The Disinvested – A Few Disparate Thoughts On The Vancouver Riots

by Froogle Scott, VREAA, 16 June 2011 -

Rioters = people less invested in a society, or at least capable of being less invested for an evening, when fueled with booze and testosterone.

Interesting that the typical riot shot or ‘riot pose’ adopted by the young male participants, is one with arms thrust upward and outward in a V, as if proclaiming some kind of victory, or drawing power from the carnage behind. Ergo, these are people who spend most of their time walking around feeling powerless?

The boutique and upscale display window, the BMW or Hummer, is the magnet for trashing, upscale consumer goods the key item for looting.

The riot appears to be a fun event for the participants, but also something that helps define them, assert their individuality — ironically, while part of a mob. The Canucks fail to make them feel good about themselves, so they take matters into their own hands. Surreal to see “Kesler” and “Luongo” and “Sedin” running around inside the Bay and outside smashing and looting. If the real Luongo can’t get it done, I’ll just do it myself.

A few disparate thoughts, perhaps held together by the notion of ‘investment’ — the various meanings of that term, the lack of it, and perhaps the distortion of its meaning by the broader Vancouver society. We feel invested if we own a house or a condo, or earn enough to buy $500 hockey tickets, or designer handbags and shoes, or fancy automobiles. As the society has become increasingly focused on consumerism and sensory experience, on houses and home renovation, and the price of admission to that society climbs increasingly higher, the notion of what constitutes a healthy society in which everyone can feel invested becomes increasingly murky.

I don’t think the rioters are ‘dispossessed’ in any real sense of that word, but I do think that a riot of disaffected, bored bottom-feeders in a consumerist hierarchy tells you something about the nature of the broader society.

56 responses to “The Disinvested – A Few Disparate Thoughts On The Vancouver Riots

  1. Sorry, I think these are just a bunch of people who don’t really have any aspiration in life beyond booze, games, drugs, sex, and whatever else that pleases them and lacks a work ethics to learn and work to live the life they want. I seriously doubt any of them are hard done by the inequalities in life which I would then have some sympathies for.

    • That is the attitude that causes the problem.These kids just want to feel useful. Your attitude towards them is what society sends. When you send that attitude out, you get it back..

    • space, maybe you’re right, but does it not interest you at all how they became like that? Or how you could change it?

      Work ethics (or lack thereof) is something you learn.

  2. “As the society has become increasingly focused on consumerism and sensory experience…”

    My experience with the US housing-driven recession is that it has had the effect of grounding most people and given them a better perspective on consumerism. I was recently discussing this with coworkers, and everyone admitted that their outlook and spending habits have probably been changed forever. Especially if we dip back into recession here, it will have a lifetime effect on many households.

    In my personal opinion, a culture based on the trappings of wealth (whether real or illusionary) and the competition for wealth, becomes more and more unhealthy. It’s focusing on superficial and transitory things.

    In the grand scheme of things, the recession here may have been a good thing in many ways. Unfortunately, Washington DC and the Wall Street didn’t learn the same lessons that households did, so we’re probably headed for another crisis.

    • An extreme example of this is the way that many talk about life in the US after the worst of the Dirty Thirties. Yes, there was considerable hardship, but it seems that for many individuals/families/communities there was a ‘grounding’ that occurred (to use Snats’ word) that they ended up valuing greatly.
      Which is not to say that recessions/depressions are ‘good’.
      Can we figure out a way of accessing and using that wisdom without the necessary hardship?
      Are these cycles inevitable?

      • RE: Riots — I think there’s a reason that Detroit has more riots. Poverty and class conflict does lend itself to the whole rioting thing. Young men who think they can afford to marry & purchase houses are less likely to riot. Young men who don’t think they’ll ever get ahead are much more likely to riot. If you don’t have anything to loose — much more likely to act like an idiot with alcohol poisoning.

        In terms of depressions — I think there’s an economic consensus that they aren’t inevitable — the great lesson of the Great Depression is that we learned the value of economic stabilizers.

        Of course, when the powers that be act like idiots – then they may be inevitable. Ultimately huge amounts of idiocy and de-regulation brought down Lehman Brothers & sent a global shock through the economic system.

        And, I hate to say it, but the US may default on its debt this August purely for political reasons. Hopefully the powers that be will grow up, but it could be an interesting summer.

