In Norway, a bomber and gunman blows up a government building and then travels to a youth camp and systematically executes dozens of teenagers, apparently because they were youth activists in a political party he did not agree with.
In England, a talented, internationally famous but long-troubled 27-year-old singer is found dead in her home for reasons not immediately clear.
Good morning, world. Welcome to Saturday.
As I sifted through the news reports from Oslo last night, I first felt something akin to deja vu--this seemed familiar, as if I had been transported back to 1995 and the city were Oklahoma City and not Oslo at all--but when the youth camp reports started coming in...first seven deaths confirmed, then ten, then perhaps 17, then "as many as 30," then, suddenly and horrifically, 80 or more... How does one react to that kind of concentrated carnage, that kind of evil from the mind of a single man?
I have been in touch with a blogger from Norway who tells me that this man is a part of an extreme right wing movement in her country that distrusts the government, that believes it is involved in a great conspiracy with Muslims. And again my spidey sense tingles: where ave I heard that before? What will it take before the people of the world, including the people of the US, wake up to the fact that, despite all the Bin Ladens anywhere, their biggest enemies most often lie within their borders? The radical extremists with agendas who cannot be reasoned with who hate their governments passionately and without attention to reality: these are the people to fear.
And 80 kids lie dead on an island in the most peaceful country in the world, kids who were trying in their own ways to make a difference. The singer, her life also ended far too early, is a sad morality tale of a life that could have been so much more. But on this day that tale will have to wait for its telling. Those kids on that island are telling a tale far more demanding and far more critical. And if we don't listen, I'm afraid it will be a tale we will hear again and again.