The Death of Osama, or: Birthers turn into Deathers

You’d think that the news was all around good, and self-evident.  The President of the United States, using good CIA intelligence, ordered one of America’s most elite strike teams, the Navy Seals, to raid the suspected compound of Osama Bin Laden (a.k.a. public enemy no. 1).  No Americans were injured, and the only instance of “collateral damage”, one of Osama’s wives, was killed because the bastard hid behind her.  On top of that, the military performed an Islamic burial on Osama at sea, fulfilling the Islamic requirement to bury the body as soon as possible.

Conservatives and liberals all have something to be happy about, besides the obvious fact that one of the most dangerous and elusive America-hating maniacs was taken out.  The conservatives got a decisive move from their President to finally “git’m” (and not just “smoke’m out”) using the full brawn, skill, and technological prowess of American military might.  Liberals got a low-damage, surgical-style operation that did not involve bombs (and the resulting ubiquitous bloody innocents on the news), plus the multicultural, religious sensitivity to give even our worst enemy a ceremony befitting his religious customs.

A slam dunk, right?

Of course not.  Not here, where everyone has their own spin on the story.  Some are saying it was an illegal assassination – a kind of instant death penalty imposed at the moment of capture; some say it was immoral – that he should have been captured and put on trial at all costs; some are even saying the burial was not up to (Islamic) snuff.

But for every somewhat reasonable, informed critical voice in our society, there are hundreds of uninformed, unreasonable ones.  So how will the ignorant, unabashed fringes react?

Forget Obama Birthers, here come the Osama Deathers.  As has become vividly clear in the last ten years, Americans in the political margins love a good conspiracy theory.

Since President Obama squashed the embarrassing Birther movement with one flash of the long-form, many of the obdurate anti-Obama crowd might be looking for some new, equally outlandish, paranoid story to tell themselves.  Deathers will weave themselves an elaborate tale of deception, government propaganda, and might possibly fit the marriage of William and Kate into the mix as well.

Because the body was buried so quickly and photos (as of yet) have not been released, Deathers will have a “reason” to tell themselves that Obama faked it.  Of course this will require ignoring all evidence to the contrary: the DNA match between Osama and his sister, one of Osama’s wives IDing the body, the fact that one of Osama’s daughters witnessed her father’s death, the intelligence goldmine discovered at the house, and all the holiday family update letters that the rest of the Bin Ladens will be missing every year from now on.

“Show us the birth cer… er, I mean the body!…er, at least the gruesome death photo!” will be the new cry of the ridiculous right.

Or maybe I’m wrong.  Maybe they won’t care so much about this one – perhaps I’m overestimating the level of general anti-government paranoia within the Birthers.

Maybe they were simply being racists after all.

May 2, 2011: A Justifiable Act of Violence

I found out about two unforgettable things today. (1) Osama Bin Laden is dead, and (2) Rush Limbaugh actually said something positive about Obama. Yesterday, I would have told you both things had the slimmest of chances of occurring. So much for intuition.

After hearing the news this morning, I’ve been glued to the internet, like most flag-waving Americans, trying to make sense of such an epic day. What does it mean? What should it mean? What will it mean?

(In case you missed it, here’s Obama’s address.)

I’m not sure, and I don’t even know if I’ll ever fully grasp the answers to those questions or fully comprehend how far the ripple of such an event will impact the future. I am certain, however, that I thought about the same thing most Americans did after they saw the bold lettering on today’s front page:  my generation’s Pearl Harbor, our very own Kennedy Assassination.

Pardon the crude and even morbid comparison, but it’s how we must encapsulate it, in blunt brutality and horror. It was as if all of us, the pure concept of America, had been violently raped in spirit. Our sense of peace and security had been shredded by a vicious, quick act, our notion of invulnerability was made very vulnerable, and in just the span of one morning, the world around us became a very terrifying, untrustworthy place. On that day, we didn’t want justice. That’s too soft of a word. We wanted blood by the righteous gallon, and we were frothing at the mouth for it.

We’re magnetically drawn back to that day because yesterday marks the end of what started on 9/11…well, sort of. It’s over in the sense that “justice has been served,” as Obama said, to Osama Bin Laden. Emotionally, we can lean back a little further in our chairs because our 10-year-old thirst for basic revenge has been quenched, but our guard, our defense, can’t take the same luxury. In terms of the great fight, we’ll never be finished. There will always be a second-in-command, and after them, another successor to a successor to a successor.

The other thing all of us are thinking about is who should claim this victory. Whom do we point at? Who’s to become an icon? Some say Obama, others say Bush. Perhaps it’s both, because after all, there’s enough cheer to go around.

