Some people may not know this, but there was a time when booing someone taking a shot at goal was just not done. In fact, booing was something very infrequently heard at sporting events, and rugby matches in particular. Theodore Dalrymple, who writes frequently on such issues as our slide into the amoral Marxist swamp, has this to say about it-
Many remarked upon the gentleness of British behavior in public. Homicidal violence and street robberies were vanishingly rare. But it wasn’t only in the absence of crime that the gentleness made itself felt.
British pastimes were peaceful and reflective: gardening and the keeping of pigeons, for example. Vast sporting crowds would gather in such good order that sporting events resembled church meetings, as both George Orwell and anthropologist Geoffrey Gorer (writing in 1955) noted.
Newsreels of the time reinforce the point. The faces of people in sports crowds did not contort in hatred, snarling and screaming, but were peaceful and good-humored, if a little pinched and obviously impoverished.
No person with the slightest apprehension of human psychology will be surprised to learn that as a consequence of this change in character, indictable crime has risen at least 900 percent since 1950.
In the same period, the homicide rate has doubled—and would have gone up ten times, had it not been for improvements in trauma surgery and resuscitation techniques. And all this despite the fact that the proportion of the population in the age group most likely to commit crimes has fallen considerably.
Dalrymple’s observations on the decline in the character of the British apply equally as well to New Zealand. Or perhaps even more so. Ugly and contorted faces among rugby crowds have definitely increased.