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KEVIN MAGAZINE

KEVIN £ 10

Issue one


”To know bad taste you must know all the rules of good taste.” – John Waters

K EV I N ’ S EDI TOR S L ETT ER A guilty pleasure defines an act that is both satisfying and enjoyable, which induces pangs of conscience due to its tasteless or lowbrow nature; for instance, an over-indulgence in Chinese takeaway. Everybody has their own guilty pleasures, despite how lame or pathetic they may be. However there seems to be an increasing issue within the context of these vices. With modern day and younger generations being brought up within a consumer culture, we are urged to overindulge at all cost. Living in a morally corrupt society that has long undergone securlarisation, we don’t feel guilty about the supposed sins we wallow in. We’re existing in a desensitised state. In an age where bad taste is greeted with disdain, this is a cultural journey through the specifics and behaviours deriving from supposed vulgarity. From the perspective of an aficionado and purveyor of bad taste, arrives a social commentary on the world of British taste. Casting light on the typically shunned, this magazine delves into the underbelly of British culture, exploring the raw and gritty context that is home to this unsung, uncelebrated world. Kevin doesn’t work to a brief of exploring a certain social class, it delves into the crass behaviours that are an inevitable product of all British culture. By combing through fashion, art, culture, music and politics, Kevin extracts intelligence from what would normally be considered shallow and nugatory. Kevin admires the indulgences of British individuals from across the social spectrum casting light on the ignored connoisseurs of taste.

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KEVIN’S contents BRITISH UNDERBELLY: 6 - Walworth Road Nails 7 - Benefit Scroungers 10 - Eau De Shit 12 - Grandma’s Party 20 - Klassy Fried Chicken 24 - Scally Porn 30 - Middle Class Bling 32 - Demonisation/Glamorisation of Drugs 38 - Michael Mayren 46 - Hits Dont Hurt 54 - Spice Up Your Life 58 - The Entitled Middle Class 60 - Northern Accent 61 - DKNY on a Donner Kebab Budget 63 - Air Max 64 - British Artists 65 - Dogging

CONTRIBUTORS:

THANKS TO:

Alec Mather Guy Rugeroni Mitch Thomas Becci Hill

R. de Niet, Paul Tierney, Britain, Triga Films, Misha Smith, Fluffy Tripp, Colonel Sanders, Andrea Consiglio, Rachael Woodard

jameswesson@live.co.uk 07775651067 Kevin Magazine. Printed in the U.K. and published twice a year. All rights reserved. Reproducion in whole or in part without permission is strictly prohibited.

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ARTIST’S IMPRESSION OF ARTISTS

ode to walworth rd

Neon lights and flashing signs. Peeling price lists and squeaky chairs. The English is scarce but the fumes are strong. Looking good is a serious business in here, even it means staying open ‘til gone nine at night. Black girls, white girls, European girls – South London don’t discriminate.You want your eyebrows waxed? Check. You want a diamante fake Chanel iPhone case? Oh yes, check. And you want to watch the Kardashians on repeat, all whilst getting your nails done? Honey, you’re in the right place. Drake’s line ‘nails done, hair done, errything did, oh you fancy huh?’ is clearly the muthafuckin’ motto here. Severed plastic hands with wonky square tipped fingers litter the shelves, whilst hazy shots of gold and red nails juxtaposed against an Eighties looking Ferrari hang behind them. Eager to provide the many services required by the women of the World today, small Asian men and ladies bustle busily about the floor space, “You go wash off now,” “You want gems?” “Keep under heat yes,” Seemingly petty requests but one foot wrong and, “NOOOOOO! I wanted pointy not square. Re-do them, re-do or I ain’t paying,” they will suffer the wrath of their demanding customers. Tapping away on phones, chatting busily with friends or simply staring at the

elevated television screen, these hot pink and white walls provide a sanctuary away from the hustle and bustle of the city. If you’re feeling down, get your nails done. If you want to switch up your look, get your weave done. These girls want to look good and they want it to be cheap. And why the fuck not? The Walworth road is over brimming with options of affordable beauty treatments. Sharpie written signs blue tacked to windows cry out the lowest prices to compete with the crowded market. Shops generally serve more than one purpose; it doesn’t get more convenient than selling insurance and having a bureau du change within feet of people painting your talons right? If you want to walk out with a fresh mane, ‘Shazz’ will sell you a pack of Brazilian hair straight out of her glass cabinet and braid it onto your head then and there.You have to hand it to these small South London businesses; they know what their customer wants and will go to lengths to provide it. Their business cards may have badly cut out photos of Missy Elliot and Rihanna circa 2008 and one digit re-corrected with Biro, but they won’t charge you more than £10 for a full set, and frankly, who can argue with that. Becci Hill

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BENEFIT SCROUNGE: A MODERN DAY EXPRESSIONIST

What it may look like on face value is a fat lout wheeling her three whippersnappers around in a designer buggy that she bought with taxpayer’s money, your money. However, this lady is an intelligent expressionist, critiquing the parliamentary government in power. She is portrayed to be the dregs of society, painted as an entitled oaf who is always expecting something for nothing by the media. Supposedly leeching off the welfare state, the underclass is enjoying the fruits of life at your expense. On the estate they call her work-shy Wendy, it really gets her riled up, she has a Saturday job in the local Chinese; how else would she get her 10% off? There is an unparalleled

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amount of effort put into getting Barney, Crystal and Rob ready in the morning, just so she can make her dole meeting in a timely fashion. She’s at the pinnacle of her game, Child Tax Credits, Housing Benefits, Job Seekers Allowance; you name it, she’ll claim it. Crying for a shake up and government reform, she wants a challenge; she learnt every twist and turn of this intricate system and all the loopholes it retains. Nothing “gets on her tits more”, as she so eloquently puts it, than the people who constantly criticise her choice Benefit fraudsters, like Wendy, are misunderstood social commentators of modern day political affairs.


