“Violence, whether spiritual or physical, is a quest for identity and the meaningful. The less identity, the more violence.” — Marshall McLuhan
I visited Toronto today with Jill and Naan-Bread and we discussed the (Vancouver) riots. My working theory about the cause of the riots, developed lackadaisically during that conversation, goes something like this:
- Violence is a reaction to depersonalization, or to a lack of identity, according to McLuhan*.
- “Hockey is Canada’s game.”
- “Vancouver is Canada’s team.”
Essentially — and I admit I could develop this more but I just got back from TO and it’s bedtime — the embarrassing nature of the loss (3-0), combined with the identity-stripping national letdown (points 2 and 3, above), the depersonalizing nature of crowds, the disinhibiting effects of alcohol, and maybe a kind of historo-psychic expectation harmonically adding to ripples from 1994, all helped caused the riot.
* McLuhan is the go-to guy for media, especially violence in media, and for violence caused by media doubly-so. I can’t say the sports media caused the riot though, because that would make this reasoning circular.