Well hello my dear readers, friends, family, fans, and foes.
Welcome to my post-riot blog post!
Not that I was OUT rioting, but I just mean my post after the fucking gong show (pardon my french) that ripped through Vancouver last night.
My night started out simply enough, walking over to work to drop off some forms, and then heading over to Yagger’s to watch the game with my amigos. My work’s home office is in downtown, and happened to be on Georgia St, where THOUSANDS of Canucks fans were gearing up for the game. There were die-hard fans with their capes and signed jerseys, band wagon hoppers with their Sedin gear and face paint (me), and then of course, Canucks Sluts with their short shorts, hockey socks, and tits hanging all over the place. I was actually getting pretty stoked.
When I was just about to graduate high school in 2006, the Edmonton Oilers made it to the Stanley Cup Playoffs. It was the first time since the early 90s, and every one and their dog was excited for them — it was also at this time that I had acquired a fake ID and had made my way into about 4-5 bars to watch the various games (sorry Mom haha). For the most part though, I would just watch the game at home with my parents, or sometimes not at all.
I remember waking up one morning, after Edmonton had won I believe, and Whyte Ave was in shambles. There were store windows broken, stuff had been looted, people were hanging off telephone poles and fights breaking out everywhere. The next morning’s newspaper’s front page had a photo list of the top 10 people the police wanted to talk to in connection with the riots. I had friends who had been there and bragged about it the next day in school — not about having trashed anything, but just walking in the madness. I couldn’t really understand the mentality of wanting to be a part of this mob, but I figured, to each their own. A few nights later it happened again, and then a few more times if I’m not mistaken, but never have I seen anything like on the scale of what I saw / heard about last night.
So, what did I do last night after everything? Well I sat with my friends at Yagger’s where we had booked the back room to watch our team bring home the cup! I ate my delicious fish & chips, chatted up Sam, Bob, Andrew, Darren, Red, Graeme, April, Marcel, Kent, Nikki and the rest of the gang, and watched the Canucks lose at home 4-0. Not a single goal. I was pretty sad, but said to myself, hey! Next year!
We had walked outside during the second intermission, and lots of people — notably those with children — were leaving the downtown area, probably worried about what was going to happen later. I was kind of shocked that these people weren’t going to stay til the end of the game (in case they pulled their shit together miraculously) — but I really didn’t realize the magnitude of what was going to happen. The game ended about 40 minutes later, and the room had gone sombre — with occasional bursts of DB yelling various hilarious hockey anecdotes like “Don’t worry, they’ll win it in game 8.”
A few of my friends were going to venture out to the Burrard train station to walk one of my girlfriends there so she could get home to Kits and they had asked me if I wanted to join them. At first it reminded me of grade 12 and how stupid I thought everyone was for going, but for a few minutes I was like “yeah, I’ll go.” So as I waited for them to leave, I hummed and hawed and thought about it some more, and I realized, I was still not one of these people who enjoyed going out into the mob. I said goodbye to my friends (rather hastily, sorry guys) and then made my way back to gastown alone. I realize this might not have been the best decision, but I had a telephone in my hand with my mom on the line, and for whatever reason, gastown seemed almost peaceful compared to what was going on everywhere else. I got into my apartment, sat down on my couch, and listened to the sirens and screams outside, opened up Facebook and google and saw the horrendous photos, the status updates and the shame it brought to so many. I asked myself a few times how this all happened, who these idiots were, and what we could do to ensure that this doesn’t happen again!
I was reading various articles this morning and Facebook groups that have sprung up and I am seriously shocked and alarmed at the gravity of the damage, and the intent behind it. A lady wrote in saying her kid had received Facebook invites suggesting him to bring bricks, concrete, kerosene and ignitors to the riots — if Vancouver won or lost. WON OR LOST. WTF.?!? Why on earth would you want to destroy our beautiful city!? The victory of a sports team and the sense of false glory you get from being a detrimental piece of shit to society are not worth all of this. Over 150 injured have been REPORTED so you know there’s gotta be more. Millions in damages and stolen goods. Trash and glass coating Granville and Robson Streets, and various ignitors hidden behind dumpsters in the alley ways. So. Fucking. Disgusting.
The part that fills me with the most regret, is that this is the way people are now seeing our city. Friends I have from around the world who’ve moved here are mortified at what they’re seeing in front of them, and there’s no way to explain it but simple douchebaggery — or is this modern douchebaggery thanks to the Jersey Shore? (Just a thought )
But you know what else I read this morning? Clean-up crews dispatched as early as 7 am. Facebook groups and Tumblr pages with a message to catch these criminals by posting pictures of them, trying to help the VPD out any way they can — in what they’re calling crowd-sourced crowd control (damn I wish I had thought of that first). Most of all, there’s an overwhelming amount of real Canucks fans who are embarrassed at what those idiots did, and they’re the people who are going to be there next year when the Canucks play from September all the way to the playoffs, not starting in playoff season. For those true fans, I tip my hat to you. I’ll go check out a few games they might play in Anaheim or LA starting in January. Well. I’d rather watch the Oilers, but if tickets are cheap enough, maybe I’ll do both!
So I guess what I’m saying is, down with douchebags, and up with the awesome people helping with the clean-up, the VPD and the business owners. A few weeks will go by and it will be like nothing happened! …oh. except for the sore memory we’ve created for our city. Next year we can erase it if we all work together to fight douchebaggery!