UK Riot Destruction: Before and After

Illustration for article titled UK Riot Destruction: Before and After

As mobs run the streets of London (and elsewhere) breaking glass, faces, and other various objects, Google might for some time be the best image of the pre-rampage city. Street View provides this incredibly striking comparison.

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The Carpetright building, in London's riot-ridden suburb of Tottenham, was razed amid mass rioting over the weekend. As more buildings meet the Carpetright's fate, Brits will likely turn to Street View to revisit parts of their city ravaged by violence. [via BBC}

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DISCUSSION

IceMetalPunk
IceMetalPunk

OK, mob mentality has always scared the fuck out of me. Now, it's even more frightening. I mean, for God's sake, it's a carpet store. What did it ever do to these people? It's just senseless violence, nothing more. It's terrifying. I'm so glad I'm not in London right now.

Anyone who wants a sci-fi — but startlingly accurate — look into the insanity behind mob mentality (also known as "groupthink") should watch the Doctor Who episode called Midnight. Low-budget episode, but my favorite by far.

On a similar note, I experienced a small example of groupthink myself once. There was a long line at the Comcast store, and the person who had reached the sales clerk was told that what he wanted her to do was against store policy. He started complaining, and before long everyone in the building was screaming at this poor clerk and yelling things like, "This is ridiculous! Let him do it! Hurry up! Just let us go through!" Etc. It got very loud and cacophonous very quickly. I felt bad for the poor woman, so I yelled out, "Hey! It's not her fault, she's not the manager! Relax a bit!" People quieted for all of 5 seconds, then burst out screaming again. I was seriously afraid they might just rush the counter.

I'll sum this up with a quote from Men in Black: "A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky animals."