    • “changed forever”? “lifetime effect”?

      Past bubbles don’t immunize us against future bubbles. If they did, people would have studied what happened in the US not so long ago and this blog would have no reason to exist.

      “We will learn an enormous amount in the very short term, quite a bit in the medium term and absolutely nothing in the long term.” — Jeremy Grantham, on bubbles.

  3. Good one. People like to look down their nose at people who have less than them. Tell them to get jobs when there aren’t any other than part time service to bid on those so called rich people. Materialism is at its peak. The greedy ones look down and the envy ones (bottom feeders) get angry and want to take it away. As a society that is the signal that is being sent. Rich get grander and the poor get angrier. Sure feels uncomfortable what is happening. I think we are in a race to the bottom…

  4. There was a time when Downtown Vancouver had some meaning to the rest of the city. Now its an alien culture to these young suburbanites and its destruction has no impact on them. They don’t work there, will probably never live anywhere near there, and might visit there on the rare occasion (feeling like a stranger).
    They are vested in a society but its far away from Downtown, and further than its ever been.

  5. So rioting is some parable on the whimsical nature of a consumerist society? Yeah but that’s been going on for dog’s years now. Let’s remember these rioters are disenfranchised by choice.

    “What we need is conscription,” I say in an old guy voice, “And a whole whack of suffering through hard labour, like it used to be.”

    • Let’s remember these rioters are disenfranchised by choice.

      How so? It was their parents that chose the suburban lifestyle and tried to groom them for a “middle class life”, only that the world decided that this was not to be.

      It’s hardly their choice, it’s something that has been at least a decade if not more in the making and it will not get any better.

      The problem we will be facing is that this was (so far) an isolated incident, but as the economic situation continues to deteriorate for the younger generations they will eventually act out more, the only “saving grace” so far in North America has been the spread out nature of suburbia, but this will only work for so long.

      • The economy? Let’s be clear that Vancouver riots are not the same as most riots that make the news these days, in areas with astronomical youth unemployment with fragile political systems.

        So I think it legitimate to call out that, as the names of those who were torching, vandalizing, and looting come to light, many will not be able to be named, others will have been living with their parents studying or working, and my guess is that a relatively small number have a legitimate beef that Vancouver and society has let them down.

      • areas with astronomical youth unemployment with fragile political systems.

        are you sure you’re not describing BC?

        just sayin’

      • The economy? Let’s be clear that Vancouver riots are not the same as most riots that make the news these days, in areas with astronomical youth unemployment with fragile political systems.

        No, they were the precursor to this kind of demonstration, they were an expression of frustration and general anger that was given an excuse to be externalized.

        As for Youth Unemployment, take a look at the numbers, they are above 15% last I checked, much higher than what the average rate is across Canada and last I heard BC was right up there with the Atlantic Provinces, who unlike BC, seem to actually make at least some headway when it comes to adress it.

        So I think it legitimate to call out that, as the names of those who were torching, vandalizing, and looting come to light, many will not be able to be named, others will have been living with their parents studying or working, and my guess is that a relatively small number have a legitimate beef that Vancouver and society has let them down.

        I think you’re missing the point. It’s not a matter if they are already living on the street or are completely disenfranchised. I know a few people in their early to mid 20s and they all are uneasy about their future prospects, some had to spent 6 months or more trying to find even a lowly paying job in their field.

        This isn’t a full blown crisis yet, but once the economy goes into a correction the group that will get dumped on the most is the sub 30 crowd.

        Think healthcare, every time they talk about “wait times” it’s for things like “hip replacement surgery” etc. How many young people do you think need that every year? Meanwhile, with increasing deficits, cutting of services and fewer younger people with lots of old people I can understand why they are frustrated.

        Oh, and here’s the really bad news: Many of them are angry, but they don’t know (yet) why. So they will act out in all kinds of ways towards the things that they think are the cause of their plight.

      • “Many of them are angry, but they don’t know (yet) why.”

        This was the same type of rage in the 1994 riots. One of the kids involved was from a prep school going on scholarship. I don’t buy this is some precursor to social upheaval. When BC’s economy is ravaged with 40% youth unemployment I think the comparison is fair.

        15% youth unemployment is high but not unreasonably high in historical context. As I mentioned, I avoid bars at closing time because in BC it’s likely there will be a fight. This is nothing new.

