tumbled by sol chrom – Hockey, loss, riots and citizenship

A little disquieting to see the script for the G20 pressed into service so quickly in the wake of the Canucks’ loss last night.

I’m not sure what evidence there is to suggest that it was all the fault of black-bloc extremists, anarchists or political activists of whatever stripe, but it’s even more worrisome to see the authorities call for people to post pictures of vandals and rioters on Facebook or Twitter or wherever.

And I’m not sure to what extent the nasty undercurrents of homophobia, rampant lizard-brained nationalism and unleashed testosterone are going to be reflected in the official narrative, but even that’s beside the point.

Back to the notion of citizenship. Yeah, it sucks that Vancouver lost. But it’s no excuse for pointing fingers exclusively at fans or Vancouver residents, or getting sidetracked into sterile arguments about whether those responsible for the carnage are true hockey fans or not. Citizenship carries obligations, and those obligations extend to corporate sponsors, media organizations and local businesses as well as to individuals. 

Which raises the question: when you encourage people to focus all their anger and emotions on a hockey game, make alcohol readily available, whip them up into a nationalistic fervour and then turn them loose in the streets, what do you expect?

Also worth citing, frankly, is this passage from The Nation:

… we could thank the testosterone-laden morons for reminding a hockey crazed city that the real heroes in society don’t play a game for money; the real heroes fight fires, drive ambulances, treat the sick, and clean-up garbage … 

Usually I go from Posterous to Tumblr, but today was different for some reason. The #G20 angle is really worrisome.

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