The video: An "unsettling" BBC video of the London riots released Tuesday (see clip below) records two teenage girls bragging about the fun they had taking part in their neighborhood's wanton destruction. During the voice-only interview, conducted at 9:30 am, the girls drink from a stolen bottle of rosé wine and enthuse about their looting. "Everyone was just on a riot, going mad, chucking things, chucking bottles," one says. Her friend adds, "Breaking into shops — it was madness, it was good fun." When the BBC interviewer asks why they are rioting in their own community, hurting their neighbors' businesses, they respond, "It's the rich people who have all got businesses… We're showing the rich we do what we want."
The reaction: It's "the joy on display" that is so disturbing," says Scott Stinson at the National Post. The young women sound "blissfully happy" to be a part of the marauding, destruction, and theft — and exemplify a prevailing mentality among England's youth: "They carry baseball bats, but not a conscience." Nevertheless, says Alexandra Petri at The Washington Post, these girls' "despicable behavior" serves as a reminder why the Londoners who are marching through streets "with brooms to clean and set things right" represent the real Britain. Check out the video:
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- The 10 best networking tips for people who hate networking
- 11 scientific studies that will restore your faith in humanity
- Why the West should let Russia have eastern Ukraine
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Why you should stop believing in evolution
- Why baseball is America's most dangerous spectator sport
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- Scottish independence is another financial crisis waiting to happen
- Your literary playlist: A guide to the music of Haruki Murakami
- 9 Harvard dropouts who became fabulously successful
Subscribe to the Week