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The danger of mythologizing the Utøya murderer

In englishPosted by Øystein Tue, August 02, 2011 15:31:51
While reading the self-written parts of Anders Behring Breiviks manifesto, I discovered that he had bought 12 custom-made paintings by Coderock, a norwegian graffitti artist and a friend of mine. This was extra surprising, and made Breivik feel even closer to home. I was mainly happy that he hadn't gotten hold of my viking comic, Saga of Olav Sleggja, so I sent a mail to Coderock to say that he shouldn't feel bad, Wagner and Nietszche had some pretty stupid fans too.

However - and this is a scoop, since no-one has actually asked Coderock before ... Coderock has never made 12 such paintings.

I shouldn't really be surprised by this. I shouldn't really be. But when I read the manifesto, in my naiveté, in my blind faith in humans, it basically never occurred to me that what I was reading could be a bunch of lies. Goddammit! Well, it is. Lying about twelve paintings - paintings that I can garantee you, you will never see ... is amazingly crazy, because it's so easy to disprove. And it is a relief. Because for a little while, I was afraid that there would be a glimmer of sanity, of "intelligence" in all this manifesto wordspewery. Even my former blog posts are colored by this.

I, like many others, had a fear for an open trial. All ideas have power, of course, so one should still consider which mind-viruses one allows to spread. But this piece of fantasy should, hopefully be so easy to pick apart that even the dumbest "fans" realize it.

Or am I too full of faith in humans again? At least now you have a new piece of ammunition, if you ever meet anyone, anyone, who says that the manifesto is "intelligent" or "has some points": It is written and compiled by someone who couldn't discern between twelve real paintings and twelve paintings that only existed in his mind.

You may of course meet people who think this is a conspiracy. This sad story shows the danger of being in the conspiracy mindset: Nothing can disprove what they already feel, because that is a conspiracy. And still, the conspiracy theorist thinks that he/she has an open mind. Which allows the conspiracy theorist to be so closed-minded to all new info that after a while, no new opinions can be made.

And in this mindstate, where the conspiracy theorist decides that something is the ultimate evil, it is a logical next step to think: If this is the ultimate evil, ANY action to remove it is justifiable.

It makes sense. If you know true evil, you can torture, kill, go to war, just to stop it.

What does this mean? It means that the thought of evil is the source of evil. This is the danger of tv shows like "24", where the threat is so big that torture etc is acceptable. Or any tv show that presents human beings as purely evil. Even Breiviks subhuman mind needed to "justify" his acts so that his human heart wouldn't stop him. Remember this. The next time you encounter something that you are told is "pure evil". Remember this, the next time I write that something is "pure evil". Nothing is. We will have faith in that.