As a London native, hearing about the riots in the streets of my hometown has been pretty sickening. Although I have to admit I did have a giggle reading my cousin sign off on an email saying he had to go because ‘he’s putting on a hoodie to go looting in Tooting’ AND I couldn’t resist liking a facebook page called ‘Going to pick up your benefits but realizing you burnt down the post office’ – awful
I remember growing up in South London where violence was a pretty everyday occurrence, a pub brawl here, a stabbing there, seemed like most of the population under 20 sported a ‘shiner’ or black eye almost as a badge of honor. I remember how scary it was being close to a punch up at the local pub or at a house party when I was growing up, bodies would go flying, bottles and glass would be broken and used as weapons, I’d just duck down and get the hell out of the way – successfully I might add. When I moved to New York City, and started spending time with friends in the suburbs, surrounding small towns and rural communities upstate and discovered that lots of regular people have guns it was really hard to get my head around, and I remember thinking thank Buddah that wasn’t an option for the London thugs. At least for the most part.
Reading an email today from a cousin I learned that that 20% of the population under 20 are out of work. YIKES. He runs a successful chain of hair salons and said it was really eerie locking up the shops and hoping they’d be in one piece in the morning – hairdryers don’t command much of a fee on the black market so I figure he’ll be OK, he spent most of the day getting calls from his employees parents and telling them they were OK.
Times are hard, money is tight, and in someways the crowding and noise of a city has to send some people over the edge at times, so today I’m celebrating ‘ self congratulations for getting out of the city day’ and hoping that riots on the streets of Manhattan are not something we ever get to witness.