Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Five days have passed since the horrific attacks in Norway. In that time many column miles have been written describing and analyzing the events and to them I have nothing to add. That a single person can cause such carnage, especially to the young people at the summer camp, is a depressing thought. However, there are two responses to the tragedy that I want to comment on.

Despite being caught up in the moment, the statements of both the Mayor of Oslo and the Norwegian Prime Minister are full of hope. "We shall punish the terrorist, and this will be his punishment: more democracy, more tolerance, more generosity.” How strong a statement is that? "The answer to violence is even more democracy.” Awesome. Full marks for the Norwegian politicians for providing inspiring leadership just when it is required the most.

The other side is that awful gobshite of the US right, Glen Beck. His response to the killings was to compare the summer camp to Hitler Youth and then to blame multi-culturalism for the whole tragedy. A summer camp to encourage kids to get involved in the democratic process is "disturbing"? Nowhere near as disturbing as a man who uses a huge tragedy to score some rating points by being as offensive as possible. It was funny being a shock jock 20 years ago when Howard Stern started out. Now it is just pathetic.


  1. Aye, I reckon the Norwegians have got their response spot on; that seems a remarkably sane, dignified, healthy reaction.

    Here in England it's rather odd. On the day of the attacks the standard line was 'Muslims must be to blame', but within a day all too frequently I was hearing people effectively saying 'Somebody was bound to do this, because of all those Muslims. Muslims must be to blame.'

  2. I almost feel bad for posting a link to this but Varg Vikernes, the Norwegian black metaller who spent many years in jail for killing his bandmate, sees the whole incident as part of the great Jewish Conspiracy. Seems like everyone will find a way to use tragic events to suit their own agenda.

    In terms of UK meda, I'm most disgusted at Sky News continually using the term "twin attacks" just to piggyback the Twin Towers 9/11 vibe. Almost Giuliani-esque in their use.