Editors Note: If you’ve yet to hear about the Embrace the Hate Campaign, I urge you read up on it before delving into this post. The entire point of the campaign is to diffuse the "hatred" the rest of the league has for the Canucks and their fans with humour. It’s an attempt to get Canucks fans to laugh at the team’s "most-hated" status. If I see a single post in the comments that talks about how this post is "proof of what’s wrong with Canucks fans," my head will explode. Once I put it back together again in the style of Humpty Dumpty or Tony Shaloub in Men In Black, I will mock you mercilessly. For the "Embrace the Hate" Campaign, we are going to take it as well as dish it out, and none of it should be taken seriously. It’s a humourous content contest…
And now – The Stanchion defends the Stanley Cup Riots!:
Vancouver is known for many things. Some say the rainy climate is our most recognizable attribute. Others might point to the prevalence and quality of our marijuana as something we are best known worldwide for. Others might even go so far as to say we are a city that doesn’t know how to have fun, a city that has a bit of a complex when it comes to most Eastern cities in Canada, a city that is too full of whiners and complainers. But there is also one other thing Vancouver is known for around the world, that might not be as obvious at first glance. It’s that something everyone knows in the back of their head about our fine city, but is often too afraid to talk about.
It’s a question that you can ask anyone about our city, and every single person on earth will have the same answer.
Question: What do you do when Vancouver loses a Stanley Cup final?
Yes, it’s Vancouver’s habit of rioting after a Stanley Cup Loss. This habit is often looked down upon by those outside Vancouver (and even some poor lost souls inside of Vancouver), the riots have become an all too easy punch-line to use when talking about Vancouver, it’s residents and fans of the cities hockey team. If you’re a fan of another Canadian NHL team and you have a Canuck buddy, then you’ll know what I’m talking about. When your Canuck buddy starts talking smack, you know you’ll throw in an insult about the riots to settle him down.
“Hey, let’s go see Breaking Dawn tonight bro”
“What the ****, that movie is garbage, why would we go see that?”
“Whoa, calm down, don’t start a riot.”
This sort of conversation happens day in and day out all across Canada. And it doesn’t stop there. Even people from overseas know how to lob a nice riot insult our way.
“Hey, lets us see ze movie of ze sexy Vampires who like to do ze sexy things, jah?”
“I don’t…..wait, what country are you supposed to be from?”
“Calm down, don’t throw ze riot.”
These are just a few of the types of insults that are thrown Vancouver’s way every day, and quite frankly, I am sick of it. Why you ask? Because the riot was GOD DAMN AWESOME. Shut the **** up, sit down, and listen up, because you’re about to get a lesson in life.
Reason Number One: It intimidates other cities.
Seriously, think about it. When Vancouver loses a Stanley Cup final, we lose our ****ing minds. We go ape shit. People in business suits stealing ****ing Pringles from a London Drugs? Who does that? Vancouver does, baby!
When Calgary lost a cup, what did they do? They had a couple girls drunkenly flash a few thirteen year old boys on the Red Mile, but neither hearts were in it. Both sides went home, probably watched a re-run of House where they were convinced it was lupus, and then went to bed.
What did the Oilers fans do? They apparently set up Chris Pronger on a date with a hot local reporter and then went about salting their driveways and making sure they remembered who their cousins were to try and avoid another “accident” at next year’s family re-union.
What did Vancouver do? We broke everything in sight man. We started getting in cops faces. We started hunting down Boston Bruins fans to ask them if they enjoyed getting punched in the face six times (For the record, they do not. This often makes them cry like the little bitches they are.) We broke windows with hockey sticks THEN POSED FOR PICTURES IN FRONT OF IT. Do you understand the balls it takes to pose for pictures in front of thousands of cameras, knowing you could go to jail over a bedazzled Ed Hardy t-shirt?
Now I know you’re thinking to yourself, “Gee, who cares, you look like bad asses. Whatever, we have level 85 Paladins in Warcraft, eat that bitches.” Well here’s the thing. Let’s say The United States finally starts running out of power. Or water. Or some other resource that Canada has plenty of. The US has to make a decision. They have to decide where to invade Canada, and why. This is where the riots pay off.
“Well everyone, the day we all feared is finally here. We need to invade Canada to take their fresh water. California is dying a slow death, and I’ll be damned if no more Nicolas Cage films ever get made again.”