REA L BRI T ISH TASTE

CARPET WORLD’S FINEST -8-

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EAU DE SHIT At one point in our adult lives, we all come across smells that have strong clutches of nostalgia that thrust us back to a very notable part of our childhood. Certain aromas bring us hurtling back to that 6-year-old boy getting ready for his first school disco. The chinos, black Velcro shoes with flashing light in the sole and the obligatory first aftershave experience. Obviously, at the tender age of six our miniscule weekly pocket money wouldn’t be adequate to buy our own toiletries, so a rummage through our Dad’s shelf in the bathroom was necessary. Past the ambiguous medicines and BIC razorblades always stood a curious green fragrance bottle. As you rubbed your palms together just before splashing your décolletage, the most vile and repugnant aroma that doesn’t just take your breath away, but your sight as well flooded your lungs like a cancerous smoke. It was almost like a rite of passage, from being that naïve, undiscerning boy, to being safe in the knowledge that you’ll never touch Brut again.

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Grandma’s party

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“the floor always had remnants of someone’s chicken dinner entangled in it”

There’s nothing more nostalgia inducing than the monstrous and brash carpet that ran through my grandparent’s house like a never-ending creek of bad taste. Running in parallel was the uncomplimentary supernova of patterns loitering on the walls, juxtaposed against the bland choice of colour palette. In the living room, the silk quilted tissue box was a metaphor for her innate ability to mask all negative aspects of her life with rose-tinted glasses; similar to the tassels that run along the trimming of the three-piece suite, hiding all the discarded rubbish. These two were something that is quite emblematic of the problems in a dysfunctional family. The dark brown shag pile, which was precariously strewn across the floor, always had remnants of someone’s chicken dinner entangled in it that the dog was yet to notice due to cataracts and his lack of sense of smell. The terracotta tiles were significantly jaded by the sun’s fatigue, which she refused to replace due to her wartime ‘make-do’ mentality. Sitting on the tiles was the faux fireplace, with the imitation flame revolving mesmerisingly. The hearth, which was adorned with trinkets accumulated from her endless trips to Blackpool and other seaside towns alike, was homage to her travels. My Grandma would disagree with them being referred to as tack however, as she believes they collectively represent her ‘full life’. She was quite an eminent figure and pillar of the community in her heyday. Perched on top of the DVD player were photos of her deceased feline companion, which seemed equally reluctant to be there as I ever was. The amalgamation of

old and new showed her desperate attempt to hold onto her established choice if interior, sharply contrasted with her resentful move into the 21st century. In the corner of the room sat a widescreen television with a lace doily draped along the top of it. Her front room was a time capsule injected with technical necessities, which she attempted to disguise with crocheted fabric and knitted covers. Her sentimentalism was consistent throughout the room. The swirling Artex plaster, coated on the hallway walls was always hypnotising; I couldn’t stare for too long otherwise she’d know I’d been doing Acid again. The hall was also home to the porcelain figurines of Victorian ladies that were rammed into the overwhelmed glass cabinet, in one last bid to embellish the walls with something seemingly of value. Some may believe these choices of decor define a illconsidered choice of décor, however my grandma is an unsung connoisseur of interior design. My Granny’s choice of furnishings epitomises working-class taste, a background she is so fondly proud of. There’s an almost religious resonance about my Grandma’s attitude to this way of dressing the rooms of her home. She has an obligation to showcase her devotion and appreciation to her upbringing, as we are molded and defined by the influence of the taste culture we are nurtured in, and the living room is a parlor in which we exhibit our lives.

FAKE CHINA: grandma’s china off the back of a lorry LLADRO PORCELAIN LADY SCRATCHES HER HEAD - 14 -

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GRANDMA’S STOLEN CHINA

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KLASSY FRIED CHICKEN

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“This reshaping of the stratification system has transcended down into food, fashion, music and all other areas of British culture.”

In every enclave of suburban London you’ll discover an obligatory fast-food restaurant selling one of the nations favourite. Britain’s adoration for deep fried chicken on the bone has been propagated by the delicious taste and value for money in times of austerity. The sprawling restaurants that have their own dedicated fan Tumblr page have emerged in almost every British high street almost becoming the successor of the Post Office. Britain has spoken; chicken is the new necessity for everyday life. The programme ‘The Fried Chicken Shop: A Day In The life’ which aired on Channel 4 featured a fly on the wall documentary capturing a 24 hour period of a typical South West London chicken shop documenting an urbanite’s daily routine, is emblematic of the nation’s lust for the deep-fried poultry. However, a choice food once synonymous with unrefined pallets, served in grubby hovels found only in the most unsavory of areas has now become an option on the foodies’ menu. Recently, a new wave of chicken shops has stormed the capital, popping up in numerous pockets of cosmopolitan London. The insides are an antithesis to the usual Cottage Chicken. Upmarket and chic, they encapsulate everything the middle-class treasure: simple food, great quality and a plush interior. The ubiquitous KFC, which could be considered the pioneer of fried chicken in this country, is now taking a back seat as people venture for a more ‘indie’ experience. Lucky Fried Chicken is a part of ‘generation pop-up’, an ephemeral restaurant tucked away in The Grafton pub in Kentish Town. The middle-class fascination with organic versions of working-class food is evident at Lucky Fried Chicken as the logo is a humorous take on a wellknown colonel. LFC is located upstairs in the gastropub surrounded by the rather incongruous early 20th century

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interior. The floorboards crepitate like firewood as you enter to be greeted by the rather rude staff, which seems obligatory for a chicken shop. Accompanied by slaw and creamy mash potato, the free-range chicken is bringing in the punters and fast food aficionados alike. LFC isn’t the only upmarket chicken shop in London, there’s Wishbone in Brixton Village and The Chicken Shop in Islington. Is the middle-class feigning an obsession with fried chicken by consuming copious amounts in an ironic manner or is this a sincere infatuation? Eating fried chicken was once considered the ultimate guilty pleasure, now it seems to be the fashionable choice. Is this just a transparent and poor attempt of City Boys trying to reassure the rest us they’re ‘just like us’? Is this just an short-lived hipster movement of gentrifying fried chicken that’ll soon find another dish to make healthy and double in price? Gary from Wishbone, Brixton believe it’s all to do with the diversity of our communities, “In London you’ve got all varieties of cuisines on your doorstep, and fried chicken is one of the most popular at the moment. It’s loved by people from all different backgrounds and providing it in an environment like Wishbone using the ingredients we do, it allows people to indulge in what they love without feeling guilty afterwards.” It all comes down to the prevalence of social mobility in current times; the social classification system is more diverse and complex than ever before. This reshaping of the stratification system has transcended down into food, fashion, music and all other areas of British culture. We’re more culturally engaged than ever and the more we move into an era of an intricate social classification system the less class conscious and obsessed we become. Either way, the guilt-ridden experience of tucking into a bucket of fried chicken is gradually disappearing; the British public is free to gorge without the once inevitable regret.


Scally Porn One definite way to distinguish whether the type of porn you indulge yourself in is a guilty pleasure or of bad taste, is if you chose to delete your Internet browsing history afterwards; or especially if a deep feeling of shame nuzzles inside the pits of your stomach whenever your preference of sub-genre is discussed between friends. Everybody has penchant for a specific type of pornography, from a whole spectrum of variations, albeit sometimes a particularly embarrassing genre. Everybody has a fetish for something, and it’s not just the more colourful people who have an appetite for outlandish porn. As we constantly learn from the British tabloids, even the most revered public figures relish in the most bizarre of sexual activity.

as sellers attempt to flog ‘soiled’ Calvin Klein underwear, or used Nike trainers with suspect stains on them. There obviously is a vast interest in the gay Scally culture.

There is however a darker side to Scally porn, beyond pissing in each other’s mouths and ejaculating in each other’s trainers; journalist Julie Burchill claimed that this particular type of porn featuring working-class men exploits them and treats them as sex objects. She targeted her comments at self proclaimed ‘Original British Filth Factory’ Triga Films, one of the biggest gay porn companies in England, producing several films per year with titles such as “Dads ‘n’ Lads Council House Extra Dole” and “Fuck A Hoodie”. Triga Films is a production company based in The bleak streets of south London are hiding a secret. London that was launched in 1997. According to Andrew, The aggressive, hostile men who loiter outside your local a spokesperson for the company, they have been supplying Costcutter who would rob you blind are all fucking. Well, half pornographic material over the past 15 years to a very true. Scally porn, a sub-genre of gay porn niche market and has a global audience, that fetishises working class men and “with all genres of porn it receives their lifestyles has increasingly become a multi-national reception from all “Julie Burchill a dominating choice for homosexuals different backgrounds, obviously the browsing the web for porn. The ‘actors’ claimed that this target demographic is quite centric to particular type the films feature, usually wearing Scally England because of the connotations of lad or blue-collar worker costume, are of porn featuring British culture.” filmed in grotty squalid council flats as they defile one another usually with working-class men There is also the argument that the phlegm and urine. Unlike most typically exploits them and vast availability of porn is a contribution cheesy porn, the men it stars play very to the desensitisation of the modern treats them as sex day viewer. From a young age we convincing heterosexual men. objects.” are subjected to an array of different To a layman, the term ‘Scally’ denotes pornography, ranging from soft-core to your average working-class or unemployed male whose the most repugnant material sometimes consisting of vile choice of attire usually consists of shell suits with labelled acts such as bestiality. Whilst we are all still aware of the trainers. The term generally has negative connotations, as heinous nature of these types of pornography, we’re not they’re associated with hooliganism and the propaganda wildly shocked when we witness it anymore.A lot of people produced by the newspapers. Donning obligatory Air Max divorce themselves from the fact that the awful hardcore trainers, with tribal tattoos and a skinhead, Scally lads are porn they’re watching, e.g. rape porn, represents a situation the ultimate purveyors of bad-taste. People are often that could be real life; therefore it just feels innocuous and struck with bemusement at the subject of Scally porn; surely harmless. the idea of porn is for the audience to vicariously glean pleasure through imagining they were fucking a beautiful It is a unjustified statement to make however, to say that Adonis, as opposed to the unemployed dregs of society. Scally porn is a true depiction of the lifestyles of the However there is a massive market for individuals with a working-class, Andrew explained that “a lot of our videos fetish for Scallies, browsing through eBay you come across are quite theatrical to create the illusion of a working class plenty of content which is aimed at the ‘gay Scally’ market, DARREN REACHES FOR HIS DICTIONARY - 24 -

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lifestyle, for instance it’s quite rare that all the blokes down your local pub are all going to be having sex in the toilets.” The actors appearing in the films are an exaggerated representation of the working-class male, just like in most pornographic material the characters are (think saucy postman). For many who are ignorant to why men like Scally porn,Andrew put it into simpler terms:“Homosexual men are fundamentally attracted to masculinity. I think what ‘Scally porn’ represents is a pure or raw form of masculinity. These are men in blue-collar uniform, rough and ready. These ‘dirty’, Scally men are a guilty pleasure of many homosexual men.” He goes onto explain how it’s not just about the outfit or attire “it’s not just about the tracksuits and Air Max, it’s about the masculine behaviour that comes along with the type of people who wear these clothes.” When questioned about Julie Burchill’s comment about Scally porn exploiting the working class, Andrew said “This idea is ridiculous in my view, if this genre of porn exploits the working-class, then does ‘ebony’ porn exploit black people? Does porn with a nurse in it demoralise or objectify the NHS? Porn turns sex into a commodity so I suppose all porn is objectifying the individual in it. The types of men represented in the films aren’t going to feel objectified, they may find it disgusting but I don’t think they’re going to feel victimised by the material we produce.”

is emblematic of the males in society who have always oppressed him. Treating the working-class individual as a sexual instrument has to be a gratifying process for a member of a minority who has predominately been discriminated or oppressed by them. Whilst the majority may consider pornography a harmless medium to get your rocks off, some consider numerous genres of pornographic material with content like this rather abhorrent and offensive. One thing is for sure, next time that hard-faced thug down your local threatens you; tell him you know exactly what he’s been up to.

TOP 3

“Scally Boy Wankers” This is Scally porn in its rawest form: 90 minutes of solo pursuits of tattooed lads frantically masturbating. With the added necessity of sex toys, boxers, builders and pure council estate boys get

An enthusiast of Scally porn, Billy Redgrave, mirrors the views of Andrew that it isn’t just this specific genre that objectifies a certain group. “The comments made by Julie Burchill are unjust and very typical of her, this genre of porn highlights a fetish and a certain taste some homosexual men have. The people in these films are just actors taking on a role, just like in any other porn, it’s not just Scally porn objectifying the working class, all types of pornos use an elaborate caricature to emphasise the certain fetish. Porn does objectify different groups because that is what porn is.” It really is just another one of many genres of porn that originated through ‘interest in this type of material and a gap in the market’. Andrew pointed out, there’s also the argument that this massive lucrative industry is supplying work for people in times of economic downturn and sparseness in the job market, “It’s well known in the porn industry that gay porn pays a lot more than heterosexual porn.”

singularly get their rocks off for your viewing pleasure.

