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jjohn (22)

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Journal of jjohn (22)

Thursday October 21, 2004
01:54 AM

there's a riot going on

[ #21446 ]

It's 2:32AM in Boston and helicopters are circling my neighborhood. Police in riot gear, on horse back, on motorcycles, on foot attempt to control a wilding crowd that is breaking glass, swarming the streets, racing down alleys and setting cars on fire. The cops in black riot uniforms walk 10 abreast on Boylston street attempting to clear it of drunken, aggitated revelers so that fire engines may extinguish the flaming metal hulks of cars. An acrid smoke of burning fuel is in the cold night air along with a smattering of small explosions.

This is not Baghdad, nor Kabul. No one is fighting for political or human rights. This is all due to tonight's success of a private baseball franchise. The Red Sox won their division championship tonight. They did this before in 1995 or so. Back then, I was in this very same apartment and I fail to recall rioting and mayhem coincident with their victory. It's just a game played by very well compensated professionals for private interests, but it triggers the worst behavior in people. How people are empowered by the fortunes of sporting events to riot, I'll never understand. It reeks of desperation and the barely controlled rage of small lives. This does little to raise my estimation of professional sports or their fans.

I have never feared for the saftey of my home before tonight. I'm happier than ever not to own a car parked near my apartment. If you think I'm exaggerating, perhaps the pictures (whenever they are published) of the cars burning within a few blocks of my apartment will give you pause. I have long said alternately that I hate baseball or the Red Sox. Really, I hate the fans. I wish they had burnt Fenway Park to the ground tonight in their madness.

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  • You forgot to mention one thing: no sober fan has ever done any of those things when their team won. Of course, most fans would never do any of those things anyway, sober or not, and the team certainly doesn't condone it.

    Sports bring out the best in people more than they bring out the worst. You don't have to look further than the recent Disney movie about the 1980 Olympic Ice Hockey game, that in a very real sense gave this whole country the spark of pride and optimism that it needed at that troubling t
    • Sports bring out the best in people more than they bring out the worst.
      Well I guess that pretty much excuses it. I love it when you wink.
      • Well I guess that pretty much excuses it.

        It does? Why do you think the fact that sports brings out the good in people excuses the people who do bad things?

        You really have a warped view of the world, thinking those riotous actions are excusable. I pity you.
        • Why do you think the fact that sports brings out the good in people excuses the people who do bad things?
          Only because you said so. And I hope your failure to parse my sarcasm correctly was unintentional... but I'm afraid I may be disappointed.
          • There's a difference between being sarcastic and being an asshole. I once used to hope you could tell the difference, but I disappointedly abandoned that hope long ago.
            • The difference is this: Being sarcastic is being an a-hole while making a point. If you miss the point -- as you apparently have -- all you see is the a-hole part.
              • It's not that I am denying you have a point, it is that I know how much of an asshole you are, and I therefore ignore everything you have to say because of that. I couldn't care less what you think about ... well, anything at all.
  • and noone died this time unlike after the pats superbowl win. Just think of it as townie darwinism weeding out the genepool. You were smart to stay home and away from Kenmore.
  • This is a very, very old phenomenon. Take a look at the Roman chariot races, especially around the time of Constantine and up to Justinian I.
  • Huh. I had to go the the boston globe web site to find any comments about this at all.

    Guess it wasn't news, unless you live there.
    • You mean the rioting, or the Sox victory? The latter was major news all over the place. Hell, PBS News Hour even had a whole segment on Sox-Yankees on Monday night: in all my years of watching, I've never seen News Hour do a full segment on a team sporting event, where the discussion was actually about the teams, and not the media or the context in society at large or some horseshit like that. :-)
    • The rioting of course. We were inundated with the sports crap. Nothing on the local news last night either. I did hear this morning that a woman, and she was not called a rioter, but a "young woman who was carried away with excitement, after the victory" had been killed by being shot in the eye with a bean-bag gun.
      • We were inundated with the sports crap.

        I wonder why so many people get pissy when a big sports story makes the news, but almost no one complains when a big entertainment story -- the Oscars of Grammys, for example -- makes the news. It's a hypocrisy I don't understand.
        • I used to complain about both sports stories and entertainment award stories, but then I stopped watching the news (except, of course, for The Daily Show). I don't know if most people would consider that a win, but it's opened up my free time, and I bitch about major media a lot less.

          You are what you think.