Friday, April 24, 2009


Song Playing: "This Is Ska", Bad Manners

This weekend when I bought my copy of McMafia from the local Anarchsocialist bookstore - Turning the Tide - I spoke with the one of the guys who works at/runs the store and he talked about how he used to be a member of International Socialists (IS) and was relaying some of his horror stories at having to deal with skinheads in Vancouver. He was kind of nervous when speaking to me. I wasn't entirely sure how the conversation turned in that direction, but then it hit me that have somewhat adopted a skinheadish sort of ensemble. I have a wool donegal hat, (a flat cap) black paramilitary sweater, (warm, comfortable and durable - I have one that has lasted me since 1996!) and have been wearing my black steel toes around. I also shave my head, but then I am bald anyway.
Of course, I haven't seen any actual skins here in Saskatoon. All of the skins I have met in either Vancouver or Montreal weren't the stereotypical racist kind - that's not how the movement started out and these people let you know it. But since I started shaving my head, I have had people taking me for a skin so why be surprised?
Shaved head, penchant for ska, dub and rocksteady, flat cap, working class dress style... could I possibly be a skinhead? No real skinhead would ever mistake me for one of their own, so mmmm... no.


Blogger Peter T Chattaway said...

. . . that's not how the movement started out and these people let you know it.Just wondering, have you seen the movie This Is England? It's a semi-autobiographical story about a lonely boy who is befriended by some skinheads in the early '80s, and I believe it kind of takes place around that point in time when the skinhead movement began to go in a darker direction -- but several of the characters are quite positive, quite sympathetic, as I recall.

24 April, 2009 10:10  
Blogger Magnus said...

I missed it, though not on purpose. Been meaning to rent it actually. Skins in England were going over the the Dark Side in the 70's with the rise of the British National Party. Of all the subcultures out there, I think the skinhead story is the most interesting.

24 April, 2009 17:06  

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