In today's world, understandably there is the need for different types of security. Home security, government security, online security to name a few. However, this article is focusing on the security which has quietly crept into our lives under the 'pretext' of the above.
I watch a lot of sport on TV, and occasionally go to live events.
I can understand security due to the threat of terrorism. It is a constant in our lives now (mainly due to government actions), and we have to live with it. But the number of officials, the separation, of the fans, and the competitors, and the celebrities who now seem to be joined at the hip to sporting events.
My 1st point is about the incredible growth in the number of security companies and the presence of security guards at events nowadays. The companies themselves are begining to have their own agenda about how security should be handled, and in most cases the word 'intimidation' is floated around. Big, often bald, or shaven headed men standing facing a largely passive crowd who are trying to enjoy the entertainment being provided.
People get excited, people get emotional, people get upset. And more. But the idea that security companies decide the level of the fans emotions, and where 'they' draw the line and take action, has become laughable.
The picture on the right showing a 'human wall' of security is a classic example of how this industry has lost the plot regarding crown control and crowd interaction. I was always under the impression that security should be visible but not intrusive. It should make you feel safe but not make you feel intimidated. Unfortunately in this day and age, the 2 latter points are being a priority rather than the enjoyment of the fans.
I read a great article while researching ideas for this blog. It is from a website called Altpress.com
This article exposes the culture of what I call 'thuggery' disguised as security. The issue here is surrounding concerts which bands perform, which mainly attract young crowds. In some of the incidents being recalled, fans were being pepper sprayed and maced simply for getting on the stage. But the rub is; the band wanted them on stage, in fact one of the singers interview said explicitly that this action is an integral part of their concerts, but the security decides the opposite, and basically 'attacks' the fans.
Going back to the issue of general security. 2 years ago there was the bomb at an Ariande concert in Manchester. This incident, as regrettable as it was, was Islamic terrorism, which is a part of society today, so I understand that concertgoers need more scrutiny when attending concerts, but the regular fans who go to see concerts do not want to be faced with a wall of thugs, whose sole purpose seems to be to seek out offenders so they can either feel justified in earning their wages, or for the simple pleasure they derive from manhandling people with no consequences.
In my past, I regularly attended concerts with 20+ thousand concertgoers (Queen, David Bowie, Bob Marley, The Police, and more...). These events had security, but one thing I never saw was rows and rows of security personnel standing facing the crowd, staring out at them. They were there, and visible, but they did their job, which was not to detract from your enjoyment.
Even at relatively small venues such as the one in the picture, the presence, as you can see, distracts the fans attention from the stage. Most fans are well behaved, if a little over enthusiastic, but I think this is an issue which has been imposed on us, and the defenders of such actions trot out the usual lame excuses such as 'it's for your own protection.' Really? But where will it end? Will we end up going into concert halls either naked, or in suits provided for us to wear, and will we also have to wear devices (which are used in America) which deliver 50,000 volts (a la Taser) to anyone who gets overexcited, or look at security in a threatening manner (their interpretation. It is never yours)? When will the abuse end?
I remember several years ago returning to New York, after my 1st visit many years before, where I had been to the top of the Statue of Liberty and stood in the head and looked out at Manhattan. An amazing feeling to be inside an worldwide iconic landmark. However, on my last visit things had changed. I arrived on the Island where the statue is, got off the boat and was met with numerous signs, and numerous personnel, requesting that we observe the security measures, posted everywhere, and open our bags several times. This was all before we got to the X-ray machines. After over an hour I arrived at the foot of the statue hoping to retrace my original footsteps. Disappointment. The staircase has been closed to the public (since 911), so the nearest you can get now is to stand in the foyer and take pictures of the old torch (which I already have). In my mind this is what is known as 'complete overkill', but unfortunately our friends across the pond believe that this type of action is necessary in every aspect of our lives now. Whatever happens there seems to have a cascading effect in other countries, including my own.
Enough with the security!!!!