It has been a disturbing 48 hours; we have seen senseless killing and senseless death. As the horror of what happened in Norway unfolds we are reminded as well of the dangers of substance abuse (i am going to make the prejudiced assumption that there is a link between Amy Winehouse’s death and substance abuse). Death is natural but no one deserves to die.
Web media and social media (someone is going to have to help me with definitions here) opens us to a wealth of views and ideas delivered instantly. At first we debated why al-Qaeda had attacked Norway (I’m in my own glasshouse here – see my assumptions about Amy), we then learnt it was domestic. We will find out tomorrow his motive; at least that is what he promises. A picture of right wing hatred seems to be emerging; I fear we will hear that he had to make a political point, that they were a unavoidable sacrifice. Death is natural but no one deserves to die.
I can remember the news of Amy’s untimely demise emerging via Twitter. I cross-checked the facts against a few on-line new agencies. Within the hour it had spread to FaceBook. A new article appeared and when i clicked the link it turned out to be one of those viruses that posts itself to your wall – claiming that she ‘got what was coming’. Twitter and FaceBook flowed with a combination of RIP and moralising ‘deserved it’. I worry. The idea that anyone deserves to die opens our minds to the idea that a sacrifice for a course is acceptable. Death is natural but no one deserves to die.
My mind strayed back to bin Laden’s killing on May the 2nd. Should they have shot him? Yes. Did he deserve to die? No. Bin Laden was a paradox. He had many years to hand himself in to a court of justice, he had evade justice but was not alone in that. He needed to be arrested and had made it clear that he would not allow himself to be. Can we allow someone to live outside of the law, clearly not or the law is an ass. Can we expect service men and women to be sacrificed so that he can make one last political point, clearly not. Death is natural but no one deserves to die.
If we can drop the language of hate, if we can accept that everyone deserves to live, if we can accept that everyone deserve justice perhaps we can move towards, if not a peaceful world and more civilised one.