Regards, Mike B)
******************************** The riots had always been used by some as a platform on which to seek the approval of other members of subcultures who value the display of violent machismo; but increasingly the limited confrontations acted out by rioters seemed to serve little other purpose than flattering the pseudo-rebellious pretensions of hierarchical youth cultures and helping individuals create or maintain credentials within them. At their worst, as for example in the case of some of the riots that took place in various housing estates in the north of England during 1991, these violent encounters resembled less a conflict between the proletariat and the state than an internecine squabble between competing hierarchical powers equally intent in dominating the disputed territory and population for their own separate ends. In other instances, riots appear to have primarily arisen from a frustrated desire for the more turbulent forms of spectacular entertainment. Over time, the British economy has grown increasingly able to provide for the consumable preferences these rioters held on to. Former industrial towns, and other urban locations, have been converted into loci of a new night-time economy of consumable hedonism and mandatory intoxication. In vast corporate bars and the neon-lit streets around them, the taste for wild entertainment whose frustration by the underdevelopment of the economy once led it to seek its satisfaction in the explosions of Molotov cocktails and the other paraphernalia of directionless riots consumed as stimuli now finds realization in pneumatic music, brain-numbing binge drinking, barely-conscious sex, ritualistic violence against other proletarians, and the putative pleasures of vomiting cheap drink and bad food onto the pavement. There is also the expanded market for illegal drugs or the cheap thrills and gratifying displays of joyriding on offer. The latter has the air of defiance about it but it changes nothing in the reproduction of the commodity-spectacle society. It even serves as a useful means of re-associating car-driving with liberation, freedom and irresistible desire at a time when its reputation has been tarnished by the realities of Britainâs hopelessly overcrowded roads. Moreover, it helps inject new demand into both the saturated market for cars and the market for anti-theft devices and the police. The spectacle of threatening crime has for decades been an invaluable tool for worrying people into support for the state. Joy-riders dutifully act out the part of predatory nihilists in this law-and-order parable.
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