Posted by: Kate | June 16, 2011

Shame

First, there was the game. In fact, make that the whole series. The Vancouver Canucks went in as heavy favourites – even Don Cherry, who loves Boston, predicted Vancouver would win the Stanley Cup. But we didn’t. For whatever reason (there are many, and those much savvier than I will be debating this for a while), the Canucks couldn’t seal the deal. And it sucked, as a fan who watched the ’94 defeat and was hoping for a better result this time around. (I knew, though, when Boston beat Tampa Bay, that we were in trouble.) I was pleased when the fans in the arena cheered for the Canucks at the end, and gave Tim Thomas a standing ovation when he skated with the Cup. All good sportsmanship.

Then there was the aftermath. Turning on the news at 10:00 to see if there was any press coverage of the Canucks themselves, instead we found live footage of a riot in full swing. Cars burning, store windows smashed, people burning and looting and fighting. It was the most shameful, sickening thing I have seen in a long time. These were not political protests, or hunger strikes, or oppressed people. These were hooligans who had too much to drink destroying a beautiful city. Almost all of the troublemakers were young men between the ages of 18-24, judging by the extensive footage we watched.

There were over 100,000 people downtown last night, and I hope they got out safely for the most part. I couldn’t imagine if a school class had been there, or if we had decided to walk over on the ferry to be in the city for the big game.

What a spoiled society we live in, that there are that many people who think nothing of destroying not just corporate property, but personal property (at least seven vehicles were lit on fire, more were flipped and smashed). The public drinking (why wasn’t that prevented in the first place – they’ve done it before), the open arrogance, the demand for attention and excitement, were all unsettling to watch. I don’t know what the illness is in our society that is causing this type of event, but it’s ridiculous. Imagine being a parent and seeing your child in that footage.

On a more positive note, there are many citizens trying to make up for it. There are volunteers going downtown to help in the clean-up. There are people everywhere speaking out against the riot.

But it happened. As my son said this morning when I told him what happened last night: “Vancouver Canucks deserved their chance to win the Cup. But Vancouver the city didn’t.”

What a shame.

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Responses

  1. Well said, Kate. What a needless shame. BB is wise beyond his years to say that, it is so true.

  2. It was awful. Just awful. There were so many things that contributed to the riot I am sure people will be analyzing it for years. Anarchists, drunken youth, craving attention on social media. You are right. We live in a spoiled society.

  3. I thought of you immediately when I saw the press coverage. It really is sickening to see. I agree that there is some sickness is our society to be so entitled, to have so little regard for others, to wantonly destroy just for euphoria of destruction. It disturbs me when I see it again and again, in cities around the world. I remember when WTO was an aberation, not just another day of news. Rocky says he thinks it’s a lost generation, but I think that shifts the blame away from society as a whole to care more about others and the world around us.


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