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Thread: London Burns

  1. #71
    meinmeinmein! mmhmm's Avatar
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    every normal man must be tempted, at times,
    to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag,
    and begin slitting throats.
    h.l. mencken

  2. #72
    Freaking Ratchet Rail Tracer's Avatar
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    ^I know... I know... I know...

    I hope the 2012 Olympics won't be affected.

  3. #73
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    What about it seems indicative of an attitude of entitlement?
    I kind of got into that already, as did others in this thread - to me it's the idea that you're entitled to get stuff for free and the only problem is if you get caught, not the fact that you're doing it in the first place. The evidence is suggesting increasingly that there were a surprising number of people involved who have decent jobs and just wanted to join the fun and get free stuff. Some girl from a rich family in Kent has been charged. She went to a top grammar school and is studying English and Italian at university. Rioters have made comments like "why wouldn't I take this great stuff which is worth a lot? I'm coming back again and again for as long as I can" (to stock up on "free" DVDs or whatever it was).

    I don't disagree with many of your points btw. Society is massively unequal and the gap between the rich and the poor is increasing. I remain very aware that I speak from a relatively privileged position and it's always going to be relatively easy for me to say this stuff. Mind you though, I may come from a middle class family with no significant money worries, but I support myself as a single woman, my daddy did not find me a job, my parents have not set up a trust fund for me, none of that.

    I do however stand by the fact that these factors are not an excuse for this behaviour. As I mentioned before I have friends and acquaintances from many different races and backgrounds, including those who grew up dirt poor. I know very well what their response is to this type of situation and to whether any of those factors represent an excuse for such behaviour.
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  4. #74
    Senior Member ColonelGadaafi's Avatar
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    this hole situation reminds me of this movie.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uz9vgtXq_Hs

    this movie was made in 1995, where people faced the same issues in the "banlieus" of france. Its gone 16 years now, and the problems have intensified since then, the governments of course have iqnored the issues. Blarghh, this just enforces the line "things never change".

    Quote Originally Posted by SilkRoad View Post
    I kind of got into that already, as did others in this thread - to me it's the idea that you're entitled to get stuff for free and the only problem is if you get caught, not the fact that you're doing it in the first place. The evidence is suggesting increasingly that there were a surprising number of people involved who have decent jobs and just wanted to join the fun and get free stuff. Some girl from a rich family in Kent has been charged. She went to a top grammar school and is studying English and Italian at university. Rioters have made comments like "why wouldn't I take this great stuff which is worth a lot? I'm coming back again and again for as long as I can" (to stock up on "free" DVDs or whatever it was).

    I don't disagree with many of your points btw. Society is massively unequal and the gap between the rich and the poor is increasing. I remain very aware that I speak from a relatively privileged position and it's always going to be relatively easy for me to say this stuff.

    I do however stand by the fact that these factors are not an excuse for this behaviour. As I mentioned before I have friends and acquaintances from many different races and backgrounds, including those who grew up dirt poor. I know very well what their response is to this type of situation and to whether any of those factors represent an excuse for such behaviour.


    Take a look at this field of sociology
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_determinism
    it explains alot more, then wading in disbelief and rational condemnations.
    "Where can you flee? What road will you use to escape us? Our horses are swift, our arrows sharp, our swords like thunderbolts, our hearts as hard as the mountains, our soldiers as numerous as the sand. Fortresses will not detain us, nor arms stop us. Your prayers to God will not avail against us. We are not moved by tears nor touched by lamentations."

  5. #75
    Dreaming the life onemoretime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilkRoad View Post
    I kind of got into that already, as did others in this thread - to me it's the idea that you're entitled to get stuff for free and the only problem is if you get caught, not the fact that you're doing it in the first place.
    I don't think anyone there thinks that they're doing the right thing, save the more sociopathic of the rioters. It's that they're so frustrated and enraged that they're not even thinking about whether it's the right thing or the wrong thing to do. All that's processing is that destroying things makes them feel better about things for the time being. For once, the spotlight is on them, much like a child who acts out because of parental neglect.

    The evidence is suggesting increasingly that there were a surprising number of people involved who have decent jobs and just wanted to join the fun and get free stuff.
    While the admonishment that the plural of anecdote is not data stands, it's not surprising that this may be the case. This is a case of cultural rot, and not simply that of economic well-being. Not only that, but once again, the more psychopathic in society aren't going to pass up an opportunity like this one. There's a lot more of them than you may think. Don't let them cloud your perception of the rest of humanity.