“OK sir, we’ve gone over the map, and it looks like we can invade at Toronto, Calgary, Winnipeg, or Vancouver.”
“Hrm. Toronto might be good, we’ve got a lot of military on the East Coast.”
“Agreed sir, but Canada has all three of their jets there, it might be trouble.”
“True. Well what about Calgary?” “Calgary could be good, but you have to remember the inbred population is deceivingly stronger than they look.”
“Fair enough. What about Winnipeg?”
“Winnipeg is well versed at losing at everything, but remember, they traditionally choke away their victories. So we’d most likely face heavy losses before we attain our victory.”
“OK, what about Vancouver?”
“No no no no no, **** that, those guys are ****ing crazy. Did you see the Stanley Cup Final last year? I’m pretty sure I saw some of them eating their young. THEIR YOUNG. Stay away from Vancouver. Away. Far far away. Bitches be crazy.“
“Winnipeg it is.”
See? See how bad ass that is? If you know anything about prison life, then you know you’re told on the first day, walk up to the biggest guy you can find, and punch him in the face. The theory is, the other inmates will see you do this and take you off their sleeping buddy list. They’ll back off and give you some respect, because only a tough guy would do something like that.
Well Vancouver takes it one step further. We walk into prison and start punching OURSELVES in the face. Repeatedly. You know what you do when you see someone punching themselves in the face repeatedly? You walk the other way and don’t say a word.
Reason Number Two: Who got hurt, really?
Aside from one guy trying to jump a viaduct, who got hurt here? Sure, some people got busted up a bit, but it was no worse than a beer league hockey fight. The only thing that got hurt here was The Bay and their awful clothing. In fact, The Bay should probably thank us for trashing the shit out of their clothing so they could collect on insurance, because honestly, nobody was going to be buying that crap anyways. When was the last time you ever thought to yourself “Man, I could really go for a wool sweater with random colors splashed all over the front of it.” Don’t lie. Everyone hates The Bay’s logo. It looks awful. You were never going to buy it.
Broken glass, turned over trash cans, things lit on fire… That sounds like a raging party to me. We didn’t involve guns, we didn’t involve overthrowing the government, and it didn’t involve toppling random statues. All we did was throw one kick ass party that got a little out of hand. What’s the big deal?
How many times have you been at a party, seen a nice purse sitting in the bedroom of the hosts party, and thought to yourself “I sure could use a new purse.” All we did after the Finals was go one step further and take the purse. Or two. Or several dozen. Boo hoo. It’s not like the relative value of the purse is anything to cry about. Oh no, poor Louis Vuitton is going to lose a tiny bit of money! The 15 cents they spent on child labor to make that purse is really going to add up! Oh the humanity!
People whining and moaning about the crap that was taken, are you serious? What’s next, are you going to go defend the Oil companies after someone fills up their tank and drives away without paying? I don’t see you getting on your high horse to do that, so why are you crying over the purses? “Oh no, the Oil Company Tycoon can’t afford to put Unicorn horns on the front of his newest Cadillac! You animals!”
Give me a break. You know what we did when we rioted? We made some millionaires cry the next day, gave a bunch of minimum wage people some awesome stories about being “in danger” during the riot, and got ourselves on CNN. That is a pretty god damn good day in my book.
Reason Number Three: We proved we’re approaching world class city status.
OK, you saw the riots, and you thought it was a disgrace? You thought to yourselves “Oh Vancouver, for shame, for shame!”? Well guess what. Italy called, and they have no idea what the hell the big deal is. You know what they call what happened after the Stanley Cup finals in Italy? They call that TUESDAY.
You think we rioted? Go ask any soccer fan outside of North America and they will look at you like the moron you are.
“Was anyone stabbed?”
“Were Columbian drug lords involved?”
“Did the army have to invade the city for three weeks until things calmed down?”
“Then what the hell are you talking about? That sounds like a Tuesday.”
Seriously, you want to see a real riot? Go watch soccer highlights and you’ll see a real riot. The Government sometimes gets overthrown, new Gods are selected, and at least one flare gets thrown onto the field. All of that needs to happen before they even think of using the “R” word. To cities in Europe and South America, what we did after the finals was just the first step to becoming a world class city. Like when Japan plays Canada in hockey and gets a shot on net, that’s considered a success, and a sign that Japan is on the right path. That’s exactly like how our tiny little gathering was a sign to the rest of the world that Vancouver was indeed on the path to becoming a world class city. Today, a rowdy gathering, tomorrow, we are taking Gregor Robertson down to Coal Harbor to set him adrift at sea after a successful riot.
