“The society which has abolished every kind of adventure makes its own abolition the only possible adventure.” Paris, May 1968

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Don't mess with the worker dandies.

There is a terrible current in the left, and perhaps the anarchist movement in particular, that in order to have any revolutionary credentials at all it is essential to turn your back on the good things in life. According to this credo we must eat only the worst food, drink only the foulest keg beers and, most importantly, dress only in the worst kind of rags. Any trace of style or hint of flash is to betray unfortunate counter-revolutionary tendencies. Of course there are honourable exceptions, Wing Commander Bone and the venerable Dr Peter Good to name but two and  the wonderful Worker Dandyist International have a whole website devoted to countering the comrades of sackcloth and ashes. The WDI nail their (finest silk) colours to the mast here. Check it out.


Gitane said...

All power to the worker dandies vive la differance and all that.Very funny at times. However why couldn't they have chosen a different fashionable medium than one that makes them read like pseudo posh twats?
They could have been the worker Teddy Boy internationalists or worker Clown internationalists or some such. The old boy, whisky mac stuff is hard to bear given the current political incumbents.
They also overreact when someone puts the bite on 'em, they're very easily upset and easy to wind up. Makes for some excellent posts though.
The anarchist movement is all the richer for them participating in the debate and they (who they) are certainly more interesting than the "end of civilisation" penguins.

WDI said...

Well, Gitane, we were tempted to call ourselves the Pseudo Posh Twats but didn't feel it had the right ring to it. As for the Teddy Boy Internationalists, they are automatically subsumed into the WDI. The Worker Clown Internationalists died in a tragic accident when the doors and wheels fell off their inexplicably undersized car en route to the 4th Deleuzian Cock-Stroking Symposium.

I'm not entirely sure how a fondness for Whiskey Macs could possibly offend or how they relate to any government leaders but that is most likely down to my current state of upset at someone, apparently, 'putting the bite' on me (though I assume you are defining that phrase differently to the rest of the world).

Anonymous said...

If I can't dress well it's not my revolution.

Gitane said...

Aaah WDI a chance for me to teach you some linguistic slang "darning"; to get you through the winter nights alongside your whisky macs and morrocan slippers perhaps. I welcome the privilege.

"Putting the bite on" is inadequately described in Eric Partridge's uncontemporary "Slang" opus as meaning " To ask someone for a loan of money" ref Canadian 1910.
The world has moved on and the term has come to mean an act that put's an individual in the position of being an unwitting creditor. A very useful tool in the hands of Grifters and bullies.
Scenarios such as " I had a pint here, it's fuckin' missing" "did you drink my beer?" Denial could lead to a black eye whereas £3.00 could resolve the argument.
Tracy to Sid "Hello stranger don't I know you?" Sid desperate for a fuck offers Tracy a drink in order to continue the possibilities of a squelchy laison; Tracy has introduced the belief of debt in Sid's mind. Sid's largered rational is "She owes me, I bought her Whisky Macs allnight therefore ABC bedroom". Tracy leaves by the back door.
The most used example is however the "cold call" or e mail where you are told if you don't buy the "whatever it is" you are out of pocket and therefore owe the messengers of your bad news their attention and your financial commitment.
I hope I have contributed to your understanding of "putting the bite on" and our relationship will continue to aid you repairing the holes in your socks and the elbows of your cardigans.

Gitane said...

Sorry WDI I was caught short there by some ridiculous IT fog.
My point is that when you have the bite put on you, that is when you are in a position where you believe you undeservedly owe an explanation, reposte or an intellectual debt you're in their game. I can't be bovvered vs the bite.

WDI said...

I have consulted my trusty Cassell's (see, I've moved on from Partridge) and they still define the phrase as either cadging a loan or forcing someone to do something they would rather avoid. If it has changed definition through common usage in your neck of the woods then I can only bow to your local knowledge.

Interestingly, on the opposite page of Cassell's are a couple of insults you could have used in place of 'pseudo posh twats': 'Put on the guiver'- to affect an upper class accent ('guiver' being a working class dandy); and, 'Put on the high dick'- to dress in one's best clothes, to put on airs.

An indication that properly turned out proles have endured misplaced aspersion for quite some time.

Gitane said...

I revel in new tongues WDI and as the sharpest dressed apprentice prol in my part of West london (spoiled rotten by adoring aunts) during the sixties, ripple soled shoes, polka dot ties, pin stripe suits and those mad pin collar shirts (with a little nut amd bolt beneath the tie not) I soon moved to Amsterdam grew my hair and became the sharpest dressed long haired bum. Spent a while hithchiking through Turkey dressed as a cossack. Returned looking like a Byron lookalike, the ladies liked it in Woermestraat, enough to annoint me with STDs and the crabs.
Anyway, new tongues; as a boy we would jump the 207 bus to Acton and get ice cream at Tony's.
The Italian guy behind the counter had a wonderful accent which we christened as (in an Italian accent) "schpeelitali", we would schpeelitali all the way home. It stuck for years until we were broken up to attend Grammar Schools or Holland Park Comprehensive.

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