The Watering Hole: April 27 — Norway sings of hope and togetherness, in the face of murderous hate

On April 26, 2012, 40,000 Norwegian people came together to sing a beloved children’s song Barn av regnbuen (Children of the Rainbow), which is a translation of Pete Seeger’s song, My Rainbow Race.  They did this in response to the claim by horrific mass-murderer, Anders Behring Breivik, that the song indoctrinated the children of Norway — to love and accept everyone via multiculturalism.  I won’t try to make sense of the diseased brain of Brevik.

The song, which promotes and hails multiculturalism, was performed by [Lillebjørn] Nilsen and a crowd of more than 40,000 people in Youngstorget in Oslo, on April 26, 2012, as part of a protest march against the actions of Anders Behring Breivik after the July 22 attacks in 2011. The performance was arranged as a Facebook event by two volunteers after Breivik claimed, during his trial, that the song was being used to “brainwash” Norwegian children. The song was thus performed a few days later, in the midst of the ongoing trial, followed by a march up to the site of the trial, where the crowd laid down flowers.

They came together, not in hate or to spite Brevik, but to take back their much-beloved song. A mass murderer would not be allowed to define the intent of the song, nor would he be allowed to turn them into fearful, distrustful people.

The United States understood this in the days following September 11, 2001. Then the hate-mongerers and corporate profit machine decided that there was more money in making and keeping the people scared out of their wits. So many of us, beaten down by years and years of joblessness and fear generated by the seemingly endless economic downturn, fell for the scape-goating tactics of the hate merchants, and our society continues to suffer to this day.

As a people, Americans need to put aside our fear, hate, and distrust, in order to fight back against the profit-driven machine that is destroying us. We have never before been so divided as a nation, and I don’t care what they say on Fox (hate-mongering corporate profit machine) or any other corporate-owned media says, President Obama is not the one dividing us.

Ben Franklin said it best, although in a different context: “We must hang together, gentlemen…else, we shall most assuredly hang separately.”

I am sick of the death spiral of this country, and I want to stop it.  We — all of us together — need to take this country back from the ruling class.  How can we do it?

Shall we sing?  What song would bring us together as a nation?

PS:  I just saw that Rachel Maddow covered this on her show last night!  Best thing in the world!

This is our daily open thread — TGIF!

71 thoughts on “The Watering Hole: April 27 — Norway sings of hope and togetherness, in the face of murderous hate

  1. The lapse of time, the ruthless hand of ignorance, and the devastations of war, have laid waste and destroyed many valuable monuments of antiquity, on which the utmost exertions of human genius have been employed….

    There is sad irony in the statement above if anyone has studied Breiviks past.

  2. If Breivik was an American, he’d be running for office as a Republican … and would be a very popular candidate amongst the uneducated masses (apparently somewhere between 40 and 50 percent of all registered voters). If he lived in Arizona, he’d probably be able to out-primary even Russell Pearce.

    It’s been hammering me lately, my emergent loathing of politics. I guess it’s the rampant stupidity fueled by irrational fears and hatreds that get to me more than anything, all the stuff that ‘instructs’ “Conservatism” everywhere (viz Breivik, e.g.). It’s difficult to ignore, true enough, but still, the constant barrage of idiocy tends to force one’s hand! Me, I’ve been walking a lot, listening to the birds, watching the emergence of fresh intelligence (the new crop of goslings at the lake), plus working diligently to restore our three bicycles to their former glory (esp. my 20 year-old Roadie, the one that I put some 10,000 miles on way back in the early to mid-90s). They all look and act almost like they’re new, finally, even though the “young” mtn. bikes date back to 1999! Looking forward to learning how to ride again, and goddamned determined to do just that!

    Interesting, I’ve noticed, that cleaning an old bike chain and lubing it with melted paraffin is infinitely more interesting than watching Mitt Romney try to speak (and invariably flop). Suffice to say there is absolutely no comparison between Mitt Romney and a well-lubed bike chain … both might hang equally well on a hook, but the chain has panache! Oh, and point of information as part of my research of what to do if the fucker should somehow win the White House: an hour ago it was partly cloudy and 79 degrees in both Rarotonga and Papeete in the south Pacific. 😀

  3. Well for songs to sing to bring the country back together, have to say I have my doubts that one can be found – reading the vileness poured out to the hockey player the other night, the continuing hate of a man for no other reason than the colour of his skin, or his orientation or his outlook on how government should be chartered.

