Sunday, June 19, 2011

6/15/11: That Thing That Happened.

 I have been trying to watch "The Watchmen" on bluray for the last 5 hours.

(But all I can think about is this)

I just want to start off by saying a simple truth: It doesn't matter what I have to say about the Vancouver riots. Not one bit. It's been a few days and I'm not going to say anything that hasn't already been expressed into the ground by people a lot smarter than me. The only thing I could say that would make a difference is that I just invented a time machine and I'm going to go back and warn everyone. Or that my vigilante alter ego "Bow-Man" promises he won't let this happen again.

(Fear not citizens! He will protect you or die trying probably...definitely)

I'm not embarassed because it is a representation of Vancouver. That is crazy. It isn't a representation of Vancouver in the slightest. That is why you won't see the usual amount of pictures in this post. I have a lot of people not from Vancouver who read j.B.C.S, and I know in my heart that the photos you can find all over the net ARE NOT a representation of a city that I still love (even though she never loves me back). This incident is an ugly side of a large metropolitan city where a known group of 100,000+ were going to gather and obviously outnumber police. Scumbags do that math and realize this is their opportunity to let their shit flag fly, they are going to do it. Doesn't matter where. When I saw this on the TV, you can't think that 1% of those people aren't horrible. Not these days.

 (Odds are INCREDIBLY good that at least 100 of them are INCREDIBLY bad)

I'm not going to condemn or criticize the Vancouver Police Department because it's silly to do so after the fact. People are hurt, and angry and looking for someone many people to blame. It should lie on each individual who rioted (to a lesser extent, those who cheeredthem on) because EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM HAD A CHOICE. In the moment, to act one way, or act another way. I don't want to post any pictures of the rioters because even infamy is too much attention for these jerkoffs.

There is a Facebook page dedicated to identifying and publicly shaming all the rioters. Of course there is. It is 2011. My mother knows my comings and goings because of Facebook and Twitter, and she doesn't even have either. It's a spy network and I'm thrilled that the folks who like to document every detail of their lives got bitten in the ass by it. Clearly, the stupidest 1%. Who the hell poses for pictures while in the middle of committing a crime? That's insane! Perhaps they all arrived Wednesday morning via time machine from 1994 when every single step you took WASN'T recorded. That is the only reasonable explanation of unreasonable stupidity.

However if you've been on the page you've probably noticed a pretty disturbing trend in some of the comments. Turns out, a lot of people think racism is okay if it's justified by describing rioters. It ain't. Knock it off, Facebook. Also, the staggering amount of people who are pro prison rape is astounding. Seriously, look at that page. For every picture of a perp, there is at least 1 comment about how their are *ahem* "gonna have their assholes pounded inside out in prison". Actual quote, from a partial person.

A lot of talk is about how "it was a premeditated act by a small group of hooligans". Yes, the start of it was. However as anyone who has ever tried to put out a fire with gasoline knows, sometimes a bad thing can get incredibly worse. Kids trying to be cool got swept up with the knuckleheads and as a result, lives are semi-ruined...temporarily. I am not going to remember Nathan Kotylak or Alicia Price in September. I don't believe the people who joined in are 100% bad, but as I said, they made a choice.

So did everyone else who was there that night and did not act like a barbarian.

It's kinda of a strange "who we are in the dark" type scenario, but everyone has nightvision goggles. The true test of ones character is "would you rob a bank if you knew you would get away with it?". Think about that. I'm not making a comment on either side of it, but I know who I am in the dark and you probably by now know who you are in the dark. Now, if the question was instead "would you rob a bank if you knew you would probably...almost definitely be caught?" The majority of people would (hopefully) answer "NO. I also would accept "fuck no" and "Are you kidding? I'm not a complete idiot". The people who decided to join in the rioting and looting but claim to be good people would probably read that sentence and go "I can rob a bank? Sweet!". Like I said, who we are in the dark doesn't mean anything in a generation where everyone has nightvision. 

I have watched pretty much every video that has been posted on Youtube from people who recorded the riots, and the night was not without good samaritans (god, I probably butchered that spelling. Oh well, lazy). A lot of those people were repaid for taking a stand by getting their asses kicked by a mob. Many of whom were waiting for the opportunity to sucker punch the good ones. While I understand that there was incredible danger involved in being one of those people and it required amazing bravery, I'm sad that so many stood by and recorded these "2 man stands". Perhaps these guys thought if they would rise up and defend it would inspire others. It didn't. The wrong kind of people ganged up that night. It would have been a lot more difficult to loot stores if 30 good samaritans (I really should pick another word) stood united in front instead of 2. There is probably a lot I didn't see, but from what I have, I wish people were more inspired to take a stand as opposed to documenting one.

6/15/11 was despicable. There is nothing else really to say about it. People like that, who actively look for trouble are an everyday problem. The only thing that casts this in a larger light is the sheer volume of douchebags who gathered. I'm not a "bar-star" by any means these days (not being 19-22 years old helps with that) but I can definitely say, on any given night these assholes are out in packs, "with their boys" looking to pick fights or break shit. On the night of the riots, all those types congregated in one spot and shit got predictably real. Well, real stupid anyway,

It was an All-Star game of the worst this city has to offer. Unfortunately the ratings and viewership were record breaking.

What won't get the same ratings, sadly, is the fact that thousands of true Vancouverites and Canucks fans flocked downtown the next day to help clean up the garbage and repair the damage that had been wrought by those who were probably boasting about their bullshit on Facebook. I went down there in the afternoon and imagine my surprised when everything was already pretty much cleaned up. The outpouring of support and the turnout was that huge. But bad news trumps good news every time, and I don't see a lot of articles from news sources outside BC reporting on the events of 6/16/11, a day which is inspiring, and which did not happen on such a large scale the days after the 1994 Vancouver riot. That shows the city has grown, the people here are good and although images worldwide of overturned cop cars burning and jackasses posing in front of them, that is not what Vancouver is. Not even close.

Boarded up windows were marked in pen with messages of recovery written on them. Support for the city, it's hockey team and it's true fans/citizens. Although I was pretty bothered by people making sure their friends got pics of them signing the boards or clammorning to get on news coverage signing them (see that speck, way off in the distance guys? That's the point you missed). I was inspired enough to write one word, on one board, before I went on my merry way. It doesn't even matter what the word was, all of the messages were indicitive of what this city truly is.

(A VPD cruiser covered with messages of support and appreciation)

You're a sexy bitch, Vancouver. Don't you forget it.

(Our postcards don't feature smoke. Remember that)

Had to get that off my mindgrapes. j.Bowman Can't Sleep is not nor was it ever intended to be a soapbox (it's more likely a box of Cocoa Puffs) but I think one serious post a year should be alright and this will be the last time the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup riot is mentioned on this blog.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled Bowgramming.

Thanks for Reading



  1. You the Bowman. Every word was dead on. Keep it going.

  2. You are a gentleman and a scholar, j.Bowman. Because of this post, BC is still on my bucket list of places to visit. Keep up the good work.