Norway v. Somalia, theatre v. food

“Why do we care about 70 dead people in Norway when we have 10,000 starving in Somalia?”

This question has not once failed to absolutely infuriate me every single time I’ve heard it over the past few days. Constantly preceded by a professed desire to avoid preaching, this is an intellectually lazy and  embarrassingly awful way to highlight a crisis and I’m ashamed of the people who resort to using it. Tragedy in cold blood is not something you invoke to highlight your pet issue. Here, for the record, are some good reasons we should care:

  • The anti-Muslim sentiment professed by the attacker is directly tied to overwhelming rates of immigration from North and East Africa – which, of course, largely result from things like poor farming conditions and famines and greater social unrest than is present in Europe.
  • We typically know how to deal with people who plant bombs in industrialized nations; we still haven’t figured out how to tackle desperate hunger. This is not a question of allocating resources other than media attention. You can still tinker with the treatment regiment for the cancer patient while extracting a bullet from another.

On a less volatile note, this is my youtube video of the week (I clearly miss doing the announcements): a very snarky commentary on where to throw your extra cash.

Norway v. Somalia, theatre v. food