Re: soccer violence as a model for post-scarcity gesellschaft

From: Joao Magalhaes (
Date: Mon Jun 19 2000 - 07:52:07 MDT


You wrote:
>Seasonal riots? Really? Never heard of them. Do you mean riots in the big
>like LA once a decade???


>Note that the social and legal systems in cities like
>LA are as opressive as any european country (and far more racist).

I didn't know we lived in a oppressive society? A question: since Europeans
live in an oppressive society and legal system, how come we never riot as
it happens in LA? No racism?

>Cities that
>don't have such oppressive laws have very european level violent crime rates,
>while few places in the US have property crime rates at even a small
>fraction of
>the huge amount over there in europe. Moreover, non-gun violent crime in
>pretty closely matches that seen in most of the urban US, while suburban and
>rural violence is far lower.

I believe it was you who said that there is one gun for each American;
assuming that premise, measuring non-gun violent crimes in the US is

>New York fans are considered the rudest and most offensive fans in the US (I
>recall all the Mariners/Yankees playoffs games I went to a 5 years ago, where
>New York fans were throwing garbage on the outfield..The Seattle fans
>wanted to
>go out and sort it for recycling...;) ), so if you were amazed at the
>goings on
>at a New York game, then you would be stunned at a major league game in most
>other cities.

I forgot to mention what is probably the major cause for non-violence in US
sports: geography. How many Pacers fans are going to LA to see the NBA
Finals tonight? 10, 20? It depends on including the players and their
relatives or not. Well, in European sports when, say, the major Portuguese
clubs face each other, they can well have as high as 50'000 fans each in
the same place; and there's when the problems begin. US sports fans are
never really in contact with one another, are they? Perhaps except the
Superbowl but that's an annual event where only the richest people go, so
it doesn't really count. Actually, and since one of you mentioned Houston,
I remember some problems when the Rockets won the NBA a few years ago; or
was it when the Broncos won the NFL? I also remember that the Jazz fans
insulted with obsceneties the Bulls' players in the NBA Finals. So we are
not that different, you just miss the fans confrontations because they
never meet.

>As to the rest of your post, Mike, I'll reiterate what I've said before about
>the level of violence in the US: Most non-US folks have a wildly inflated
>idea of the level of violence here, based on our movies and the filter of our
>own "news" media, re-amplified by the local media in their own country who
>further blow the violence here out of proportion. I've had many fairly comic
>moments as a regular host of non-Americans on their first trips to the US,
>watching as they look for the burning buildings from the "annual riots", the
>running gun battles in the streets and the uninterrupted cross-country high
>speed car chases . . . they seem a little disappointed, I think, when it all
>turns out to be a glamorous exaggeration.

I actually saw the Miami police performing an arrest on my first trip to
the US; I've never watched an arrest in Portugal in my life. But my
personal experience is not important. The fact remains that Washington has
the second highest murder rates of all cities worldwide not in a state of
war (second to Rio de Janeiro). Of course that the US is not Beirut. But
for me, a Portuguese used to a society with a very low level of violent
crimes, the idea that you can get into an argument with a driver or
whatever and he pulls off a gun is a scary one; something that is very
unlikely, to say the least, to happen in Portugal.

Best regards.

UnitÚ de Biologie et Biochimie Cellulaire
FacultÚs Universitaires Notre-Dame de la Paix
61, rue de Bruxelles
B-5000 Namur
tel : 32-81-724321
fax : 32-81-724135

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