      • This was the same type of rage in the 1994 riots. One of the kids involved was from a prep school going on scholarship. I don’t buy this is some precursor to social upheaval. When BC’s economy is ravaged with 40% youth unemployment I think the comparison is fair.

        Well, we’re above 15% and I am not saying it is necessarily THE precursor for more unrest but I think it is a warning sign of what may lay down the road if we don’t rethink what’s going on.

        As I also said: The Suburban distribution of people will make it harder for people to organize and start protests. What I saw on Wednesday was a bunch of people who were given the opportunity to vent their frustrations and anger, it’s telling that they mostly ended up going after property not try to take on the cops. If you look at how these riots work out in Europe it’s mostly the people clashing with authority, stores may get torched in the process but it’s mostly all out street warfare.

        “15% youth unemployment is high but not unreasonably high in historical context. As I mentioned, I avoid bars at closing time because in BC it’s likely there will be a fight. This is nothing new.”

        Yes, BC is one of the unhappiest places I have been to (or lived at). There seems to be a general “lost” feeling here for most.

        The 15% number, btw, I would take with a lump of salt, the way they are collecting these stats these days has been…. “improved” to give better results.

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  7. Looking at all the pictures and videos of the riots, what disturbs me the most is that it’s not just a handful of hooligans that did that to our city. It may have been started by a few anarchists, but a lot of these guys looked like they were decent middle class citizens who have been caught in the frenzy/excitement (herd mentality again?), doing things that they would never have thought of doing otherwise.

    I saw guys in their mid-thirties flipping cars, girls in their mid twenties looting at sears, all kinds of people happily taking pictures with burning cars behind them. Beyond the shock of what happened, it’s a feeling of huge disappointment that I have now. I’ve always thought the city I immigrated in 6 years ago was populated with decent, well mannered, respectful and polite people. My views have changed now and it’s hard not to think that behind a lot of “decent” people I see every day are angry and frustrated persons waiting for the first occasion to loot, destroy, fight and take advantage of each other.

    Very disappointed indeed…

    • The Olympics seemed to be self-regulating, but one thing I noticed was how people of all ages were part of the Olympic crowds and Canada’s success was acute, hardly time to crescendo into expectations of success. Game 7 had families clearing out of the downtown core, leaving the same demographic present in 1994. It also helped that Canada won.

      Given the different demographic of the crowd compared to the Owe, I think the police perhaps should have stepped up sooner, in hindsight. I won’t pass judgment on a very difficult job without knowing more, though.

      There does seem to be something more raw about Vancouver youth than those in other large cities. Maybe it’s just me but it certainly isn’t anything new. I remember avoiding certain bars, and not crappy bars, at closing time because there would likely be a fight.

      • The Olympics were an international event with many people on the streets not from Vancouver or the lower mainland, most of these people came from places were public squares and celebrations are part of the daily life. That the VPD felt the need to enforce the archaic liquor laws and shut down the stores (but not the bars, why?) also spoke volumes.

        As for the police action on Wednesday? If Chu had a plan and really followed it to the letter he should be fired, he and his staff clearly do not posses the ability to do crowd control in any meaningful way.

  8. The peasants grow restless.

  9. Actually, I see one positive element in these riots/hooligans: the participants were of every color, every race, seemingly united in their destructive purpose. My impression of the riots and soccer hooligan rampages in Europe and in the states and elsewhere has been that there is almost always a racial element involved, and people of ethnic minorities would likely be placing themselves in severe danger to be even seen on the streets by the mobs…. asians in the UK, blacks in some parts of the states, whites in south central LA, Chinese in Indonesia…. the Brixton riots, Leeds and Bradford riots, Rodney King riots, etc etc. At the very least, you would see some instances of “get the XXXXX bastards!” seen on the streets by one group or another. Here there was nothing of that nature. Just an unruly mob of every color. I don’t know how if any of the fights were due to race, but from the footage it seems like there was no significant interracial friction. Interesting phenomenon. Seems like the greater divisions are class, age, geography, and income based.

    • Fans in Europe are much more local. The idea to sell your football club to another city is pretty much an impossibility, it just doesn’t happen (or hasn’t so far, but who knows).

      As such, the riots always were an “us vs. them”.

