“Vancouver, Canada’s most embarrassing city.”

“Nice way to be classy, Vancouver.”

“I am ashamed that I am from Vancouver.”

“Never going to Vancouver again.”

There was a riot after a sporting event in Vancouver.  It wasn’t incredibly shocking to me, since I lived for many years in Los Angeles, where riots happen weekly at Little League games.    And considering that hockey is a violent sport where men love to drink Canadian beer… you get my point.  It isn’t a church crowd.

But I’m mostly talking about words right now.  And logic.

I know many are upset by this ugly display of violence and lack of sportsmanship, but why are so many blaming the city of “Vancouver” and not the small group of male hockey assholes who were drunk off their asses?   I constantly saw the city being blamed on Twtter last night and this morning.   Have we lost any sense of personal responsibility, or is the branding of a collective more important than what crimes individuals commit?   Or is this the result of only having 140 characters to make a point?   Is this the future of thought?

This blaming of “Vancouver” also makes me wonder if all of the political correctness that I see online is a facade, and that when people relax, they show their true colors about how they think.    I’ve always felt that more people actually DO blame the collective Muslim religion for Islamic terrorism than are actually saying it.  Or that a mommyblogger who “lacks integrity” DOES represent the collective.   Or that all “men” or “women” are to blame for some cultural problem.   I think we too often put people and groups into boxes because it is easier that way.   This makes me uncomfortable, even when it is something as meaningless as blaming “Vancouver.”  I know this particular example is a petty one, but YOU are the ones who are always saying that “language is important.”

And perhaps this is a personal issue, as someone familiar with Jewish history, where over and over again, the fingers were pointed at “the Jews” as involved in a collective crime.   What exactly did “Vancouver” do?

Group identity is important.  And we certainly want to be proud of the city or country in which we live.  But why are so many verbally abusing an entire city?   Is someone really never travelling to Vancouver again because of this one incident?   And to turn the tables on Vancouverites, are you so insecure with your image, that you are now shoving the blame on the “suburbanites” who don’t really live in the nice polite city?  What code word do the “suburbanites” represent?   Blue collar folk who don’t eat sushi?  How many times do we blame some ethnic group for crime in the city?

I’m not particularly politically correct myself.  I use stereotypes all the time for humorous effect.  But I was surprised how many people were upset at the “city of Vancouver.”

Vancouver, you are a very pretty town.   Embrace your new rough and tough image.  In all honesty, you were kinda boring before.