“Pool Room Scallies” Whilst one lad performs oral sex on another, he pours a can of Carlsberg over his face, living out the fantasy of anyone with a penchant for scally porn. Set in one of their, these scally lads systematically have sex with one another cleverly employing the snooker cue as a sex toy.

“Scallyporn Orgy”

The comment by Julie Burchill does highlight the question whether this is this just another genre of porn or does this objectification of the working-class male degrade them for the sexual gratification of the voyeur? It could potentially be more than just sexual gratification too; this preference for Scally porn could derive from more of a deep rooted and rather sinister psychological pleasure. The gay male is finally the one in control or dominating the Scally boy who

A collection of typical scally lads, dressed head to toe in sportswear, in the utmost production of Triga Films yet; located on a rough London council, they start the opening scene with a 5-way orgy.

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ILLUSTRATION MITCH THOMAS

I T ’S D IRT Y AND YOU WANT IT

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Middle Class Bling

“These are the jewels of a consumable lifestyle.”

Bling is a slang term that denotes the vulgar, tacky diamanté laden embellishments that are worn as a symbol of status by the working class and American rappers that are still stuck in 2001. The conspicuous pieces of gold jewelry, such as the three-finger ‘DAD’ ring donned by ‘King Of The Chavs’ Michael Carroll gained notoriety in the media in the early noughties earning the word ‘Bling’ a well earned position in the Oxford Dictionary. The middle class are renowned for their understated yet so painfully overt displays of wealth. The premise that bling is a sole preserve of the working-class or nouveau riche is incorrect; their medium of expression are these ‘hidden signifiers’, which consist of materialistic belongings that are showcased in order to successfully assert the image that these individuals hail from a background of cultural and financial capital. Whilst popular belief may be that they prefer individualism, the middle class like the clarity of meaning well known brands can convey. From their tagines that are sourced on holiday in Marrakesh, to the pestle and mortar that they picked up from Habitat, these are the ‘Green Bling’ of their social circles that they use to establish their social status. Green bling describes congruous items that don’t look deliberately placed and in

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harmony with their surroundings. These are the jewels of a consumable lifestyle, a brooch the middle-class proudly exhibit, freighted with evocation of a desired education and financial state that scream louder than a gold plated earring. An important aspect of this class group is the middle-class anxieties that are one of the reasons behind the importance of green bling. There are tribulations that come along with the life decisions they have to make in order to assert the right personal image. The middle-class is exceedingly selfconscious. Albeit more of a display of knowledge and cultural capital as opposed to monetary capital, why do these established people arduously attempt to prove themselves to others? Which is more pretentious or ostentatious: the large ornate gold strewn around a minimum wage worker’s neck or the self-conscious university graduate justifying his or her existence by displaying a plethora of artifacts around their home? Is this an overt conveyance of lifestyle in an elegant manner, or is it still rather gaudy to showcase these unnecessary emblematic guilty pleasures, creating a strategic effect of ou tfit?


KET

DRUGS

DON’T glamorise or demonise

that the opinions and evidence produced by scientists are disregarded for the views of politicians, which are rendered more important. For instance, when legal high Mepehdrone was banned in 2010, there were no scientific tests carried out to prove it’s harm; it was media propaganda that pressured the government into classifying the substance. Whilst the current laws and right-wing political views in place may be old-fashioned, on the contrary there are the very controversial pro-drug groups in the UK. These groups can potentially also have quite a noxious effect on younger generations in society as they unnecessarily promote the excessive use of narcotics - its common knowledge anything not carried out in moderation is harmful. There are also certain influential publications that have quite a liberal outlook on drug taking such as Vice magazine, which constantly produces articles that ooze banal attempts at being humorous radical. The team of journalists weekly produces online material such as ‘The Coolest Drugs’ or ‘The Beginners Guide To Drugs For Girls’, the utmost cringeworthy bullshit. Another embarrassing article Vice produced around the height of Mepehdrone was when

they employed one of their hipster writers to take the powder on a night out, almost taking it on a test drive. “I’d done all the six grams by about 6 AM the next morning” he claimed. Consuming an excessive amount of Mephedrone in one sitting can be very detrimental to someone’s health. The two views, anti-drugs & pro-drugs are the antithesis of one another, both on different ends of the spectrum, yet equally as monotonous. The amazingly old-fashioned articles on the Daily Mail, produced by stubborn right-wing journalists are comparative to the trite “Don’t Drink & Drive, Smoke Weed & Fly” images that have been circling for years. A large quantity of the country’s budget gets spent on the war against drugs. The government recently posted out ‘scratch ‘n’ sniff’ cards which released a scent of Cannabis, so people could recognise the smell, enabling them to sniff-out and expose plant farms in their surrounding neighborhoods. So essentially, the government just spent many thousands of pounds refreshing the nations memory of the fragrant smell of their university halls from a few decades ago, giving them a rush of nostalgia more than anything.

“Drugs are incredibly boring”

In politicians’ vigorous attempts to promote the dangers of drug abuse they’ve essentially created the ‘forbidden drug’ effect, where the younger generations are willing to experiment with drugs in a contrarian like manner. Through the consistent reinforcement of the supposed dangers of using illicit substances, people constantly have drugs in the forefront of their vision. According to The Guardian “the most common age for first taking either powder cocaine, ecstasy or cannabis was between 16 and 18 years old. The most common age for cannabis was 16 years old whilst for powder cocaine and ecstasy it was 18 years old.” This constant rhetoric of danger evidently has adverse effects on the youth. In order to prevent the rampant use of narcotics, it should be considered irrelevant and just a usual part of the fabric of society that isn’t to be negatively looked upon.

