Tuesday, August 9, 2011

London's Burning

It is wrong to burn people's properties. Looting is also wrong. Smashing police cars, very wrong. But -and I'm almost ashamed to say it- destruction and mayhem are so exhilarating! They seem to be carrying the possibility for change. What kind of change, who knows! We want it when we become fed up, as we are now, in the belief that change is good. Even though time and time again we've seen little or no change at all after similar outbursts, the recent riots in the Arab world have offered a glimpse of renewed hope for the rest of us.

Perhaps it is indeed just a bunch of brats who destroy and pillage just for the sake of it (with Prodigy playing in the background). This is certainly the impression one gets from the media. But this is in no way any less significant than if they had organized themselves around an ideology. It could, in fact, be much more significant, as it is raw, spontaneous, uncontrolled and by the look of it, uncontrollable. The timing is no coincidence, either. We can't ignore what's happening by simply labeling it antisocial or criminal behaviour. Why in England? Why now? Could these people have a profile? Is there something that unites them? Is this another indication that the era of capitalism has passed and we're carrying its rotting corpse on our backs? I'm eagerly waiting for the political and sociological analyses in the Sunday papers. 

It's also kind of nice to be reading about riots that are not happening in Greece for a change. It makes me grin. Smugly. I know this doesn't make me a very nice person. I do have some rather radical ideas sometimes (I might share them with you one day), but I'm generally very meek. I'd be like one of those people who go on a killing rampage one day and their neighbours say 'she was such a sweet girl, very quiet, never bothered us or anything'. Not my neighbours, though. They're evil. (I should move them up a notch on my list)

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