      What happened in Vancouver was not a sport fan riot, it was an excuse for people to blow off steam, egged on by the media in the previous three weeks with the media, police and politicians drooling out the mouth right now. Expect the VPD to say they need more fancy equippment and hire a few hundred people. My personal preference would be to fire Chu and install a “crowd control unit” for the lower mainland that would trained and equipped to deal with this.

      The reality is that this didn’t need to get as far as it did if the cops had had an idea on how to deal with this kind of an event. What was on presentation Wednesday night was a local media that loves to egg people on (just think bike lanes) and then loves to play the moral authority over the carnage they initiated.

      Robertson also is ticking me off with his spiel that it was only a “few bad apples”, they all should be forced to read a book on crowd dynamics, when I saw on TV that bottles were flying and no riot cops in sight it was pretty darn clear what would happen next. Well, to me anyway the ones who didn’t seem to have a clue were the cops.

  10. “Anarchists” don’t tip cars and set them on fire with authentic $200.00 “Kesler” jerseys on. The video evidence doesn’t lie. But here is what Vancouver wants you to believe…when everything was going their way…well, those 100,000 on t…he streets were loyal hockey fans. When people showed up to clean the mess…those were “Vancouverites.” But when their little team lost and the city threw a tantrum..well “Those were just people from Surrey” and “Those were just some anarchists”

    • nor do they fling stuff at police wearing full playoff beards. I agree; it’s time to take responsibility for what our culture is capable of spawning.

      • But that would require people to look in the mirror and be honest. Not gonna happen. We live in delusion central here and unless someone forces people to look at themselves in the mirror they will never admit it.

  11. Froogle Scott

    Continuing with the theme of power/powerlessness, it’s interesting that the rioter in the second photo is wearing a Superman T-shirt.

    Picking up on a point Jessica6 made in the previous riot post (“There’s a lot of angry people out there who probably don’t even know why they are really so angry”), you wonder how conscious of his impulses this rioter-to-be was when he originally bought the T-shirt, or when he chose to wear it this past Wednesday. Probably not conscious at all.

    As some commenters have pointed out, there’s a reason, or a complex of reasons, why a group of people became rioters. And while public officials, the MSM, and large numbers of angry and outraged citizenry are finding quick explanations that preclude deeper assessment (“criminals”, “thugs”, “hoodlums”, “anarchists”), the question remains: Why is someone a rioter, a criminal, or an anarchist (or anarchist wannabe)? And no, this isn’t veiled advocacy for leniency. I’m interested in what social forces are at play here in Vancouver, and how many of us, and I don’t exclude myself, both participate in these forces and perhaps simultaneously deny or ignore their existence.

    Much easier for the mayor and the premier and the police chief, and the people they represent (us), to blame a gang of thugs, and to thus put them in a box needing no further inquiry, than to ask why our society incubates gangs of thugs. Or why some of the thugs appear to be middle class. Or why the team that finally thrusts the Stanley Cup overhead is often the toughest gang of thugs.

    “We are all Thugs”?

  12. Clark wants to “punish” these fools…. REALLY?? OK here is how you do it….

    Call Harper and tell him that he has new army recruits. For every person that is found from the riots and is guilty are given a choice. 3 years in prison or 1 year on tour in Kandahar. those young fighting punks think they are tough and want to be cool? Great survive the real world and lets stop with this bleeding heart crap.

    But noooo mark these words … slaps on the hands and ok now promise to be good boys and girls….

  13. Hold the presses:

    ‘Forget Freud, Forget Marx. Rioting, above all, is fun.’
    by Andrew Potter, macleans.ca, Friday, June 17, 2011 12:45pm

    “There is nothing better than a good old-fashioned downtown hockey riot to get everyone’s ideology pumps working overtime.” … “Everyone, Arthur included, is over-thinking this way too much: Any proper discussion of the riot and why it occurred has to start with the recognition that rioting, especially for young men, is a huge amount of fun.

    • This article can be true (and I think is) without dismissing Freud who has some interesting thoughts on what makes for fun – because hell, if you can focus this elsewhere, it’s better for everyone. These are people who thought they had nothing more fun or fulfilling to do. Plus with the alpha dogging it over burning cars… Marx is also relevant in so far as we have different expressions of looting.

