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Many of you have probably heard of the horrendous riot that happened last Wednesday when Vancouver lost to the Boston Bruins during the Stanley Cup Finals (uh, Echo, you were right… we lost! 😉 ). Everyone was fearing something like this would happen, with 100,000 fans crowded into downtown Vancouver streets, coupled with booze and alcohol, and tension from a poorly lost game, made for some potential displaced anger.
But we didn't think it would be as bad as what happened 17 years ago, in 1994. But it was much worse. It was really really bad.
I'm glad I didn't go downtown this time, I think I would have been very disappointed with what I saw.
Instead, I watched from home on TV and was absolutely appalled by what I was seeing on television. I stayed up past midnight watching the live footage roll in of the damage that was inflicted. Cars (yes, even police squad cars) were turned upside down and lit on fire, The Hudson Bay Company's windows were smashed, Louis Vuitton's windows were smashed and $1000+ bags were looted and then later put on sale through Craigslist, people were stabbed, punched, beaten… you name it. It was absolutely disgraceful for Vancouver. In case you haven't seen it here are some of the shots.
Seeing the footage made me feel like I was watching something from a zombie movie or a video game. Everyone's eyes looked so glazed (hmm.. maybe it was from all the weed people were smoking?) and it looked like something was controlling them… what would compel someone to set a car on fire, laugh maniacally, and take a self-portrait with their iPhone, and then proceed to tweet about it and post it on facebook?
The one thing that the “hooligans” as they have been dubbed, have in common is that they are young men (high school aged to about 24 years old) and that most of them were NOT from Vancouver and most importantly, most of them were NOT poor or in need of looted paraphernalia. In fact, most of them were from middle class (or even well-to-do) families, including Nathan K. from Maple Ridge whose father is a general surgeon and mother is a registered nurse. He is a very well-known water polo player and is just about finishing his last year in high school. He was set on a partial scholarship at the University of Calgary in September.
Then he decided to screw it all up (though I highly doubt he thought about the consequences of his actions at the time) by trying to set a Vancouver Police squad car on fire. Yup, that's him and his fancy kicks.
This reckless behaviour brings to mind the pitfall of our young generation, the generation Y. Is it because our baby boomer parents work so hard at making sure we study hard at school, make sure we get everything we want and “need” (you know, that new iPad that everyone else has, or those cool new pair of Nike Air Jordans) in order to fit in with the rest of our peers… that it somehow causes our young to lose awareness of how fortunate we are, lose sight of respecting other people, and lose sight of respecting other people's property?
I am fully aware that a lot of the bad behaviour from that night can be attributed to the mob mentality (in my opinion, I honestly didn't think that the video recording and photos helped any… although it has led to
slap on the wrists arrests, I feel that having an audience in fact egged on the so called “hooligans”)… but I can't help but think that some of it is because, as Blonde on the Budget recently put it, we are spoiled brats.
I strongly believe that when the good things in life fall effortlessly into your lap and you don't go without, you don't learn to appreciate life… you don't learn to respect yourself, and you don't learn to respect others. You don't learn to cope with loss.
So when asked the question of whether I would rather grow up wealthy or not, I would choose not to.
That being said, I know that a lot of what transpired can be attributed to just being young and naive… but still. Take in point the conversation from a group of high school kids I recently overheard while on a sky train:
Girl with valley girl voice: Ohhh my gawwdd did you hear that Chris ended up going to jail that night? Like, I can't believe he went to jail overnight and he doesn't even sound like he gives a sh*t. Seriously. That stuff can go on your permanent record, ya know.
Boy with Justin Bieber hair: Yeahh, totally. He did so much damage. I talked to Chris the other night, and he said that he's just amazed he's all over the internet now and he's pretty much famous! That seems to be all he cares about.
Girl with valley girl voice: Oh my gawwwd, that's crazy. It was soooo fun that night though.
I was even more disgusted at what I overheard, that young people are actually talking about it and then not caring about the consequences of their actions. I was probably that annoying and reckless when I was in high school (I do remember talking very loudly while on public transportation and thinking that my loud voice was the most amazing thing ever), but I would never do damage on other people's belongings or property like that. Poor coping skills, people… poor coping skills. Just because we lost, doesn't mean you are given the green light to go on a rampage and cause $1 million damage to London Drugs.
Readers, why do you think these young people might have behaved the way they did? Do you think parenting has anything to do with it? Or do you think this behaviour is bound to happen no matter how one may try to teach their child the difference between ‘right' and ‘wrong'? Do you think it has any relation to personal finance and whether our generation learned the ‘value of a dollar'?
Or do you think this is just somewhat typical rebellious behaviour from young adults/ teenagers?
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