Thursday, July 28, 2011
A week ago I returned home after a week-long song-writing retreat near a place called Mern, full of energy and musical inspiration from having spent time with a couple dozen talented musicians and song writers, not least including the host and instructor, Anette Bjergfeldt.
I was quite aware before leaving Mern that the down side to any retreat can be the fact that, returning to the normal everyday can lead to a certain sort of dryness when the flow of energy is no longer so abundant - but in this case it was more of a jolt because the everyday world had just emitted an incident of an unusually ugly shade.
I drove into my driveway at noon and, not having heard any news at all for a week, turned on the radio to let the midday news-cast run - and was stricken with the news of a double mass murder in Norway.
What to say? There are people who live with dreams and some who live with a nightmare. All too few try to live out their dreams and, although their number is not great, all too many live out the nightmare.
Here in the Happy Little Kingdom of Denmark within a week the thread of commentary one expects from the pundit class and political elites with easy access to mass media ran its course, from the insensitive, past the inane to ridiculous, nasty and down right ugly.
First was the question of the influence of hateful and violent rhetoric - which was denied and brushed aside. However, it is a fact, that hateful and violent rhetoric in my home country has taken its toll in murders, mutilations and beatings many, many times and will continue to do so in the futurre. Norway is no exception and neither is any other country to the effect of violent and hateful rhetoric.
Then came the question: why didn't the people overpower their executioner? This question has been asked about humans trapped in the Nazi charnel houses and industrial abbatoirs of the last century, and will be asked again and again - always by people who have no experience or knowledge of what they speak.
Finally, the question was raised about activists trying to block with civil disobedience the felling one of the last nearly pristine forests in this country - are they not on the same road that leads to atrocity such as that we have just seen in Oslo? When you hear such glorified ignorance as this, one doesn't know whether to cry or puke.
Listen close: What leads to violence is violence. Violence in word and deed, the glorifying of violence of weapons and their use. States do it, politicians do it, media empires do it, racists do, religious extremists do it. But citizens protecting trees with their naked bodies are not doing it.
I conclude this rant with a line from "The American Prophecies".
"All the bombs are in the hands of terrorists!"