Binge and purge

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.

6 replies »

  1. How can one blog post say so little, and be so accurate? You nailed it.

    You can’t refuse to understand people for years, and then ask them to explain themselves in crisis.

    Deny people recourse – give them no where to go with their frustration, while economically segregating them from the ability to act for greater social purpose…for years, and don’t be surprised when a horde of angry people with confused motives start aimlessly hulk smashing.

    I think that’s why they make wars. ‘It’s not us; it’s those guys.’ Point and shoot.

  2. Your welcome 🙂 At first I assumed the guy was an immigrant, which you think I would know better to do. lol A fine rant it was and hopefully someone showed it to Cameron and the parliament but I doubt it.

  3. Marcus Howe has basically nailed it; Amy Goodman’s show featured him in an interview.
    The Orwellian nightmare is racing at us full speed now; suppression, suppression is the only answer governments are looking for…

  4. Actually, Anthony Burgess covered this territory pretty well in A Clockwork Orange. Pre-Fight Club Fight Club.

    In many ways it’s no different from what’s going on a number of places elsewhere in the world–the US, North Africa, China, southeast Asia, much of Europe. The simple lack of economic opportunity. There’s mroe going on, of course–much of the London rioting, which was more like a rampage than a riot, I have to say, appears to have been pretty well organizzed targeting of shops by organized gangs. All electronics stores were trashed, but no bookstores, for example.And much was just punks. But there’s no question that for a number of young males (and it is mostly males) there’s an issue of the decreasing set of options for getting out of the situation they find themselves in.

    And there are lots of ironies as well–many (perhaps most, for all I know) of the shops targeted are themselves owned by immigrants and first generation chldren of immigrants–Pakistan, Africa, you name it.

    And Cameron is an oaf, as is Teresa May, the Home Secretary–but there are a number of people in the coalition (mainly Lib Dems, but some Tories as well) that understand the complexities here. At least we’re spared the type of response that Rick Perry or someone of that ilk would come up with.