouldn’t be out of place in the revival of ‘Bill and Ben The Flowerpot Men’:
‘Flobbadobba-dobba-dobba-dobba Nogga Dog’
‘Flobbadobba-dob-dob Little Weeeeeeed’
And when this particular bunch of juvenile twats are not calling themselves the Nogga Dogs they are apparently known as the ‘Strand Gang’???
Sorry but that’s not a gang name either, it’s an old-time musical hall act, a bunch of ageing thesps scratching out a living on the Saga circuit by telling old jokes and singing medleys of traditional Cock-er-ney songs while wearing demob suits covered in cheap buttons.
And as for the ‘Croxteth Crew’, not only do they get zero for originality, but is that really a street gang, or is it a local rowing club?
The simple fact is that British teenagers are basically shit when it comes to trying to imitate American gang culture – they can’t even manage to come up with a halfway decent gang name.
Think about it.
Probably the most famous gang of all are the Hells Angels, and the name alone conjures evocative images of big fuck-off bikers cruising American highways on ornately decorated custom Harleys.
As gangs go, the Hells Angels have got it all; the seriously cool name, the logo, the bikes, the image, the reputation… mention the Hells Angels and you can’t help but think of Easy Rider; PeterFonda and Denis Hopper out on the open road on a pair of bad boy choppers with Steppenwolf blaring away on the soundtrack.
Whatever you might think of the lifestyle, when it comes to the ‘look’ the Hells Angels are just fucking cool.
Then you’ve got the two best-known and most notorious LA street gangs; The Bloods and The Crips.
Even if you’ve absolutely no fucking idea what either gang is about, just on the names alone you know damn well that you want to keep as far away from them, and their territory, as humanly possible.
Having a gang name like ‘Bloods’ or ‘Crips’ automatically sends a simple and extremely compelling message – we’re a bunch of scary-ass motherfuckers and you really, seriously, don’t want to mess with us.
What kind of message does a name like ‘Nogga Dogs’ send out?
We’re a bunch of spotty-faced chavscum wannabes.
And when it comes to coming up with a good gang name in the US, its doesn’t stop with just the Bloods and the Crips. Other well-known (i.e. notorious) gangs in the US include the ‘Black Disciples’, the ‘Gangster Disciples’, the ‘Latin Kings’ and the ‘Vice Lords’. Now those are what you call proper gang names, names that have real style and sound genuinely intimidating.
That’s the real life stuff, but even in works of fiction the Americans have got us beaten.
When Arthur Laurents, Stephen Sondheim and Leonard Bernstein needed fictional gang names for ‘West Side Story’ they managed to come up ‘The Sharks’ and ‘The Jets’, while the in film version of Grease the gang names used were ‘The T-Birds’ and ‘Scorpions’.
Now admittedly, even the Americans don’t get it right all the time – in the original stage version of Grease, the main gang were called the ‘Burger Palace Boys’ and not the ‘T-Birds’, but Hollywood soon managed to sort that one out and it still means that they have better gang names in fucking musical theatre in the US than anything our homegrown idiot scumbags can manage to come up with.
The whole idea of giving a street gang a name is to create an image, and just what the fuck kind of image does a name like the ‘Nogga Dogs’ conjure?
A bunch of shiftless halfwits slouching down the street with their hands in their pockets mumbling their special gang song…
Here come the Nogga Doggas. Splish-Splash. Splish-Splash.
Here come the Nogga Doggas. Splish-Splash-Splosh.
Take away their guns and more people would die laughing at the sight of them than anything else.
We have to get the message over to Britain’s teenagers that there really is nothing big or clever about trying to imitate American gang culture…
…because they’re shit at it. Just embarrassingly, humiliatingly, crap.
British teenagers just don’t have the sense of style necessary to carry off this whole gang business without looking like a bunch of cunts.
American gang members have custom Harleys, big fuck-off Cadillacs and Chevys with expensive hydraulic suspension systems, they sell crack, coke and crystal meth, wear shitloads of expensive bling and had NWA coming ‘Straight Outta Compton’.
British teenagers have a communal 15 year old Mini Metro ‘customised’ with a cheap Halfords body kit and hole drilled in the exhaust, wear £6.99 hoodies bought at the local market and a knock-off, ‘Burberry’ cap, hang around outside the local corner shop begging for a punter to go in an buy them 10 Silk Cut and a 2 litre bottle of Woodpecker and have Lily Allen coming straight out of an expensive private school.
Fuck all this banal wittering about to ‘fixing’ a society that isn’t broken in the first place, the message we really need to get across to these young people is that its really not cool to be a member of a street gang because you’ve got absolutely no sense of style and you look like a complete cunt.
And if any self-styled ‘street gang members’ do happen to read this, then to crib a classic line from Baddiel and Newman, just watch this video…
…that’s you, that is.