Black Weekend

Well what a horrible weekend that was, with the massacre in Norway, the Hangzhou train crash and Amy Winehouse being found dead at 27. The bad news just kept coming and each was a complete shock (yes, I know Winehouse has drug and alcohol issues, but it was still a shock when it came).

The Norway massacre was interesting because everyone immediately talked about al-Qaeda and muslims when it turns out it was carried out by someone on the opposite side of the fence, someone who from the sounds of it, hated muslims. But what’s shocking is not really who was responsible, but how young so many of the victims were, and of course, the extremely high death toll, currently at around 90 people, gunned down by just one gunman.

Then we have the Hangzhou train crash which has got a lot of people up in arms about alleged poor safety of China’s railways and the very rampant corruption that has meant millions of RMB earmarked for investment in railways has gone in to the pockets of corrupt officials which could have cost lives. I don’t want to over-react or have a knee-jerk reaction to the events of Saturday night, but I have a genuine hesitation to travel by train despite being curious about the brand new high-speed link between Beijing and Shanghai. It’s counter-intuitive, but it feels like air travel is still safer, and I guess statistically, it is.

And that just leaves poor Amy Winehouse who was clearly immensely talented but also immensely troubled. I guess she’s at least now no longer in pain.

I hope next weekend proves to be uneventful.

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31 Responses to Black Weekend

  1. Heinrich says:

    The massacre in Norway is really a huge tragedy, the entire country is in deep sorrow. I was supposed to be in Oslo on that exact day, to get my passport back from the Chinese Embassy. (Fortunately) I had the trip postponed by a few days, going there tomorrow easy. It’s not going to be easy to look at all the rubble. What’s also terrible is the huge political aftermath this is going to have in Norway.

    On a positive side note I’m returning to SH in about 5 days and I will start my cat adoption process! Unless my better half objects. Which she probably will. Sigh.

  2. Rich says:

    Just like buses, bad news seems to come in threes.

    I really feel for the parents of the murdered children. I’d like to see the authorities release this murdering coward back onto that island to face the parents of those poor children and let them loose on him. He deserves nothing less than a long and painful death.

  3. WoAi says:

    @Heinrich – Oh gosh, I forgot, you’re from Norway, probably my only Norweigan reader. Do let us know how things are over there. The whole world feels for your country and what it’s going through.

    I have to laugh when you talk about your other half objecting. I thought it was always the girl who wanted the cat and the guy who objects. Good luck and if you need any help convincing her, let me know.

    @Rich – Spoken like a true parent. I agree 100%. What a fantastic way to deal with him. Put him back on the island with no weapon and hand out pick axes and baseball bats to any of the victims’ parents who show up and let the fun begin. Sadly, that won’t happen, but it makes me feel better just imagining it.

  4. Dingle says:

    Woai, good idea, sounds a lot like the plot from Battle Royal!

    This must be one of the dreadful killing sprees on record I should think, and in peaceful Norway of all places..

  5. Stimpy says:

    Rather than it sounding like the plot for Battle Royale, it is very similar to the plot for Sympathy for Lady Vengeance, by the guy who directed Old Boy.

    While it seems like the most natural of ideas in practise, I do believe in that quote- ‘an eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind’.

    I also find it very hard to have any sympathy for Amy Winehouse. Someone who has had more chances and access to the highest-standard of help availible. It was never going to end well, and it seems as though this is what she wanted.

  6. WoAi says:

    @Dingle – I read it is the most number of people killed by a single person in one killing spree. I guess they mean acting alone so obviously not including 911 for example.

    @Stimpy – I’m with you on the eye for an eye. I am against the death penalty without any reservation. I think we were just expressing our contempt for Anders Behring Breivik. For Amy Winehouse though, you’re view isn’t uncommon but for me it’s still tragic. She clearly had problems and I’m not convinced it was all her own doing or avoidable. Addiction for example is an illness.

  7. Stimpy says:

    Yes, indeed it is. But there are thousands of people battling that illness in London every day. And they don’t get the kind of care and help that Amy was given and could afford to pay for.

    Sure, she could sing. But its amazing how a talent like singing is seen to be so much more important than, I dunno, being a really good teacher. And therefore her loss is seen as tradegy for the country.

  8. WoAi says:

    @Stimpy – Hmmm, I don’t think anyone is suggesting teachers are less important than singers. Any teacher passing away is equally tragic, but it would be rare to know about it because there aren’t many celebrity teachers.

  9. wisemanofasia says:

    @Stimpy – good mention of Sympathy for Miss Vengeance – my favourite of the ‘revenge’ series! The suggested punishment does indeed sound like the end of the film.

    I would also like to say that I couldn’t give a fuck about Amy fucking Winehouse…now the idiots dead maybe, just MAYBE some young people will realise that while being a drugged up idiot for some reason gets you lots of attention it will ultimately kill you even if you have enough money to pay a lot of people to make you better. I can’t stand people yaking on about her talent either, she wasn’t that good an artist for god’s sake!

    So Woai I would say there were two tragedies this weekend the terrorist attack and the train crash. I don’t think Winehouse is even in the same category.

  10. WoAi says:

    @Wiseman – Great as always to get the Wiseman perspective. The world (and this blog) would be one he’ll of a boring place if everyone share the same opinion on everything. So whilst I disagree with your take on Amy (and clearly, many people share you view) I’ll just agree to disagree. As for talent, even the lenegary Tony Bennett has done a duet with her earlier this year. I would think he wouldn’t work with someone he didn’t think had talent in vast quantities.

