Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Who shot who in the what now?

So, Osama is dead and people are loving it, eh? That’s okay, I guess. I mean, it’s very, very strange to cheer at someone’s death. It’s a little bit ghoulish. Now, sure, there’s no doubt about the fact that this dude used extremely shitty tools (religion, poverty and fear) to convince a bunch of dummies to do extremely evil things, and he did so as the wealthy son of one of the richest men that’s ever lived, thereby really operating somewhat above the risks and the muddy huts and, it turns out, even the caves in the Pakistan mountain ranges while his lackeys starved and slept in the sand. He killed tons of people and he expressed no remorse about it. It could, in fact, be argued that Osama is responsible for the civilian casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan (I am not arguing this, just saying that if you’re looking to heap blame on someone, this is a line of argument that you could pursue with some degree of success depending on your level of righteousness and your eloquence). But I mean, at the end of the day, rational people are cheering and partying because someone died. That’s a little weird.

Now, let’s make no mistake. I get it. I’m not suggesting that I’m some pussy who believes that no one should be executed under any circumstances or anything like that. I mean, I’ve got a family and revenge would enter very strongly into my emotional vocabulary incredibly quickly were anyone to ever harm them. I don’t think anyone made the wrong move by finding Osama and killing him. That’s a thing that kind of has to be done, but the glee is what kind of astounds me.

To use the example of someone harming someone in my family. I would probably be interested in aggressively pursuing a situation where the said perpetrator would end up dead, were that through the justice system or just through myself tracking them down. I would assume that I wouldn’t rest until that person or I was dead. BUT, I wouldn’t take any joy in their death. It may be satisfying, but I suspect that it probably wouldn’t. It’s just another death. It doesn’t change anything. It wouldn’t fix whatever they had undone around me, and it seems that in the face of crushing grief, that’s kind of the only way that it could turn around to happiness.

And as I consider this, I truly believe it to be true. There’s no amount of killing that somehow prolapses killing and makes it not killing, and there’s nothing ‘fun’ (which is the general feeling that needs to be present in me to become happy and feel like partying) about killing someone.

Am I glad he’s dead? I guess, yeah. Totally. But REALLY, I wish that circumstances were really different and I had no idea who he was because instead of being an international murderer he was just the kind of wealthy playboy that fucked supermodels and wore gold tee shirts. I feel no sense of joy that some guy got shot and dumped in the sea. I understand the desire people have to see his corpse. I think that’s acceptable. I really, truly do. That’s a different than being filled with glee when confronted with the fact that he’s dead.

I mean, I guess I’m not articulating myself too well. I’m not trying to hate on or shame anyone for however they deal with this, one of the biggest news stories that we’ll ever live through, and the images of people in the middle east celebrating after the twin towers came down were disturbing and lots of people want to retaliate in kind and I guess I understand that. But to me, and again, I’m not trying to tell anyone what to do or think, joy seems like a weird response. It’s like if someone grabbed your dick and it made you hungry. It’s fine, I guess, but that would never be my reaction and even if I watched a thousand dudes get their dicks grabbed and then suddenly run over to a thousand delis and house a thousand reubens, I’d be no closer to thinking that dick stimulation was someday gonna make me hungry. Even if the hand grabbing my dick was attached to someone awesome and the reubens looked great (and I LOVE reubens and dong grabs) I’d remain unsure of how the two things were connected.

I don’t know man. Maybe I’m crazy. I’ve got a bit of a cold, so maybe I’ll pick up the party when I get rid of this sore throat. I kind of doubt it though. Tell you what, I COULD go for a reuben, since we’re talking about satisfaction.

25 comments:

ThatKid said...

Despite the trouble articulating the ideas, I agree with what you're saying. A sense of closure is something that's appropriate in this situation- much as you'd feel closure after getting revenge on your family's killer. But throwing parties and get absurdly drunk cause someone died is weird to me. I'm all for parties, and being absurdly drunk, but not for those reasons.

Jeffrey said...

i was actually trying to write about this in my zine today but i felt real weird and was conscious that i might be uh, not expressing myself right. i didn't say anything to anyone about this really except my friend who straight up said first "this whole celebrating this thing is bullshit," basically because i was afraid people might think i sympathize with osama. i don't, it's just a really tough thing. the celebrating is weird.

Neilchair said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
peter said...

i feel the same way about this whole thing and i had a hard time putting into words how i felt, but you did a really good job. good read.

Neilchair said...

I saw an interview this morning with a guy who's daughter was killed in one of the towers (I think in a tower, I arrived halfway through) and I thought he had an interesting point when he said essentially that he felt the killing of Osama was (from his perspective) likely to offer more closure to those who didn't lose someone in the attack than for those who did.

So yeah, I don't know if that contributes to the dialogue or not but I thought it was an interesting idea. I'll also say that as weird as you think it is to see people celebrating, I feel like it's even weirder to watch Canadians losing their shit over it. I guess we lost people, too (hence the interview I saw), so I don't know.

I think I almost (almost) enjoy these less-dick-oriented posts more than the others. Luckily, the old theme appeared at the end.

Good one, man.

Hamilton Martin said...

I think we should strive to be better than the people we call our enemies. After the towers fell and extremist muslims the world over were celebrating in the streets, the general consensus in america was "oh my god, those animals! how could they celebrate such a thing!" and now those same people are massing in times square to celebrate Bin Laden's death, shooting off fireworks and pretty much rejoicing in the death of other people. It doesn't just seem hypocritical, it is hypocritical. It makes you no better than your ideological counterparts. its actually pretty sad

FranklinStein said...

Ok, Bruce Wayne...

