“Bruins win cup, riot rocks loser city.”
Now there’s a headline that says it all—thanks CNN.
No matter where you get information about the post-Stanley Cup meltdown, you’ll learn Vancouver, and Canada in general, shed remaining Olympic mojo, only to be re-introduced to the world as a diverse group of losers.
This mosaic is made up of the loser thugs who geared up for an event, chock-o-block with families swept up in team-spirit, by packing their trusty Molotov cocktails and ample supply of discontent.
In recent months, we’ve seen countries with repressive regimes use these tools to take a stand against tyranny. In cosmopolitan Vancouver, they’re a way to say thanks for large television screens broadcasting the game near an abundance of coffee shops. Oh, and lest we forget, a team that brought home Game 7 of the Stanley Cup.
Then there are the lemming-esque losers who milled about when cars were lit on fire, staring blankly or taking pictures for their Facebook accounts.
They’re by far the most disconcerting. Instead of getting the hell out of Dodge, these Vancouverites and visitors stood by, wrung their hankies, mugged for cameras or generally got in the way of police offering a solution.
Some even tweeted photos alongside remarks of “shame” about the idiocy at hand, failing to realize that not moving their butts out of the way made them part of said idiocy.
Finally there are the losers who live in the city, and did everything they could to fight against, or just avoid the melee. Some of my friends who live downtown were the first to leave the crowd because, as one said, “it felt strange, right from the beginning.”
Another said she avoided it entirely, went home to watch the game with a bottle of vino, because “what good could come of a bunch of drunk hockey fans?”
My hockey-loving family went so far as to express a disheartening lack of surprise that kept them at arm’s length. “Oh lord…does this have to happen every time anything big happens in Vancouver?” complained my sister.
It’s people like my nearest and dearest who really lost the most because they know how ’94s shame carried through in policy and created the city that deserved the moniker, “No-fun-couver.” They only recently got a glimpse of how things could look up, post-Olympic glow and now they’re going to be pondering its longevity as they clear through the muck left behind by looters and vandals.
A few hundred kilometers away, however, this may be a bit of a personal win.
Riots, in general, are disheartening in a way that makes me visualize a rapidly declining civilization.
Recent uprisings in Middle Eastern countries made me marinate in guilt over my precarious position of privilege.
In England, when students rioted to block tuition hikes, it made me concerned about the increasing divide of have and have-nots.
Each time, I’d lay awake despairing over varying apocalyptic scenarios.
But thanks to Wednesday’s riot, there’s a glint of sunshine.
Next time I will picture our rioters and cheer up knowing they’ll get theirs.
Kathy Michaels is a Capital News reporter.