man-boys will be man-boys part 1

Warning: this may be a rant laced with irritation and mockery.
To most of the world the recent events embarrassing most Canadian citizens may go unnoticed...which is probably a good thing.  It has however caused such a stain on our Country, particularly Vancouver that it has received a lot of media attention and discussion here.

On Wednesday night there was a major Hockey game in Vancouver, B.C.   The Vancouver team lost and all hell broke loose.  Riots ensued through the night, cars were burned,  police were assaulted, buildings were burned, people received serious injuries, massive amounts of property was damaged, stores were looted.   People who tried to stop the destruction were gang beaten.  The police were under resourced and seemed unprepared.  The hostile environment was fueled by manic emotion, and alchohol.

It was ridiculous.

Seriously?!   It was a hockey game.

I suspect it all had very very little to do with hockey at all.  In fact it had nothing to do with hockey.

I don't live anywhere close to the west coast and Vancouver.  I don't even watch hockey.  I did however watch the live news reports with wide eyed disgust.   The hilarious part of it all is EVERYONE has  a camera phone and all the posted pictures have helped in over 100 arrests.

When I scroll through the disturbing images a few things strike me.   It seems there is a very small element involved that are professional criminal/anarchists who travel the riot circuit looking for action. Any excuse to stick it to the man.  The dregs of society.  People were prepared with crow bars and gasoline before the game even ended.
I don't go to hockey games very often but typically I find my handy sledge hammer doesn't fit well in my purse.

Secondly, the vast majority of the crazed rioters were young males.  Highschool kids and college age boys.  Of course there is the occasional pot bellied middle aged man acting like a fool or the "puck bunnies" in their short shorts, jersey's and high heels  taking kicks at over turned cars as well.

It was shocking to see so many young men  acting like a pack of wild dogs....rabid ones at that.   It was a fascinating display of unbridled testosterone mixed with alcohol.

Beyond the crazed man boys were huge crowds of average looking citizens men and women cheering them on.

Some images of the night are shocking.

This is Canada!  The country that has the image of "nice" peace loving folk.  *snicker*
It is true that this doesn't represent all the citizens of Vancouver, in fact many people came out the next morning to clean up the mess left by the rioters.

One of the things that stood out to me  is the affluence of the rioters.  The majority weren't underprivileged, disenfranchised street youth.   The vast majority of the jackholes looked like suburb living, Ambercrombie wearing, overindulged punk kids,  who have had life handed to them on a silver platter.    As the identities of the criminals begin to be revealed on the public media sights stories emerge.

One young "man" pictured destroying a police car has been identified as the son of an affluent professional, all-star athlete, headed to university on a full ride scholarship.  Good luck with that now.  His doting parents paid for Sweetums $8000 ticket and flew him out to the game...they probably bought his fancy sneakers and jersey too.   He tweeted that he didn't even go to the game because it would get in the way of a good riot.
His parents, who have also been made public, were interviewed recently and instead of the dissapointment or sadness that you would expect from  a parent they expressed something much more common.  Defensiveness and excuses.  {Just ask any school teacher how often they see that from parents}. It was everyone else's fault including the police.  Excuses were made for him, blame was passed.  He was totally justified in his actions. He's a good kid after all.  Seriously?!

I have no doubts that many were caught up in the frenzy and woke up with a serious hangover and even worse regret,  but I also suspect a lot of them feel nothing close to empathy or remorse at all.

 There is so much wrong with our nation of spoiled brats.   Within a couple generations who have been untouched by any sort of real hardships, struggle or the need for any sort of work ethic we've created a culture of entitlement, disrespect, ingratitude and narcissism.   A culture of whiny man-boys.  Grown up man bodies containing the emotional maturity of a child.   This is what happens when you get a whole herd of them together.
(not that it's limited to men).

Keep in mind they are not fighting for a noble cause or protesting some horrible injustice....they are doing it for "fun".  Nothing better to do on a Wednesday evening.  They know they'll only get a slap on the wrist and then be sent home where mumsie can nurse their wounded pride and Daddy can rant about the mistreatment by police.    I suspect they were under the illusion that they were untouchable and wouldn't be arrested at all.  

It's easy to point fingers at the city's subculture, the mayor, the unprepared police and the pathetic excuses for citizens who were rioting but it seems we can also look at the larger picture and examine how we created this aimless, purposeless, pack of humans that run like packs of wild dogs.

How in our society of affluence, ease, comfort and advantage do we create scenes like this?
All you have to do is google it to find pages full of video and photos.

I don't have any down pat answers but I do have some ideas.  I live in a house with three males, all of whom would be hard pressed to deny that smashing up a car and lighting it up wouldn't be ecstatic fun.   Out of my three men folk two are ADHD wired (often intense, rowdy, passionate, and impulsive) and one is just a naughty 4 year old who likes to smash stuff.   To deny that God designed boys with a certain wonderful wildness would be denying reality.  Take most action movies or visit an American town on the 4th of July...boys like to see things explode and crash.   Some might call it evolution, some unenlightened feminists might deny any difference between boys and girls at all,  I believe that it is design.   God designed men for a purpose.

I may be off base here, but I suspect that this wasn't it.

Beyond essential matters of spiritual redemption and transformation...what went wrong with these man-boys?  Instead of pointing fingers should we be looking closer to home for less dramatic examples of masculinity gone haywire?   Should we be examining our own culture, priorities, and parenting a little more closely?  This may be an extreme example but in every neighborhood we find kids behaving like arrogant bullies.  In every school there are kids who have a disregard for property, authority and other humans in general.   The surprising trend is that these kids, like the young "men" in the riot, are't all from severely difficult and dysfunctional families...they wear the latest fashions, have top notch educations, and carry the latest gadgets.  They come from nice homes, go to Sunday school, and travel to exotic locations on family vacations.

They are "good kids" from "good families".    You can't blame "kids these days" without taking a a good look at the people who raised them.

I'm not expert.   I'm not a psychologist and I've only been parenting for a decade...but I do have a few hunches on how to raise up a generation of man-boys instead of real men.


Lisa @ Life is Crazy Beautiful said...

Carla, I know, it's so sad...it is my generation who raised those "man-boys".

"Within a couple generations who have been untouched by any sort of real hardships, struggle or the need for any sort of work ethic we've created a culture of entitlement, disrespect, ingratitude and narcissism. A culture of whiny man-boys. Grown up man bodies containing the emotional maturity of a child. This is what happens when you get a whole herd of them together.
(not that it's limited to men)."

The frustration has been seeing it happen and feeling powerless to stop it. Even in Christian/Church circles its just as bad. I have watched Christian friends shake their heads in misunderstanding when I didn't get a full time job or go into serious debt to lavish my daughter with everything her heart desired. She's got a great work ethic and I raised her to take care of herself. A lot of my friends have kids going away to college who have never done a load of laundry or cooked a meal in their lives!!

We raised a generation of kids who are praise-junkies. They've grown up being told how wonderful they are (often unmerited, shallow praise) and they whole-heartedly believe it. The first time they get fired or are reprimanded in the work force they will go into a tailspin for sure.

I suppose all we can do is pray!

Laura said...

I read this post and then I watched the video from your previous post "Made to be courageous". What you said about God designing men for a purpose, it struck me how true that is. I believe God made men to be courageous, to have that strength to nurture and protect a family. And this sad event has shown how far humans have gone from God's plan for us. Turning something so good into something horrible and frightening. What a battle it is to stand for the right. Thankfully we have a powerful God! :)