We’re at an age now where drug use is ubiquitous amongst all groups in society; it’s difficult to reach the age of eighteen without coming into contact with some form of illegal substance, regardless of your social background. The United Kingdom is at a pivotal point where the demand for a drugs policy reform in government is at an all time high. Political parties such as the Liberal Democrats have heavily backed the idea of drug liberalisation in the United Kingdom, despite the other half of the coalition government having a juxtaposing view on drugs. There argument is still prevalent that drugs are harmful to society, and cause mass social disarray. This perspective is erroneous as the war against drugs is only ever going to be lost with the policies in action, seeing as though the current laws in place aren’t preventing the climbing number of people using drugs in the UK. What historically seems to be commonplace is IRVINE WELSCH’S ECSTASY - 32 -

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PURPLE PILLS

Politicians hijack the fact that certain drugs have significantly more addictive properties by generalising this problem over all variations of drugs, despite only a small majority of drug users are actually addicted to drugs. Comedian Russell Brand heavily debates the difference between being a drug user and a drug addict. The number of people in society who actually suffer from addiction – which Brand argues is a disease – is around 10%. Why should the small minority who are prone to ruining their lives through obsessive traits dictate the whole 90% of society? Ecstasy users of the 90s were portrayed to be the utmost deviant members of society, whilst MDMA is the most pervasive drug in the United Kingdom. Last year, Channel 4 aired a trial “Drugs Live” where a cross section of individuals from different backgrounds took pure ecstasy test and find out if there are any dangers or harm when using the narcotic. David Nutt who got the go ahead to carry out these tests on TV, notably got sacked 2 years earlier for publically announcing that ecstasy was no more dangerous than horse riding.Whilst they discussed the little harm MDMA has on the brain, they did make the important point that the chemical they were toying around with is a lot different to what is available on the street. All drugs we purchase off our local dodgy dealer are potentially cut with all sorts of shit. Presenters Jon Snow and Nutt were hoping this supposedly ‘ground breaking’ concept would pave the way for new research into the drug and critics were heavily concerned this was going to glamorise the use of MDMA, however it essentially bored two million viewers and reminded us how rubbish MDMA is, and the resulting headache we end up with the next morning.

Drug use shouldn’t be considered a guilty pleasure; how often do you feel guilty about consuming a hard-earned pint on the weekend? Many hard working ambitious individuals use it during a day of social drinking to fight lethargy, just like the obligatory morning coffee. The media paints a picture that drug users predominantly are the dregs of society, in council blocks, injecting heroin into each other’s arses. In reality, drug use is more of a middleclass issue than anything else. People are always going to be snorting Cocaine in wine bar toilets, smacking up down dingy alleyways and falling into comatose states on Ketamine at house parties. We need to have a more liberal outlook on the use of drugs. On the other hand, it’s also very boring to hear people be pro-drugs; it’s embarrassing, boring and unnecessary. Drugs don’t need to be glamorised or demonised. The jaded right wing view that they’re harm to society, and the even more so boring hipster idiot who’s still thinking they’re impressive or cool, there is nothing more tiring than a self-proclaimed drug aficionado raving about the positive aspects of drug use. Drugs are an incredibly boring topic and should no longer be a social taboo, in order to prevent the increasing amount of use we need to have a shift in attitudes. There needs to be some form of drug reform in parliament as people need to stop behaving like this isn’t an everyday part of life. The education system that is available about drug use is too open to political manipulation, whilst the government laws and policies are constantly driven by moral panic. Whilst the liberals don’t necessarily call for total decriminalisation, they just question the archaic and ineffective prohibition.

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THE FLY I N G R AT

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MICHAEL MAYREN

MAYREN’S PATRIOT

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MAYREN’S BUILDER

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MAYREN’S SOLDIER

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MAYREN

“Mayren claims in order to gain an honest photograph familiarity is vital” Mancunian raised photographer Michael Mayren successfully manages to capture the essence of working-class Britain through his non-technical approach to photography and delicately selected choice of subjects. Through his work he attempts to shift assumed stereotypes by engaging the audience with these working-class individuals and their stories, which works beautifully as he manages to encapsulate the emotions of his subjects. Through growing up in this environment, you get a real sense of his awareness of his surroundings as he captures candid images documenting the lives he grew up around. Mayren claims in order to gain an honest photograph familiarity is vital, which explains the prominence of working-class males throughout his work. The subjects are usually in their natural habitat, wearing their own sports garb with a natural uncontrived pose. The beauty of his untouched images is rather symbolic and telling of his appreciation for the raw and untouched environment that he is photographing. He has spent his career travelling the breadth of the United Kingdom, and now has broadened his horizons to across the pond to the USA.

MAYREN’S OLYMPIAN

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BOY RACE R

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HIT S DO N’T HURT


SCARY, BABY, SPORTY, GINGER & POSH

SPICE UP YOUR LIFE

Collectors often spend years amassing the most eccentric and unconventional items that bear connection to a certain fascination they retain. They are enigmatic fiends for acquiring a specified type of object that is of certain interest or significance to the individual, but potentially of little to no value to another. Collectables can range from the orthodox stamp to the most idiosyncratic hoarding of objects. Many usually collect a range of items signifying a very notable part of their life - sometimes people just accumulate souvenirs from past travels; other collectors merely grow out of their fascinations whilst young, but in some cases, one’s zeal and passion for their collection is propagated by the desire to preserve this very important aspect of their life. Whether you screamed it from the rooftops or discretely listened to the cassette tape in your Ford Escort, Spice Girls were everyone’s guilty pleasure. After the demise of the group - arguably the greatest girl band of all time

- many ardent fans were left with a Union Jack shaped silhouette protruding through their heart. Disciples of girl power from all corners of the earth were left distraught by the news of break up, but were not willing to simply let go. Whilst praying for a reunion, to bide their time during this hiatus, many began collecting anything and everything Sporty, Scary, Posh, Ginger or Baby.