But one thing is certain, the people we’ve called our heroes throughout this whole saga—specifically, those who aren’t around to gather any esteem—deserve it the most. This isn’t a day to be red or blue, this is a day to be red, white and blue. Yes, I know, that’s undeniably as corny as it gets, but it couldn’t be any truer.  So wave any flag you’ve got, for Obama, for Bush, for the 9/11 victims, for the heroic firefighters, for everybody, for yourself, for whomever, or maybe just because.

This feeling we have won’t last forever, just like it faded out in the months preceding 9/11, so grasp it in while you can. Not only is it a day to be patriotic, but it is the only day (hopefully) that you’ll feel sheer ecstasy over someone’s cruel end. That’s a strange sentiment—not felt, I imagine, since exactly 66 years ago—but then again it’s a justifiable act of violence and it’s rare.

Someday, we’ll look back on days like today, or days like yesterday…and we’ll just look back.

Me, Superman and the GOP

You know that stereotypical kid with a small blanket tied around his neck? The one where he’s trying to jump higher and higher on his bed? Yup, that was me. I’m a Superman fan.

Saying that publicly—whether it’s to a good friend or, even worse, to the World Wide Web—is awfully difficult. It’s embarrassing for a whole host of reasons, the biggest of which is that it’s just about as geeky as you can get (barring 8 or 10-sided die, of course). I probably shouldn’t write something  like this, and I suppose I could just close my eyes and rest my index finger on the backspace button until I’ve got a blank page again, but I’m not going to.  I feel like I at least owe the Man of Steel that much.

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10 Best Signs from Chicago’s Rally to Restore Sanity

Here’s my list of the 10 best signs from Chicago’s Rally to Restore Sanity. Like my picks? Despise them? Comment and let me know!

Also, special thanks to Nicholas Moroni for letting me post his pics!

Enjoy!

#1. Jews Against Frivolous Hitler Comparisons Sign

provided by Nicholas Moroni

This sign was clever, and it definitely made a point that should have been made MONTHS ago.  Great job!

 

#2. Michael Palin for President!

If this sign doesn’t make sense to you, please go and watch Monty Python’s Flying Circus. Shhhh, it’s going to be okay.

#3. I Want YOU to stop being AFRAID Sign

”]This sign pretty much nailed it on the head…that, and it had the most words.

#4. Freedom Sign

Come on, people!  Polluck takes time!  Plus, look at that sign!  It’s HA-YUGE!!

#5. ….

”]

Somehow, this was damn alright.

#6.  Don’t Tread on Me Sign

Yet another clever sign.

#7. Hillbillies and Hippies United

Love the syne!

#8. Fear is the Mind Killer Sign

Good job, and great point!

#9. Umpire Sign

[provided by Nicholas Moroni]

The way it should be.

#10.Agree to Disagree Sign

I put this sign on the bottom, not because it was poorly done (not true at all), but because it’s true…which makes me frown.  That’s all we’ve done for last two years…agree to disagree.

Enough Already with the Politically Biased Media

It's funny because it's true...which makes me cry.

Americans love a good bias.

I say that because there’s been all this ranting about a liberally biased media.  Naturally, I heard that on Fox News, because when I want to be afraid of the boogeyman again (which is apparently Barack HUSSEIN Obama), that’s where I head.

But after hearing so much about the liberal bias in media, I couldn’t help to investigate the matter for myself.  It sounded like a lot of fun…which is dreadful proof that I need to get out more.

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The Next Worst Thing

The circus has been in town for too long.

I’m talking about reality TV.  It’s been around for quite some time, actually since the beginning of television, but it was in a very primordial state until recently.  The first reality shows were mainly in game show format, like “The Newlywed Game” and “America’s Funniest Home Videos”, but they took  more of a documentary style—the form we know and somehow love— in the late 80’s and early 90’s.

The first modern reality TV shows that took flight in the ratings were “COPS” in 1989, followed by MTV’s “The Real World” series back in 1992.  Already, in those early stages, you can see the basic groundwork for modern reality TV taking shape: the crazier, the better.  And that’s just what happened.

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The Kids Aren’t Alright

 

The portrait of a true American.

 

Are we adults or are we just old children?

I ask because I’m beginning to weep for our older people.  You know what I’m talking about.  Just think back to when you were a kid.  Didn’t you think adults were on a higher plane than children? Of course you did, just like me, and I’ll prove it to you.   Whenever you had a question about something—and when you wanted the right answer—who advised you?  That’s right, you went to an adult.  And it only made sense to us kids because, after all, they had been around.  They received educations, had jobs, read the newspaper, drank coffee, and voted.  I won’t say we’ve been lied to, but at least we’ve been deceived.

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