    • Like kids in a (grown up) playground, or even a strange new game world. They only looked angry when the adults told them it was time to stop playing and go home …

  14. “ransacking and looting” may be more accurate than “rioting”

    “agency” is another relevant concept

  15. Our society has sunk to new lows where only materialism matters. That in itself is a form of violence, violence against nature as we try and force growth at any cost on the scarred earth, violence against those who go without so some may have too much.

    We live in a society where caring for the dying is regarded as a potential monetary loss and has to be dressed up in ancient superstition to hide the crassness of the objections.

    Is it so shocking when some show this violence more overtly?

    A society without core values except greed is at risk of consuming itself. Enlightened greed is not enough, the US is finding that out, as are we.

    • Great post Fish, totally agree. A society where materialism is the most cherished value is a lost society.

    • There is another interesting note: The “confusion” over violence and property damage. You could see it after the G20 and you can see it now. Violence against people and property damage are held equally. People are being called heroes for preventing property damage but I have heard hardly anything about anybody who intervened in the fights that had broken out as well.

      The value system in North America (and large parts of the Western world) has been seriously fucked up, I wonder at times if my memory of my childhood and the priorities there (in Germany) are just wishful thinking or if really the world and values have changed that much in 20 years.

  16. It quite “amuses” me how the local media is trying to paint this as some kind of “anarchist attack”, the idea that their own precious little children, bored and without a lot of perspective could act out like this just doesn’t compute.

    What also wasn’t mentioned is the medias own fanning of the fire over the last three weeks talking about the ’94 riots and almost salivating over the idea that could happen again, and then it did.

    Little has also been made on the complete failure of the VPD, this could have been contained, the moment bottles started flying towards the screen the cops should have moved in and dragged out these people, they should have had the riot squat, pardon, the “Crowd Safety Unit” within half a block of the sites when it became clear the game was going to be lost.

    Now, if we could get people as motivated over politics we may actually be able to have the world changed for the better.

    • There was an organized element to this riot. They weren’t “anarchists” per se. More like nihilistic thrill-seekers who sparked the fire then dissolved into the raging crowd.

      Who knows, maybe the same people who started it, gained additional thrills by photographing drunken louts, and ruining their lives on facebook.

      • methinks that’s a bit too lulzy for them, they prefer to play smashy smash grabby grab

        i like the picture of the 4 hoodlums with the mannequin parts in their bags, sitting on the floor of the skytrain..

      • I wonder what happened to those mannequin parts :P

      • There was an organized element to this riot. They weren’t “anarchists” per se. More like nihilistic thrill-seekers who sparked the fire then dissolved into the raging crowd.

        I don’t think it was organized, from what I saw form the begining of the whole thing there were a bunch of guys who go unruly, starting throwing stuff and in general started posturing. When they got away with it group dynamic set in and the things started escalating.

        This is exactly why the cops should have pulled these people out the moment they started getting unruly and then started to disperse the crowd.

        At the very latest the moment they started flipping cars the VPD would have needed to move in in full force and disperse the crowd, but they didn’t even seem to have had a plan for that.

        Who knows, maybe the same people who started it, gained additional thrills by photographing drunken louts, and ruining their lives on facebook.

        Well yeah, the anonymity in the group and the general sense of “belonging” to a group even though it does something bad.

        There is a reason why cops in Europe don’t mess around when these things start happening.

        BTW, if you want to see a real riot I recommend going to youtube and search for “May Day Berlin street fights” or something to that extend.

      • Isn’t “organized anarchist” a contradiction in terms?

      • Anarchists can be organized. In Spain, Anarchists even had military discipline to fight the fascists. Their officers were democratically elected, but had real authority once chosen (going by memory, its been a few years since I read about it).

  17. Had conversation with naturalized Asian Canadian last night. He asked me a bunch of questions about why the riot happened and whether his grandchildren will fall prey to the same bad behaviour. He was seriously worried that Vancouver instills immature values on its youth.

    I don’t know if this is a common fear amongst the older generations of Asian Canadians but the riot could call into question Vancouver as a preferred city to raise children; cue picture teen of Asian descent in Lord of the Flies-like pose. We may laugh but this is a real concern.

    I mentioned the fact that youth are rioting in other cities, including cities in China, but my friend said that was different. They have legitimate concerns (ie are truly disenfranchised) whereas the Vcr riots are just bad behaviour without maturity. Big difference in that he feels powerless to have influence over his children in Vancouver. That statement made me think a bit.

