When word of the two attacks carried out by Anders Behring Breivik came from Oslo on Friday, then on through Saturday, my first thoughts were, “Another Euro-loony with a gun. Wonder how long it’ll be before they announce he liked KMFDM?” [Apparently the favoured soundtrack for psychos. See also Pekka-Eric Auvinen, who shot eight people in Finland, and originator Columbine killer Eric Harris] But the more that came out about Breivik, the more it seems that he was not a psychopath with a large collection of guns. Or, at least, not just a psychopath with a large collection of guns. Then details of the staggering death toll came out: eight in the Oslo bomb blast, and at least 68 in the mass-shooting at Utøya.
Really, the only thing I could think was: “Well done!”
I’d better clarify that last statement damn quick, before the hate-mail arrives. It comes from Eddie Izzard’s Dressed to Kill DVD, where he says, “You know, we think if somebody kills someone, that’s murder, you go to prison. You kill 10 people, you go to Texas, they hit you with a brick, that’s what they do. 20 people, you go to a hospital, they look through a small window at you forever. And over that, we can’t deal with it, you know? Someone’s killed  people. We’re almost going, “Well done! You killed  people? You must get up very early in the morning. I can’t even get down the gym!”
Now, Izzard was actually speaking about Pol Pot – and the number in question was orders of magnitude higher – but the principal is the same. We just don’t have a frame of reference for this shit. 76 people! A new record! Er, woo-hoo? I confess to a vague sense of…well, I hesitate to use the word “disappointment”, when the number of deaths were revised down from nearly a hundred. But, as I said, the brain just can’t process this kind of thing, though I can only imagine how the conspiracy forums were set ablaze after they heard he was an avid Freemason. And as Mel Gibson’s character said in Conspiracy Theory: Serial killers only have two names. Ever notice that? But lone assassins always have three. John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, Mark David Chapman…” Add Anders Behring Breivik to the list.
There are a few other things about Breivik that make him stand out, and it’s easily seen if you look at his picture. For contrast, let’s have a little identity parade. We’ll put Breivik alongside two of Arizona’s most ill-renowned characters: Jared Laughner, who gunned down six people, and seriously injured a state Congresswoman at a Tucson supermarket in January, and Dale Hausner, one of the Phoenix ‘Serial Shooters,’ who is currently on death row for his involvement in eight murders [I actually knew Hausner, but I’ll save that story for another day].
One of these things is not like the others, folks. Let’s just say, only one of the three mass murderers above, is potentially going to be mistaken for a member of Kraftwerk. And only one of them is capable of writing a 1,500-page manifesto detailing the philosophy behind his action, and how they were carried out, in a non-native language. It even has a morbid sense of humour, when describing how he applied for legal firearms permit: “On the application form I stated: “hunting deer”. It would have been tempting to just write the truth; “executing category A and B cultural Marxists/multiculturalist traitors” just to see their reaction.” Hohoho. Yep: you can tell the guy was a fan of Dexter.
Another point that makes this guy stand out, is that he didn’t turn the gun on himself when captured. Instead, he surrendered to police within two minutes of their arrival on the island, even though he had plenty of ammunition left. That goes against the standard operational practice manual for spree killers: doesn’t Breivik know, you’re supposed to turn the gun on yourself, or at least go for suicide by cop – indeed, the death may have been the purpose all along. Goddamn Norwegians, doing things their own way since Eric the Red. Sheesh.
But I suspect Breivik is only getting started here. His demands for an open hearing were denied, but that can only happen for so long, especially in an open country like Norway. [One benefit of a totalitarian dictatorship, is that potentially troublesome people like him, can simply be disappeared – not necessarily a bad thing…] Instead, this has all the potential to become a very embarrassing show trial – with Breivik putting the state on trial, as much as the other way around. Whatever you can say about Breivik – and “he’s a psychotic lunatic who should simply be dropped into the nearest fjord,” would be a good start – he seems unquestionably to be intelligent. Dumb people don’t spend nine years planning an operation like this.
It should make for interesting viewing.