My little boy had a nightmare so I sat on his bed and I held his head and rocked him gently saying, “It’s OK…it’s ok…it’s just a dream…”, until he curled up in his Star Wars blanket and fell back to sleep.
In the other room, live on the television, one of the Vancouver riot police lifted his mask and his partner turned his head as two squad cars burned in the background sending just one of a handful of black clouds billowing into the twilight of the downtown core. It’s a quiet Wednesday night, the Canucks lost the cup in game 7 and I thought out loud in my own satirical disbelief of the events unfolding, “I’ve never seen so many ‘activists’ with Canucks jerseys and i-phones.” Generation-i sucks (and you know who you are.)
The Canucks players never commented on their loss after the game. I thought that was odd, but then again, maybe they had already heard on Twitter the big screen outside was broken by fans throwing beer bottles before the game ended (it was 4-0) or that the massive team banners in the plaza were hauled onto a burning car by another group of so-called fans. In the meantime, I did notice the Hockey Night in Canada coverage thoughtfully, thankfully, kept the cameras on the cup and each of the 20 or so Canadians on the Bruins holding it over their heads without mentioning the aftermath outside. No comment.
Meanwhile outside…the police are nowhere in the broadcast in any numbers, 100,000 twenty year olds are on the street cheering them on – the people burning the cars and garbage cans that is – and 100,000 iPhones, Droids and a few Blackberry’s are making stars out of every one. (FYI…a full city block during the Sun Run holds roughly 10,000 – now watch the footage and you do the math on the Mayors ‘small group’ of hooligans.) In generation-i your 15 minutes of fame is now 15 seconds so you’d better blow up a car or loot a department store or better yet knock over a port-a-potty, either that or wait til dark and punch somebody. You happy now?
The truth is it was like 9-11. I was transfixed, I couldn’t believe it but I couldn’t turn away as the beautiful Olympic city was transformed into Metrocity (pronounce it ‘Metr-ah-city’ like Megamind would). I watched for hours in the end just hoping at some point the riot police would crush them…do something, anything? But in the end the live coverage was pulled, everyone in the house was asleep and I turned off the TV.
The sound of the fish tank keeps me company and our old goldfish, not-so-creatively named ‘Fishy’ that we have fantastically kept alive for 9 years, is still awake and I wonder if people today, this ever merging generation-i, have lost touch with the humanity that defines us. Live news, live tweets, live pics on FB and instant videos on YouTube. Who do we think we are? Who do we think we are that we need all of this? We don’t know who we are…that’s who…and who do we think is listening? You are. If a tree fell in the forest, would it make a sound? Yes, and it would have a Contour video with a GPS coordinate on Google Earth.
The real question is ‘who cares’? No, not in a sarcastic rhetorical way, I mean really, inside, when these events happen that shake our foundation and reshape our world, who cares these days? I do. I’m sorry.