I lament our "civilization's" approach to sports.
Used to be, it was just a game. No more. Sports, and athletes in general, have been elevated to the level of demi-gods in our North American culture. Role models have been created of a number skating around on the ice, or running up and down a field. They've probably never saved a life, or taught a kid, or even done much in the way of public service. Yet they are our "heroes".
Fans of this sports culture in overdrive are more than willing to get into fights and resort to other violence in "support" of their team. We see it everywhere: outside of MMA fights, at hockey games and football games... Heck, even at KID'S hockey games.
A lot of media people are saying the Vancouver rioters weren't hockey fans. Not true. These were "normal" teen aged kids. We saw them out there. We watched them walk past our Vancouver condo.
These were greedy little punks caught up in consumerism who decided they'd just grab that iPod or that Coach bag. Real anarchists would have just set fire to the buildings... This was NOT political protest. This was not the G8 crowd. They may certainly have been inspired by the media coverage of that event, but they were NOT that crowd.
Our society has some growing-up to do. Athletes are NOT heroes, and over-paid twenty-somethings are NOT role models. Sports - while being an important part of life - has become too much a part of culture that thrives on feeding the masses with an attitude of machismo, arrogance, rampant consumerism, aggression, skewed hyper-patriotism, and a me-first mentality.
Look at the pictures. We all know who the rioters were. Not "scary anarchists", but someone's middle class suburban kid. Pimple-faced teens with a need for "bling" were the ones smashing the windows and grabbing $5000 purses at the Coach store. They were the ones grabbing iPods from the electronics stores.
Some parents have a LOT of owning up to do. This is what we call "mob mentality", and so-called "perfectly normal" people were involved. Of course they weren't "normal" because they were soaked in booze, living in an age of "me first/might is right", and all about the "bling". I just hope the police presses serious charges after reading the Riot Act. No holding back because these were "normal middle class kids caught up in the moment".
Our "modern" culture took a back seat to something more primal last night.