Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: London's Burning

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  • Russell Brown, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    You know something, I’m have a real problem getting invested in an existential crisis at the moment.

    Suit yourself. I agree with Ben (must stop saying that) that we may be seeing a systemic crisis, at least for the West.

    I'm more or less blocking out what's happening with sovereign debt and the financial markets right now, because worrying about it would simply be too depressing.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18716 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Certainly not. But I did feel like an up-close observer rather than a participant.

    I guess a more precise way of saying what I was saying in relation to '100% contagious' would be to say that all of the individuals who make up the crowd will be affected. How that plays out will differ from person to person.

    Edit: It's also a far more intense and visceral experience than any gig or sporting event I've been to, before or after - orders of magnitude more so.

    I can quite easily disengage from and dispassionately observe a sports crowd or gig crowd. I doubt it would be that easy in any sort of public disorder-type circumstances.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2359 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Savidge,

    Just when you thought things had calmed down, the rampage continues...

    Somewhere near Wellington… • Since Nov 2006 • 315 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    hanging for pinching a monogrammed hankerchief.

    But no longer for buying a logoed shirt online. WW2 may be a way back but I'm sure there will be some out there wondering why the All Blacks are beholden to a German Company
    Sport eh?
    The root of all evil?

    King Edward II was so troubled by the unruliness of football in London that on April 13, 1314 he issued a proclamation banning it: "Forasmuch as there is great noise in the city caused by hustling over large balls from which many evils may arise which God forbid; we command and forbid, on behalf of the King, on pain of imprisonment, such game to be used in the city in the future."

    Apparently they weren't spending enough time practising Archery, oh the irony.
    The initial spark that led to riot was the Shooting of Mark Duggan in Tottenham, just a bricks throw from White Heart Lane, home of "Tottenham Hotspur Football Club", or "Spurs" as they are colloquially known.
    Turns out that the well publicised bullet in the Police Radio came from a Police issue gun, which will anger the family.
    Thank God Eden Park is in a "Nice Middle Class" area and our Police never shoot anyone.

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4696 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I'm more or less blocking out what's happening with sovereign debt and the financial markets right now, because worrying about it would simply be too depressing.

    You'll be fine when society collapses: you've got a wind-up radio, remember?

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2359 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I did feel like an up-close observer rather than a participant

    journalistic training can do that for you

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16496 posts Report Reply

  • Greg Dawson, in reply to Michael Savidge,

    Just when you thought things had calmed down, the rampage continues…

    That sort of senseless violence has to be stopped, at any cost. What if there had been a cat in there?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 208 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    You know something, I’m have a real problem getting invested in an existential crisis at the moment.

    Fair enough, I'm finding it equally hard to get too wrought up about riots in London. I find it quite easy to see a bigger context, because there actually is one.

    seen from sufficient distance, it says, the corpse and the hacked limbs are not so very terrible.

    If you spot any of those in London, be sure to link, with warnings. I'm not taking a long view to avoid spotting the corpses. I'm taking it because global economic collapse concerns me more than looting in London, but I do think they're connected.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8319 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2936 posts Report Reply

  • Alex Coleman,

    I don't know if this has been linked to here or not, (apologies if it was here that I saw it), but those damn commies at StratFor have a piece on the 'something is happening here but I don't know what it is' thing:

    http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/20110808-global-economic-downturn-crisis-political-economy

    Beyond the economic troubles, politics does seem to be in trouble.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 212 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Rich Lock,

    It's also a far more intense and visceral experience than any gig or sporting event I've been to, before or after - orders of magnitude more so.
    I can quite easily disengage from and dispassionately observe a sports crowd or gig crowd. I doubt it would be that easy in any sort of public disorder-type circumstances

    Isn't the buzz all about power -- gaining it, using it, and coming out on top (even if its only in the form of a new pair of trainers)?

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2578 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to BenWilson,

    If you spot any of those in London, be sure to link,

    Not in London but Birmingham.
    Police are given fresh powers after three killed in rioting
    I have to say that I don't see this as a result of Rioting but just another racially motivated attack, up until now the Riots have lacked any hint of racism.

