London Calling

I’ve been listening, watching, and studying English/United Kingdom culture all my life and so I feel as though I might have something to say about the recent London riots, and subsequent uprising around the rest of the Island.

American culture has taken a vast amount of cues from British behavior.  Amongst other cultural things, music from the UK comes quickly across the pond and is instantly imitated by countless American bands. We are very good at copying the “old country.”

So, the question then becomes:  Will American youth look at this English violence with disdain or sympathy?  Watch this BBC clip for perhaps the most telling thing about the riots, which is:  The kids were warning their elders that it would happen.

London’s mess should already be a warning to us in the US.  If you think we’re immune from such violence then you would be sadly mistaken.  But violence is always a choice and this is a chance for us to grow up as a country.  We’ve been one of the most violent empires in all of history for long enough.  It’s time we put down our weapons, withdraw from other’s lands and focus on our own problems here.

England is in the same economic crisis that we are in, and they are responding with justifiable outrage.  What will we do?  How can we respond?  I maintain that we need a Jubilee Year.

This song is prophetic.

2 comments on “London Calling

  1. I agree that the US is not immune to rioting. However, the counterinsurgency methods employed by all levels of the state are very effective in suppressing violent protest on a large scale. For one, look at US incarceration statistics. Non-violent offenses and recidivism have allowed law enforcement from local cops to federal judges to preemptively imprison the segment of the population most likely to revolt.
    How many times have we heard that the anti-war movement is hopeless since without a draft in this country, it is impossible to form an opposition movement?
    Just saying, while we are by no means content in this country, the state is far more effective than ever before in history at preventing revolt.

    • Thanks for the perspective! Open revolt does seem a bit unlikely at this point in time, but more and more people seem to be waking up to the ridiculous inequalities of this world. We should by no means be violent in our uprising, instead we should do it with planting gardens and transforming our own lives. One person at a time is small change, but meaningful.

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