    • not to rip off chris rock, but what ever happened to just plain old crazy? stupid? BORED..

      other generations, they had WARS they were DRAFTED into for the KING’s business interests, you’d be home from europe at 22, if you were lucky, already married, of course, and be dead by the time you were 39.

      anyways, this seals it, i’m moving. fuck you, brock anton.

    • I mentioned the fact that youth are rioting in other cities, including cities in China, but my friend said that was different. They have legitimate concerns (ie are truly disenfranchised) whereas the Vcr riots are just bad behaviour without maturity. Big difference in that he feels powerless to have influence over his children in Vancouver. That statement made me think a bit.

      If he thinks he has real control over his children somewhere else then he’s delusional, you can only control your kids to a certain degree.

      Yes, what happened there was a “senseless riot” it was some kids blowing off steam and I am sure we’ll see more of that in the future. It wil be interesting to see if politicians clue in now or not.

      The thing is: This entire economic thing can end one way or the other: Politicians and Businesses realizing that they are essentially destroying their own future and that of their kids and making serious changes in their behaviour (haha!) OR increasing degration of society and it’s youth with all the associated side effects.

      If I’d be the betting kind I’d bet on the second outcome.

      • “If he thinks he has real control over his children somewhere else then he’s delusional”

        I agree on this but that’s not the point. The guy has Asian heritage and maintains partial Asian culture. This is a big deal in his perception and the point I would like to leave is that this riot has a real potential to tarnish the finish on what was perceived as a relatively safe enclave to raise children and have them grow up with “traditional” (in this case append “Asian”) values, where drinking and rioting are way offside.

        When the faces and names of the rioters come to light and it turns out many are middle and middle-upper-class “rich kids” who are deemed by the public to have been given too much slack on their leashes, maybe immigrants might think twice about their children’s future prospects in Vancouver. Family and children is a big deal in Asian culture.

        Maybe this riot speaks to a greater and creeping social sickness, or maybe it’s just a bunch of spoiled brats, same as the riots 17 years ago. Maybe the difference is semantic but I know more than a few under-24s who don’t fit this mold.

      • I agree on this but that’s not the point. The guy has Asian heritage and maintains partial Asian culture. This is a big deal in his perception and the point I would like to leave is that this riot has a real potential to tarnish the finish on what was perceived as a relatively safe enclave to raise children and have them grow up with “traditional” (in this case append “Asian”) values, where drinking and rioting are way offside.

        Only, as others have pointed out: Drinking and Fighting is a proud BC tradition. If the “shine” comes off and people are forced to face the realities of life in BC that can only be a good thing in my book. We’re way too coddled and willfully ignorant society as it is.

        When the faces and names of the rioters come to light and it turns out many are middle and middle-upper-class “rich kids” who are deemed by the public to have been given too much slack on their leashes, maybe immigrants might think twice about their children’s future prospects in Vancouver. Family and children is a big deal in Asian culture.

        Again, I don’t see anything bad in this development. Much more so as all these evil Anarchists that supposedly did it turned out to be (so far) all the “upstanding members of society” who a day before all of this happened would have probably been paraded around as shining examples to others (e.g. the kid who got a scholarship to UofC).

        Maybe this riot speaks to a greater and creeping social sickness, or maybe it’s just a bunch of spoiled brats, same as the riots 17 years ago. Maybe the difference is semantic but I know more than a few under-24s who don’t fit this mold.

        Which mold? The spoiled brat?

        There is always group dynamic in play as well, which probably had as much to do with it as a bunch of drunken and angry people.

        You also have to keep another thing in mind: Canada does not have a solid protest culture, what is ingrained in Europe for example is that you go after the signs of authority. If this clash would have happened in, say, Paris, you would have seen the rioters going up against the cops. Yeah, some stores and cars may have been burned as well but the general attempt would have been made to try and take on the cops.

        That the cops here stood back and “let it happen” also tells you that the police and politicians have no idea on how to deal with this in the least, so they go out and blame fringe groups for inciting the violence and property damage. This I think is much more of a problem than the property damage caused by the riot.

      • Michael good comments here.

        To sum, I was around in 1994 so am directly comparing to the situation a full 17 years ago. Needless to say I was younger then so my perspective at the time was different.

