Vancouver Hockey Riots. Why do people do that?
Why do people riot?
I wondered this myself. People rioting, going crazy, sometimes for what seem to be good reasons – like the L.A. riots of the 90’s which were a response to the Rodney King innocent verdict, and sometimes for really stupid reasons, like the Vancouver Canucks losing the Stanley Cup. Who cares?
And yet, there were riots – cars overturned, smashed store windows, looting, violence, stupidity.
Why? Why do people act that way?
Well, this is what I’ve come up with.
There’s a part inside of all of us that wants to feel powerful, and do crazy stuff. Of course feeling powerful by CREATING is often too difficult for some, so they choose to feel powerful by DESTROYING. That’s way easier.
But its more than that. Most people know they can’t just destroy stuff for no reason, because a) its wrong, and if that doesn’t bother you then, b) you’ll get in trouble.
BUT – what if you’re in a mob of people? Then maybe you can get away with acting like a total fool, because that crowd provides you with ANONYMITY – or a least it seems to.
Add in a little alcohol, and you’re good to go. RIOT TIME.
And you might not even need the alcohol. All one needs is the feeling that they are not going to be responsible for their actions, and away they go.
By the way, this doesn’t just apply to riots – it apply to the “mob mentality” in all of its forms – from voter apathy, to littering, to traffic jams, to lack of participation in church.
I liked what Jim Carrey, a Canadian comedian, blurted out in an interruption on the Today Show a few days ago:
“Low self-esteem and Molson export don’t mix.”
Bingo. For more on this, check out my rant this week, called