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24 July 2011 @ 10:37 pm
I'm having to avoid the news today ... I need a processing day or two. I suppose that Breivik's confession is something ... but ...

I remember back when the Port Arthur Massacre occurred, one of my housemates ran upstairs and said, 'Put the radio on, there's something horrible happening in Tasmania.' We sat around the radio, and later the television, for hours, feeling utterly powerless. It was the same feeling that had come a few months before, when Rabin was assassinated, and would come again years later as planes fell on New York and Washington, when clubs were blown apart in Bali, as trains were ripped open in Madrid, and then again in London.

There is something about the willful evil of human beings that is more horrific than the devastation of nature. Which is ridiculous on one level, since even comparatively minor natural disasters often have death tolls higher than those of acts of mass murder. The Asian Tsunami dwarfs all acts of terrorism and mass murder in the last 50 years. And yet ... And yet the idea that people can choose to act so vilely is not one that most of us can understand.

And tragically, it does seem to be terrorism, even though it was one man, not an organisation. The targeting of Labour party workers and youths, coupled with Breivik's anti-Left and xenophobic rantings makes his political intent clear.

I know it's not at all PC to say this, and I await the defriendings, but what makes the attacks in Norway so utterly awful is that they are not even the sort of terrorism that one can get one's head around a bit. Because some terrorism, I sort of get.

I look at Umkhonto We Sizwe, and I think, yeah, necklacing was well out of order, but given you had no vote, that the media was cut off from reporting conditions for your people and that activists managed to beat themselves up in their cells before falling out of windows – I can sort of understand why you had a bombing campaign.

To me, this sort of terrorism makes some sort of sense. It's territorial terrorism, if you like, and it led to the formation of modern South Africa, of the state of Israel, of the Irish Republic, India and Pakistan, too, I suppose. I cannot support such actions, but to this day, when I see groups that lack political power, media coverage or wealth turning to violence, I can at least see some reasoning behind their actions.

The other sort of terrorism, tanty terrorism as I accidentally called it in a term that has stuck in this house, I will never get. It's the sort of fundamentalist bullshit that refuses to acknowledge anyone's rights or views but one's own. From the lone bastards who murder doctors at abortion clinics, to Marc Lépine, who murdered women to 'fight feminism' Montreal's Ecole Polytechnique, to Osama bin Laden's decades of utter fuckery against the US and the West in general, and now Breivik, too – it's a list of people who sincerely believed that people who disagreed with them had no rights whatsoever, not even to live.

And of all centuries, in all of history, you would think that ours would see with most clarity just how hollow and hideous that sort of thinking is.
leecetheartist on July 24th, 2011 01:08 pm (UTC)
Still 'ere.
*Manifestly does not defriend you.*
blamebramptonblamebrampton on July 24th, 2011 01:12 pm (UTC)
Re: Still 'ere.
This makes me happy!
Re: Still 'ere. - leecetheartist on July 24th, 2011 01:30 pm (UTC) (Expand)
germankitty: animated applausegermankitty on July 24th, 2011 01:12 pm (UTC)
blamebramptonblamebrampton on July 24th, 2011 01:15 pm (UTC)
I know it's hopelessly naive of me, but I will just never understand people who believe that their way is the One True Way.
(Deleted comment)
blamebramptonblamebrampton on July 24th, 2011 01:24 pm (UTC)
And it's not as though it's hard to spot the difference, I think. Sometimes the territorial type is more universal, and then it's a popular uprising, and sometimes it's more bastardly, rather than being directed at official targets, but it's the action of people with few options.

The idea that a Saudi millionaire or a middle-class Norewegian lacked protest options would be laughable, were their actions not so staggeringly awful.
(no subject) - chickenfeet2003 on July 24th, 2011 01:29 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - chickenfeet2003 on July 24th, 2011 02:04 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Lilliputian722lilliputian722 on July 24th, 2011 01:20 pm (UTC)
I concur.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on July 24th, 2011 01:25 pm (UTC)
Your icon sums up my weekend.

