…As an inhabitant of Oslo just said. I know how it sounds to cynical ears, especially in the light of the horrific events that struck Norway this weekend, in the shadow of a phone hacking scandal that’s exposed just how much the media we consume turns people into puppets for public amusement. “Love always wins” sounds hollow and naive and at odds with the realities of the world.
The alternative is hate winning – more phone hacking, more fanaticism, more 9-11s, more Utoyas. The alternative is us dragging ourselves further into the mire, obsessing over the next celebrity car crash, the next pointless death at the age of 27. We want to talk about the ‘real world’? Give that murderer in Norway a platform to spout prejudice, the chance for him to expound that manifesto of his that quotes the worst Muslim-bashing spouted by our discredited media, a bunch of columnists who want to mouth off without wanting to experience the consequences of their words.
Better to follow the quiet dignity of the Norwegian people, better to listen to their leaders who decreed that the most appropriate response to internal terrorism would be “more democracy”. Better to act like love always wins, even if you’re not convinced, but it’s not hatred that beats us in the end, it’s apathy and resignation and no vision to fuel a belief that things can be different.
We can win by standing firm but not fighting dirty, we can win by standing alongside each other in times of pain rather than looking for someone to blame, we can win by seeking the truth rather than being spoon-fed the distortions and conspiracy theories of the 24-hour news cycle. This is how we win.
God bless Norway; may you know that, in your time of crisis, you’re lighting a candle, an example to the world.