Perfect Husband went downtown for the game, but he left as soon as the game was over. Good thing, too, because I’m sure you have all heard what happened in Vancouver last night, after the game. All PH saw was a mailbox overturned and a mugging, but not long after he left, a car was flipped and set fire to, not five meters from where he had been standing.
When he got home we watched the news until nearly midnight, as people rioted in the streets and Vancouver burned.
At first I was disgusted with sports fans.
“I understand that they’re disappointed,” I said to PH, “but how does setting fire to someone else’s property make anything better?”
As I watched the live footage, though, I realized something – people weren’t doing this because they were pissed about the game. They were laughing, dancing, waving at the cameras. They were pulling ridiculous stunts, like jumping onto a flaming bimmer only to slip and fall right into the flames. They were taking pictures of themselves in front of broken storefront windows. They were watching criminals looting. They were beginning to realize that there was too many of them, and not enough of the police. They were realizing that they could DO ANYTHING, and probably not get caught.
And then we saw human nature at its finest.
What would YOU do, if you could do anything you had ever wanted to do, and you were sure that you couldn’t get caught? Would you run up a “down” escalator? Shout in a library? Break a window just to hear the glorious smash? Or grab an iPod touch?
A friend of ours was downtown and posted video of people looting. We can hear our friend hollering, in an amused tone of voice, “Seriously? What do you guys want to steal makeup for? Is lipstick worth going to prison? You must be REALLY ugly…”
They weren’t doing it because they wanted makeup, of course. They were just doing it because they could.
Most of us have a hidden criminal deep down inside. I didn’t even know that I had it, until I realized that the London Drugs that was being looted was directly across from the massive downtown Chapters. And I thought, “to hell with looting London Drugs, imagine looting a CHAPTERS!”
Of course, I knew that I would never do it. Even if I were in a crowd full of people and knew that no one would ever catch me, that I could do it with impunity because everyone else was doing it to. I wouldn’t do it because I feel that it is WRONG to steal. I don’t just withold myself because I might get caught, I honestly refuse to do it.
But the thought was there – the thought of how awesome it would be to have a freeforall in a book store.
There are a lot of people who just don’t do things like that because they don’t want to get in trouble, not because they have sat down and worked out the morals of it. When you remove that risk, when you put them in a place where everyone is just doing whatever they have dreamed of doing their whole lives, when you say, “here, everyone else is doing it, so why not you?” there are a lot of people who go “AWESOME” and live out their fantasies.
THAT is what happened last night. This wasn’t a matter of Vancouver being a sore loser. This wasn’t outrage at the Bruins.
This was just an excuse to be the complete and total moron that everyone had always dreamed of being. This wasn’t about sports. This was about people having a great time being giant assholes.
I had to laugh at the news anchors, because they kept talking about what COMPLETE idiots everyone was being, and they were right.[youtube www.youtube.com/watch?v=PctPVoiB3v0&feature=related]
Yup, you’re totally right. It had NOTHING to do with the Cup and NOTHING to do with these people being fans. It was a premeditated excuse to be an asshole. The people there even had face masks to protect against the tear gas. Even still, my heart is heavy for Vancouver today.
(And the sweeping generalizations about “Vancouver having the worst fans” really, really upsets me 😦 )
It’s true. I know many Vancouverites, Canucks fans and not, and all were very sad and embarrassed by the rioting.
I just got more and more annoyed the longer I watched. Just wanted to smack them. Morons. (And 98% of them male, I further note. Well, 100%, as far as I could see, but I assume there were probably a smattering of equally moronic females in there.)
I think your analysis is absolutely correct. This wasn’t about hockey, but about freedom to be a stupid, id-driven, adolescent asshole.
I kept wondering if their mothers were watching them on TV.
My mum has a shop so I know how shops need to make ends meet, which would stop me from joining a looting spree. Even though a free-for-all in a ginourmous bookstore would, indeed, be AWESOME!
My respect for rioters rose a bit when they decided to break into Chapters. I have since found out, though, that they weren’t planning on looting the book store, but SETTING FIRE to it. My respect plummeted again.
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