Wednesday, August 10, 2011
The UK Is Burning
Terrifying because the thought of gangs of angry, destructive people roaming the cities in packs, destroying everything in their path, is one that makes me feel particularly powerless. How do you reason with a pack?
Heartbreaking because the "authorities" whose authority is being rejected are reacting like disapproving parents. I actually heard one government spokesman say, "If they'll go home and behave we'll talk to them." Behave? Up until now, they have. And no one talks to them. That's not how the game is played. Power talks to dissent when it can no longer ignore it.
Heartbreaking because there has to be a reason this is happening. People don't just suddenly explode into violence. They burn, slowly and steadily, for a long time. They simmer. If the heat isn't turned down, they boil. And at some point, they boil over or blow up.
I don't condone violence. I don't argue that there's anything justified about the destruction, the looting, the theft. But I know there has got to be a REASON. I found a Londoner's blog today that offers a damned good guess at what's happening. Everyday people have nothing to lose and that is dangerous.
Meet Penny Red. And pay attention. Don't think this is a strictly UK phenomenon, you great embarrassments in Washington.
Panic in the Streets