maandag, november 25, 2002

A Bunch of Thugs and Too Much Alchohol

"Criminal and unacceptable acts", or so says Ohio State University President Karen Holbrook in an OSU Press Release following riots in Columbus after a college football game. Police arrested 54 people early Sunday, and Holbrook said arrested students will be suspended and face expulsion if found guilty of serious crimes.

Some of the "criminal and unacceptable acts" that caused damages according to the Plain Dealer, not necessarily in chronological order, were as follows:

1. Charred mattresses, tire rims, pieces of furniture, hats, shoes and even a refrigerator cluttered the roads.
2. 20 overturned cars, nine of which were burned.
3. A crowd broke through glass doors at Long's Book Store at East 15th Avenue and North High Street, but they were beaten back by police, Sherry Mercurio, Columbus police spokeswoman said.
4. Lauren Mollette, 20, an OSU sophomore recounts that "There were people running around everywhere, with tear gas all over their faces," she said. "People had shovels and rakes and were bashing in [car] windows and climbing into cars to get souvenirs. They even took our screen door and threw it into the fire."
5. Colleen Turi, of Delta, just outside Toledo, made the trip to Columbus to see the game and visit her two children, who live on East 13th. She said people in the crowd shouted, "Flip that car!" and ignited cars using cardboard as kindling.
6. Bill Hall, vice president of Student Affairs, advised authoritatively: "It was a bunch of thugs and too much alcohol."
7. Chanting "OH-IO," the fans ran through the fire and women flashed the crowd. Onlookers from houses and buildings were setting off fireworks and watching as beer cans flew through the air.
8. As cars were flipped, fans stuffed toilet paper into the tailpipes and set it on fire. Others shoved cardboard and flammable material into cars to keep the fires going.

Hmmm. I wonder what effect this will have on The Department of Homeland Security. Was this a terrorist act, or just the worst riots Columbus and the university have dealt with since the 1970s? Hard to decide. Were the riots spontaneous, drunken events of youth gone bad in a terribly hostile world or, was there a more evil and sinister agent of terrorism lurking beyond the hyperbole? Perhaps such questions are better addressed to The Program for International and Homeland Security, an Ohio State University multi-disciplinary research program designed to assist Federal and State officials in better understanding the causes of international terrorism and finding appropriate solutions.

But not everyone is convinced this insanity is the result of a terrorist plot or even a bunch of thugs and too much alchohol. According to The Lantern, the "student voice" of Ohio State University, "some students said they believe President Karen A. Holbrook may have provoked much of the off-campus uprising. "She wanted to get rid of alcohol around the stadium, and I know that ticked a lot of fans off," said Gregg Samtomieri, a senior in psychology. "She just causes too much hate and hostility by trying to control our behavior."

Hate or hostility, terrorism or drunken sybaritism, students at Ohio State should take heart in the words of the great Louis Ferdinand Celine: "Living, just by itself -- what a dirge that is! Life is a classroom and Boredom's the usher, there all the time to spy on you; whatever happens, you've got to look as if you were awfully busy all the time doing something that's terribly exciting --or he'll come along and nibble your brain."

Geen opmerkingen: