Horror in Norway

We were camping all weekend so didn’t really have a lot of access to the news (I did of course have my iPhone but Rogers service sucks once you get outside major centres).  So it wasn’t until we got home tonight that I realised the full extent of the horror that had happened in Norway on Friday with a bombing in Oslo and then a subsequent shooting spree at a nearby island retreat for politically active Norwegian youths.

I really don’t have a lot to say about what happened in Norway.  But strangely, one of the first things I did when I heard about the tragedy was to go to MetaFilter where I knew there would be a thread about what was happening.  True to the site’s name, that thread would be a filter with links to various news organizations around the world, blogs, maps, photos and so on.  Even within the relatively homogenous filter-bubble that is MetaFilter, there would also be a fairly wide range of opinions as well as a running commentary as details came out.  There would be battles about the use of dark humour as a coping mechanism.  There would be wild speculation.  There would be insight, anger and grief.  There would be community.

A common trope on MetaFilter is that it doesn’t do “breaking news” well but I don’t know if that’s true – the site does breaking news in a way that reflects what it is – not fact-checking, not journalism but more like a bunch of people communing in a coffee shop having imperfect, overlapping conversations (which can be just as valuable as the “hard news” – both in the moment but also as a historic record.  Even when the site’s founder was asked in a recent interview for five memorable threads, the first two that he picked were about breaking news – the Seattle earthquake and 9/11.)

Okay, I have one thought about what happened in Norway.  Sometimes our world is seriously fucked up.

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