Back in the 1920s America's riots were downright apocalyptic, but these days we've lost that magic.The United States has a long history of civil disobedience, protesting, and riots. The idea of vocalizing our complaints about government and society en masse is nearly as much a fabric of our nation as corduroy is a fabric of homosexual English teacher's pants. Lately, however, I think Americans are fast losing their edge. Their rioting expertise has been fading since the climactic race riots of the sixties and even our peaceful protests rarely break out into bacchanals of violence with overturned burning cars. When was the last time a sports team won a game and the celebration in the streets caused double-digit loss of life? We're growing soft here people! Wake up!

While we have a bunch of hippies sitting down outside a meeting of the WTO and singing Kumbaya or thousands of angry black people in Los Angeles raising their voices in protest only to break a few windows and set fire to a warehouse, the rest of the world has been marching along steadily advancing the technique of violent riots. For years it seemed England and the sport of soccer had a definite edge on our riots, what with the frequency and beating that went along with those outbursts. Even England has been lagging behind lately and no one can hope to approach the new "best rioting country 2002" of Nigeria.

Angry mobs stabbed and set fire to bystanders Thursday in rioting that erupted after a newspaper suggested Islam's founding prophet would have approved of the Miss World beauty pageant. The death toll in the town of Kaduna was an estimated 105 with a further 521 injured taken to hospital, aid workers said Friday.

No, a magician did not just create an illusory paragraph on the screen and deceive you with magic, there really was a massive riot in Nigeria Thursday over the Miss World pageant that left more than 105 people dead. It is for this very reason that I am announcing Nigeria and Lagos in particular to be on the absolute cutting edge of rioting science. Seriously, what was the thought process or conversation that lead to this riot? Dozens of people were stabbed to death, beaten to death, and burned to death…because of a shitty beauty pageant that not even decadent Westerners care about.

Nigerian #1: Man this Miss World pageant sure is stupid, I do not agree with it at all.

Nigerian #2: Hey, what's up my man, I just came into this sweet shipment of tires filled with gasoline, got any ideas on what we could do with them?

Nigerian #1: Hmmm, oh I know!! You know that Miss World pageant that flies in the face of our hyper-conservative Muslim beliefs?

Nigerian #2: Oh yeah, you mean that one where they wear scandalous one piece bathing suits and the women aren't reserved for child-bearing?

Nigerian #1: Yeah, that's the one! Let's go down town and stab some guys and then put those tires of yours on their head and burn them to death!

Nigerian #2: Because of the bathing suits?

Nigerian #1: Yeah, whatever man, let's go!

Nigerian #2: Radical!!

No, no, no. Look at the distance between the rioters and the authorities, bunch up, push against them so the people at the front are crushed to death between the weight of the crowd and the police line.This revolutionary new philosophy behind the art of rioting promises to bring about massive changes in the stagnant field of professional riots. The basic concept is that you choose something to disagree with, no matter how inconsequential, and then you get a bunch of your friends and run out into the streets and murder people as violently as possible. As an added bonus it helps if you chant things like "God is great" and "Way to go God!" while you funnel hornets into someone's eye sockets or pound light-bulbs into their urethra. America and Europe need to play some serious catch-up with Nigeria to take back the proud honors of "riotingest nation", but I think with a little help from me they might just manage.

I've put together a few rioting suggestions for various areas around the globe, and with a little luck and the ability to read and comprehend my incredibly wise advice, we could just turn 2003 into the biggest riot year of them all!

Before I delve into specific and fun riot ideas, let's look at the basics of rioting that need to be in place before you want your mild-disturbance to take on a life of its own. You can go to a riot naked if you want, but it helps a lot with riot creativity if you come prepared.

A good riot can never have enough pairs of hedge-clippers for impromptu decapitations and maiming, so bring as many as you can find. If your neighbor isn't going to be participating in an upcoming riot then ask to borrow his.

Prometheus stole the fires of the gods and gave them to rioters for a reason; fire is fun and exciting! Be sure to come fully stocked with matches, lighters, gasoline, kerosene, and if you have advance warning of a riot, even homemade napalm. Bottles can be found and improvised on-site and they will only weigh down your riot kit, but oily rags can sometimes be hard to come by so be sure to bring an old towel or shirt you no longer use. Bonus points if you use an American flag or chomp on a cigar the entire time occasionally using it to ignite the fuses of dynamite.

Protective eyewear can come in handy when avoiding things like tear-gas, rubber bullets, and bone fragments, but be sure to select something that won't obstruct your view of the fun.

Once the rioting starts you're not going to want to take the time to put together a protest sign, but these can be fun and add color to an already impressive riot. Try something with a catchy slogan like "Down With Beauty" or "Pageants Are for Faggots". If you can somehow work these slogans into a rhyming chant like "God Rules, Pageants Drools" then you won't need to lug around that big sign.

Always select the proper footwear to bring to a riot. Sandals might seem comfortable and easy to remove, but when the streets are lined with broken bottles and burning corpses the last thing you want is footwear that exposes your feet to the elements. If you find yourself in a situation without proper footwear try tying canvas or heavy cloth sacks over your shoes.

Riots thrive on good communication. If you decide to start beating a bystander to death then make sure everyone in your vicinity is aware that a murder is in progress so they can pitch in and share in the fun. Remember, you can't spell riot without "community". Well, you can, but you wouldn't want to!