    Listened to NPR coming in and the Republican approach to the student loan rate issue. John Boner (R-mysogynist asshole) now that he has lost the publicity fight to do nothing and f*** students over, now wants to raid a ACA ‘slush fund’ (his words). Nancy Pelosi was also quoted (in a rare news appearance – how often do you hear the media asking for the opinion of the most powerful woman in Congress – so-called-librul-media). And Nancy laid her facts on the table to refute Boner’s jerk-off of a comment: (paraphrased) “The slush fund as he calls it is for women’s preventative care, mammograms and so on. the Republicans want to solve the student loan issue with an assault on women’s health (again).”

    So I wondered what I would do with three wishes this morning driving in listening to that:

    First wish: John Boner wakes up tomorrow morning with a pair of boobs, commensurate with his age and commitment to his own personal health to date. And he wakes up with a uterus, with all the trimmings.

    Second wish: He gets his first period cramps as he shuffles off to the bathroom, grumbling that he left the seat up when he peed before going to bed last night.

    Third wish: Anyone got one?

    • I would wish that all the money, private and corporate, and regardless of politics, that is stashed in overseas accounts and tax havens would be confiscated and placed into programs to help the needy in this country.

    • gummitcha and cagey – to remain steadfastly altruistic and not to succumb to the temptation of using your thrid wish to torment Boner in my idle commuting time fantasy today is admirable. I could not have done it as you can see.

      Third wish: Mr Boner, your transvaginal ultrasound is set for 9am this morning and per your religious beliefs we will not be using any local anasthetic – our car is waiting outside for you and our orderlies have been instructed to ‘gently persuade’ you to come even though I know you are having second thoughts right now.

      • O.k.. Fair enough, my hard-shelled friend.

        I would wish that all republicans (male and female) be turned into abused, poor, minority women (some being illegal immigrants and native Americans) for an indterminate length of time, so as to understand what that actually means. I propose an indeterminate amount of time, as a known deadline can make any horrible situation a little more bearable: they must wonder, as these victims do, if it will be their lot for the rest of their lives. All in direct proportion to their stances against such victims (I love ironic comeuppance).

  4. Sadly, Zooey, it may take our own holocaust before ‘Merikans wake up. But, even as I write this, I am cognizant of the fact that in Europe, there is a gathering voice of Neo-Nazism and discrimination/racial hatred.

    One logical conclusion is that the All-Knowing, All-Loving God created us hard-wired to hate each other based on superficial differences. He then Gave us multiple ways of worshiping Him, each 100% the Only True and Righteous Path, each Called By God to exterminate the other, heretic beliefs by killing all their followers. In other words, this All-Knowing, All-Loving God is one sadistic mutherfugger.

    • Occam’s Razor: Er how about there is no Sky Fairy?

      Religious Fanatic: God moves in mysterious ways, his wonders to perform – stop insulting God by questioning his motives or means, what are you, an atheist? Come over here and let’s save your soul you by sticking a red hot piece of metal up your jacksy.

  5. I saw this on Rachel Maddow’s show last night. It was brilliant. I wish we could all come together more as well. But you know who I blame the most for the divisiveness? Newt Gingrich.

    Before 1994, although both sides had their differences, they could come together in unity.

    Ever since Newt was speaker and Tom, “the hammer” Delay were members of Congress, the template was changed and we haven’t been able to go back. In fact the Tea Party is just an extension of the ugliness of the 1994 Republican Congressional majority.

    • Thanks Ebb,

      Hey, is the “Mothball Fleet” still rotting away?
      They could hyave used the steel from those ships to build a new Bay Bridge instead of outsourcing to China.