Drunken Acorn said...

I had the same conversation with my Mom about the celebrating, she said I was just being "Liberal" whatever that meant.

A strange coincidence with me and 9/11, I slept through it. I didn't wake up till like two in the afternoon that day and missed the whole thing live. Sunday I slept through the whole thing, didn't even know Bin Laden was dead till the next morning. I feel like I missed out of everything.

Sean said...

maybe one take home message everyone can get out of all this is that at the end of the day, we're all human...




(except for those aliens hidden amongst us...)

dustyfloors said...

I actually was just getting my hair cut (yes, it does look great) and the woman cutting it was beaming when she brought up Osama being dead. I kinda gave her a nod and changed the subject after she was going on and on and on about it. It seems weird that people really do get all geeked up over this...
It is hard to explain because I don't think they're bad people but I do find it odd....

Look at what I did. I replied inarticulately to a post you made that you felt might be inarticulate. Awesome.

Trusty Chords said...

I agree with what you're saying and I feel the same way....and, I know that it wasn't any statement of your political doctrine or anything like that but merely something mentioned in passing, but I don't even think it makes me a pussy for being slightly angered with people's response to his death. When I saw the headline on Sunday night, I had no idea it would be such a big deal: I just thought, "Oh, Osama's dead."

I'm a Ghandi supporter and I believe that it's somewhat insane to call someone like that (who would tell those that harm his people: "regardless of what you do to me, you are my brother and I love you" [which is a thousand times more badass than any sort of tough-guy-exacting-revenge bullshit]) a pussy. But it's not even really that that bothers me so much (although, to a certain degree, it certainly does: hate and violence only breeds hate and violence) but instead that people are so celebratory about it because: a) in the grand scheme of things, it really doesn't mean shit for the war on terrorism (although I understand that he was a figurehead and thus there is a metaphorical sense of victory in that) and b) even though I'm not really unsupportive of his being killed (though I like to talk about Ghandi and his ideals, in all honesty, I would certainly hate and want dead anyone that harmed my loved ones), I think it's incredibly shitty that people are considering this such a wonderful testament to hope and victory.

A friend of mine posted as her facebook status: "and this is when I say I'm extremely proud to be an American." And that's just shitty: the height of being an American is the death of another human being (regardless of how much of an asshole that person may be). Shouldn't it be something positive and empowering: like fighting poverty, curing the sick, etc? I mean, I don't know, it doesn't have to be that sweeping: it could be something really simple; but it just seems like we should be proud of giving lives, not taking them. But that's just my two cents...

Owner Operator said...

some dude i know had this as his facebook status thingo and it pretty much sums up how i feel... I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.

solarsonar said...

I'm glad that there are some reasonable people in your country. It's all a bit 'America! Fuck yeah!', right?

Dissent said...

Agreed.

Kevin Burnett said...

@owner - the first part of that quote is from MLK, Jr. I believe. I dig it.

Felix said...

Sorry, this is kind of irrelevant but is there such thing as "under-age milking"? Like a law restrction against milking calves?
And something relevant, I think that celebrating for Osama's death is pointless. They knew where he was for years now, and they killed him now. hip hip hooray. it took them some wars and even more dead soldiers plus casualties to kill one man. Let's celebrate

Nico said...

@solarsonar: EXACTLY what I said to a friend about the whole story.

For some reason I always get very uncomfortable when I see Americans act like that. (no offense to the majority here)

Josh said...

http://www.salon.com/news/politics/war_room/2011/05/02/osama_and_chants_of_usa

I think the author of this piece wraps up what you're trying to say a little more succinctly and eloquently BK, and I wholeheartedly agree.

Most relevant section: ...our reaction to the news last night should be the kind often exhibited by victims’ families at a perpetrator’s lethal injection -- a reaction typically marked by both muted relief but also by sadness over the fact that the perpetrators’ innocent victims are gone forever, the fact that the perpetrator's death cannot change the past, and the fact that our world continues to produce such monstrous perpetrators in the first place.

Owner Operator said...

@kevin
i have since read that hte second bit is a mlkjr quote... the first bit is just some hippy teachers thoughts on the thing...

also, word verification is "thersin"
there sin everywhere man...

jbody said...

jeez,the feigned bemusement amongst the left leaning over what was always obviously going to be the reaction of a large group of um..mericans when the murder of bin laden was carried out strikes me as possibly even more intellectually dishonest and obnoxious than the "patriotism patrollin" of the right post 9/11

It's A-Me, Martucci said...

Ohh goodness imagine how worked up 'matt ramone' and the 'org patrol' must be over all these 'merican hillbiscuits a-hootin' n' a-hollerin' over all this ben lodin bizniss! They juss cannot BELIEVE all that hootin n a hollerin! They can' even begin to COMPREHEND how a reaction like this would come ab---

It's A-Me, Martucci said...

hypothetical m. ramone facebook status: 'It's times such as these (siiIiiigh~*) when I'm outright ASHAMED to be a U.S. citizen. Are we no better than beasts??'

It's A-Me, Martucci said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
It's A-Me, Martucci said...

"Preachy As Fuck" - get on it, up n coming unnamed shitty band!

helen k said...

it was pretty disappointing to see my facebook feed and realize a lot of my fb friends are the americans the rest of the world expect them to be. seeing everyone celebrate his death like a sporting event was animalistic, it was bizarre.

then again, finding out through fb was pretty dumb too. i found out about 9/11 over the radio, and osama's death through the a social networking site. things have changed a bit.

i personally don't think his death changes anything. i think this would have been effective in the war against terrorism within a year after 9/11 happened, but now i think it might have just made him a martyr.