Saturday, 23 July 2011

Candle

Yesterday a rightwing extremist in Norway killed more than 90 people (the number is expected to rise). A few were killed by a bomb in Oslo centrum, but the majority were youth gunned down at a summer camp.  You can read the news for more details, but it is all fairly horrid.

The island were the summer camp was held belongs to a political youth organisation, and when they don't use it they rent it out. Thus, while not associated with labour politics, I have spent many happy idyllic weeks there, and my memories are of sunshine, happiness, and a rare sense of comradeship, acceptance and belonging.

Not many summer weeks go past, every year, without some memory from there popping up.

Now those bright sunny memories have a shadow cast over them, as yesterday the island turned into a death trap and a massacre ground. The youth's stories are heart-breaking, and because I know the landscape so well, it plays out vividly in my mind. Hiding under that rocky ledge, hearing his foot steps above my head. Running. Swimming for land trying to get away.

If my dreams will be disturbed for a while, I think I know why...

4 comments:

  1. Terrible and shocking.

    And it's a reminder that terror is performed, not only by Islamic fundamentalists, but also by right-wing extremists. The terror in Oslo and Utøya is more comparable to the Oklahoma bombing in 1995 than to 9/11.

    Cold As Heaven

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  2. Oh, that is another thing. If a muslim had done this, you can be bloody sure that people would have been screaming that they were all evil. I don't see any of that now - no guilt by association if the guilty is blonde and blue-eyed, eh?
    Ghhrm.

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  3. Who ever is the culprit. These events is tragedies that are hard to grasp. I have refrained from reading about it, not because I don't care, but because I still need to believe that this is only bad dreams. This could not happen here. I say here, because this IS close, so damn close.

    Some friends said that this is a turning point for the worse for our little part of the world, much alike as 9/11. I don't know if that was said in the belief that it was a deed orchestrated by fundamentalists, that the right wing angle was not present at the moment.
    Yes, it must inevitably change us, and that makes me scared, because I don't think many have my view of what is the right action. We got to be more open, not turn on each other. Haven't we already seen that anger can't be fought with anger in the long run? What happened to our civilisations' enlightenment?

    It's like the only true way nowadays is reaction. We need to get the information so fast, and we have to react immediately. We cry out for repercussions. We don't stop and think about what that does to us, that it's tearing us apart, it's breaking up all we've accomplished in just a few centuries.

    These thoughts in themselves are a sign that my worst fears are coming true. That I can't fight the tide. And that's why I'll keep from reading about this for a while more, until some calmness and rationality has entered the debate. To keep my sanity and beliefs.
    Does that make me seem selfish? That I'm putting my emotions on hold for the greater good?

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  4. Did you see the article I posted on g+? That is a good (sane) read. It is a social comment, not news, and I really recommend it.

    Here are some other quotes of sanity which I hold on to as lifelines right now:

    ‎"If one man is capable of creating that much hatred, imagine how much love the rest of us can create together." - Young survivor of the Utøya massacre when asked by CNN how they want to fight terrorism.

    "Jeg holder fast ved troen på at friheten er sterkere enn frykten." - Harald, King of Norway

    "Svaret på vold er enda mer demokrati og enda mer humanitet" - Jens Stoltenberg, PM

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Be nice!