Drop of a Hat (Or a Hoodie)


"Hoodie bans" are making headlines in Britain. A Kent mall that banned hooded tops and baseball caps (also, swearing, smoking and leafleting) has seen a jump in traffic. Tony Blair is on board. Why the anti-hood prejudice? Alan Cowell of The International Herald Tribune says hoods are "the tribal mask of an underclass," emblematic of "thuggery, hoodlumism and unbridled drunkeness" and "the icon of a failed youth" being blamed for everything short of losing the empire.

Mark Steyn has a different take–hood as protest against a surveillance society:

The British are the most videotaped people in the history of mankind, caught on camera by official surveillance devices as they go about every humdrum public manoeuvre….Perhaps teen clothing will undergo another evolution, and the youth of the nation will be hanging out dressed like John Simpson in that burqa he wore to liberate Kabul.

Whole thing here.

NEXT: The Banners' Red Glare

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  1. Hoodies are (quote): “the tribal mask of an underclass,” emblematic of “thuggery, hoodlumism and unbridled drunkeness” and “the icon of a failed youth” (endquote)

    Really? I thought they were just standard uniform for engineers. I bet my coworkers would interested to know this. I should make a point to inform them of their unbridled, tribalistic hoodlum thuggery. Someone needs to inform them that we can have monkeyshines like this within our office. Not Within Our Cubicle Walls.

  2. rather, that we can’t have monkeyshines

    …guess I’ll have to start previewing my posts.

  3. “the tribal mask of an underclass,”

    Oogaa-boogaa oogaa-boogaa. Baaaaaaaaa!!!!!!

    Methinks Kerry’s “losing the Empire” quip has a lot on the ball.

  4. Some 23% more people visited the Kent mall last weekend than during the same weekend in 2004, the centre claims.

    “Given [the ban’s] almost overnight impact on attendance, other shopping centres across the UK will be taking a greater interest in making a similar move,”

    Uh… I didn’t know “one year” counted as “almost overnight”.

  5. Well, on the bright side, you won’t have to wear a hoodie for concealment while driving in Ohio.

  6. For more on this, and other items of British regulatory hilarity, I suggest you regularly visit Nanny Knows Best.

    HT: Gary Gunnels

  7. Some 23% more people visited the Kent mall last weekend than during the same weekend in 2004, the centre claims. …
    “Given [the ban’s] almost overnight impact on attendance, …”

    How does one year become “almost overnight”?

    And I wonder if, say, the NY Post is as incomprehensible to Brits as the Sun is to me.

    Anyway, I remember 20 years ago a downtown mall in my hometown banning anyone wearing a backpack (i.e. students, presumably all yobs), which was rather annoying as it housed the bus station that I used in order to get home every day. Of course, most of the students WERE disruptive hoodlums…

  8. ?????? The Reason server is acting up again… please excuse my repetitiveness 🙂

  9. MP,

    Thanks for the link! Hilarious Slade-related TV commercial link over there!

  10. One year becomes overnight when the mall tries to fudge the figures. They enact the ban and then quote the figures from attendance on that same weekend last year rather than the last weekend before the ban. Obviously the “year ago” figures looked better than the “last weekend” figues.

  11. combating the ‘yob’ culture was a major theme in the recent british elections. The hoodie has become a marker of yobs. There have been several high profile cases of yobs with hoodies attacking/assualting people while filming it on their mobile and distributing the film at their school, internet, etc. including a Labour minister. If shopping malls and schools want to ban them — fine by me.

  12. Reason had a link to a great piece about English soccer violence last fall. Put that back up.

  13. Property rights ought to trump hoods, swearing, and leafletting.

    Personally, I appreciate that the ACLU has transformed private property such as the MALL and HOME DEPOT’s front porch into the public square. I love being accosted by panhandlers, JW’s, abortion protestors, and various petitioners as I attempt to wade through the throngs to get inside.

    So, never fear friends, our sacred right to hoods is intact. Unless, of course, you’re wearing a hoodie and SMOKING. Or your hood is white and comes with an optional floor length robe.

  14. MP: Gary Gunnels? C’est qui ca?

  15. What are yobs? Are they anything like chavs? I saw some of that chav video at that fatpie website, (I’m too lazy to post a link)

  16. The Wine Commonsewer,

    Maybe the ACLU has recognized that the mall has become the de-facto public space in suburbia, but of course the mall has every right to keep out whomever it wants. And when did panhandlers and such make it out to the suburbs? I thought they stuck to actual public spaces in cities, you know, where people are walking around. Of course, here in NYC they’re a little bolder than elsewhere – they solicit you at your table in various fast food joints that can’t be bothered to send someone around to kick them out.

  17. “Tribal mask”??

    Good God, I’d better warn my fifteen-year-old son! He’s consorting with the Devil or something, I just know it… wearing those damned hoodies…

  18. accosted by panhandlers, JW’s, abortion protestors

    At Home Depot? If one of those twits accosted me while I’m leaving with some 2×4’s, they’d better be there to help load the truck.

  19. Hap, no doubt, load my truck. 🙂

    Rhywun, actually that was/is their precise argument, that malls and other public places are defacto public places.

    TWC doesn’t live in the burbs, he lives in the middle of nowhere. But, 9 miles down the hill is suburbia and that’s where I gots to buy stuff.

    Of course I’m exxagerating to make the point. The HD crowd is way to rough to put up with much in the way of crap on the way into the store. Costco is a different story though. And the mall at Christmas is filled with throngs of oddballs sitting at myriad card tables hawking everything from New Age Mormonism to pictures of aborted fetuses (full color 8 x 10’s).

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