By far my favourite sub-culture, the self-proclaimed gangsters of Sydney suburbia have generously provided amusement for many within the past decade. Terrorising the ghettos of Bondi and Castle Hill, these ruthless thugs flock together in a parade of oversized baseball caps (despite the absolute lack of Australian baseball) and oh-too-revealing, “low-riding” pants. The American offshoot of “ghettoism” seems to have catapulted beyond the actual ghetto to settle into the quiet streets of Sydney suburbs and directly into the impressionable hearts of Australian youth. Glamorised in rap music and Hollywood movies, American gang culture provides a healthy dose of violence, egoism and misogyny to scrawny schoolboys everywhere, as well as a unique though indecipherable twist to the English vocabulary. In describing what I think to have been a dance practice in his two-car garage, my neighbour last week declared, “Thatz rite yo, dem playaz b bustin some moves up in ma crib!” Unfortunately I lack the swank, ghetto manner of speech, and cannot offer an accurate translation.
As long as musicians like Tupac, Eminem and Fifty Cent are immortalised into the consciences of adolescents, the glorification of guns, drugs and violence will persist with a steadfast force. But it’s not only the boys succumbing to this bizarre social trend – such groups are often stalked by a dedicated entourage of giggly girls, twirling their hair and fluttering their eyelashes in the presence of their rebellious dignitaries.
However, the manner in which sensationalist media has dealt with this particular sub-culture certainly seems ridiculous to anybody who may actually know one or two of its loyal followers. In Australia it appears to only serve the insecurities of the image-conscious, and is very unlikely to extend beyond the inconveniences of petty-crime and public disturbances.
In conclusion, if you ever come across these frightening rebels of society, be wary; gangsters will untie your shoelaces and shake your fizzy drinks - word.