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London’s Burning

They said they wuz looting Curry's

Remember the song? London’s Calling…. The Clash. I wonder how it would sound – London’s Burning. Some of the scenes on the internet fit the manic character of that song well enough…

Been writing copy for Dove this week Рhand creams and lip balms. Kind of surreal with all this looting going on. Beauty. Soft silky skin. Nourishing deep down. You know the stuff? A cocktail for eternal life.

All the politicians decry the violence as ‘pure criminality’. They must always appear to be suitably appalled. Real analysis is for the media and talking heads. Or perhaps these days bloggers and tweeters who were there without an agenda…

Typically the media hone in on alleged tension between the public and police. Well yes, that does seem to be the catalyst. And it might explain the riots in Tottenham. To a degree. But the rest of London? Yeah, right. The violence isn’t aimed at the police – this isn’t London circa 82.

I remember the riots in Brixton 82, in fact my brother and I inadvertently walked right into them. Literally. We turned up at the pub round the corner from the house the police had raided hours before, the scene of a rash killing of an innocent black Londoner, and as we entered the bar a room of black faces viewed us with smoky suspicion and more besides.  We were white and their enemy, the police, was mostly white. The mood in the streets was palpably anti police.

This is different. It’s more akin to a video game: Let’s see what we can get, what we can score. Get out your mobile phone and tweet, text and plan a raid…

It’s boredom. It’s disaffection with the never-ending state of the nation’s indebtedness. Forget the nation, your average person’s indebtedness. It’s contempt for stuff, stuff that’s got us into debt, not delivered us to wherever we thought we deserved to be.

The media, advertising and credit cards have all led us to believe we can have it all – now. So when a guy, alleged to have been a little on the wrong side of the law, gets shot in murky circumstances, the shot rings in the ears of people who have woken up now to the realisation they are fucked off with how things are.

As for kids, like I said, it’s their way of gaming for real. Finally they have an excuse to toss their consoles to one side and do it for real. They can go out there, create their own media world, be on youtube, put their videos on youtube, hide from YouTube… it’s all just a game.

Is it a game you win? How many lives do we got while they play?


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