  6. There is just something about the surname.

    New Mexico Politician Frolicked In Philippines Sex District

    You probably have never heard of New Mexico politician Michael Wiener. Neither had a Seattle photographer when he ran into him one night last month in a Philippines sex district.

  7. Nice post Z, your expression of our dilemma was succinct and spot on. As usual.
    If we continue down this divisve path, only bad things will ensue.

  8. We are becoming a culture of selfishness without empathy (I suppose those two go together). “Success” is measured solely by material wealth by too many people, a narrative that is desireable by plutocrats and social Darwinists. Immigrants are demonized for wanting to come to this country becuase people, selfishly, fear that somehow they are taking “stuff” from “me” (that is the core of the anti-immigrant stances). Funny that, as it was at some point in our history a matter of our national pride that people from other countries wanted to come here because it was “better” here than wherever they came from. That whole “Bring me your huddled masses” stuff has apparently been chucked out of the window.

    And if success and personal value is measured by one’s bank account, how poorly such people must think of the likes of Mother Theresa.

    I think that we will not recover unless this glamorizing of selfishness is overcome. People need to learn (or re-learn) to empathize with other, often less fortunate, people. You cannot care about someone that you refuse to empathize with.

  9. “When despair for the world grows in me and I wake in the night at the least sound in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be, I go and lie down where the wood drake rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds. I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief. I come into the presence of still water. And I feel above me the day-blind stars waiting with their light. For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.”
    ― Wendell Berry, Sex, Economy, Freedom, and Community

  10. I didn’t understand why people piss themselves about “multiculturalism” as an existential threat, but now I understand. It’s all about scary pagan rituals.

    Yesterday on the American Family Association’s radio show Today’s Issues, Mission America president Linda Harvey told listeners that public schools promote “pagan ideas” and “occult spirituality” to children. Harvey, who last month in an interview with Truth in Action Ministries said that the Harry Potter series was leading children into the occult, now blames schools’ “multiculturalism and diversity” curriculum, particularly lessons that include making dreamcatchers, for pushing children into “occult spirituality.”

  11. Oh, now there’s a War on Catholicism — even in Ireland, FFS.

  12. According to the GOP:
    There is NO:
    War on women
    War on unions
    War on public education
    War on student loans
    War on post offices
    War on minorities
    War on the poor
    War on the LGBT community
    (did I forget any?)

    but there IS a War on Christianity
    and according to Fox News: A war on Christmas.

  13. Wisconsin gets to cheer that we are #1 in something. Wi lost more jobs than any other state last year. Run with that one, Snotty.

  14. This pretty much sums it up for me about RW Catholicism. The last paragraph of a story about non-Catholics “interfering” with the Holy Church:

    These are only two recent cases where non-Catholics are brazenly interfering with Catholic prerogatives. Every institution, secular as well as religious, has house rules. No one is forced to stay. But it is also true that no one has a right to mutiny.

    Bullshit, Donohue. Tell that to the Founding Fathers, you anti-American douche.

  15. Anyone else (Besides me) think that Mitt Romney looks like the Buddy Christ (without the beard) from the movie Dogma? 😉

  16. I was wondering if someone could help me find something that I know people here have referenced before. A friend and co-worker of mine has a mother who’s a bigtime fan of Fox News Channel, and she thinks all our national debt is the fault of Obama. Can someone (anyone) provide me with a link to a graph that shows how much the debt increased under Democratic and Republican presidents? I’ve seen them before, and it invariably goes way up when the GOP is in the WH and down when the DNC is. Thank you very much. I’ll check back later.

    P.S. I need to be able to save the image so I can put it in an e-mail to her. Then she can just forward it to her mother without having to have her mother click on something else. Thanks.

  17. Today is the one year anniversary of the tornado outbreak. About this time a year ago, I had lost power, but didn’t know it would be for four days.

  18. Danica struggled with a loose racecar all through the race at Richmond, and despite making up a lap about halfway through, finished 21st, two laps down. Fellow Lady in Racing Johanna Long finished one spot better in 20th. Danica’s teammate, Cole Whitt, was 19th, so I have to believe the team missed the setup for this one.

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