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4696 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Stephen Judd,

    American friends of mine laugh when I've told them of experiences on London's streets in the past - "those kids'd totally get their asses kicked over here!" - but they may not appreciate the vacuum of public etiquette that a child can sense, and then flood with their own hatred for everything around them.

    And neither of them seem to realize that in America, anyone can "pack the nine", making children by far the most dangerous people on the streets.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8319 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Hebe,

    Isn't the buzz all about power -- gaining it, using it, and coming out on top (even if its only in the form of a new pair of trainers)?

    In the situations I found myself in, it wasn't. There may be far more of an element of that in this/these case(s).

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2359 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    in America, anyone can “pack the nine”

    Um, legally, you have to be at least 18 to have a gun in the US, whereas if you can get a license, it's 16 here.

    But illegally, you can have anything, and it's probably easier to get an illegal firearm there than here.

    To drink drive while packing heat is 21 in the US and 20 here.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4422 posts Report Reply

  • John Armstrong,

    Re: long views 'versus' sensitivity. Are these necessarily mutually exclusive? It seems to me perfectly possible (and even useful) to react to the violence we are seeing at a human level, i.e. with anger, empathy etc, while also attempting to understand it within various historical, economic, social, or even philosophical contexts. There is nothing evasive about either approach. In fact they usefully illuminate each other.

    Hamilton • Since Nov 2007 • 126 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I'm more or less blocking out what's happening with sovereign debt and the financial markets right now, because worrying about it would simply be too depressing.

    Right, sovereign debt is so last month.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 3386 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Rich Lock,

    You’ll be fine when society collapses: you’ve got a wind-up radio, remember?

    And a wind-up torch now, too. Got it at the Mitre 10 Mega Centre on Sunday. I'm ready.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18716 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    But illegally, you can have anything, and it's probably easier to get an illegal firearm there than here.

    If your aim is to rob people then it's the only kind you'd want. Also, over here you can get a license, but not for gangster weapons. To get MSSA guns you need a bloody good excuse. An especially well organized gang of bank robbers operating in Auckland at the moment don't seem to have them, some of the robbers are only carrying knives. Says a lot to me.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8319 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to John Armstrong,

    There is nothing evasive about either approach. In fact they usefully illuminate each other.

    I'd hope. I take Craig's point that you can look through the other end of the telescope to avoid seeing the carnage sometimes. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't look through it that way sometimes.

    <aside>How many people know that when you look through a telescope the wrong way, it can make things seem small and distant unless you put them right up to the eyepiece? Then it works like a really powerful magnifying glass.</aside>

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8319 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Reeves, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    That's White HART Lane, deer.

    Near Donny Park, Hamilton… • Since Apr 2007 • 94 posts Report Reply

  • recordari, in reply to Russell Brown,

    And a wind-up torch now, too. Got it at the Mitre 10 Mega Centre on Sunday. I'm ready.

    Pffft. My wind-up radio has a built in torch. And it's waterproof. Ready? I'm going disaster hunting for the halibut.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    To drink drive while packing heat is 21 in the US and 20 here.

    I recall my cousins all travelled with shotguns and perfectly legal as long as they are displayed .Theirs being on the dashboard.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6027 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to BenWilson,

    I’d hope. I take Craig’s point that you can look through the other end of the telescope to avoid seeing the carnage sometimes. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look through it that way sometimes.

    And I'm minded that I referred rather snippily to Tariq Ali's big-picture musings about the meaning of the riots upthread.

    But, as I said, I tend to agree with your analysis. Throw in climate change -- a challenge to which democratic governments in market economies are struggling to rise -- and there's any amount of evidence that things can't continue as they have been.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18716 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to BenWilson,

    <aside>How many people know that when you look through a telescope the wrong way, it can make things seem small and distant unless you put them right up to the eyepiece? Then it works like a really powerful magnifying glass.</aside>

    Woah. That's some deep shit right there.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18716 posts Report Reply

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