Friday, July 23, 2010

Jolly good fun in Redcliffe Gardens

Medallion Man. That's a person you don't hear much of anymore.

Once bestowed upon anyone who wore a gold necklace amid a forest of chest hair, it was everyone from Fred Wedlock to Gary Davies to George Michael to Frank Butcher to the flash bloke in the espadrilles and silk shirt unbuttoned to the navel you'd find in nightclubs or wine bars. That man has all but died out.

So what's the modern equivalent of this lothario? For women, it seems to be the term cougar. How did this enter our parlance - and why? Now it's any attractive woman over 40 who's out to get a man. Calling all women: what do you think of this term?

There are all sorts of epithets that have bitten the dust over the past 25 years. Whither the Yuppie or the Dinkie? Where's the Fulham Wanderer, the Young Fogey or the the Nouveau Pauvres? They attempted a Sloane Ranger revival recently, updating it for the modern world, but it probably officially died when Diana did.

I've got a pile of handbooks at home on how to be most of these things. I have to say, Peter Yorks Official Sloane Ranger Handbook kept me amused for years. I went to school with many of the stereotypes, and it was spot on. A lot of them played up to it, protesting that the biggest insult in the world to them was to be called a Sloane. Secretly of course, they reveled in it. How Eighties is that?

So what media-invented tribes do we have knocking around today?


Ishouldbeworking said...

I quite miss the old tribalism of the 80s. It speaks to me of a more imaginative, less homogenous age. Everyone looks more or less the same today, and it's all a bit dull.

'Cougar' is an absolutely pathetic label. Any woman stupid enough to go along with it deserves every drop of scorn that can be heaped upon her. And I speak as a fine-looking 40-something woman, oh yes.

Chris Hughes said...

I can't believe you missed Ken Masters off your list. For shame!

Five-Centres said...

The ultimate medallion man! The shame in indeed.

Five-Centres said...

Now remedied, but not the best Ken pic there is I'm sure.

Michael said...

We have a guy in our (Sydney) office who the girls have dubbed Antenna/Bluetooth Man, because of his permanent ear ornament. He ticks all the same boxes as the original medallion man.

Chris Hughes said...

Well, he's wearing a V-neck jumper with no shirt, and he's on a cordless phone, so I'd say it's pretty near definitive.

You can buy the whole of Howards' Way on DVD from Amazon for £45. I am very tempted.

Five-Centres said...

I don't think I'd ever get around to watching it, Chris, tempting as it is. I'm mulling it over.

Michael you're right, those ear phone things are the new medallions. Or mobile phones worn on belts. No one needs to be available THAT much.

Clair said...

You've missed out the Shorditch Twat. I see them at gallery launches all the time and I loathe their trilbies, skinny jeans, overpriced vintage clothing and habit of cycling everywhere on a too-small BMX, or on a skateboard.

Cocktails said...

Does Shoreditch twat cover all the boys with trendy beards? There must be name for them.

And does £50 Man still exist?

Five-Centres said...

Fifty quid goes nowhere these days.

I think Tena Lady still exists.

office pest said...

I'm all for judging people by their appearance, because I find I'm generally right to do so. Let's summarise a couple of types here:

Here's one for the men - Moaties - dogs, guns, theft, traps, combat gear, beer, rural revolt stickers, body odour, maglite, legalise hunting, no tax, mot or insurance, cash in hand, skinhead cut and general thuggishness.

For the ladies - that 'oven-browned' level of fake tan, shiny make-up, hideously overblown sunglasses, fake gilt accessories and potentially far too tight clothing, previously the preserve of the 'travelling community' seems to have taken hold everywhere. We shall call them 'Jordans'.

Five-Centres said...

Moaties and Jordans. Absolutely.