Thursday, July 28, 2011


Sometimes I find it interesting, what affects me emotionally, and what doesn't; what I pay close attention to, don't take my eyes off of for weeks, and what I just shrug my shoulders at before getting on with my life.

These days I can't stop thinking about Norway, and the attacks in Oslo and Utøya. Especially Utøya: How could anyone murder so many people--and enjoy it? And young people, too: some of the victims were around my age, others were in their teens. I always wonder about that kind of thing (Hitler/Nazis, the KKK, al-Qaeda, anyone?), and in fact I find the psychology of people who choose bad over good fascinating, but every now and then there's something that'll make those questions take centre stage: How could anyone mass-murder their fellow human beings (Homo sapiens sapiens)? Every day, I think about all those lives that were cut short and the cruelty of Anders Breivik's actions (I've been reading a lot of articles about what motivated him), and I can't help but cry--for the victims (especially the young ones), for Norway. Seeing the names and descriptions of the victims on the BBC's website as they're added daily always makes me choke up.

As a woman living on the US/Canada border, I have felt the effects of the US's response to the attacks in '01. And therefore I applaud Norway's response to the bombing and shooting: "even more democracy. Even more humanity" (Norwegian PM Jens Stoltenberg). Norway is traditionally an extremely open country and security is very low ("[this] is a society where you can meet even top politicians strolling in Oslo's streets with no security"), and from what I've read, even after the attacks, that openness will not change much. There will, of course, be an investigation into why it took police so long to respond to the shooting (Breivik had been shooting for an hour and a half by the time the authorities showed up), but I'd be surprised if Norway went the way of the US, with it's heightened security at the border (the US/Canada border used to be the longest unprotected border in the world--I still miss those days).

I also find the North American mainstream media's reaction interesting, and even disturbing: Initially, they assumed (without being able to confirm the fact) that the killer was a Muslim. But then, when they found out that he wasn't, that he was, in fact, a normal-looking blond-haired, blue-eyed, caucasian, "Christian" Norwegian, poof! There went their interest in him, and after Friday, it's very difficult to find info on what's been happening, and I had to hunt around a bit before finding info about Breivik's court appearance this past Monday. Thankfully, the BBC is still covering the aftermath of the attacks.

People of Norway: My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Offer A Message of Condolence to Norway on (BTW, the goal was originally ten thousand signatures, which was then increased to twenty-five thousand after they surpassed the initial goal. Now the goal is thirty-five thousand.)

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