August 06, 2008

Waking the Dead skinheads

What happens when youth cultures grow old? That was the interesting context of a rather gruesome episode of "Waking the Dead" (episode summary), the crime series which specialises in digging out old murder cases (but not necessarily cold ones).
Police crime series seem to always try to incorporate contemporary concerns subtly and/or brutally into their story lines: Jane Tennyson in "Prime Suspect" was forever chasing 1990s paedophiles and John Thaw as "Morse" always got the 1980s Satanic and druggie rave party murders. But this episode of "Waking the Dead" had a massive overload of hot buttons du jour: far right British racist skinheads turn politicians, Muslim intolerance and its threats, wife abuse, Aids (and how you get it), Nigerian homophobia, snuff movies, cross-cultural love and its pitfalls. It all made watching it rather heavy going and resulted in some inelegant, anachronistic and convoluted story lines.
But the subcultural references were enjoyable in a perverse kind of way: the superannuated skinheads looked like a bunch of gay men who refuse to grow a combover, and their SM antics wouldn't look out of place in the more adventurous underground nightspots.
And I did marvel at how we should believe that a 17 year old video recording which was hidden in a not too sheltered space all that time could produce such clear vivid pictures. Analogue tape never looked or could be made to look that good, not even my Betamax.
I wasn't sure whether you can actually easily get HIV from a tattooing instrument where the tattooist mixed the ink with his own blood. I thought HIV was a rather fragile thing that doesn't survive well outside its warm blood medium. But perhaps an epidemiologist can work that one out for me?

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