    Some girl from a rich family in Kent has been charged. She went to a top grammar school and is studying English and Italian at university. Rioters have made comments like "why wouldn't I take this great stuff which is worth a lot? I'm coming back again and again for as long as I can" (to stock up on "free" DVDs or whatever it was).
    Is that not the ethos of capitalism in a nutshell, though? Profits come first, and people, not to mention morals, lay by the wayside. One's possessions define one's status, rather than one's integrity.

    I don't disagree with many of your points btw. Society is massively unequal and the gap between the rich and the poor is increasing. I remain very aware that I speak from a relatively privileged position and it's always going to be relatively easy for me to say this stuff. Mind you though, I may come from a middle class family with no significant money worries, but I support myself as a single woman, my daddy did not find me a job, my parents have not set up a trust fund for me, none of that.
    Perhaps, but then that puzzles me further as to why you don't identify with the rioters more. Pooh-poohing the yobs isn't going to make you break into the posh classes, nor is it going to bring any tangible improvement to your life. Meanwhile, in the case of many of the rioters, it truly is "there but for the grace of God go I." We all must recognize and accept that each of us is capable of the same sort of mindless rage that animates the rioters, given the right circumstances. We'd like to think that we'd refrain, but honestly, can you know unless you've walked a mile in their shoes?

    I do however stand by the fact that these factors are not an excuse for this behaviour. As I mentioned before I have friends and acquaintances from many different races and backgrounds, including those who grew up dirt poor. I know very well what their response is to this type of situation and to whether any of those factors represent an excuse for such behaviour.
    I wonder why you approach this issue sounding like a stern parent scolding unruly children. That certainly coincides with the Government and news media response. Why is it so important to hold oneself as better than these people, rather than understand them so as to understand what caused the conflagration in the first place?

  6. #76
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    I probably sound angry because London is my city. I live near some of this stuff - like, a few minutes walk - and people I know have been personally affected. I don't think you're in that position, unless you're a Londoner too or live in one of the other UK cities affected. If you'd like to share your personal experiences and perspective of this stuff happening on your doorstep please feel free. Try telling any Londoner at the moment that they shouldn't be disgusted and see how they react.

    I know what an unjust world we live in; I know how unequal it is; I know that people feel angry and disenfranchised and that they have reasons; I know that capitalism has contributed to people feeling that greed is good and acquisition is all. I'm not going to falsely claim I identify with or sympathize with people more than I do, however. That would make me a hypocrite and a liar. I always try to acknowledge my own background and prejudices. I would never deny that I have prejudices. At least I'm reasonably aware.

    I just keep coming back to the facts that I know people who have dragged themselves out of holes of deprivation and underprivilege to have productive and moral lives; and that the people who claim they have done these things because they are stuck in these kinds of lives have contributing to destroying the livelihood and in some cases the LIVES of people not so different from themselves. Those three lads killed in Birmingham were not rich or representatives of the institutions that grind people down. I know people who could have been out on the streets participating. They would have had "reasons" from the lives they have experienced. Due to their strong morals, beliefs, consciences, etc, they were not out there.

    I'm a bit disappointed that you characterize my comments as "pooh-poohing the yobs" when I've really tried to stay balanced over this and not just say "these people are scum who should be swept into the dustbin of humanity." But no way in hell am I going to say that I feel there are excuses for their actions. Explanations to a certain extent, sure, BUT NOT EXCUSES, no freaking way.

    I'm also not sure you've really looked at what's going on. I haven't seen a lot of frustration and rage. I've seen people taking advantage of a volatile situation to have a jolly good time. In Liverpool, I think it was, or anyway one of the other cities, whole families were piling up to stock up on "free" stuff. Parents were sending their kids in. The reporter covering it said that what he kept hearing was "this is so funny".
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  7. #77
    meh Salomé's Avatar
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    ^Yeah, but what's the point of all your finger-wagging?

    Quote Originally Posted by SilkRoad
    Screw the morality of it.
    It seems to me that these young people have just figured out that morality has no meaning and are less prepared to pretend that it has than the rest of us.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    Gosh, the world looks so small from up here on my high horse of menstruation.