Bah, I should get some work work done and go to bed. XX
sassy_cissa: shit_headachesassy_cissa on July 24th, 2011 01:33 pm (UTC)
Would never defriend. Your eloquence and ability to speak your mind has always been one of the many things that draws me to you.

blamebramptonblamebrampton on July 26th, 2011 06:48 am (UTC)
(I know it's largely the fact that I make you look so tall ;-)) Thank you, dear.
(Deleted comment)
blamebramptonblamebrampton on July 26th, 2011 07:28 am (UTC)
You know what is good, though? That most people cannot conceive of acting like that, no matter how strongly they feel on a topic. That people rushed to help the victims, without stopping to wonder if they were 'people like them'. That since then, Norway has stood united in its determination to not have its freedoms changed by one radical. Even in the face of such horror, there are reminders that most people are thoroughly decent.
κάτι τρέχει στα γύφτικα_inbetween_ on July 24th, 2011 01:57 pm (UTC)
He's not making his confession until tomorrow though, are you talking about the video?
blamebramptonblamebrampton on July 26th, 2011 07:30 am (UTC)
At the time of writing he had told the police (through his lawyer, I think), that he had done it and that he had been acting alone. He's changed that a bit now, though he still says that he was the one who pulled the trigger.
subtlefire: fallen time lordsubtlefire on July 24th, 2011 02:05 pm (UTC)
I don't know if saying that I 'understand' it when senseless acts of violence occur (no matter the reason) is the correct word. But I would say that I am never surprised. I find that the hate we can feel towards ourselves, and the hate that we can feel towards others, manifests in so very many different ways, that I just see it down to the root - an expression of hate. I see the beginning, and I see the end, and the growth process may make sense to me and it may not, but I sadly find that I don't need to understand it to...understand it.
Dedicated Escape Artist: Dystopiaryjadzialove on July 24th, 2011 02:19 pm (UTC)
Can't see why anyone would defriend you for being exactly right...


*adopts 'tanty terrorism'*

We (being the people here in my home), contemplating the why of this horror, found ourselves wondering if it was a lone lunatic or a gaggle of them for which this man 'took one for the team' a la Timothy McVey. I thought I would feel better to know it was a lone idiot, but somehow, though I'm glad there's not an organized group celebrating this somewhere, I don't feel any better at all.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on July 26th, 2011 07:35 am (UTC)
I was defriended by a few for saying that public healthcare is great, so these days I just assume that any stance will be met with some 'Politics? Again!?' from some circles ;-)

And I bequeath Tanty terrorism to you and anyone who would like it. But it is, isn't it? 'I want my own way and I am going to make you all sorry!' Fuckers, one and all.

And yeah ... whether he was alone, or has his alleged footsoldiers ready to leap into the breach ... Neither option makes anything better. :-(

I should finish up with more comments here, but I should also finish that pinch hit if there is to be any hope of you reading it this week. Some H/D silliness has to be a bit better than thinking on this for a few hours. XXX
(no subject) - jadzialove on July 27th, 2011 12:21 am (UTC) (Expand)
Bubba: Top Hatabsynthedrinker on July 24th, 2011 02:59 pm (UTC)

The voice of reason amidst the cacophonous voices is what you are.
And clearly there are different kinds of terrorism and understanding why there are suicide bombers in Tel Aviv does not, in fact, signal approval.

Breivik's legacy will be that he destroyed one of the last peaceful refuges of the West and added himself to an ever lengthening list of psychopaths and madmen.

A tragic day for Norway and another sad day for us all.


(Deleted comment)
Anna Fugazzi: Yuckannafugazzi on July 24th, 2011 04:33 pm (UTC)
I cannot believe the victim blaming going on here, in mainstream media spaces.
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on July 26th, 2011 06:47 am (UTC) (Expand)
lilian_cho: Rainbow treeslilian_cho on July 24th, 2011 04:07 pm (UTC)


Guerilla fighters =/= terrorists

On a completely different note, I effing hate how the U.S. government evokes 9/11 to justify a whole bunch of "security" b.s. =/
Rosfoi_nefaste on July 24th, 2011 04:08 pm (UTC)
Exactly this, yes.

Thanks for putting into words what I've been trying to say. :)
Shivshiv5468 on July 24th, 2011 04:23 pm (UTC)
Yes, I do know what you mean.
Anna Fugazzi: Feed me soupannafugazzi on July 24th, 2011 04:34 pm (UTC)
This. Thank you.