hradzka: (plane)
[personal profile] hradzka
Anders Breivik, the Norwegian terrorist who killed 77 people in 2011, has gone on trial. The information that'll come out as the case is presented will be interesting, but at the moment I'm mildly horrified at the ineptitude of the press covering the event. Breivik is a lot of things, but opaque is not one of them; he believes in the virtues of clear communication, particularly as he's seeking to win people to his cause, and he plans his actions very carefully in order to help communicate his messages. Breivik is not a guy who wants to create mysteries and have them figured out. He is, as he described his occupation at the start of trial, a writer, and he follows a writer's maxim: tell 'em what you're going to tell 'em, tell 'em, tell 'em what you told 'em.

For reporters covering him, this is useful. Or it would be, if they bothered to use it.

Breivik, for example, offered a closed-fist, straight-armed salute at the beginning of his trial. Some reporters described this as a "right-wing salute." It is more accurate to state that this was the salute that Breivik specified in his manifesto for his self-designed movement. Ideally, he writes, it should be given with the hand wearing a white glove. He did not just think, "I'd better throw up a salute," as he was walking into court that morning. No. Look at him. The motherfucker *practiced.* He got his arm at a good height and angle. His posture is assured, confident. He threw up that salute in the mirror over and over again, preparing for this moment. He looks very good giving it, and deliberately so. He's going for iconic. The salute means something to him, and it's not hard for the press to explain what it actually means.

Another item of note: Breivik was notably devoid of emotion during the accounts of his actions and playing of victims' desperate phone calls for help, but when the court played the propaganda video he had uploaded to YouTube before his murder spree, Breivik started crying. The press was amazed by this, and found it strange and puzzling that he should be so moved by his own words. But if you'd read Breivik's manifesto, the explanation was obvious. It wasn't the words. It was the music. As he explains in his manifesto:

Embracing martyrdom is not something you suddenly decide to do, but it is a process that takes time and requires effort and self contemplation. This is a factor that a majority of resistance fighters ignore and is why a majority of novices become de-motivated after a certain period. They are not doing what is required of them due to lack of training, knowledge and eventually lose the will to fight due to lack of motivation. I do a mental check almost every day through meditation and philosophising. I simulate/meditate while I go for a walk, playing my Ipod in my neighbourhood. This consists of a daily 40 minute walk while at the same time philosophising ideologically/performing self indoctrination and the mental simulation of the operation while listening to motivational and inspiring music. I simulate various future scenarios relating to resistance efforts, confrontations with police, future interrogation scenarios, future court appearances, future media interviews etc. or I philosophise about certain articles in the book. This daily mental exercise or ritual keeps me fully motivated and charges my batteries. And I’m sure it can work for other people as well.

And so his manifesto contains a suggested iPod playlist. Guess what's on it?

The piece in question is Helene Bøksle's "The Dreaming Anew - Memories of Cimmeria" from the AGE OF CONAN soundtrack. In his manifesto, this is what Breivik wrote about it:

Imagine the following; at the end of your mission, when you have completed your primary objectives - imagine fighting for your life against a pursuing pack of system protectors (or as I like to call them: armed defenders of the multiculturalist system, also referred to as the police). You try to avoid confrontation but they eventually manage to surround you. You hear this song as you push forward to annihilate one of their flanks, head shotting two of your foes in bloody fervor trying to survive. This angelic voice sings to you from the heavens, strengthening your resolve in a hopeless battle. Your last desperate thrust kills another two of your enemies. But it isn’t enough as you are now completely surrounded; your time is now. This voice is all you hear as your light turns to darkness and you enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. This must surely be the most glorious way to claim the honour of martyrdom in battle.

Of *course* Breivik started crying. He's completely surrounded by armed defenders of the multiculturalist system, with no hope of freedom. His time is now. He has imagined this moment for years. He has fantasized about it, planned for it, rehearsed for it, and what happens? *His enemies start playing his martyrdom psyching-up music for him.*

I mean, Jesus fucking Christ, this is the biggest trial in Europe in years, and apparently the only person paying attention to it who has actually read the perpetrator's fucking manifesto is *me.*

Date: 2012-04-17 02:01 am (UTC)
jadey: greyscale a woman's face (ani difranco) eyes upward  (Default)
From: [personal profile] jadey
Most competency legislation I'm familiar with (UK, US, Canada, past and present) do not map exactly onto psychiatric or colloquial definitions of "insanity" - they're based on particular standards (specific ones vary) which generally relate to something along the lines of capacity to understand court proceedings and own actions. Same thing with "insanity" (or not criminally responsible) appraisals, which usually focus on one's capacity to understand the nature of one's action and appreciate their gravity/wrongness to a reasonable degree. Otherwise, competency speaks to one's capacity to stand trial, not one's state of mind at the time of the offence, so they differ in that respect, but both differ considerably from what most of us might think of as "insanity". It does not surprise me that he is being tried - from his writings and actions, he seems quite clear-headed with a rationale thought process behind his actions, even though I believe both his premises and his conclusions are deeply flawed and his actions morally reprehensible. People not competent to stand trial (or eligible for "insanity"/NCR pleas) are generally people so out of touch with *any* reality (presently and/or at the time of commission) they can't effectively be communicated with (severe psychosis, dementia, etc.).


hradzka: Cassidy, from Garth Ennis's PREACHER. (Default)

November 2014




The collected poems from my descent into madness year spent writing daily poems are now available from Lulu as the cheapest 330-page book they would let me make ($16.20). If that's too pricey, you can also get it from Lulu as a free download, or just click on the "a poem every day" tag to read them here. But if you did buy one, that'd be awesome.

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