  8. #78
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    ^Probably venting. I guess none of you understand how the average resident of England feels at the moment. Enjoy the riots when they hit your doorstep. Give the looters a cup of tea, the poor things need it.

    I'm not into arguing and devil's advocacy so probably shouldn't have gotten involved in this thread in the first place.

    Enjoy discussing moral relativism. I'm retiring from this thread.
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  9. #79
    meh Salomé's Avatar
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    Venting?
    Yeah. There's a lot of that going around.


    EDIT. You seem angry that no one is commiserating with you (despite the fact that you haven't personally suffered loss as a result of the riots). I don't really understand that. I guess what you were looking for was "I'm sorry you've been frightened". I wish I could oblige, but I think wake-up calls can be salutary.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    Gosh, the world looks so small from up here on my high horse of menstruation.

  10. #80
    Dreaming the life onemoretime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilkRoad View Post
    I probably sound angry because London is my city. I live near some of this stuff - like, a few minutes walk - and people I know have been personally affected. I don't think you're in that position, unless you're a Londoner too or live in one of the other UK cities affected. If you'd like to share your personal experiences and perspective of this stuff happening on your doorstep please feel free. Try telling any Londoner at the moment that they shouldn't be disgusted and see how they react.
    Not well, I'd imagine. However, I live just outside of Philadelphia. We've been dealing with flash mobs of violent youth for the past few years. I have a bit of knowledge about the subject. I've also got cousins in London right now.

    Two things - one, what exactly is it that you feel disgusted by? Two, why treat this any differently than a natural disaster, and try to ascribe culpability to people who are mostly not acting out of rational judgment at this point?

    I know what an unjust world we live in; I know how unequal it is; I know that people feel angry and disenfranchised and that they have reasons; I know that capitalism has contributed to people feeling that greed is good and acquisition is all. I'm not going to falsely claim I identify with or sympathize with people more than I do, however. That would make me a hypocrite and a liar. I always try to acknowledge my own background and prejudices. I would never deny that I have prejudices. At least I'm reasonably aware.
    Awareness only goes so far. At a certain point, you've got to empathize with these people, and everyone you don't necessarily like, and grant them their fundamental humanity. That doesn't mean that you have to like them; it just means that you've got to understand that most of them are not acting this way simply because they're "bad people." Hell, the youth of Britain have heard nothing else said about them other than they are a bunch of ignorant good-for-nothings for the last 15 years, if not more. This violence is defiant.

    I just keep coming back to the facts that I know people who have dragged themselves out of holes of deprivation and underprivilege to have productive and moral lives; and that the people who claim they have done these things because they are stuck in these kinds of lives have contributing to destroying the livelihood and in some cases the LIVES of people not so different from themselves. Those three lads killed in Birmingham were not rich or representatives of the institutions that grind people down. I know people who could have been out on the streets participating. They would have had "reasons" from the lives they have experienced. Due to their strong morals, beliefs, consciences, etc, they were not out there.
    This is sort of the "American Dream" argument - that if you're not successful, it's your own fault in some way. You've got friends, but you must know that they are outliers, and that the reality is much different for the vast majority of people. Furthermore, what good are productivity and morals when the sods down in the City and their cronies at Westminster are going to make sure that those two things are the only things your friends will have left by the time they hit age 50?

    I'm a bit disappointed that you characterize my comments as "pooh-poohing the yobs" when I've really tried to stay balanced over this and not just say "these people are scum who should be swept into the dustbin of humanity." But no way in hell am I going to say that I feel there are excuses for their actions. Explanations to a certain extent, sure, BUT NOT EXCUSES, no freaking way.
    I was told by a very wise person once that there was no such thing as an excuse - an excuse is merely an explanation that you personally do not like.

    Here's my excuse - maybe this violence will lead those bozos in Parliament to actually do something other than make the banks richer.

    I'm also not sure you've really looked at what's going on. I haven't seen a lot of frustration and rage. I've seen people taking advantage of a volatile situation to have a jolly good time. In Liverpool, I think it was, or anyway one of the other cities, whole families were piling up to stock up on "free" stuff. Parents were sending their kids in. The reporter covering it said that what he kept hearing was "this is so funny".
    Have you ever been clinically depressed? I ask because I would guess that you have not.

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