Wednesday, 10 August 2011

No interest in stationery



I cannot offer an analysis of the London riots. A riot is a complex beast. It springs up from the hoods even in the midst of a languid summer and runs wild and burns and becomes its own symbol. Here in this "leafy suburb" of north London couple of shops have been smashed up overnight and yesterday one would have thought the high street was located somewhere in the Med - what with the sunshine and the pleasant breeze, the bright blue skies and the shopkeepers lingering at the doorsteps of their shops looking left and right and having some of their friends and relatives round for a chat and the friends and relatives also lingering in and out and looking left and right and looking the passers-by up and down. One could smell the fear. There was also more police. Also the sound of hammers as shops were being boarded up for the evening. The local Carphone Warehouse was one of the victims of the nightly disorder. Ryman on the other hand was intact. I take it the unknowns had no interest in stationery. 

5 comments:

  1. The rioters weren't interested in books either. See http://moreintelligentlife.com/blog/kassia-st-clair/whither-book-burning?

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  2. I'd come to think of riots, those with a strong racial component, as an American phenomenon. Guess I was a little mistaken. There's TV coverage in the States; awful stuff. I hope everything settles down. Jack/Ohio

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  3. Anonymous,
    We Brits were rioting before the USA was even born - mostly over class and religion though.

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  4. Give them all a pencil and a sketch pad.. something to calm them down a bit from this fast and furious world. So sad. My memories of Hampstead and Belsize Park will always be pleasant.

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  5. Thanks, Michael, for your thoughts, but I wasn't looking for an overseas quarrel on a literary-minded Web site that I admire. I have lived through an American race riot (Youngstown, Ohio, April, 1968), and it's an ugly thing. Best wishes. Jack/Ohio

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