  11. ys says:

    After all this sadness I was looking forward to seeing Caturday pic. Here it is ((

  12. WoAi says:

    @ys – I was too busy on Saturday and was going to do it on Sunday but realised “Cunday” sounded a bit rude. Sorry to disappoint.

  13. IC says:

    A Jap female reporter even laughed at Chinese train tragedy. To those who admire Japs, Japs only respect people who beat them like USA.

    Only way to get Japs respect is to send Chinese nuke like Yankee did.

  14. WoAi says:

    @IC – If it wasn’t so damn sad, it would be funny. One train stops. Another train runs straight in to the back of it. It’s like slapstick – the good old fashioned kind.

  15. CP says:

    @wiseman: I must admit, it was hard to feel too much about Amy Winehouse’s death compared to all the other stories at the weekend, but the loss of a young life is always sad. You do make a point about the poor example to others: there have been a few stories recently about untimely deaths of people who have idolised or been close to Pete Doherty which look as if they need more investigation.

    The Wenzhou train crash horrified me. It seems as if it was entirely avoidable: a full power failure on one train should never be able to lead to what happened. covers it well.

  16. CP says:

    @IC: why does someone ALWAYS have to drag Japan-China relations into it?

  17. ys says:

    excuse taken )) I wish you more time to relax this weekend ;)

  18. ys says:

    i thought Korea was the biggest enemy for Japan. Let’s better not get started on that one ((

  19. WoAi says:

    @CP – Brilliant link, thanks for that. Best quote from all of that:

    Wang Mengshu said that currently, due to the urgent situation of high speed rails, the automatic system hasn’t yet been realized in high speed trains, so driving still relies primarily on people

    So basically, because we’re in such a hurry to build a massive rail network as fast as possible, we haven’t yet had time to install an automatic stop system and currently we’re relying on the driver to stop the train if he sees something and hope it’s not too …. late!

    @ys – I think you have some pretty tough competition here in China. Many Chinese here are brainwashed in to thinking Japanese are evil, nasty people. I won’t go in to whether that’s true or not, but they DO know how to make trains safe!

  20. wisemanofasia says:

    @Woai – haha well I wasn’t expecting you (or many other people) to be quite as mean as me! It is sad when someone dies but it wasn’t like she wasn’t kind of asking for it!

    As to China – Japan I do have to say I like Japanese people and Japan is a truly amazing, well organised country. However, they do some things with the political sphere that I think are a little strange and I do understand why China gets annoyed at them for it. On the other hand China tends to go a little far in its reaction!

  21. Bittermelon says:

    I am stunned to find out several other musicians also died when they were 27. Strange coincidences.

  22. WoAi says:

    @Wiseman – I was reading Russell Brand’s excellently written tribute in the Guardian and the comments that follow are completely polarised with many comments and views IDENTICAL to yours, but the majority are from people who have first hand experience of addiction and its consequences, here’s an example:

    My father was a chronic alcoholic my entire life and died of its side effects last year after many years in and out of rehab and mental health institutions. Variously throughout the years i have oscilated wildly between believing he had a disease or not, now he is gone and i can see somewhat more ‘straight’ and assess his life a bit more objectively, i know he had a disease- some of things he did and put us and himself through i can not believe he would have done so through any form of choice. I completely agree that society’s attitude to addiction needs to change, particularly by those in hospitals and the police force, addicts are not your straight forward criminals or patients, there’s a whole lot more baggage that comes with them.

    Loads more like it if you’re interested. But one thing that’s clear is that addiction is a disease, a medical condition, just like depression. People don’t choose it!

  23. wisemanofasia says:

    Woai – a load of hippy nonsense! let’s all make up some excuses to justify people acting like idiots. We must UNDERSTAND them and their ‘plight’… blah blah blah! It’s called natural selection! End of comment!

  24. WoAi says:

    @Wiseman – Fair enough, although do you know many hippies addicted to crack cocaine? Do, you? Do you?

  25. wisemanofasia says:

    Haha…erm…all of them?

  26. Rich says:

    Apparently Rupert Murdoch was very touched by the some of the messages left on Amy Winehouses phone.

  27. WoAi says:

    @Rich – Nearly spat my tea out over my brand new MacBook Pro. Luckily I managed to turn my head at the last minute so it just went over Tommy instead. Phew! I do hope you checked to make sure Wendi Deng wasn’t standing close by when you wrote that comment!

  28. Heinrich says:

    Wooo finally back in SH. Gosh it’s hot here.

    Dropped by Oslo on monday this week. God that was one huge mess. Not really much more to say. Still trying to figure out what’s going on in this guys head.

    Now it’s time to start looking for a cat. We even got a new BBQ so if all goes wrong we can just go Chinese and eat it. We’re considering SCAA, do you have any other suggestions for places to look, WoAi?

  29. Heinrich says:

    Hmmm i thought would give strikethrough. So please read the barbarian cat eating sentence as if it were in strikethrough.


  30. WoAi says:

    @Heinrich – If Hui Hui causes any more damage in my apartment, she’ll be the first to go on your new BBQ. SCAA seems a good bet although I acquired my two from different sources, both unintentionally, though not regretfully.

    And as for Caturday, your wish is my command. Welcome back to the Shanghai furnace.

  31. Rich says:

    A bit naughty, but I couldn’t resist.

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