What’s that I feel pawing at my legs? What’s that meowing I hear? Oh, it’s our calico Stumpie friend, with a whole new batch of links. Whatcha got for us, Ms. Manx? The Vancouver riots, you say? Okay…
First off, says the Manx, remember that police chief who got wank-listed here last Saturday? The one who claimed that the rioters were “criminals, anarchists and thugs” who had planned to riot? Well, guess who back-tracked on that statement today? Yep, Jim Chu was wrong. And boy, is his face RED. Because it turns out that there was not a single anarchist in the lot. There were, however, a lot of suburban kids with no prior criminal record, no radical politics, and no understanding of precisely why they did it. One of them is a rising young star in the world of water polo, of all things. Now, says the Manx, if only the chief would admit that the “instigators” were not anarchists either. In all likelihood, they were the same group as the joiners. Real anarchists, remember, neither lead nor follow nor get out of the way.
Of course, the media, like the cops, are all too eager to blame a group they know nothing about for everything they can’t be bothered to analyze more deeply. Instead of anarchists, how about Don Fucking Cherry and his rockum-sockum hockey from the Neanderthal era? Brawls on the ice, riots on the street — connect the dots, y’all. It’s not rocket science!
And here’s something else that’s not rocket science: Street riots as emblematic of something amiss within our larger culture. Something that certainly can’t be facilely explained away with “anarchist”-blaming. The Georgia Straight has some cracking good analysis of our atomized society, the granfalloons that take advantage of us in our weakened state, and the collective action that is our best hope of overcoming…so long as we apply it to something beyond just plying the broom and dustpan to sweep up the debris, of course.
While we’re on that topic, here’s the kind of collective action Ms. Manx absolutely abhors: Electronic lynch-mob activity. The police need your help…to do what, exactly? Is it prosecution, or persecution? Either way, it’s fucking ugly to ask people to turn one another in publicly, especially on the giant fishbowl that is the Internet. Whole lives are going to be ruined even more than they already are in our crapitalistic, atomized society, where an artificially hyped interest in granfalloons replaces fellow-feeling so inadequately and status symbols (looted, in this case) stand in so poorly for the actual achievements which crapitalism and atomization have made impossible. (And, BTW, James Moore, you ought to be ashamed of yourself for violating the Youth Criminal Justice Act. Very unministerial conduct. You should step down for that.)
And finally, on a snarky note, Ms. Manx notes that the riots have made Michael Bublé very, very unhappy.
“I’m disgusted by how they made us look, but I’m more disgusted by how they destroyed the privileges that we deserved to have. We should be able to have television outside during the playoffs, and have viewing parties, and people hanging out, being peaceful. They took that away from us.”
Oh noes, a homogenized, pasteurized pop icon is upset about PRIVILEGE! This as a sneaking, cowardly stripping of rights is underway in another big brawl that was blamed, also wrongly, on “anarchists”. Someone has been living in the land of privilege for wayyyyy too long if a few people’s loss of privileges upsets him more than our collective loss of rights.
Ms. Manx cattily adds that she doesn’t give a turd in the litterbox about the loss of Lord Stan or the bygone privilege of a JumboTron on every street corner and a two-four of beer in every potbelly. She’ll party in the streets the day we get Tommy Douglas’s peaceful, prosperous Canada back from this mean-spirited crapitalist imperialist police state that’s taken over. And not one day sooner.