First and foremost people wonder what drives someone to dedicate their time, money and love to something so consuming, and more importantly, why the Spice Girls? “They’re ordinary girls who are a positive model to all the young people!” he quipped. His collection consists of CDs, singles, albums, DVDs, magazines, dolls, t-shirts, phone cases, books, personal clothing, posters, items from fashion collections the girls have personally designed and even the whole collection of underwear David Beckham recently produced in collaboration with H&M – bizarrely enough. He’s actually very interested in showcasing the memorabilia, as he’s working on a project that would mean he’s able to exhibit his collection in a museum for public viewing. His website is home to extensive photos of his collection and has received 41,000 hits from avid fans worldwide. This is currently the only window into his plethoric collection that is stashed away in his home, which is similar to a shrine many 12-year-old girls had around the world, but on a colossal scale. His partner evidently gained more than just a husband a few years back, but Andrea insists his partner

Whilst Andrea appears extremely proud of his collection, most people would redden even at thought of discussing the sheer cost of a fetish like this. As his ‘career’ collecting has spanned over a decade-and-a-half he has had the opportunity to rack up quite a monumental bill of around €30,000. If there’s one sure way to define a guilty pleasure, it’s when there is a financial burden as large as that involved. But he doesn’t just own the mass-produced, shop bought trifle; a part of his collection are boots worn by Geri at the MTV Music Video Awards in 1997, and even some multiplatinum awards. There is however an item he claims is simply priceless, “the python costume Mel B wore during the Spice World Tour and Spice World The Movie. I think it’s the most iconic Spice dress after the Geri’s Union Jack.”

Andrea Consiglio has spent the last 14 years amassing 30,000 euros worth of spice girls memorabilia

Italian born archaeologist of the Spice Girl world Andrea Consiglio fell in love with the five British girls the moment ‘Wannabe’ reached his Saturday morning TV, but this wasn’t just an infatuation of a young heart; he has spent the last 14 years collecting even though most tenuously connected items. In terms of letting go of his devotion to the Spice Girls, Andrea’s passion for them is relentless, despite their separation many years ago, “From the moment I started collecting I’ve never stopped. The saddest moment was when Geri left in 1998, my heart was destroyed in pieces!”

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is not fazed or annoyed by his obsession dominating their Bologna home, he explained it’s quite the opposite, “I’ve been living with the same person for 11 years and he’s very proud of my collection. With the exception that we don’t have space anymore!”

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The obligatory question of which Andrea’s favourite Spice Girl is received with expected deliberation. He explained how he currently has a soft spot for Geri, which is very apparent from his Twitter page; he has recently conversed back and forth with the ginger-Brit. He’s actually managed to meet all members of the band apart from the incredibly elusive Victoria. So far they have each greeted him with great appreciation, “They are very proud, sometimes they discover some items they have never seen before” he said. There’s also almost a web of support that seems to coexist alongside collecting Spice Girl’s memorabilia, as he consults and receives help from other likeminded enthusiasts from across the globe.

OUR GERI

From an outsider’s perspective, it can be very difficult to comprehend what urges a person to define their existence by an object of their affection. It makes one question at what point does this adoration of, in this case a band, turn into a lifelong obsession of accumulating collectables. They’re dependent on something that was with them and supported them through a difficult period, and they’re prolonging the presence by constantly building this collection. It can almost represent a fulfillment of the missing gap that was left when the band dispersed. The individual depended on their support and this collection is a replacement for them. Evidence that there is pleasure a person can glean from prolonging the past. Marjorie Akin from the University of California supports this view by claiming “objects can connect the collector to the historic, valued past”. When questioned how the Spice Girls have enriched Andrea’s life, he replies “they helped me a lot during my teenage years. I was a very shy and reserved boy so their positive vibe drove me to a more confident and outgoing way of being”. It’s quite remarkable that this girl band could have such a significant influence on an insecure and bashful young boy, and nurture him into the confident man he is today. The rather endearing fact he found the strength to carry on through a difficult stage in his youth; it’s almost as if his collecting is an homage, or payment of respects to a group of women who helped him become the man he is today. He describes his collection as something he ‘can’t do without’; quite poignant that something that he considers a guilty pleasure has provided such outward support and will continue to do so. In terms of Andrea’s opinion on other Pop bands that are current he said, “I like some of them, like 5ive and The Saturdays, but nothing special.”

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The entitled middle class They’re a pest, aren’t they? The dregs of society always expect something for nothing. Whether it is food or shelter, the basic means for living, it’s provided for by the government - no problem. The hardworking, well-educated middle-class individuals must be seething as they spend their livelihood slaving away and subsequently dishing out a mandatory percentage of their salary for taxes. The benefit-dependent then leeches off the government and apparently believes they are entitled to these state handouts. In light of the tragic Philpot case where the lives of 6 children perished at the hands of their vile, abhorrent father, who received in excess of £50,000 a year in handouts, the Conservatives are calling for a drastic change to the welfare state. Tabloids have jumped at the opportunity to create a scapegoat using the working-class, blaming them for the economic and even moral decline. Journalists are creating moral-panic due to the apparent epidemic of entitled working-class benefit scroungers. According to the middle-class, it is a sociological truism that the underclass is an entitled bunch of state-dependent, lazy unemployed scum. The white-picket-fence, executive family home and numerous cars; they’ve worked for it. They are entitled to their two-week holiday to the South of France and beyond, often spanning the widths of the planet. They have the right to send their child to a decent school, enriching them with a quality education that then enables them to go onto university. So what, the middle-class deserves it, right? Riled by the proletariat, who are living on the breadline in their dank hovels in lower socioeconomic areas, who had rather unfortunate upbringings without the opportunity for a decent education; the Tories will no longer provide for them. They believe they’re enabling the unemployed underclass to live the life of Riley by allowing the current welfare state system to persist. People who are claiming benefits from the government are

GRAYSON PERRY’S MIDDLE CLASS TAPESTRY - 58 -

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constantly victimised by the tabloid press and portrayed to be entitled, which is quite a derogatory way to refer to someone as it has rather pejorative connotations of being ignorant, ungrateful and expectant. The British media tries to influence us into feeling as though the most entitled individuals who are expecting something for nothing are the working-class. The middle-class has access to an abundance of leisurely activities and opportunities at their fingertips. But it’s a human right, so why wouldn’t they have that? The lowincome do not have the same access to such a comfortable way of life. They don’t even believe they are entitled to a decent education, and most certainly wouldn’t dream of going onto a degree. Apart from the few exceptions, the archetypal poor person is making do and mostly going without. The unaware middle-class totally negates the constant struggle the working-class are going through whilst becoming accustomed to being at the top of the inegalitarian social food chain. Through the haze of self-righteousness the middle-class have been blinded, and their social consciousness has either dispersed or never existed. They assume through their contribution to taxes they gain entitlement to the fruits of life. Behind all the transparent propaganda the facts show that only a small percentage of the budget goes on Job Seekers allowance. The working-class make do with the minimum wage and don’t expect a higher amount. A recent campaign ensued, where Ian Duncan-Smith had to live off the £53 per week which is the amount left after all essential expenses are paid. Under the reign of a conservative government, this disdain for the ‘entitled working-class’ is only going to be propagated by the media and perceived general opinion of the public.And they are sickened by the way the workingclass believe they’re entitled to government benefits…


