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David Boze

Students have participated in drunken riots since at least 1355

Hundreds of college-age revelers crowd a street late Saturday in Bellingham as police try to disperse the crowd. (Photo: The Bellingham Herald)

Taken from Monday's edition of The David Boze Show.

Chaos, destruction, and a total disregard for civil behavior, that is just what is happening in Washington D.C., but also in Bellingham, Washington where students, young adults - and I'm using the term adult loosely - went on a drunken brawl with police that's making international headlines.

It's the typical, leave the area now, leave the area now. Nobody leaves the area. Instead, they just wait for the tear gas to arrive. Five-hundred young people - not all of them students, by the way - were reportedly involved in the riot.

The Daily Mail has pictures of the action. Some of the young ladies - again using the term ladies loosely, or perhaps it's loose ladies - but one of the young ladies there is twerking the cop car.

There's a number of humorous quotes in the paper of college officials saying I just have no idea how this could happen, I am at a loss, I'm struggling to see how this could happen.

I'm reading in the story, seeing copious amounts of alcohol were consumed. That pretty much solves it right there. It's not that big of a mystery.

I really hate rioting. I really hate this kind of lawless behavior. You look at this and you see a kind of a mob mentality gathering, there's no purpose to it. It's just drunkenness. It's just pathetic and it's alcohol inspired.

You can look at something like this and you can think geez, society is going to hell in a hand basket, and this kind of thing would have never happened x number of years ago.

But one of the things I like to remind myself of in times like this is context. You think, is it true that the kids are more irresponsible now than ever?

When it came to this Bellingham riot, I was thinking about when I was at Oxford University, I took a summer semester there.

In my medieval and renaissance studies at Oxford, one of the things they brought up was a riot among students. I believe it was in 1355. In 1355, students at Oxford University rioted.

Why? That's right ... alcohol.

They apparently were at one of the local taverns. They were dissatisfied with the quality of the drink and the strength of the drink. The tavern owner was not about to provide them with something stronger. So the tavern owner apparently ended up with alcohol splashed in his face. This led to the tavern owner and the students getting into a bit of a tussle. You ended up with a riot of a couple hundred students.

The point of it all is that young people have had drunken brawls since at least 1355.

They didn't always twerk the police car and the police carriages back in the day. But the drunken approach of the young has happened in the past and society and civilization has managed to continue anyway. It doesn't speak well of them, but it is something to keep in mind before we think that there is no hope.

Taken from Monday's edition of The David Boze Show.

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