Monday, May 2, 2011

Reason to Cheer?

Last night Matt and I went to have dinner at my dad and Wicked Step Mom’s house. As always, tons of laughter, good conversation, good food and great times ensued. My dad is famous for calling back within minutes of hanging up the phone so when we got home at 11:30, just seven minutes after leaving their place, I wasn’t especially surprised to hear my phone ring. I thought, ‘did we leave our chocolate bunnies by mistake?’

Instead of chocolate bunnies he said ‘Turn on the news when you get home, we killed Osama bin Laden and the President is about to come on and talk about it.’

Wait, what? Really? Could this be true?

I thanked him for the tip, flicked on the television and promptly put on pause the conversation Matt and I were having about moving to Phoenix versus Southern California and which would be more life fulfilling.

The AZ/SoCal debate and Matt’s not having a job in eight weeks was what I had intended to write about today. But now I just can’t. There are things that are bigger than that which must be addressed.


We all know the history, 9/11, etc. and the fact that we’ve been seeking out this guy for the past 10 years. Allegedly. So last night I sat and watched with likely a very small part of the population at 11:33 PM that we had finally not just captured, but killed the man responsible for starting the war in the Middle East. Allegedly.

I hate being cynical sometimes but this whole delivery to the country had me torn. Gandhi said something like ‘an eye for an eye only makes the whole world blind’ and I kind of feel the same way about this death of a terrorist.

• He’s a jackass. [Something I can not personally confirm as I do not know the man and only know what I am told about him by the news media]
• He masterminded a group of people to kill a group of people. [Again, not being part of his alleged organization, how can I truthfully confirm this? I only know what I’m told by the news media]
• Osama bin Laden, as of 11:33 PM last night, is dead. [Do I really need to write it out this time?]

Before the President took to the podium Matt said ‘That makes me very, very nervous’. Immediately when President Obama finished speaking we got to talking about what it means for our country, the hope that our security is strong and that any potential organization of groups are paid very close attention.

And then they showed the people across the street from the White House. A group of people who all looked to be twenty-something college students were taking pictures, cheering, clapping and celebrating.

They were celebrating a murder.

Just like the al-Qaida likely did on September 11, 2001.

Now before you get all up in my shit here, don’t for a second think that I wasn’t deeply and personally affected by the events that transpired on my American soil on 9/11. If you read my tribute in memoriam of that date, which I wrote on the anniversary in 2008, called Never Forget, then you know how much my entire soul broke on that day. All I’m saying is that Gandhi was onto something about one turn for another.

If they cheer when they kill us and our response is ‘well that asshole really needs to die.’ What do you suppose their response is going to be when we kill the “asshole”? Yeah, that’s the troubling part.

Seeing Is Believing?

So as I’m lying on the sofa half listening to Matt, half listening to Brian Williams talk to the other news dudes across the country the first thing that went through my mind was ‘He just said we have custody of the body, pictures are going to need to be released for the general public to even consider believing this’. On Facebook, pictures were indeed released.

Up close, crash zoom shots of his bloody face with the alleged bullet hole he took to the head that was considered to be the kill shot.  That is if you believed a photo already released ages ago online, a mock up, was the picture of his death.

The fact that the internet has caused children to grow up way too fast is seriously and swiftly reinforced as my eyes glaze across this photo this morning. After that I promptly determined a couple things.

A) I will not turn on the television today because the constant visuals of this photo are already seared in my brain well and good enough, I don’t need to see it all day.
B) I think staying on the fringe of ignorant this time is going to play well for my psyche.

Am I just jaded, cynical that I only half believe half of what half the people are saying? Does it make me less informed to avoid information by the media outlets? Is there any form of information that can be trusted in a world of self published writing and Photoshop? Should I be happy that someone has been killed?

I think the fact that I sit here, blankly and with no response to the above questions is what makes me happy to be an American on a day like this. I can write whatever I want, choose whatever I want, believe whatever I want and ignore whatever I want and fully have the freedom to do so.

The one thing I can guarantee is that I certainly won’t be flying anytime soon.


Judi FitzPatrick said...

I'm in total agreement with everything you've said here. I don't believe any killing is to be celebrated. And is it true? Who knows.
I just feel so deeply that we are, as a world, on the wrong track to ever obtain peace.
Peace and love, Mum

KC McAuley said...

Oh Jenn. I so understand what you are saying. I'm not pleased by the reaction of so many - and the fact that our media seems to be endorsing this behavior. I'm pleased that the mission was accomplished with no loss of American lives.
And as I watched the President last night, I couldn't help but be proud of his self-control and moderate tone. He gave the information that was necessary - and clearly showed that he was in charge of this task for some months, while keeping it very quite and close to his chest. That pleased me - and he's not boasting or walking under Mission Accomplished banners. We can take our cue from him in so many things. I wish more people would.

Rebecca said...

I so agree with you, Jenn. I've got the tv on right now... tuned into "Sid the Science Kid." Yup. I'm not watching stuff. I don't need to see it and I certainly don't have any desire to celebrate murder, deserved or not. Even if it needed to be done. Even if it is a good thing (I'm not arguing that point - I have such mixed feelings on the issue). Death is death. Life is to be celebrated, not the annihilation of it.

Almost Precious said...

Osama Bin Laden was a fanatic and a mad man. He believed that all who did not believe as he did, those who did not embrace his religion should be eradicated, slaughtered without mercy. His sole reason for living was to destroy the USA at any cost. I doubt that he mourned in any way the deaths of a few thousand people (innocent souls, men, women, children) who perished on 9/11 in the destruction of the twin towers and at the pentagon.

Yes he has his followers, those who believe deeply in his philosophies. Will they retaliate or has the wind been knocked from their sails ? Only time will tell on that one. Let's hope that perhaps his end might be a beginning to world peace ... I'm probably being overly optimistic on that one. And yeah, I think I'll be staying pretty close to home for awhile too.

Rosebud Collection said...

I have to say, this whole thing was upsetting to me too..But you know Jenn, we all act so differently..I always think of the bible saying.."You live by the sword, you die by the sword"..They, Washington, changed their story 13/14 we don't really know what happened..I don't care to see any pictures of it either. Just like 9/11 when the poor people were jumping out of windows..God Bless them..they quickly took them off the air, but I never forgot what I saw..Sometimes I wonder about this life..Good/evil..The fight will go on as long as this earth is spinning..So any good we can send out there..send it on its way.
And like you..I don't think I would want to fly just now..xoxoCarolyn