One Testing Week – Part 1 of 2

To say a lot happened this week would be a bit of an understatement. When I say a bit of an understatement, imagine you were having the following conversation…

Person 1: Man, Hitler was a son of a bitch.
Person 2: Now, that’s an understatement.
Person 1: I’ve never heard that word before.
Person 2: Understatement?
Person 1: Yeah.
Person 2: So, by me saying I slept with your mother three times would be an understatement.
Person 1: Ah, OK. I get it now… Wait, what?!

First things first, at the time of writing my previous blog entry, the disaster in Norway was very fresh. I by no means intended to gloss over it as if nothing had happened, I just had nothing to add other than my sympathy to those affected by the terrorist act carried out by Anders Breivik.

What I was interested to see/read/hear, was the ongoing discourse regarding the status and classification of the attack. In the early stages, numerous press outlets reported that the attack may have been linked to Al-Qaeda or was in fact, an act carried out by Muslim extremists. BAH-BOW!

This is another fine example of Journalism: You’re Doing It Wrong.

But once we found out that the terrorist attack was carried out by a native Norwegian, it suddenly shifted towards being labelled a massacre. The problem I have with applying this term to the terrorist attack in Norway is the fact that massacres are indiscriminate killing sprees. What Anders Breivik did was a rigorously plotted and calculated terrorist act with an endgame. What Martin Bryant did on the other hand – massacre.

The press, as most of you would already know, loves to create its very own narratives and is only interested in departing from that which is proven to sell should it provide the opportunity for more profit to be made by doing so. Making a blonde haired Norwegian the new poster boy for terrorism and extremism? No, thanks. Not foreign enough.

I couldn’t be bothered tracking down a copy of his manifesto. Let’s face it, me taking what little spare time I have to read his warped perspective serves me no purpose whatsoever, nor should it serve any similar purpose anywhere for anyone. Criminal psychologists will ponder over it, no doubt, to try and better understand the mind of a ‘killer’, because hypotheses regarding such topics get people published in journals that academics can read and go, “Why, that’s plausible.” and generally guffaw about their own achievements, but the general public gains no benefit unless these people wind up being slapped on morning TV or current affairs programs with the label ‘expert’ attached and providing the TV watching public with nifty sound bites for mass media consumption.

A friend of mine contacted me early on in the week to fill me in on what’s been going on with him lately. Turns out he has non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. This news hit me pretty hard at first, but after chatting with him for a while, I remembered who it was I was talking to.

This particular friend of mine sees problems as brick walls. Now, a human should never try to run through a brick wall (for several reasons, all of which should be fairly apparent), but this mate of mine would furrow his brow and slam himself into that brick wall until it laid at his feet so he could then shift his attention to barbecuing at least 5 of the bricks and eating them for dinner. Thankfully, it’s treatable and they’ve caught it an early stage so he should come out of this whole ordeal.

Also, to give you an idea of how unfazed he was by this news, I’ll recall the conversation’s high point.

Me: Man, this news sucks, dude.
Him: Yeah, mate. But, I finished Infamous 2.

That’s right – cancer news… Straight onto news about how he completed  a video game. That’s why I love the guy.

Whenever I get news such as this, anything ever particularly related to life potentially ceasing to be, my nesting instinct kicks in and I feel like the only way I’m going to overcome said instinct is by going out and impregnating five random women in the hope that one of them will choose to start a life with me, buy a house and all that unbelievably grown-up stuff.

Thankfully, this feeling only lasts about 5 minutes.

So, a terrorist attack and cancer news. Great start to the week, right? It also made me significantly less tolerant of people and their daily understanding of what a ‘problem’ actually is.

I’m going to cut this entry off here, because I want to post something before heading to bed. But by tomorrow night, the second part of this entry shall be written – covering highlights such as…

– Process servers rocking up on my doorstep
– Pets with broken legs and the ensuing chaos
– Lecturers that are totally crushing on me
– Peak-hour traffic
– Movies I watched this week
– Magic, excitement and wonder at the prospect of filling out forms!
– Taking Blogostino to the next level  (Empathic enough, no?)

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