Tuesday 16 August 2011

Violence is fun

An awfully large amount of ink has been spilt trying to explain the UK riots. I'll add my tuppence worth.

In short, smashing things is fun. If you're a teenage boy and you don't enjoy breaking things, your testicles are probably in a jar at the back of the fridge.

I really don't know how I survived to the age of 21. Quite a few of my friends express the same thought from time to time. We drank too much, drove too fast and had way too many explosives to play with for our own good.

I was fortunate in that I was given plenty of opportunities to work all that testosterone out of the system. We got to drive cars madly round and round in circles in muddy paddocks, occasionally flipping them onto their sides or roof. We'd tip them back onto their wheels, and then go on driving (unless a flat tyre needed changing).

We were given axes and told to go and cut trees down - lots of trees. We were given rifles and told to go shoot things. We were given matches and petrol and told to go and burn a patch of scrub or a pile of dead trees. We knew a mad scientist who mixed his own gunpowder, and we had a blast watching him shoot off enormous rockets, or firing a "melon mortar" made out of an old cut down SCUBA tank. 

I don't remember any of our sports having a "blood rule". If you were bleeding, you just got on with it.

We were given rock drills and dynamite and fertilizer and diesel and told to drill holes in things (trees, rocks, piles of mud), mix up some ANFO and then blow the things with holes in them into lots of little bits. That even applied to old cars. It's amazing how far you can spread the bits of a car if you use enough ANFO. As in "too much" ANFO.

National Service gets poo-poo'd a lot, but one of the best things I did was join the Army Reserve. They gave me weapons and explosives and paid me to shoot things/blow things up! What more could you want?

Those poor sods in the UK have never had the opportunity to do any of that. At best, they might get a bit of make-believe action on an Xbox. It's no wonder they've all gone ferally nuts. 


Anonymous said...

I cannot for the life of me say your theory is wrong! LET "boys be boys" and teach them how to be Men. These tendencies were created within you for a REASON, but "civilisation" is trying to stamp them all out. The UK riots are a prime example of all that being a BAD idea. Thanks for a great post, you've made my morning!

Anonymous said...

Totally agree. Did most of those things myself, but without the benefit of Army supervision.

Also, let's not forget the employment factor. If you work you probably won't have the time or the energy to riot. But over the past 30 years Britain (and Oz and America) have lost most of those low-skilled jobs that kept young men mostly too tired for mayhem.

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