Now that we have the basics out of the way we can proceed to rioting tips specific to your region. Feel free to read through them all, as you never know when a situation might present itself for you to apply a different area's riot format to your own.

US and UK Sports Riots
A textbook British soccer riot, but it could have been so much more.Minimum Number of Rioters: 25
Suggested Number of Fatalities: 10
Methodology: Sporting riots have long been popular in America and Western Europe, but as of late they just are not living up to their potential to cause fun and exciting catastrophes in urban areas. The biggest mistake rioters make is in distracting from the main goal of causing as much damage as possible by dancing around burning cars or singing team-related fight songs. The low minimum-number of rioters makes this riot the perfect choice for you and 25 of your closest friends to start after watching a heated match of your favorite sports team. Win or lose, there is ample justification for administering brutal beatings, burning vehicles and businesses, and attempting to rape women caught in the stream of the riot. The high number of intoxicated on-lookers may allow this riot to expand to a massive size, but you can't plan on this. Pack as much destructive potential in your riot kit as possible, including firebombs, homemade explosives, bats, and chains.
The Secret to Success: Most sporting riots fail because they lack focus. The best way to keep your rioters focused is to give them an obvious and attainable objective. One of the best I can suggest is locating and murdering the opposing team (if your team was defeated) or your home team (if your team won). Burning them to death or combining this with improvised crucifixion is another great way to get your point across to your fellow rioters. Be sure to break every window you see, as glass is an enemy second only to those who are not chanting support for your riot.

Mid-Eastern Anti-American Riot

Look at these pussies burning an "effigy of the peace process". What the fuck is that? Burn some Americans and Israelis, burn some cars at least, Jesus Christ.Minimum Number of Rioters: 500
Suggested Number of Fatalities: 30
Methodology: Hey buddy, just about everyone in the Middle East hates the United States with a burning passion, so you couldn't ask for a better reason to destroy your home town than to prove just how evil America is. Get together with a few dozen of your closest pals and start a march, chanting slogans and carrying anti-american signs down the street. Your protest will quickly gather well-wishers, many of whom will be heavily armed, and this is great news for the impending riot. When you can empty out into an open area begin burning things like American Flags, portraits of George Bush Jr., crude effigies, and anything else that symbolizes America and is combustible. Before you know it this demonstration will reach a fevered pitch and the real fun can start. Many of the authorities will quietly agree with your commitment to rioting fun, but it's their job to make sure the violence doesn't get bad, so keep the really good stuff away from the front lines. Try to locate journalists and American tourists and beat them or murder them by throwing them into the air and firing rifles skyward. This rain of bullets will come back down killing even more rioters and adding to the sense of community.
The Secret to Success: According to rioting analysts Allah is one of the biggest supporters of super-intelligent mass expressions of misdirected anger, so chant his name a lot. If you can build a giant puppet of Allah having forcible sex with a giant puppet of either George Bush or the Statue of Liberty this will really add to that violent festival feel. If you can get support from the authorities maybe they will let you execute criminals convicted of things like "saying the word 'homosexual'" or "thinking too much about math" by beating them with the corpses of their children and burying them in a pile of lemons. It's all up to you, as Mid-Eastern riots are nothing if not unpredictable and slightly surreal, so don't' be afraid to experiment and really show your creative side.

Chinese Anti-Communist Riots
Minimum Number of Rioters: 10,000
Suggested Number of Fatalities: 10,000
Methodology: You're Chinese, you're not a big fan of Communism, and you just got diagnosed with terminal cancer. Luckily there's a solution to this sad news; have a riot to ring-in the new year! Anti-Communist riots have two absolutes that you have to keep in mind. One, you need a shitload of people for your riot to not get shut down immediately by the police. Two, you're all going to die when the Chinese mobilize the army. Hey, that's alright, you've got terminal cancer! These riots are the polar opposite of impromptu however, they require weeks of planning and secret meetings, and some of the best riots never even get started because someone blabs to the authorities. You don't want your riot to disappear into a Chinese Secret Police torture chamber before it even gets going do you? Hell no! Keep specifics very secretive and restricted to a top echelon of riot fun planners who all swear an oath of secrecy.
The Secret to Success: Once the riot gets going the secret to success is to maintain momentum. This isn't a peaceful demonstration, remember, so break, burn, beat, and explode as many people and inanimate objects as possible. Don't worry about heavy casualties inflicted on the rioters, you're all doomed anyway! So relax and let it all hang out!

Any of these rioting "fun spots" has the potential to rise to the occasion and take the title of Ultimate Rioting Champions away from Nigeria in 2003. Come on United States, you have a lot of heart, now get in there and break a whole bunch of your own shit!

Fresh New TGIP!

Hey gang, it's me Urkel, here to let you know that it's Phriday and that means brand new Family Matters, Perfect Strangers, Step By Step, and Boy Meets World! It's gonna be fuuuunnn! Did I do that?

Wait, sorry about that, it's me Livestock. I had another emotional breakdown and switched into a different personality. Anyway, this week the Something Awful Forum Goons (THE PEOPLE WHO MAKE THE FUNNY PICTURES YOU SEE EVERY WEEK!!!!) put together a collection of strange books written for the science fiction archetype demographic. Here is a preview:

Please do be checking it out whenever you can!

– Zack "Geist Editor" Parsons (@sexyfacts4u)

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