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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

No, Not An Auspicious Start

As I write this there are riots in the streets.

The newscasters are calling the scene post-apocalyptic. Police cars smoulder with vandals' flames, and tear gas envelops the entire downtown core. Windows have been smashed. The Queen Elizabeth theatre was showing Wicked and families are trapped in the foyer, afraid to leave the building.

The city is burning.

And all over a lost hockey game?

There are times in my life when I felt left out because I didn't live in Vancouver proper. I grew up on the North Shore, an underpriveleged kid in an upper-middle-class neighbourhood. When I married I migrated to Roastawasp, another city in Greater Vancouver (not its real name, but my grandmother used to get a kick out of calling it Burn-A-Bee, so I may as well honor her memory). It was always a pain, an annoying but necessary pain, to have to transit in from elsewhere, but it seemed inevitable.

But now? Now I'm kinda glad I'm not out in that mess.

Speculation is that it's probably not the hockey game that started it. That it was an excuse for people to riot; that there are anarchists involved and that all the "real" fans went home safely. I don't know, because I'm not well-versed in politics and frankly, I want to stay out of it.

But this is not an auspicious start to my blog.

And yes, I'm aware how self-centred that sounds. But in my defense, I wasn't expecting this turn of events. I am a Canucks fan, married to a Canucks fan. There was quite a bit of tension leading up to the game and I was having a hard time trying to compose my first entry. I have so much I want to say, because I recently came out of an amazing experience with fellow writers, I have lots to share, and as of yesterday I'd decided to switch from Livejournal to Blogspot.

This is not the time.

And so, like many other Canucks fans and Greater Vancouverites, I apologize to the world for this mess. We are not all like that. If you check the Twitterverse, you'll see many more apologies like this.

When I started to compose this post, it was right after the game ended and I thought I had something clever to say about how the game inspired a story idea for me. This? I'm sure something fictional will come of it, but it's sure not what I intended.


  1. Well said, Laura. The whole situation is so untypical of what celebratory crowds in Vancouver are usually like. I hope VPD is eventually able to identify the hooligans that instigated the worst damage and make them pay, but it seems anarchists manage to get in and out and move on to another locale.

  2. I'm a big sports fan, but I never understood the whole rioting in the street thing. It's times likes these you remember that "fan" is a derivative of fanatic. Sports+emotion+alcohol=trouble, I guess.

  3. I know I shouldn't make gross generalizations, but after meeting and sharing a room with you, and shaing my home with your fellow Canookian, En, I don't think either of you have anything to apologize for. There are always idiots, best that can be done is to kill them and never get into the Stanley cup finals again ...

  4. This is hard, I know. I lived in Columbus, Ohio when the "riots" happened. (I use the quotes, because really, it was a couple cars and some unruly folks; I don't think anyone was hurt, and most of us in the city didn't know there was a riot until we saw it on CNN). But the fans in the stadium, while they booed some (I think) during the presentation, seemed to be pretty good. It was a hard, hard loss, I know. But yeah, riots always make people feel bad about living where they are.

    I'd be a little distressed about the whole "anarchist" thing. I mean, when people rioted in Columbus, it mostly wasn't students, just ne'er do wells looking for an excuse to be destructive, but there wasn't any political motivation there.

    I'll keep you in my thoughts! Take care!

  5. Wow - I'm so sorry to hear this. Not to spread stereotypes, but all the Canadians I've met have been remarkably nice people. I think you're probably right that it's not simply disgruntled fans, it's agitators of some sort looking for an excuse in the midst of alcohol fueled unrest. Like Emily, I've seen football riots in Columbus and they never went this far. Keep safe! and keep us updated.

  6. Thank you everyone for your comments and support. It was a crazy few days, but things seem to be approaching normal now. I feel good about it.