Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Celebrating bin Laden's death

A flashy animated banner just asked me how I'm celebrating Osama bin Laden's death. Not if. Not whether I think it's something that ought to be celebrated. Just how.

Because somehow the things we view as worthy of celebrating have no reflection on who we are and what our values are, I guess. I know I've discussed this here before, but all this gets me thinking again about the complicated relationship between justice and civilization and how, when it comes right down to it, our actions tell the whole story about what kind of people we are. And you can argue until you're blue in the face about how we're a civilized nation, deeply invested in freedom and human rights and democracy, but this champagne-fueled dance on the grave of anyone - even a murderous, brutal man - tells me all I need to know about who we are. And it ain't pretty. A barbarous response to a tragic series of events, topped off with a heaping portion of bad faith. Somehow it's not quite the America of my dreams...


  1. Anonymous5/04/2011

    News coverage of this has been so depressing to me.

  2. Stacey5/04/2011

    Well said!

  3. The many loud demands for the photographs are equally disturbing.

  4. Calling it a "barbarous" response seems kind of extreme.

  5. Does it?

    Is it a "civilized" response?

    Is it consistent with the values we claim to have concerning the alleged value of human life, for instance?

  6. AssMan5/04/2011

    Are you disturbed by that Will? Were you disturbed by the release of the Abu Graib photos? What's the difference?

  7. Anonymous5/06/2011

    Releasing the Abu Ghraib was not a celebration of what happened it was an acknowledgement of what happened.