June 18, 2011

Sports rioting, a disease of sick societies

The most pathetic thing about the recent riots in Vancouver is not the packs of video game addicts finally emerging from hibernation to smash windows, loot, and set things on fire -- which, by the way, proves what pussies they are, as they'll only lash out when there is zero risk of detection or punishment, when they can slink like cowards into a vast crowd.

No, what's more disgusting is everyone else sitting on their fat ass -- or in some cases walking right by the vandalism, perhaps even taking pictures for their Facebook updates. Why aren't old ladies pouring out into the streets to smack these punks around with brooms and frying pans? Why aren't neighborhood kids forming block patrols to keep the loser brigades from screwing with their hang-outs? And why aren't military veterans organizing a posse? Shoot, the Vancouver police should have booked a flight for Epic Beard Man if their local residents are just going to sit around and watch their city burn.

Given how few are causing real trouble, and given how cowardly and uncommitted they are, it would hardly take an army of people from the community to shut down most of this senseless destruction. It would not even have to get very violent: it would go a long way to just have a large crowd glaring at them, like "God, you're pathetic, it's no wonder you'll always be a failure." A good deal of their motivation is to boost their non-existent status by having a mob cheer on their (imaginary) badassery. So if their kicking in a store window was only met with stares of contempt, they would stop, scream "Well screw you guys for judging me, then!" and shuffle home crying to tell their mommies how mean the crowd was, and to "leave me alone while I play Grand Theft Auto -- I mean it this time, Mom!"

That the residents of Vancouver could not manage even a fraction of this low necessary level of response shows how thoroughly wasted away the city is on the inside. It has abandoned community defense and outsourced the clean-up job to even more apathetic mercenaries, i.e. the police. It is as though the social body had shut off its own immune system -- "too much hassle to protect something we don't care about" -- and began relying on emergency room visits and cocktails of antibiotics after the inevitable invasion by pathogens. Their will to survive has dwindled so much that they are just a couple steps away from telling the doc to just pull the plug and get it over with already.

Perhaps if the rioting served some larger purpose -- whether justified or not -- things would not look so bleak. If, for example, the rioting were about politics, economics, race relations, and so on. When there are two sides in a battle-with-a-purpose, onlookers might not be able to tell right away which side was right, or if both had legitimate grievances. They might also have a greater fear of reprisal by the group who they sided against, since in these situations -- but not where it's just a bunch of uncommitted losers wreaking havoc -- the other side feels strongly enough about their side winning that they will try to retaliate. This senselessness is what makes sports rioting such a telling sign of how weakly held together a society is.

But such shockingly low levels of social cohesion are hardly unique to Canada, which has never really had a strong national identity. Even in America, over the past 20 years as our solidarity has plateaued or started to fall, sports rioting has become far more common, at least judging from Wikipedia's list of riots, which does have pretty extensive coverage of the past half-century. They were not entirely absent during our peak as a society from roughly 1950 to 1990, but in comparison they have exploded since 1992.

However, 1950 to 1990 was not a period free of sports riots in England; in fact, that was when soccer hooliganism became a regular feature of the culture. This was just one symptom of the widespread fraying of the social fabric during that time, which would lead to losing its first-place status among nations to America. Similar hooliganism pervades the rest of Europe, and of course they haven't been strong countries for over 100 years.

Turning to the good news, where don't we find sports rioting in Western countries? You shouldn't be surprised if you read the post below predicting that Australia is the best bet in the medium-long-term for upholding civilization. The list of riots mentioned earlier doesn't have any entries that are sports riots within Australia, or New Zealand for that matter, aside from protests against visiting teams from Apartheid South Africa in 1971 and 1981, respectively. The small handful of riots in Australia are the occasional garden-variety race riots that erupt whenever highly dissimilar groups live within the same nation. Even those don't appear to have involved more than a couple hundred people.

The 2005 Cronulla riots were larger, but they still were nothing like the scale and damage done during the 1992 Los Angeles Riots. And those riots were more of a community-defense response against some Middle Eastern troublemakers -- a sign of a functioning immune system, then, unlike the sports rioting of other Western countries.

And it's not as though there's no culture of sports and drinking there to provide the pretext for senseless rioting, if that's what people wanted to do. I've never been there, but I do remember that the Australians in Barcelona went carousing like other Anglo groups on the weekend. Evidently, this only goes as far as chummy drunken revelry, and not wantonly trashing the community while everyone else looks on in apathy.

