Bovine Free State Times

The BFST is a centrist arena for the slaughtering of sacred cows. Its purpose is to use satire to make clear the absurdity of many facets of the world that we live in. It exists to spread the memes of cheerful nihilism, which Lucky Strike believes is the only rational way to approach life on Earth. Email us abuse and/or suggestions at: bfstblog@gmail.com

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Location: New Zealand

A bipedal primate whose cognitive capacities are insuffient to answer the questions that are generated by life on Earth.

Monday, May 09, 2005

EUROPEANS - WIMPS OR PSYCHOPATHS?

The sterotype of the European is a tall, effeminate man, able to discuss politics, art and music in any one of several languages, who considers war to be something avoided at any cost, soccer to be a violent and interesting sport and who will protest with vigour for the right of Muslims to take over his country.

The sterotype colonialist is a tall, stocky man, frequently overweight, who thinks a jug cord is an acceptable instrument of child discipline, who owns several firearms, and who plays (or rather, watches) violent sports such as rugby and ice hockey and considers soccer to be a game for 'faggots', who he hates with a passion.

I've spent a while in Europe, and a while in the colonies, and the observations I have made suggest these stereotypes to pretty much be on the button. The violent jokes I frequently make with my English-speaking friends create not mirth but embarrassing uncomprehension on the faces of my European friends. Being in Europe when the Iraq war shitstorm went down, I discovered that the European psyche seemed to consist of a unthinkingly war-averse hive mind that shouted the same slogans and used exactly the same arguments (albeit in 20 different languages). All these slogans and arguments seemed to be based upon the idea that violence was the absolute worst thing in the world.

A series of observations caused me to question this otherwise rather solid and justified stereotype: the frequency with with public gatherings in Europe lead to uncontrolled rioting and violence. That the English soccer hooligan is violent and stupid is well-known. What is less known is that such hooligans seem to exist in all European countries, and in prodigious numbers. What's more, hooliganism is not confined to soccer, but in fact seems to arise in many other places.

Take the recent May Day 'celebrations' in Europe. In Berlin, 1,500 anarchists marched on the headquarters of the Axel Springer publishing company, requiring squads of riot police to stop them. In Liepzig, 1,000 right-wing demonstrators battled 1,200 left-wing protestors, with the riot police joining in. Liepzig isn't a large city - it has a population of around 500,000, not greatly larger than Christchurch. Imagine 1,000 National Front members going up against 1,200 members of the Anti-Capitalist Alliance in Cathedral Square. The thought appears like something from a bizarre dream - that sort of thing just doesn't happen here. I bet we don't even have riot police trained to deal with such things.

This quote from the New Zealand Herald sums it up: "Kreuzberg ... has been the scene of May Day violence for the past 18 years despite extensive prevention efforts by police". The past 18 years? Imagine there being an annual riot somewhere in New Zealand. The closest we have is the Boxing Day sales. A police spokesman even said that their predictions of a quieter riot this year came true. If the thought of 1,000 Nazis fighting 1,200 Communists in Cathedral Square seems unlikely to you, imagine if the police, after neutralising the violence, then said, "Awfully quiet this year, innit?"

One of my lasting impressions from my time in Sweden was the frequency with which anti-globalisation demonstrations would spiral into vandalism, and how often extreme-right wing groups and extreme-left wing groups would confront each other, massed and armed and in public. Since I had assumed that Sweden was a very peaceful country (which it is in virtually every other respect) I was shocked that what I saw to be clear signs of social disintegration had arisen at the same time as my arrival. My shock soon turned to consternation and finally cynicism as one demonstration after another corkscrewed into low-level violence.

Given Europe's poor record in preventing breakouts of mob violence, I decided to do some research to see if this kind of rioting takes place often in the Anglosphere. With an exception for the L.A. riots of 1992, there was little recent street violence to be found. I did find reports of rioting at a soccer match in Sydney on May 2nd. Imagine how surprised I wasn't when I discovered that the rioters weren't actually Australians but European immigrants - the rioting was caused by a bunch of Croatians fighting a bunch of Serbs. Apparently soccer violence has spread to Melbourne too, although there it takes the form of Greeks versus Macedonians. Perhaps supporting such a limp-wristed sport doesn't pacify a person's more aggressive emotions in the same way that supporting rugby or cricket does?

Why are the people of the Anglosphere less inclined towards mob anarchy than the Europeans? I can't believe that we are less violent as a people, in fact I think that generally we are considerably more aggressive and prone to savagery. I suspect that the answer may have to do with our laid-back attitude to group identity. One of the advantages with multiculturalism, it seems, is that the less you have in common with each other the harder it is to spontaneously start hating random groups of other people. It's almost as if solidarity and community facilitates the natural human urge to murder "them" and take their resources. Europeans seem to think much more along 'tribal' lines than we do - and the reasons for this are quite obvious. A German (for example) is a member of the German race, and speaks the German language. Who he is, and more importantly, who he isn't, is quite clear. I am a Kiwi, my race is anybody's guess but (as far as I know) mostly Scottish and Scandinavian with a fair dollop of Maori, and I speak English, the language of a faraway people. It's not so easy for me to define "them". My situation is shared by most of the rest of the Anglosphere.

The conclusion from these observations, and from reading history books, is that much like how concentrating certain chemical compounds leads to an explosion, concentrating Europeans seems to lead to mob violence. It may be no coincidence that Germany, the most heavily populated major country in Europe, has also been its most violent. But that's another question.

1 Comments:

Blogger Lucky Strike said...

This is the first of what I intend to be a weekly feature: a longer, opinion style rant/wankfest. The plan is that they will be a mix between news, opinion and pisstakery.

11:46 PM  

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