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In today’s installment of my Oslo Journal, I mention a young woman from South Africa, Busi Kheswa. She is a lesbian activist, and she told the assembly in Oslo about the horrors lesbians endure in her home country, the “rainbow nation.” This is not something much discussed, in the world press. But, shortly after hearing Kheswa speak, I noticed a report from the Associated Press, here. Its heading: “South African lesbians targeted in rapes, slayings.” Its opening paragraph: “They found Noxolo Nogwaza’s body in a drainage ditch choked with trash and high reeds. The lesbian activist had been repeatedly stabbed with broken glass, and beaten so severely with chunks of concrete that her teeth had been knocked out.”

Yeah, that’ll do. That seizes the attention.

Also in today’s installment, I mention a Norwegian novelist, Elin Brodin, who felt very strongly about the bin Laden hit — and about bin Laden himself. He was a “brave” man, she said, an “idealist” who “put his life in danger for what he believed in.” As I remark in my journal, I always thought bin Laden’s specialty was putting other people’s lives in danger. Brodin also said that bin Laden “spoke up against Rome.” You know Rome, don’t you? All those people who jumped from the top of the World Trade Center: “Rome.” He was really speaking up against them, boy.

Before last week, I thought that Jostein Gaarder, one of the most Israel-hating people in Europe, including in the more desperate parts of Paris and Rotterdam, was the most offensive novelist in Norway. But then I found Elin Brodin.

Is this the cheeriest Corner item ever, or what?



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