Could do without the sunburn, mind. It's hard to get the balance right. I only have to gaze at a blank sheet of A4 to start sizzling, but if I avoid sunshine completely I wind up looking ashen and sickly. Little wonder there's a multi-million-dollar industry creating creams and lotions for us to smear all over our superior white skin in a desperate bid to protect it from the sky, and another multi-million-dollar industry devoted to turning our superior white skin brown so it looks better.
Despite these drawbacks – and its propensity for showing up pimples and ageing quickly and going wrinkly – there's no doubt that white skin is the best, in the same way green Smarties are the best. Simple logic.
No one in their right mind would begrudge a green Smartie the right to celebrate its own identity. So what if a group of green Smarties wants to organise a green pride march and demand the immediate expulsion of all the other colours from the tube? You can't expect them to mingle with the others. Some of them are pink, for Christ's sake. Trace the history of that tube and you'll find a green Smartie was dropped in first, maybe. Therefore that tube is green land. Greens should call the shots. To think anything else is just madness. And it's the same with white skin.
If only there was some sort of club I could join to celebrate my whiteness, I've wondered many times, while masturbating over paintings of Hitler. Well there is! It's called the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas (or ABT), and it's celebrated in a documentary called Inside The Aryan Brotherhood (Wed, 10pm, Discovery). Heavily tattooed, spouting hate speech, bragging about their appetite for violence and openly boasting about their crystal meth-smuggling business, they're the kind of people you'd expect to find in prison. Which is probably why they're in prison.
Despite being in prison, they're a force to be reckoned with, according to this documentary, which in no way glorifies them unless you think intercutting violent CCTV prison fights with menacing soundbites from masked members of the Aryan Brotherhood underscored with dramatic music counts as "glorification". Anyone who thinks those sequences look like precisely the sort of thing the ABT might edit together themselves is mistaken. For one thing, the captions are spelt correctly. And for another they're not allowed to use Final Cut Pro in prison.
They're allowed to do push-ups, though. Lots of push-ups. We see one of them doing push-ups in his cell and he looks pretty cool, if you ignore the seatless metal toilet in the corner which he has to piss and shit in every day with no privacy because he's in prison.
They're not all in prison. Some remain outside, including a one-legged member called Lucky, and a man who wears a bandana to protect his identity but fails to cover up the huge, immediately identifiable tattoos on both his arms. Maybe he thinks a black man invented the sleeve.
The programme hasn't noticed how funny this is; it's too busy hammering home the notion that the ABT is a terrifyingly huge organisation, although when you Google "ABT", the first things that pop up are American Ballet Theatre and the Association of Beauty Therapists, which is probably almost as annoying for the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas as being in prison.
This could be a desperate tragedy about wasted lives and misplaced rage. Instead it fetishises an angry, misguided prison gang furiously clinging to its own whiteness as the one source of self-esteem they have left. When your skin is the only thing you feel truly proud of, it's become a prison in itself. A cell of cells. Whatever the colour.
Source: Charlie Brooker @ The Guardian