Saturday, November 14, 2015

Autumn, revisited


Back in Kalmar for a couple of days. More than 1.5 years have passed since my last visit which is longer than I ever been away. Living in the High North, coming back down here meant reliving autumn again with yellow trees and temperatures well above ten degrees.

On Sunday night, Eddie and I are flying back to Umeå for more of the same crazy rush.

That was as far as I got with my blog post as I still had to take a picture. Yet, today, waking up shortly before 5 am and reading news on my phone, all that suddenly felt irrelevant. More than 120 people are dead in a new terror attack and we are in for another cycle of violence, fear and repressive politics. As before, I am equally frightened by the political reaction as by the terror itself. There will always be insane people doing heinous acts, the important question is rather who we want to become by our efforts to stop them. Already the veneer of civilization was getting strikingly thin. In Denmark the government just suggested that the police should search asylum seekers for any valuables that they may be carrying and confiscate them I order to pay for the costs of migration. Borders are again coming up across Europe and in Sweden refugee centres are torched by right-wing extremists. While it is still too early to say anything about the motives of the Paris attack, it is clear that the long shadow of the Algerian war is still very much with us. Ultimately, I remain confident that democracy will prevail but the road we are on right now is not a good one.

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