Monday, May 02, 2011

Ding-Dong! Munchkins Celebrate

"I've never wished a man dead, but I have read some obituaries with great pleasure." - Mark Twain
"Ding-dong! The Witch is Dead!" chant the little people of Oz, reveling in the death of the wicked asshat, Usama bin-Laden. At this point, almost ten years after the 9/11 attacks, that's how it looks - only little people from a little land would take such joy in the demise of a depraved paper tiger. At least his death has succeeded in helping the U.S. get its war back on and in revealing a carny tribalism at the festering heart of the American project.

Like the Wizard of Oz, bin-Laden was an illusion, a spectacle designed to simplify the genuine tragedy of 9/11. His death now serves to distract a nation from its decline and ramp up Obama's 2012 re-election campaign. It's no surprise that within only a few hours of bin-Laden's death, the focus turned to Obama's poll numbers.

"I thoroughly disapprove of duels. If a man should challenge me, I would take him kindly and forgivingly by the hand and lead him to a quiet retired spot and kill him."
Like Mark Twain, I too take pleasure in the death of a bad man, especially one who started the fight. But the pleasure isn't ostentatious or designed as a spectacle for public consumption - it's a somber and private one to be experienced away from the herd.

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