Tuesday, June 29, 2010

And how a day can turn around

After coming home from what I thought was to be quite the lovely Saturday, I spent much of the rest of the weekend alternating between watching disturbing footage of what was happening a short distance away from my apartment, and turning the channel in disgust at what was happening a short distance away from my apartment.

What bothered me the most, actually, was the vast number of people who stood around or took pictures/video of the vandals as if they have no stake in what they are witnessing.

Watch the above video closely. Black Hoodie Punk bumps into Brown Shirted Dude while exiting the display video. Punk actually reaches out, and says "Sorry" to the guy he just bumped into. Brown Shirt is at first annoyed at being bumped into, then realizes the store is "open for business". Brown Shirt steps into the store, ready to do some looting of his own, until Black Hoodie is tackled by Decent Citizen, and his bounty tossed back into the store. Then Brown Shirt is on his way as well, now that he sees what happens to looters in this crowd.

I'm not advocating tackling looters. But if other decent citizens had only stepped up, had said no to the looters, had exerted any societal pressure in their crowds rather than tacit acceptance of the destruction and the mayhem, we would have had less destruction and mayhem. Humans are pack animals. When the pack doesn't allow punks or punk behaviour in its midst, would-be punks like Brown Shirt are nipped in the bud and established punks like Black Hoodie are put in their place. Except the Decent Citizen didn't even have the pack behind him. He stepped up, without the support of anyone around him, and did what he knew was right. He's the guy I want in my society. Everyone else seen in the video (except perhaps for Red Sweater Hips, who did finally step up to help Decent Citizen after the fact) can rot in the burned down, vandalized world they have helped create.

All that evil needs to flourish is for good men and women to do nothing in the face of it. This weekend proved that when many (perhaps good) people had a chance to make a difference, all they did was make a video. The fact this one video caught a Decent Citizen taking a stand was purely coincidental.

This globe is your and my community. Whoever sets fire to the neighbourhood is burning down OUR neighbourhood. When are people going to step out of spectator mode, and enter the human race? Let Black Hoodies know that they don't belong, and make the Brown Shirts think twice.

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