Can I settle down now to write about Norway? Two weeks of furious activity (a tautology) by right wing commentators (was going to say “far right” but that is a tautology these days) determined to prove that Breivik might be a nutter but he wasn’t their nutter is slowly easing. Will resume again during trial of course.
I have avoided reading it except for press snippets (from the likes of Glen Beck and Andrew Bolt) appearing here and there which catch me unawares and leave me sickened and disgusted. These shock jocks (I use this as a general term) strongly resemble an arsonist denying any guilt (“Fire? What Fire?”) found at edge of a bushfire with not only an empty petrol can at his feet and a box of matches in one hand but in the act of removing the cap from a second petrol can. Denial with an angry face (again, tautology), all par for the course in the Shock Jock Crazyland that bloomed after 9/11.
But I can’t do it. Had settled into a history lesson about the 1930s in England and so on and so forth, and then deleted it all with a single keystroke. I keep seeing those bright young faces on that idyllic island. They could easily have been me and my teenage friends from 50 years ago – bright eyed, bushy-tailed, confident the world could be a better place and we were going to help make it so. We shared a belief that humans were basically good, could work together to make a society of equality and justice, and to make sure the environment was conserved for later generations.
It’s that hope, those beliefs, that promise of a better world that Breivik, and the people like him that exist in small numbers in every country – narrow minded fearful, hateful, misanthropic, misogynistic, destructive, ignorant, fundamentalist, racist – are determined to destroy. Determined, like Hitler before them, to remake the world in their own twisted image, rule it, and ethnically cleanse from it all who do not share their beliefs. Sometimes they do this with bombs and bullets, sometimes by the barrage of hate spewing out in media and internet, the delegitimising of even nominally left wing governments, the expressed desire to string up greenies from lamp posts, drown prime ministers. The last time Breivik clones and their mates succeeded in taking over a country by force they went on to take a continent and it took a world war to stop them.
It would be good this time if those bright eyed young Norwegians, those who survived and those who died, and their equivalents around the world, were the winners. But I fear it is going to be the nearest run thing you ever saw in your life.