Feral nature of the streets

There is a feral nature to those who flaunt the basic laws of community, and their actions are becoming increasingly disturbing.

There is a feral nature to those who flaunt the basic laws of community, and their actions are becoming increasingly disturbing.

Two weeks ago, we had the creep(s) who wanted to drop a dark cloud of despair onto his/her neighbours by pretending a group of children had drowned at sea. The only chilling evidence left behind were their shoes, complete with fake human remains, washed upon a local beach.

This week, we have three hooligans who erupted into a violent rage when a car came upon them walking down the middle of Fort Street at night. These thugs took offense to the car’s right of way and used their skateboards to smash out the vehicle’s windows while the driver and his two passengers tried to get away.

Upon reading this, my first thought was ‘selfish, spoiled kids’, but the police have charged two men in their 20s, and are currently looking for a third. One of the men returned to the scene at Douglas and Fort to see what damage he had caused. He was recognized and chased down all the way to Chinatown by a motorcycle cop. The other was caught when overheard bragging about his childish exploits on a nearby street.

Both 22-year-old men are facing charges of mischief and are due in court on Oct. 25.

Can you imagine the look of pride on their parents and friends’ faces at that hearing? How do they explain to the judge that they are politically opposed to sidewalks? Or that their mom never told them about the dangers of playing in the street? Or that they have waived their rights to sue if they get hit by a vehicle, and thus the car shouldn’t have honked but run over them instead? Or that instead of lying down in the middle of the street and thrashing their feet in a temper tantrum, they decided to vandalize a car and terrorize its occupants instead?

Or — and this is the big one for me — at 22 years of age, they still don’t know how to behave like adults.

Before parental violence was banned, there was a saying: “spare the rod and spoil the child.” The rod was banned for a very good reason (although not before I felt its lick across my palms a few times in school), but unfortunately it was replaced by a mollycoddling psychology that confused a whole generation of parents who didn’t even try to discipline their children.

And the result, for some of us, is 20-year-old thugs who think they are 12. Fortunately, these clowns are still the minority. I know skateboarders in Victoria who are a credit to their community and would revoke these idiots riding licenses if they could.

Whatever these guys were thinking, it didn’t impress anyone — not even their peers. M

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