Reason Number Four: We gave the bleeding hearts something to feel good about.
If Vancouver is known for many things, one of them is the ideal, hippy mentality that persists in this city. There is a large group of Vancouverites who believe that they are going to “save the world” one day. And let’s be honest, they haven’t made a whole lot of headway recently.
Sure, they drink coffee out of their recycled cups, and of course they only listen to music you’ve never heard of, but come on, admit it, even they know they haven’t done a whole lot since getting out of high school to try and maintain that “Save the earth!” idealism they swore to never let go of. They recently moved to West-Van and bought an SUV for gods-sake!
Enter the riots. The big bad riots. Much like how good always needs evil, the bleeding hearts of Vancouver NEEDED this riot. You know how many people have told me “I was really upset about the riots, but then I saw everyone come out and clean up the next day. It brought a tear to my eye. It really did.”
I have tons of these stories. Of people being uplifted by the fact that people came out of the woodwork to help clean up the mess made the night before. And everyone felt really really good about themselves and everyone started patting themselves on the back, and people got three years worth of material of an example of humanity shining through during the darkest of times. None of which was possible without the riots. If there was no riots, and everyone had just gone home after the game, you know what we would have talked about all summer? Gas prices. The lack of sun. Probably the gas prices again. That’s about it. People would have been feeling a bunch of angst about not having done anything with their summer. But luckily, we had the riots. The riots allowed people to get in a circle and sing kumbaya all night long.
Reason Number Five: We set the bar too high during the Olympics.
Admit it, everything went WAY too well during the Olympics. Yeah one leg of the torch didn’t work, the luge track was too dangerous and there was a small black-block riot – but aside from that: the weather was out of this world, Canada’s athletes performed amazingly, and we basically put on a clinic of how to host an Olympics. You know what this did, though? It basically told everyone looking to move here that we are the best city in the world. Ever. And we don’t need that.
The cost of living is already high enough, do you think we need more rich people coming into our city and lifting demand on the housing market even further? No thank you. I don’t need that. It’s hard enough paying $1200 for a tiny little cardboard box in Kitsilano without having to think about what would happen if Joe Mc Not From Canada moved in and bought up that apartment and raised the rent.
Let’s put that aspect aside, though. Another thing Vancouver did well during the Olympics was throw kick ass parties all Olympics long. They were out of this world, even more so for Vancouver. You know what will happen when someone moves here and looks for the fun to keep happening? They won’t find it. And you know what they’ll do when they find out there is no fun, when they find out we don’t keep musicians locked in boxes to perform for free at our bidding? They will look at you and get a sad puppy dog look in their eyes, and they will be sad. I don’t know about you, but I’ve seen enough sad Swedish people to last me a life time (Thanks Markus!), I don’t need to be the guy who has to break it to every new Swede that we don’t party until 4am every night singing and pantomiming Deadmau5’s latest album.
“But the Olympics. They looked so foon. Why can’t I have the foon. Why are you hiding the foon?”
I want nothing to do with this.
Thankfully, the riots will make people think twice before moving or visiting here.
“Honey, where should we go on vacation this year?”
“Oh, we should visit Vancouver! That looked like so much fun during the Olympics.”
“Wait, isn’t it hockey season right now? They might riot if one of their players shoots the puck wrong or something. Maybe we’d better go somewhere else.”
See? This is brilliant. It keeps people away from our little haven, and saves us the trouble of explaining that people lucked out incredibly during the Olympics.
In closing, I think it is pretty clear that the riots are something to be celebrated, not looked down upon. The riots gave us so many good things that it feels like we should hold them annually. I know, I know, that is a pipe dream, but at least we know that anytime our city makes the Stanley Cup final, a good old fashioned riot is going occur one way or the other.
Which, if you think about it, kind of takes off a lot of stress away from watching the Canucks in the finals. Either way, our city wins. And you can’t argue against a scenario in which your city wins either way, can you?
Now if you’ll excuse me, I am going to go pay for a Louis Vuitton purse. I hear the owner of the company wants to buy a real Dragon Skull to place on top of his TV because it looks “wicked cool.”