So, I know EVERYONE has been talking about the riots ad nauseam. It is still in BC the hot topic of conversation and is still garnering attention on the National News.
People have been shocked, saddened, horrified, angry, etc. Too an extent, rightly so. It is never good to see what transpired that day. There is talk about so-called anarchists flying into Vancouver to begin the riots(they are really just 20 somethings who are bored and have nothing better to do. They aren’t even anarchists because they plan the whole thing…but I digress). This is true and fine.
But what is disturbing is the way people play “follow the leader” in a moral fashion. Once someone did something, everyone saw that as permission to enter into the mayhem. But we know this. It is part of man’s history, it has always been that way since The Fall and will be that way until Christ comes again.
I believe people are truly angry about the riots because they are a way for our society to look in the mirror and see its true colours. People are shocked because they thought that we, as a country, a nation, a culture, were much better than that. We are good and nice people (I hate the word “nice”, but that’s for another day). The riots demonstrate that the veneer of images we place on our society are not a true representation of our moral valour. The riots demonstrate, to an extent, where our hearts are really at. And that is why people are disgusted. They believed the veneer images and were never willing to go deeper, to think honestly about the moral caliber of our country.
Sadly, I don’t think that will happen. It demonstrates that most people do not have the moral courage to stand up for what is true and right. Some did, and I am glad the news agencies have been tracking that. Those men had courage and bravery to do what was right even at the threat of their own personal security. The most people would do would be to stand around with their cell phones watching the whole thing, wanting to capture the moment on camera.
Yet those people, I argue, are just as much to blame as those who were looting and causing damage. It is a sign that our culture has truly fallen into the worse sort of voyeurism in which everything becomes entertainment for us. Instead of thinking about others and doing what is right to help those in need, we stand around getting pictures and video in order to keep the moment to show “I was there”. In the end, it’s all about “me”. That is the same mentality as those who were causing the damage, not having a care for the people’s whose lives they were either disrupting or even possibly ruining because of all this.
I saw a movie last year called “Kick-Ass”. Now, I do not recommend it for most people, but it demonstrates where our culture is at. There is one scene where the character “Kick-Ass” (a high-school boy who thinks he can take on the criminals of the streets of New York by himself) is getting beaten up in a pretty bad way. Instead of helping him, everyone at the restaurant nearby pulls out their cell phones and records the whole thing, noting the entertainment value of it. Those people should have gotten out of the restaurant to help him, just like those in the street of Vancouver should have put down their cell phones and stopped the thugs who were causing destruction and mayhem.
Another show I think of is Seinfeld, the last episode of the series. In it, the four characters are standing around in a street in some small town where they not only are recording a larger man being mugged, but even crack jokes. They don’t do anything. Oddly enough, they go to jail for it for what is called a “good samaritan” law: if you see someone in trouble and you can reasonably help the person, you ought to. Now, I don’t think there should be such a law, but as I think about it, that episode does a lot for speaking to where our culture is at: selfish, concerned only for itself and for its own entertainment. Care for another is still there, but not to the same degree it once was.
I blame this, largely, on the loss of Christianity. And the funny thing is, the outcries, without saying it, were stating the same thing. They wanted the virtue of the past. But we don’t have it, it’s not there. Will our culture do anything to seriously ask the real questions, the tough ones, that force us to look at ourselves and how we relate with others? Sadly, I don’t think so, but if the riots did end up causing such a moral reflection in our society, then maybe there is still hope there for that virtuous and good society that everyone desperately wants, but only a few are willing to attempt to live.