Posted by Prymface on Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Everyone seems to have an opinion about why it happened. Every time I turn on the TV or radio there is someone spouting their theory about those who are not considered to be 'one of us' normal people. Occasionally they will get hold of an 'interview' with 'one of them', or their mothers, who may mutter something seemingly inarticulate, which provides little explaination, but is great for voyeuristic followers who want to feel better about themselves and their own vocabulary. "My child would never do that' was echoed on facebook status's (you want a prize for that in your cozy leafy suburb?). The Young Voters Question Time, shoved onto BBC3, offered a bit more but people on twitter complained it was a bit 'shouty'. There was an interesting discussion about gangs and the damage they do to people's lives, not just shops, that usually gets ignored because it doesn't affect us 'normal people'. Lots of young people from 'poor backgrounds' proved that they were intelligent and passionate when they were given the real opportunity to say something, even if they did still have a different accent and occasionally used slang words. There were things that were unfair, things they were understandably angry about, things that should be listened to and addressed. Then the topic turned to teenage pregnancy. To be fair, the phrase 'this isn't an attack' was repeated numerous times (I assume for my benefit) but ultimately it was. The theory was that teenage pregnancy caused the riots. The theory was that it was people like me (and maybe you) who are at the bottom of this mess! Without you, we would live in a civilised utopia of 'normal people'. Suddenly I wasn't one of the normal people anymore. I was a cause.
The problem of anger, and violence, and greed, and people thinking they could get away with something, is a heavy weight to bear. But I'd suggest that everyone has their part to play, not just me. Thinking they could get away with getting something for free cos it seemed like everyone was doing it, even though they knew it was wrong, is exactly what happened with MPs expenses. I don't remember analysing them to this extent, looking at their family back ground; What age were their mothers? Was there a father at home? Ultimately a lot of people are guilty of greed, or feeling entitled to something, or caring too much about their status and material things, and wanting to feel part of something, wanting to fit it and win admiration, or even jealously, of others. So the looters took it too far, some just got caught up in the wave as it spread across the country, every minute documented in the media to add to the hype and excitement; a media that initially made it look like a free-for-all, but now uses its influence to parade those that got caught alongside the harsh sentences given in courts, attempting to justify the unproportionate punishment because it 'sends a message', mainly to the normal people that 'we haven't really stood for this'. But that message will soon be forgotten, the shops will be rebuilt. The lives that have been ruined are those we like to think of as 'other', even more so now than ever before.
Tags: media riots blame
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