Psychedelic Skinheads

Aryan Skynet

Blue Sunshine poster

Blue Sunshine (1977)

Amid all the protean chaos of 1960s countercultural developments, one of the more intriguing currents was the nihilistic iconoclasm that caused some rather seedy elements in the forces arrayed against the western establishment to adopt the symbols of “hate” as a sign of nonconformity – with bikers such as Hell’s Angels, for example, wearing swastikas. Much of the counterculture, of course, was merely superficial fashion; but sometimes it gave rise to something more. A blue collar manifestation and offshoot of mod sensibility in Britain was the notorious skinhead haircut, which represented a macho reaction against the shaggy hair of the Beatles et al. Many of the original skinheads were reggae enthusiasts, not at all racialist in orientation; but the look also became associated with soccer hooliganism, which in turn has frequently taken the form of racial tribalism. Whatever its origins, the skinhead look had become associated by…

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