Saturday, 23 July 2011


“Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.” - Isaac Asimov

The bombing and shootings in Oslo was the news that we heard first thing this morning. It definitely puts a dampener on one’s good humour and one has to question what it is that makes people bottle up so much hate that they have to kill, maim, demolish and destroy. The gunman who killed at least 80 people at an island youth camp northwest of Oslo disguised himself as a policeman to lure in his victims, then shot them twice to make sure they were dead. Seven people were also killed in an explosion that ripped through the government buildings in the heart of Oslo. Surely these are not the actions of sane persons? That is the only explanation that I can think of…

It seems that this insanity was motivated by political reasons. All the more reprehensible and crazy. To want to kill someone because they think differently to you is one of the most unreasonable and inhuman of acts. The 32-year-old suspected of massacring at least 80 young people at a summer camp and setting off a bomb in downtown Oslo that killed at least seven is a mystery to investigators: A right-winger with anti-Muslim views but no known links to hardcore extremists. This is the golden-haired, blue-eyed, dark angel of death that dragged a whole country into mourning and the world into new depths of despair.

When the world becomes a dark and terrible place, when despair threatens to overcome me, when the burden carried get heavier and heavier, what else is there to do but turn to music? Music will speak to us when words have failed; will ease the mind when it needs rest; music will soothe the heart and heal it when it is broken; music flows from heaven into our soul.

Here is a piece from J.S. Bach, from his Cello Suite No.2 – VI: Gigue (BWV 1008), played by Mischa Maisky. If anything can soothe a troubled mind it is music like this.


  1. How does a man get hold of a gun in a civilised nation like Norway? And an automatic weapon at that :(

    If innocent teenagers are massacred by armed-up war lords in Afghanistan, we say "what do you expect?"

    If innocent teenagers are masscred by an armed-up right wing fanatic civilian in Norway, we have no words of explanation.

    Did Bach help you? I hope so. After a senseless bloodbath like this, I am beyond soothing.

  2. The golden haired gunman reminded me of Hitler's ideal for his ultimate Reich. That those thoughts remain in a country conquered by Hitler this many years after speaks to a fault in our school systems and the way they teach history.

    That he sees nothing wrong with what he did speaks of something severely wrong with the way parents raise their children.

    The Bach helped.

  3. "Why did he do it?" Well, why does the typical person always ask this? The answer is in the definition of a psychopath - that is, a personality devoid of compassion or empathy - that's the answer to why. And the focus should be on considering the victims not the murderers.

    Nic ... thank you for this Asimov quote, too, in addition to your excellent analysis which does help to read - as well as Bach.

  4. Another senseless act of a madman...
    Yes music can be a balm on our wounds and relieve the pain, but the scars still form as deep and as extensively...
    This is a gorgeous photo and piece of music, thanks for sharing both.

  5. scum of the earth
    need to shoot him with the same dumdum bullets he used