NORTHERN CUISINE

SOUTHERN CUISINE

“nowt better than the north” England is infamous for it’s diverse range of dialects. The Northern realms of the country has a twang for all appetites, and it’s quite often you can find a person who gleans great pleasure from of a northern accent. Whether it’s the sound of the strong Yorkshire brogue, complimented by a voice that crepitates like incandescent firewood, or an accent of the Liverpudlian persuasion, otherwise known as Scouse; there is an accent that causes even the most reluctant to gush. You either love or loathe the latter however; Merseyside is home to the extremely distinctive accent that is often greeted with disdain due to its harsh sounding nature and aggressive connotations. Just east of the ‘pool is Manchester, which induces nostalgia for fans of the Happy Mondays and their Ecstasy fuelled days of yore. Many find it difficult to comprehend why anyone would be a fan of the monotonous accent heavily

associated with the programme Shameless, however. Deep in the terrains of the Peak District you’ll find an abundance of variations of the Derbyshire inflection.This is where you can sit on the fence; for the ones who drink decaffeinated, the midlands accent is an amalgamation of north & south, the best of both, or worst: it’s up to you. The accents are so wildly ranging and phonetically different it adds a little more idiosyncrasies to the character of the Northern half of the country. Last but not least is the Geordie accent. Very often people from Newcastle get mistaken for Scottish. After the huge popularity of Geordie Shore the eyes of the world were gazing up to the North East. This brutal dialect is the sole reason Cheryl Cole got booted out of America as they thought she was speaking in Tongues.

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dkny on a doner kebab budget There seems to be a multiplying population of people in Britain who have acquired the right amount of disposable income to afford designer brands over the past few years; Gucci, Louis Vuitton, you know the usual suspects. There is, however, something quite disconcerting about the vast population of people who choose to wear high street bought garments alongside a singular designer garment or accessory, usually a belt or a bag. It’s quite a perplexing train of thought, particularly to ardent followers of particular labels, as to why these individuals are wearing brands like Hermes and YSL when 99% of the time they don’t know anything about said fashion house, it’s history or it’s latest collection. It is generally assumed that someone invests in a designer because of their fondness of their designs or material quality. But surely if it was for the latter, they’d be wearing head to toe cashmere.

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The repeat offenders are usually the men who work basic salary 9-5 office jobs, who often can be caught in a mainstream nightclub chain, casually sauntering around the bar on the prowl. An example choice designer amongst these young men is Vivienne Westwood in particular, however to avoid paying the price tag that usually comes along with a Westwood t-shirt, they opt for pieces which are supposed to be worn as nightwear. Rather laughable considering they’re technically walking around in their pajamas. An example of girls doing it is the audacious teaming up of a Hermes belt with a pair of BHS skinny jeans, Primark underwear and a pair of ballet pumps that are falling apart at the seams. Think of it in food terms, it’s like dipping your chateaubriand in tomato sauce. Whilst Vogue insists the importance of the inclusion of a ‘statement bag’ in a girl’s annual wardrobe renewal, in


order to disguise the rest of an outfit, most would insist it’s villainous, showing your lack of knowledge of designers by feigning a real love for a brand. Not everybody is fortunate to be able to afford designer clothing, which most can sympathise with, however there are other ways to look good; vintage shops infest every city and provide a great medium to amass a wardrobe of designer garments. Demi Martin, a regular customer of Hermes explained her hatred towards the girls she refers to as ‘Topshop Pricks’, “I don’t just buy brands to put out an image, I invest in the ones who I love for the quality and design. The culprits are the ones you’ll see in Vodka Revolution, living the Champagne lifestyle on a fucking Rola-Cola budget and ordering a Champagne Charlie when they go out for dinner. There’s something quite offensive about the number of people who cover their body in fast fashion and contrast it with a Gucci belt and Speedy Louis Vuitton. ”

This problem isn’t really about the replica designer debate, that conversation belongs in 2004. This is about the people who suddenly believe they’re fashion aficionados after picking up a discount DKNY bag off Yoox. Buying fake goods is obviously a heinous crime that funds the underground production, thus cheapening the brands and diminishes exclusivity. Another faux pas considered to be a cop-out is when people purchase one of the many H&M collaborations. Queuing outside a high street shop at 5am does not show you’re zealous about a brand; why not save up for a piece which is going to be more exclusive or better quality?

AIR MAX

We can all learn something quite important about the cliché motto “go hard, or go home” that these certain individuals lead their life by. Wear an obvious brand is a pretentious attempt at looking expensive, either wear entire outfits which are designer or don’t do it at all.

Air Max are either greeted with two emotions, you either love or loathe them. The trainer being a well-established classic, has maintained its popularity across the globe, marking the 25th anniversary last year. The trainer could be considered as influential as Doc Martens, as they similarly transcend through age, subculture and even social class. The latest styles to join the Air Max family is the ‘Home Turf’ collection, which is an array of different styles encapsulating the three leading streetwear capitals of the world; London, Milan and Paris. Representing London is a pair of Air Max 90’s and Air Max 1’s in similar colourways. The interpretations of the classic feature white Hyperfuse upper, orange Nike tick and blue rubber panelling encasing the air bubble. The shoe was originally targeted at the athletic market, inadvertently pioneered by the working-class and is currently donned by professionals, fashion innovators and self-proclaimed ‘sneaker aficionados’. Luxury department store Liberty collaborated with Nike for AW/11 creating

