Seriously, London, I Thought You Were Better Than This

Dear London;

I thought there was no problem you couldn’t solve with a spot of tea and those little sandwiches that keep cardiologists in business. I’m sorry there are parts of you that are hurting but I cannot see, even with the violent history the US has had within her own borders, how destroying your yourself will make things better.

London, admiring herself in the soft light (©: Lewis Whyld/PA/AP)

What exactly is wrong with you? Claiming that not having a job and being frustrated is hardly an excuse to burn down someone else’s property and steal what’s not nailed down. In what reality is this considered perfectly understandable? I get that the area is depressed (I live in Michigan, I know from depressed), but civilized people don’t torch stores and steal merchandise.

But I guess that’s kind of the point, right? Civilized people don’t do these things.  Criminals, and thugs, and ill-mannered children from uncaring homes make a greater mess of things. Places where the parents have found  parenting far too difficult and instead of making an effort to teach a child right from wrong, blame time and the system and throw up their hands. It’s the fault of *those* people.

It’s getting to the point now where it really doesn’t matter that sparked it (romanticizing a drug dealer as a family man is part of the issue, no?). It’s more the fact that no one cares about they “why” anymore because a bunch of thugs are on a working holiday. I’m not worried about offending them. They can’t read this anyway, not with all of the big words. They’re only part of the problem.

Anyone that knows someone engaged in or profiting from the riot is part of the problem. Friends are  part of the problem, parents are part of the problem, lovers and roommates are part of the problem.  Baby-mommas and gang members are part of the problem. If you suddenly have new tech and new clothes and everything smells like a campfire – you’re part of the problem. It’s hard to believe that all of this is going on and yet no one knows anyone involved. London, that makes you the problem.

So, through news reports and frantic tweets, I watch you burn yourself to ground. Over the next several weeks, months, years, people will blame the economy, race, living conditions. I blame the rioters, which again is you, London, and I sincerely hope every single one man, woman and child is made to rebuild what was torn down. Forget prison and fines and glitzy telethons – make people get out there rebuild.  Clean the streets, sweep up the glass, reconstruct the buildings, work the bread lines – in other words, make yourself responsible for what’s happening. Leaving it to some etheral government agency with a bunch of letters for a name to do it for you is precisely how you got into this, so roll up your sleeves and get to work.  Put the backs of the criminals arrested for this on the front lines. Make them pick up the lives they destroyed and then give them an opportunity to earn some respect. Remorse is shown by deed and duty, not confinement. 

No? Oh well, it was a thought.

So anyway, looks like you’re well into your third night of busting up people’s stuff and wearting things that don’t belong to you. Instead of speeches and postering and cowering posts written from flats blaming the government and socio-economic conditions,  maybe in the morning you’ll get off your ass and do something. Maybe you’ll stage a counter protest with buckets and brooms and you’ll start the clean up. More than likely, there will be speeches and concerned politicians will cluck over ruins and shake hands with vetter “onlookers” and nothing will change.

I’m sorry, London. As soon as you stop pointing fingers, you can get back to the business of being London, for better or worse.

Sincerely,
lbd