I’ve come to the conclusion that the London riots are far too complicated to be described, analyzed or understood in the pithy conclusions our media and politicians are only capable of functioning with. Though they clearly started because of police/race issues that were initially approached by the people in a peaceful way … and completely ignored by the police/state nexus of power, the spread and manner of the riots have buried that in a complicated web of motives and behavior. We’re now finding out that a great many rioters are not “young” in the traditional sense; they’re like me and come from the Reagan/Thatcher generation. This information lends some credence to analysis i’ve read saying that initial loss of control by the authorities opened up the flood gates for everyone who thought they could get away with whatever they wanted to do.
Here comes the Fight Club Generation…
I don’t have the words to explain this situation: its roots and its violent manifestations. Nor do i see myself ever jumping into a riot for the shits and giggles of it. However, i do understand the emotion that would lead to joining a riot like London’s. It wasn’t just sexy, Brad Pitt that made Fight Club a hit you know. For a lot of us, the hollow angst seething into violent anger spoke to emotions we never quite understood and certainly couldn’t verbalize. I’m guessing that most of us still can’t. Maybe if our glorious leaders had valued education as something other than a means to make money we’d be better suited to expressing rage in a constructive manner. But that’s not what happened, is it? Rank materialism is what we were weened on, so maybe the world shouldn’t be surprised when our anger (and that of our younger siblings) expresses itself as looting and property destruction.
In any case, i still don’t have the intellectual and verbal chops to put the confluence of events and outcomes we’ve seen in London into anything concise enough to resemble a blog post. What i do have is a song; it’s been running through my head from the beginning of this and while i won’t say it represents the London riots, it feels like it sums the whole mess up.
In the course of all the previous events,
It is evident that something’s bound to happen.
Come on rear your ugly head to me.
I’ve got nothing to lose but my apathy.