Monday, May 02, 2011

So Osama is dead. You may have heard about this. It's good that we finally got him after all these years -- until about 9PM last night I was pretty convinced dude was gonna die of old age or at least failed kidneys. But no, his time on the lam is over, after potentially living for years... In the 'burbs.

I would have to say I think it's a good thing when bad people die. If for no other reason just for the sake of them being gone. Is this really going to change anything or make things better? At bare minimum I certainly don't think it hurts matters. Well, OK, maybe I can't even say that just yet, because there is always the potential for retaliation. But long term?

With al Qaeda being so de-centralized and built on many loose affiliations maybe it won't change a lot of things from their standpoint. As far as what bin Laden has built goes, what happens there will come down to some of the most important driving forces behind terrorism -- marketing and money. If Steve Jobs died, would Apple go into the toilet? They could take a hit, maybe decline some, but probably won't completely die off. Bin Laden's death could be more about symbolism and retribution and catharsis than anything. None of which are necessarily bad. Al Qaeda is taking a hit, we just don't know how big of one yet (duh... Which could be added after nearly every statement I'm making).

Just as a quick aside, I'm pretty fucking proud of myself for bringing Steve Jobs and Apple into this. No, they are not as bad as bin Laden and al Qaeda, of course, but man, fuck Jobs and Apple. Actually, fuck their customer base more than anything. I do respect Jobs and Apple from a business and intellectual level though for what they have accomplished. Kinda like Dick Cheney.

Oh fuck I am on a roll here with the asides! Anyway, whether or not it is a major milestone from a practical standpoint of view remains to be seen. "Terrorism" isn't a fascist country, it's not a coherent group of miscreants, it's a tactic, a state of mind. Until we're living in a utopia there's work to be done and plenty of people out there still doing said work.

Although while I am not sad to see Bin Laden gone (as many of my more conservative buddies might think), I do have to admit that I'm at least mildly creeped out by much of the reaction. Late last night this country began celebrating as if we had all just won the World Series. Because somebody died. I understand the exuberance, from many angles, but it's just kinda weird when you think about it. Even to someone as fucked up as me.

You also certainly won't see me joining in any chants of "U-S-A! U-S-A!" Not because I hate America, but because I've never been particularly interested in feeling the way I'm told I should feel by the media or politicians (particularly right-wingers but not exclusively) or just sheep. I can make up my own mind on things, thanks, and I don't need to hide behind a weak banner of "patriotism" because I have no need to prove myself to the mindless masses.

In summary: I'm not getting all hot and bothered by this, but at the same time, I quote Jack Nick as the Joker: "I'm glad yer dead."