Wednesday, September 07, 2011

2011 Streak Day 223/365 (Aug 11th): The riots were elsewhere

2011 Streak Day 223/365 (Aug 11th):  Run 3.04 miles, Time 28min 40sec Weather - grey overcast and definitely much cooler than France

This run required a great deal of discipline. 
We arrived home about 9 am and after some unpacking there was a food shop and the gradual realisation we were back home and it was time to get back to normal.
It takes a bit of time to readjust after being away. I always come home and feel that things must be different because I feel different and am always slightly surprised that they are much as usual. The house is still standing and Hemel has not missed me - all is as it was.
However the news that there had been rioting and looting in other parts of the country is a great shock. Usually riots have reasons or a cause but these did’t seem like that. The only comparable rioting I could think of was Brixton and Toxteth in the early 80s but they they came after years of racial tension and unacknowledged grievances.
I spent time reading the coverage but coming late to the story I lacked the sense of an unfolding narrative.  After the action all that was left, alongside the sweeping up, was the analysis and the opportunity for everyone to pontificate on the sorry state of the nation. What an opportunity it was and still is!
If I was depressed by the riots I was also depressed by the quality of the analysis. All it involved was a parading of prejudices and pet hobby horses. Grim, grim reading.
The problem is that it takes time to find out and evaluate the sequence of events and all the circumstances. During that time everybody else has made up their minds. The old saying that a lie can travel around the world before truth has got its boots on is never more apt than in the wake of something like this.
I emerged from my reading feeling tired and confused, at which point I could easily have abandoned the idea of a run and settled for a day of fuzzy minded mooching. But no! we are made of sterner stuff than that.
The run was nothing spectacular - just a standard loop done at at a standard pace. I cannot think of a single event worth recording, except I passed this phone box and saw the empty larger cans. My first thought was “Humph! Welcome back - street drinking and litter it is so much grimier here than in France!”  but my second thought was “Actually as litter goes, that is quite neat”, however my third thought was more interesting “Wow! a phone box, I’ve not noticed that before. How many of them do we still have?” 
My first reaction had been a rather grumpy, huffy, gut reaction but my last thought was about an aspect of social change that could be investigated. Perhaps with the riots - we have to wait for the third thoughts.

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