The Bookseller.com website pretty much sums up everything in their headline today: Bookshops avoid major damage in London rioting. In fact, the second paragraph holds the key:
As London shopowners began the clean-up this morning, spokespeople for both Waterstone’s and W H Smith said they were unaware of any damage to their store portfolio. Both retailers’ management were meeting this morning to discuss the violence, which was largely targeted at electronics retailers.
This coincides exactly with what happened in Vancouver, BC, after the post-Stanley-Cup riot. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) building is situated in the area where much of the rioting took place, and one of the broadasters there reported an interesting phenomenon: a nearby entertainment store had all its windows broken, and most of the TVs, boom boxes, computer gaming consoles and everything else were stolen. But the huge bookstore next door? Had all its windows broken and didn’t have a thing stolen.
This pretty much tells you everything you need to know. People who value knowledge and learning, who like to read and reflect and understand things — they don’t riot or commit unspeakable damage to others and their property. Of course there will be some exceptions, but as a rule, in two separate countries, this seems to be the case.
But people who don’t think, who move from entertainment to entertainment without thinking or reflecting, without valuing knowledge or understanding — they’ve now moved to the next stage of their fun-having. They are enjoying smashing and burning things. And some new electronic gear as a reward — wow, what a bonus!
Electronics stores/bookstores. The contrast, during a riot, says everything. The primary exception would be ideologues who want to burn bookstores because they don’t want anybody to think or acquire knowledge. But that’s actually the exception that proves the rule.
The people doing this rioting are loathesome.