Hey, riot vigilantes, you’re not making the city look any better
While lantern-jawed crooner-for-justice Michael Bublé isn’t exactly going after the dummies who trashed Vancouver last week with a sock full of quarters or the trusty ol’ Pusser-bat, he is financing an ad campaign encouraging people to out the perps.
Buble’s passion is understandable, and his intentions might appear to be righteous, but for those of us who find the tone of Captain Vancouver’s now world famous shaming blog – among others - a tad on the bullying and creepy side, the singer’s efforts are also the kind of legitimizing force we’d rather do without.
With apologies to Macleans' Andrew Potter , me and my bus from 1969 would like to point out that we’re becoming not just the willing accomplices in a full-blown surveillance society, we appear to be positively lusting for it. The implications are horrifying, no matter how much ill-conceived gratification it supplies in the short-term (or as Potter would have it, “”¦more fun!”), and matters certainly aren’t helped by ICBC’s offer on Friday of its facial-recognition system to police .
To anybody still bent on misinterpreting this as an attempt to excuse the guilty: it’s not. It’s a further plea to step back and look at the predictable carousel of brutal, kneejerk behaviour we’re mounting. Instead – despite numerous commentators on the Straight message board insisting that we live in some sort of golden age of relative security and peace – we should be asking why this shit keeps happening. Or why so many people would react by submitting to the kind of anger over reason they condemn in others.
(And hey, why don’t we trust the VPD to get the job done? This raises some interesting questions all by itself).
The genie is out of the bottle, and there’s already collateral damage: Nathan Kotylak’s family has been forced to go into hiding . Which really is inexcusable, and slightly terrifying. Expect to see more. Is this what we really want, Vancouver? And if so, at least try to remember the key lesson we all should have learned from the filmography of Charles Bronson: vigilante justice only leads to increasingly crappy sequels.