This blog is about writing fiction, but today I cannot avoid the personal. What happened in Norway hit too hard and too close to home.
Two days ago I was walking down Ste-Catherine street in Montreal in blistering heat, planning my vegetable container garden, when I got a text message: “Do you have family in Oslo? Check the newspapers.”
“God, I hate it when people can’t just come straight out and say what’s going on,” I thought as I pulled up my 3G and opened dagbladet.no. And there it was. Pictures of destroyed government buildings blasted across my screen. Buildings I used to walk by, buildings I used to work inside. I rang my mom, asking if my brother was okay. She launched into a long speech about his troubles of selling his used furniture (he’s moving downtown, you see).
“No mom,” I interrupted. “Have you heard from him? Are you sure he wasn’t hurt in the attack?”
Turns out news travels faster to Canada than to Holmestrand. Global world indeed. Whilst on the phone with me, my mom got updated on the situation and we called everyone, making sure all friends and family had made it. They had.
It was only later that we realized this attack, killing seven people and hurting many more, was only a diversion. While we spoke, the real attack happened outside the city at a summer camp for politically active labor party children.
It’s two days later and people are still reeling. That one lone man could murder over eighty children is inconceivable, and yet it happened. I’m proud to see the calm political leadership of our elected representatives, and I’m impressed by the work of both medical professionals and the police in this terrible tragedy.
For the ramifications of this attack, see this article
The rest of my links are in Norwegian, but well worth a read. I suggest google translating them, and if anything doesn’t make sense after that, feel free to leave a comment and I’ll translate on the spot for you.
When people have access to all the information on the internet, how come their views aren’t challenged: seerfragmentering
Terror attacks used as a bloody book launch: Manifesto For A European Civil War
Who’s the terrorist: European Neofascism
It still seems unreal. I wish I could walk down the streets and see the ruins. It irks me that this terrorist’s “publicity stunt” worked and that all over the world, people are reading his words, downloading his book. I hope the radical right doesn’t get a single new followers from this attack.