Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Violence in Victoria

I thought of this in terms of violence in modern North America or contemporary society, but unlike most of my posts it is an observation based on, well, actual observation. Hence I will limit my claim. BC, Canada, is a violent place. Victoria, BC is a violent place. A convenient limitation as I can include some of my own pictures this time. The pictures included here were taken last year, around sunset. I don't bike in the downtown core. I wouldn't lock my bike down there. As a female, I should be down town at night because I could be a target for rape. My male friends also find it dangerous to go downtown because fit, healthy males are the target of people who simply want to fight someone. They are targets because they can look after themselves. I over hear things about the clubs downtown, about underage drinking, fights, and people being beaten by the cops.

Why is this of interest? Because it is Victoria, BC. Victoria is a tourist town, and the capital of the provincial government. It is kind of fake, a tourists trap. It is without a doubt a beautiful little city. It is a little city. Vancouver is big, dangerous, a real big city like you read about in books. Victoria is the most European city in BC. It isn't a bad place. Isn't it strange that there is so much danger?

My second interest is the Vancouver hockey riot. It happened. Set cars on fire, fought, looted, mob mentality type stuff. In Vancouver. Canada is supposed to be a peaceful, up right sort of place.

These things got my thinking. I started to wonder if there was something wrong in our world. Everything seems calm and peaceful and yet famous people are murdered in the middle of downtown Vancouver. How is this an okay place to live? Shouldn't I be concerned?

It reminded me of lyrics from the song "Slipping" in Doctor Horrible's Sing along Blog --a brilliant superhero/supervillain musical by Joss Whedon if you have not encountered it before.

"I bring you pain,
the kind you can't suffer quietly.
Fire up your brain
remind you inside your rioting
society is slipping.
Everything's slipping away..."

It does seem, from what I see around me, that society is slipping. And yet, I don't want to associate with the villain of the piece. I do not want to have those views. I do not want to see society in that way. I must see it differently because I cannot afford to think that this is the end. People have always thought that, but we aren't in the middle ages anymore, there is no definite end. Therefore I can ask, is it really slipping?

No. There has always been violence. Cities have always been dangerous places. Paris is a beautiful city, a night city, and you should not go into the alleys. That would be stupid. It was the same in the 1800s as today. Things are actually under control. The riots occured one day, and the next day people apologised and went back to business as usual. We may have robbery downtown but we do not have a curfew and you are really rather unlikely to be shot by an enemy of any sort when walking downtown. Of course it isn't okay, and we have a long way to go before it will be, but I can still consider Victoria a sleepy tourist town even with the violence.

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