Thursday, June 16, 2011
The Ugly Truth About the Vancouver Riot
Well it's the day after the Vancouver riot, and I see that just about everybody is blaming everybody but themselves.
Those weren't real hockey fans, that isn't Vancouver, hockey is Canada, and we're better than that eh?
Wrong, wrong, wrong.
Yes, of course they're Canuck fans. Anyone who works for a living knows what replica jerseys cost in the real world....A great many people in the crowd throwing bottles, smashing windows and grinning happily for the cameras were happily showing off their Canucks jerseys.
"This isn't the Vancouver I know; we're better than this, I thought we had grown up in the past 17 years," was another. This could only be said by someone who keeps his eyes closed when he wanders outside: Vancouver not only has a seedy underbelly; it is right there for anyone willing to see it.
Could it happen in any other Canadian city? Yes it could. So what we really need to ask ourselves is why have we allowed our national sport to become such an ugly game. And such an unhealthy obsession.
This is the dark side of our national obsession with the game of hockey. It is our greatest source of collective pride when we win. And when we don’t, it looses our collective rage at … what, exactly?
Rather than a post-mortem on what went wrong on Wednesday — we already know that — it would be more helpful to take stock of why so many of us are so goddamned angry.
Because this was the dirtiest Stanley Cup final I have ever watched, after one of the dirtiest seasons ever. A season of cheap shots and concussions, that saw good players like Sidney Crosby mowed down by goons, while the NHL did practically nothing to stop it. Because violence SELLS.
We also really need to ask ourselves why we have allowed Con clowns like Don Cherry and Stephen Harper to weave that thuggish version of our sport into our national fabric, pump it up with cheap jingoism, conflate it with a ridiculous sense of destiny, poison it with a winner take all mentality.
And blame the riot on left-wing pinkos.
Gawd. Talk about a flaming asshole.
We also need to ask why the media whipped the Stanley Cup final into such a big Canada Vs The World contest, when it was just a contest between two cities. Why they made such a big deal about it. Why even the CBC News led its newscasts with hockey nonsense when hundreds were being massacred in Syria. And farmers in Western Canada were drowning.
Because it's cheap, it's absurd, it makes us look like pathetic losers with an inferiority complex the size of a house. Or like a mob when we're disappointed.
And Canada is much much more than just hockey.
But then that's our beautiful country eh? There are some truths we would rather not face. We'd rather not ask why a Stephen Harper ad looks like a hockey/beer commercial.
What it says about what we are becoming, and where it is leading us...
Because hockey is Canada !!!!!!!!! And we're number ONE !!!!!!!!!!!!!
Oh well. Until the NHL cleans up its act, until so many in this country regain their sanity, hockey will only mean one thing to me.
The great Canadian game, that we play with our friends.
Until the sun goes down.
On rinks like this one...
(Click pic to enlarge)