        I think this latest riot isn’t much more than bored somewhat isolated youths. Based on my remembrance of 1994, plus ca change. Your comments are in my mind.

        “Which mold? The spoiled brat?”

        LOL Yeah I didn’t specify. I’ve directly experienced what I consider to be true disenfranchisement in other countries and it breaks my heart. I’m just not seeing anything close to that hardship at play in Vancouver and BC.

        Thanks for your comments., Michael.

  18. “If the “shine” comes off and people are forced to face the realities of life in BC”

    Again, some perspective here. Realities aren’t that bad, at least no worse than 1994 in my view. There are two issues, one for existing residents coming to terms with a much more raw reality if the economy (read: housing market) goes for a prolonged tailspin and it could lead to more unrest than in the past. In that view I’m sceptical that many youth have the maturity to figure out how to handle it. Not sure if such maturity is more common in other parts of the world.

    The second issue is for residents and immigrants who have been painted a picture of Vancouver and Canada, and, like the tsunami in Japan, are awoken to the nascent underbelly of what some youth can turn into if unconstrained. I haven’t enough perspective to comment whether or not Vancouver is any worse than anywhere else (my bet is the data would show it’s not) but the perception could turn in a binary fashion toward Vancouver being labelled as a place where youth can be and are “corrupted”. That need not be a rational reaction (see drop in sales in Richmond post Japanese tsunami), but we’re talking about market that is obviously irrational, so an irrational perception of a morally corrupt influence on school-age children may turn out to be a black mark, unfair or not, that Vancouver will end up bearing through lowered demand from immigrants. Long shot, but just throwing it out there (underhand like).

  19. Webterractive

    I know people are divided on two fronts when it comes to this event. There are those who believe that the excess culture is beginning to peak and as your article and a previous one I’ve read on the Georgia Straight state that we need to examine ourselves as a whole notion. People will say that true Canuck fans didn’t take part, but I disagree, technology coupled with the Jersey Shore effect has made this riot what it is. Ironically the Jersey Shore effect existed before the show was created. It’s all those underage drinkers or heavy drinkers at most downtown clubs. And yes marketing is making money off of this. “I AM CANADIAN” has never been so much embraced as in the last 5 years with people living up to the Canadian stereotype of heavy drinking, remember the South Park Beer Song. Canuck fans are many but the bandwagon effect brought many more in who are people that don’t regularly follow hockey but know the prerequisites to be a Canuck fan; Loungo, Sedin, Kesler. Everyone is a fan just like everyone is into the Olympics. Unfortunately the message is that making these events expensive and hard to attend for your average people is the only way to make sure that these “disenfranchised” youth with nothing more to do don’t have anything to celebrate about. The new resident faces on Thursday morning mirrors that of 9/11 New York residents who have turned from anti-government to now full city healers? What’s next mob justice? I’m sorry to say but Vancouver and it’s culture is like an infectious cold, live here long enough and you become your typical Vancouverite, living meager, studying nothing, learning useless crap, and just another meat bag walking through life trying to make sense of nothing because there’s nothing to make sense of in the first place.

  20. Webterractive

    Everyone in is a hypocrite, and I think that once personally we confront that we can be better people and this doesn’t have to happen. We talk about drug users as gutter people until someone in our family or very dear to us falls in to the gutter. We call every drunk driver stupid and ask for harsh penalties until we our caught in that same situation. We want to government to stop taxing us but we want them to fund everything. We don’t like immigrants but can’t seem to stay out their countries and decry their governments and show solidarity in disagreement of how they do things. We’re superficial as people, that’s why the drug trade has gripped this city, that’s why young women as young as 12 are selling themselves, we call it slavery because we can blame someone, but fail to see that they are driven by an excess lifestyle, so instead of weeping about their ordeal they’re at Louis Vuitton buying a bag. We want a tougher court system, but not tough on us when we slip. And yes the higher ups do see this and understand, this is why they’re in government and this is why they impose these institutions and rules, because no one challenges them, so this will continue to go on and on. Once we can identify ourselves and change those things in our lives that make us weak in society we can purge Victoria of those running the show now and get back to real government and rule. People elected by people, not businesses, or interests groups. But that’s a dream like the any other dream, selling the western view of real democracy. We’re good at it and are willing to sacrifice blood for it even though it’s an illusion that most government officials are aware of.

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