Monday, June 20, 2011

One guy's take on the Vancouver riots

There's lots of evidence that the Vancouver riot wasn't just a spontaneous 'happening' - like reports of the chatter of boozed-up youths heading downtown on Sky Train, and this comment on Rex Murphy's video rant (jsmith, 2011/06/19 at 12:33 AM ET):

I was downtown when Boston was up 2-0 and phoned my brother and said "Don't come down here, this is not the Olympic crowd at all, which was a positive vibe. This was the largest crowd of rough looking trouble makers I'd ever been in. I got out of town only to make it home to watch the riot live on CBC.
However, there are a few things that struck me about this riot. There was a moral degredation that I've never seen before. People filming themselves with an unlikely combination of exhuberance and nihilism. Very disturbing to witness.

What is also of great concern to me is how completely out of touch with reality many of the old guard are....including you Rex. Tony Parsons commentary during the riots sounded like Mr. Roger from the 50's...."oh there's a silly guy...a silly guy who's going to get hurt" "It only take a few people to spoil it for all the rest".

The trouble is it wasn't a few was many thousands of people all on the same page. The same wavelength. And as the story developes it seems lots of them were from regular homes, including an aspiring Olympic athlete.

I thought about how people like the CBC commentators in their Ivory Tower and the Mayor Gregor Robertson who probably thought the crowd would all have a carrot juice and ride their bikes home afterwards had to have been extremely naive to believe that their wasn't an undercurrent brooding on the streets. One walk through the crowd and it was completely palpable.

Rex can take the moral high ground in his tirade, but I'm afraid the message might not get through to the younger generation raised on values of disorientation, chaos, pornography, no shame, instant gratification, voyeurism, post moderism, post religion.


Anonymous said...

Ambivalence between Surrey & Vancouver goes back a ways. Even before SkyTrain existed, one can recall youths on a Surrey bus talking about Vancouver. In a frightened tone, "They kill in that place". That was the age of the Whalley Bus Exchange in North Surrey where residents had to stand in mud for a decade and no place to sit waiting for a bus transfer coming home from Vancouver. And before AirCare, youths in dilapidated cars (police pulled traffic over for a roadside check into the recreation parking lot next to the bus exchange one summer evening and had to impound 20%, they didn't just fail they were that bad) would cruse the bus exchange. A decade ago when computers got to be popular there was topic after topic in local forum "Discover Vancouver" full of "Surrey" jokes. Vancouver merchants that advertised serving the GVRD, the Greater Vancouver District (even though the Surrey mayor was chairman of the GVRD at that time) wouldn't include Surrey. Surrey blamed SkyTrain for bringing homeless from Vancouver out to Surrey.

Some things never seem to change.

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