8 comments:

  1. How many riots have you stopped lately?

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  2. Anonymous1:25 PM

    The sad thing is that this is probably the most exciting thing that has ever happened in any of these losers' lives, or will ever happen. They'll be telling their grandchildren about the Vancouver hockey riot of one one, and how exciting it was. I'm sure they'll have built themselves into hero's in their own minds by then; and they'll probably believe it too. Regaling the young 'uns with tales of how they held fast against the savage hordes and prevented the bookstore from being looted.
    If some citizens had stood up and smacked a few of the rioters down, I guarantee that they would be the ones most sought by the police right now. Could you imagine some middle aged white man grabbing that skinny Asian kid with the hockey stick and throwing him to the ground? He'd be up in front of the B.C human rights commission, being bankrupted, and ruined for the rest of his life, branded as a racist; or a child molester if the kid was under 18.
    How about grabbing that girl running out of the jewelry store? He would have been charged with assault, improper touching, illegal use of force, misogyny, and whatever charges the feminists could pressure the authorities to bear.
    It's sad,but the smart thing to do now is to avert your eyes and walk in the opposite direction. Like they used to teach us when I was working up north in bear country: don't make eye contact, don't show your teeth. Back away slowly.
    Any righteous aggression will be met with force from the mob or the authorities.
    There are too many stories now of people who acted to protect their own lives, the lives of their families, or their property, and were arrested and charged; or attacked and savagely beaten or killed. The attackers spend a few years in jail and are freed while the victim is still crippled or dead.
    The only way to prevent this from happening again is to prosecute this filth, until it seeps into the collective consciousness that to be a part of a mob, even if you did nothing, is to be charged with part of the destruction. Years from now, when these coddled suburban twits finish college and are looking for careers, some human resources drone googles their names, gets an eyeful of their extra curricular activities
    and shreds their resumes. They'll never know why they're not getting hired. That would be some kind of justice.

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  3. Yes, the cronulla riots demonstrated a well functioning immune system and high social cohesiveness. Some Muslims attempted to apply Sharia on Cronulla beach. People proceeded to thump Muslims, many of them no doubt innocent. Muslims called in their pals from all over the city for large scale reprisals, with car burnings after the fashion of Paris. They and their pals got thumped badly. "Burn our fucking cars, will ya!"

    No more attempt to impose Sharia law. Peace returned.

    Police were too politically correct to restrain the Muslims, and insufficiently numerous to restrain the rioters.

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  4. When have old ladies ever responded to rioting that way?

    Banfield's "The Unheavenly City Revisited" is available online, and has a chapter "Rioting Mainly for Fun and Profit". He divides riots into rampages (mainly lower class youths, and somewhat resembling this riot), foray for pillage (often the result of an existing riot, largely lower class but with others opportunistically engaging in it as well), outburst of righteous indignation (working class) and demonstrations (middle and upper class). Sports riot rampages by youths receive mention.

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  5. "How many riots have you stopped lately?"

    I don't live in a degenerate part of the country where there are riots to stop. But I'd be there first thing -- and so would others here. That deterrent is what keeps would-be criminals in line. Resigning yourself that you can't make a lick of difference is what allows criminals to run loose.

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  6. "Any righteous aggression will be met with force from the mob or the authorities."

    Probably not by the mob, as most of them were completely passive, and the troublemakers themselves scattered with little resistance on the very rare occasion that someone fought them back, like that burly guy in the black tracksuit shouting that "this is our community!" to some skater faggots.

    I agree, though, that the justice system would be harsher, but that's part of the risk you take to defend to community. It's like the conservative version of doing civil disobedience and getting in trouble with the law.

    The fact that the courts would treat a vigilante more harshly than street punks also shows how fragmented the community is. If the courts knew that the community would cheer on the rescuers, they wouldn't dare try to put them through the ringer. Look at how lightly Bernie Goetz got off!

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  7. "No more attempt to impose Sharia law. Peace returned. "

    More importantly, at least from the snippets I've read from the Australian media, the riots put the fear of God into the multi-culti racket.

    "What does this say about the future success of multiculturalism in Australia?" Etc.

    So after 2005, the diversity experts have to push their agenda much more cautiously and lightly, aware that the public is so hostile to their views that they've stood up for themselves out in the open, rather than whine in private.

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  8. Anonymous9:42 AM

    A marker of a sick society is the depth and breadth of its citizens' trait of living vicariously.

    One can live vicariously through a favorite sport's team and be pathologically happy if that team wins or pathologically depressed and miserable, and violent if that team loses.

    One can live vicariously through fictional characers in movies, tv shows, even through characters in great literature, immersing one's self in words on a page to the exclusion of living with real people in a real world as many "addicted" to reading do. Of course, while many voracious readers are withdrawn from lives around them and in some ways suffer from a pathology, but at least they aren't violent.

    All in all, societies that can afford to steep themselves in such vicarious activities are societies in which people have a lot of free time on their hands. Funny how we strive to replace work with leisure and how too much time for leisure is often mentally unhealthy. When people stop working, stop producing, they rot.

    Jobs of old--the cabinet maker, the carpenter, the housewife--they produced something of worth and felt that worth from what they produced.

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