BURBERRY BAG

HOME TURF AIR 1’S - 62 -

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floral and geometric patterned Air Max that were apart of a larger range. Interestingly, this quite humorously contrasts with the fact that according to the UK forensic Science Service’s database, Air Max 95’s are extremely popular amongst criminals in the UK. This is precedent to the fact that an abundance of people from different social backgrounds rely on Air Max as being a staple piece of their wardrobe. According to Heather Douglas, a member of the Size? team, Air Max gained popularity and notoriety due to one important factor, simplicity. “They’ve been in the public eye for quarter of a century now, they’re almost an institution. I see so many different people wearing them and they still look so effortless.” Through this simplicity they have the ability to seamlessly integrate into anyone’s wardrobe, regardless of one’s personal style. This has made them de rigueur. A notable example of the trainers being worn in a rather idiosyncratic way would be by Lily Allen when she first broke into the music industry, with her vibrant prom dresses. Whilst most would agree her gaudy choice of attire was awful, it certainly got her noticed.


purveyors of britain

Tracey Emin, born in the hometown of the Croydon Facelift, is all too au fait with quintessential British taste. As a member of the YBAs, Emin has produced a range of work inclusive of the appliquéd camping tent in which she extensively listed every person she has slept with – in the literal sense, not necessarily just sexually, “Some I’d had a shag with in bed or against a wall some I had just slept with, like my grandma.” One other significant piece of work was a self-portrait of her sat open legged on the floor, clutching a variety of banknotes into her crotch humorously making her comparable to Michael Carroll the self-proclaimed King of Chavs lottery winner of the art world. Her work has gained her the accolade CBE from Princess Anne and is now one of the richest artists in the world.

Sarah Lucas, who owned ‘The Shop’ with Emin in 1993. Similar to Emin, Lucas’ work was rather bawdy and touched upon sexual issues that are evident in her work. One of her installations at the Saatchi gallery, named ‘Two Fried Eggs and a Kebab” can only be interpreted in one way. The same can be said for one of her installations which featured a large piece of chorizo ham protruding from a leather bound chair, resembling a male with a girthy, erect penis. The collective known as the Young British Artists who were prominent figures that have used the medium of art in order to express their appreciation of British culture. These artists are celebratory of gritty British culture through expression in their artwork.

Grayson Perry is a British artist famous for his incongruous vases that are created to in a Grecian style that feature artwork portraying scenes such as car-wrecks and even auto-biographical. He is particularly noted for his three part series ‘In Best Possible Taste’ where he delved into the world of British class in order to get an understanding of the modern day social classification system. He used his findings to create a huge tapestry displaying an interpretation of the working, middle and upper class groups in the UK. He then displayed his tapestries for the viewing pleasure of the subjects he used in his work. Some of his findings were quite compelling and gave quite interesting food for thought when considereing the social stratification system in modern day England.

Martin Parr is famed for his documentary style photography which provides a commentary on modern day Britian. His images feature real life people, which he uses as a statement in his work in order to convey a point or critique. His photos often include the focus on something quite beautiful contrasted next to something like a cigarette. His photography teaches us to reexamine the world around us we take for granted.

TRACEY EMIN

SARAH LUCAS

GRAYSON PERRY

MARTIN PARR

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Parr approaches his subjects and captures them without asking permission, this then gives him the opportunity to capture them behaving naturally without masking themselves with a pose.


ENGLISH TERRIER

dogging britain “i’m in it for the thrill, not the bill”

Being an exile of the Suffolk planes, Rachael had never before been exposed to the bright lights of sexual liberation and carefree promiscuousness. When moving to the Home Counties, she never expected to become wrapped up in a world of outdoor exhibitionism. In her words: “I really fell on my feet, or fanny; it’s up to you.” Don’t let her received pronunciation fool you though; behind those rolling r’s and sultry tones, Rachael has a dirty secret she only shares with a select few. By day she caters for the needs of the lessable citizens of suburban London, but by night she caters for the needs of the sexually rampant occupants of the Epsom Downs. Believe me, she didn’t just fall upon these sexual escapades; they were well and truly preempted. She’s a calculated deviant who enjoys the fruits of what the nighttime Surrey countryside has to offer. According to Rachael, she’s quite the dominant figure down at the Downs. Whilst most notable figures at the Racecourse you can usually put your money on, Rachael insists dogging isn’t a pastime for those in it for a monetary

gain, “people mistake it for prostitution, I’m in it for the thrill, not the bill.” She also lists the stringent rules of how she’s not there to be tampered with by obscure people of the night, “I don’t frig myself whilst gazing through the rearwindows of Ford Fiestas, I’m more of a performer, not an instrument.” The average pre-dogging preparations on a Friday night consists of a few glasses of Prosecco, a quick sniff of Poppers and a squeeze into her PVC bodysuit with a zipthrough crotch. She frequents her favourite haunts along the high street before hopping into the back of her friend’s hatchback, which later doubles up as her stage to showcase her sexual dexterity. Whilst some perceive dogging as another opportunity for perverse nymphomaniacs to fornicate, Rachael feels as though this is her art, her chance for expressionism between her mundane 9-5. Whilst she’s still caring by day, she’s not harming others by night. She’s doing what she loves best, even if that does require getting eaten out in the back of a 03 reg Nissan Micra. DOGGING IN ACTION - 66 -

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KEVIN A guilty pleasure defines an act that is both satisfying and enjoyable, which induces pangs of conscience due to its tasteless or lowbrow nature; for instance, an over-indulgence in Chinese takeaway. Everybody has their own guilty pleasures, despite how lame or pathetic they may be. However there seems to be an increasing issue within the context of these vices. With modern day and younger generations being brought up within a consumer culture, we are urged to overindulge at all cost. Living in a morally corrupt society that has long undergone securlarisation, we don’t feel guilty about the supposed sins we wallow in. We’re existing in a desensitised state. In an age where bad taste is greeted with disdain, this is a cultural journey through the specifics and behaviours deriving from supposed vulgarity. From the perspective of an aficionado and purveyor of bad taste, arrives a social commentary on the world of British taste. Casting light on the typically shunned, this magazine delves into the underbelly of British culture, exploring the raw and gritty context that is home to this unsung, uncelebrated world. Kevin doesn’t work to a brief of exploring a certain social class, it delves into the crass behaviours that are an inevitable product of all British culture. By combing through fashion, art, culture, music and politics, Kevin extracts intelligence from what would normally be considered shallow and nugatory. Kevin admires the indulgences of British individuals from across the social spectrum casting light on the ignored connoisseurs of taste.


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