Warning: This blog is under the influence of the Holy Spirit. (That's actually a blessing of course. I'm just trying to be fair to the skeptics.)

Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Joy of the Post-Modern Celebration

The day before game 7 of the 2014 World Series, I heard channel 2’s Dave Clark speaking about the upcoming civic activities following the Giants’ win (I have to give him credit for being an optimist.)  Among the many things he spoke about, one thing stood out for me – that the San Francisco Police would be out with extra patrols to prevent behavior like the “celebratory fires” seen after past wins. 

Celebratory Fires?

A couple years ago I seem to remember some of these celebratory fires being lit on muni buses and cars, completely destroying them.   Of course, I’m not even talking about the looting, vandalism and violent assaults on people perpetrated by these so called celebrants.
Now, I have to admit, I have in fact participated in a few celebratory fires myself.  I am compelled to confess my sins clearly in this regard.  Camping trips and Christmas parties come to mind first.  But, we did not call them celebratory fires.  They were just -small fires stoked for ambiance so we could share in our joy and friendship in the company and warmth of this ancient companion.

With the advent season just around the corner, I shudder to think of the explosive potential of a celebratory fire, of the post-modern type, at our next Christmas party. Would we exchange blows instead of gifts? Would grandma stab my friend because the color of his shirt different than hers?  Would our raucous behavior spill out onto the street where we broke the windows out my neighbor’s house and looted the 7-11 while we screamed with primal passion, “GO SANTA”? 

But, I digress.

I seem to remember my criminal law classes pretty well.  Nevertheless, I thought maybe something had changed in the law concerning arson, rioting, vandalism, theft, and the number of crimes in the title on Crimes Against Persons.  Given the nature of celebratory behavior in the post modern era, I thought our just, open and inclusive law makers may have done a little tweaking to the law.  So, I went back and looked them up.

Arson is still defined as, “when he or she willfully and maliciously sets fire to or burns or causes to be burned or who aids, counsels, or procures the burning of, any structure, forest land, or property. (Maliciously and property are further defined as used in this section.)

Riot is still defined as, “Any use of force or violence, disturbing the public peace,
or any threat to use force or violence, if accompanied by immediate power of execution, by two or more persons acting together, and without authority of law, is a riot.”

As far as stealing and destroying property, beating, stabbing, shooting people…well I don’t think I need to quote the law there.  But, I think some of our political leaders should read these laws. 

So here is our post game wrap up on the Giants celebration.  Fans gathered peacefully in the streets lighting bonfires (now they are calling them bonfires,) uncorking Champaign, dancing in mosh pits and hugging strangers. 

The fans also engaged in:

Two celebratory shootings leaving two people rushed to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. (Hey, no harm no foul.)

One celebratory stabbing. That person is in critical condition.

When the party pooper popo tried to move in to give the firefighters the chance to put out the celebratory fires (excuse me, bonfires,) they received party favors consisting of celebratory rocks, bottles, and celebratory fireworks. Several officers received minor celebratory injuries.

As the evening wore on, police maintained a cool presence as fans stoked bonfires “as marijuana smoke wafted over Civic Center Plaza and jubilant fans set off fireworks and popped open cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon someone sold out of a cooler.”

The celebratory nature of the fans of professional sports is just one of several reasons, I no longer participate in the idiocracy of being a sports fan.  

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