Last night, Vancouver lost the Stanley Cup. Boston won. Congrats guys. I wish the Canucks the best of luck in the next season. You all did awesome this season, and accomplished so much.
As for the city of Vancouver and the residents—no big deal—it’s just a game, right?
The second I woke up this morning, I remembered what I told my fiancée last night, thirty seconds after Boston took the cup. “Now, there will be death, destruction and violence.” And after that, I’d watched a movie and went to bed.
What I woke up to stunned and sickened me. I was scared to open my browser this morning, and just by putting riot into Google—there is was; plain as day, in full colour.
Mayhem. Flipped cars, roaring fires, countless windows shattered, rioters and looters everywhere. People getting beaten up, accused rape and people in critical condition—and more.
I spent a few hours looking at photos and you-tube videos this morning. I wanted to know just what people were capable of. These images that flashed by my eyes put any riot in the movies to shame. Because they were real. They happened, in the city I live in.
And what else did I notice? Almost all of the prominent offenders were kids or young adults.
I found a Facebook page completely devoted to posting pictures of the rioters, in hopes they will be identified and prosecuted. On this page, I found screenshots of the rioter’s Facebook profiles, their profile images depicting the carnage with them standing in front of it, like they were in front of some infamous monument. But, in some sick and twisted way, I suppose that is what they made it. They were proud to openly state their heinous crimes, right in public and on social networking sites. To make it worse, their friends told them to delete these status’, that they would get caught. Most didn’t chastise them, but cheered them on, like they actually accomplished some great feat in life. Stupidity breeds stupidity.
One person said on Facebook they were now “history.” Yes, you asshole. You made history. You made the news. You made You-tube and websites, and conversations between civilized people who look on you now with revulsion. Your childish, useless antics hurt people, businesses, terrified people who were trapped in buildings, who had nothing to do with the riot, waiting for the police dealing with the rioters, to get their families out safely.
And for what? By the end of it, were any of these people even thinking about the game anymore? I would bet not. They were thinking about what they could destroy next, caught up in the growing frenzy that had taken over, grew and spread like a plague bent on annihilation.
*Insert sarcastic applauses here* What did this gain the rioters? Very short lived fame amongst their equally young, naïve and idiotic peers. Shortly followed by a witch hunt that begins today, and jail time. How does being locked up in a cage sound? In this day and age of social networking, people can and will find you. And since you post what you did and the pictures to prove it, you will be found. You will be punished.
Was it worth it?
And what did the innocent gain? Destruction of their property, terror—because they are people who live downtown, in the thick of it. They had nothing to do with anything, and they paid for daring to own real estate in Vancouver’s core. I heard it said that to be downtown, you deserved what you got for even being there. Mostly that’s true—though not all. What about the business owners who aren’t open today, who lost their part or all of their livelihood as they clean up the carnage. What about the people who lost their cars in fires, or had their homes broken into? What about the other events people attended last night—that had nothing to do with the game? That just had the sheer dumb luck of being booked months ago, before the game night had been decided by the NHL? Those people had already bought and paid for their tickets. Concerts around here don’t get out until between nine-eleven pm. Prime riot hour. And they were stuck in the middle of it, forced to hide or flee.
Some people are being ridiculed for doing nothing about the crimes, for staying out of the way—trying to get out of Vancouver as fast as they could. What would you do if a mob was coming your way? Call the police—who are already there? Perhaps fight them back, one to a thousand people.
Some hockey-goers stayed in Vancouver and they didn’t do anything destructive. They just stood there and watched like a show being put on for them. Should they be absolved? Or is it guilt by association? They think they should be pardoned, because they were merely an audience—a lot of them, a cheering one at that from what I read. I really don’t know—I wasn’t there, and I don’t know what was in their heads to say either way.
Another site devoted to finding the rioters, created by someone with good intentions was misused. There were several captioned photographs of rioters and the Vancouver Canucks. The displayed words and Photoshopped images completely diminishes why the page exists in the first place—to bring the wrongdoers too much needed justice. This diminishes people as a whole, using a good purpose to spread yet more immaturity, stretching it out, making a bad situation worse. And again, what was the point of THIS? It doesn’t make any sense.
I suppose, none of it is really supposed to.
In a world where war and riots are upon many of us, over issues such a freedom, poverty and pain, one would think that those lucky enough to have what we do, wouldn’t break over in chaos for something as asinine as a hockey game.
I applaud Vancouver’s RCMP, police and the general population who braved the anarchy, to help those in need of it, who were cleaning up the streets before the riot had even ended. The people who are out on the streets of Vancouver, today, while I write this, cleaning up the mess of juvenile, idle minds who have no place in civilized society.
When I woke, I was disgusted. Now, as I think about this, not just the riot, but everything that will come of it, I can’t shake the feeling of disappointment and repulsion. I doubt many of us Vancouverites can. Again, immaturity breeds more immaturity, just as stupidity spawns stupidity.
For those involved, grow up and fast. Because when you land in jail, you’ll have to.
I will ask one more time—was it worth it?