Bin Laden? Bin Shot. - The Watchtower of Destruction: The Ferrett's Journal
Bin Laden? Bin Shot.|
As an outsider (non-American), my perspective is necessarily different; however, I think (much to my surprise) that Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper hit the right note by expressing "sober satisfaction". Yes, it's (probably) a good thing overall - if not for logistical reasons, then for morale. But the rallies and the chanting and the jingoism... *shudder* Sometimes, y'all fucking creep me out, America, and this is one of those times. This makes it hard to be happy for you.
(Please cut it out? Let me be happy for you without feeling dirty? That would be great.)
I don't disagree. I'm holding a private little dance. I'm not out naked on my lawn waving a flag going, "YOU ESS AY! YOU ESS AY!"
Sober satisfaction sounds right to describe my attitude.
The ding-dong the witch is dead coming out of America isn't so much bloodthirst as it is catharsis. It bothers me a little, but I think people are entitled to their emotions; I'm from the New York City region, and I know people who lost people in 9/11.
Civilized? Not particularly. Understandable? I think so.
I'm sure it's catharsis; I think ferett is right in attributing the buildup of this particular kind of public opinion to a lack of understanding of the larger political situation.
If America is the poor victim, savagely assaulted by the bully, then the extreme reaction of joy is understandable.
But if America was hit savagely in what was already a complicated fight, then, yes, be glad/grateful/relieved you've "nullified the threat", but dancing in the streets is disproportionate.
Then again, a picture (photoshoped?) of NYC firefighters cheering the headline did tug at my heartstrings. This is complicated news.
That's what drives me nuts.
Out here in Iowa, people are cheering and dancing around, whereas those who suffered losses are cheering but are not so NUTS about it, from what I see. My friends, my family, all are, "Glad he's dead, no one is coming back, things that changed remain that way" and are moving on. Even those that did "dance" would later post "this is closure, and that's about it". The only thing my husband said, when he heard about how it happened was, "Good. He knew fear." Many wanted him to suffer physically. But for those of us who had it hit a bit close to home? I think we thought a lot about the final moments, the final phone calls, and the "missing" posters for months, the questions, the pain. If I felt a need for revenge, it isn't the death, but the fear, petty as that is. That he may have known actual terror for a moment.
That's gut feelings. I try to be a good Quaker, but damn, as a New Yorker, sometimes it is hard.
I think that's a very good point.
A lot of us are feeling a rather savage satisfaction, over a sober satisfaction. There's reason to celebrate having finally eliminated an active danger to our country.
...but I'm right with you on the creepy level of sheer, unadulterated delight that many of my countrymen are displaying.
Goddamn, guys, show a little dignity. You're looking like the Palestinians dancing in the street after 9/11 happened, and it's just awful. There's a difference - a huge difference - between dancing a little jig of relief and satisfaction - and what's happening on FB.
I'll be over here with Ferret, recognizing that we're human enough to feel, well, savagely satisfied that the SOB is dead. Especially since, by his own children's accounts, he was a horrible human being. I just won't pretend that satisfaction makes me a better person - or that Bin Laden's death is some kind of Divine Declaration That We're Right.
... I hope that makes sense; I've taken a Percocet for a broken tooth and HEY SQUIRREL!!!
Yes, you make sense!
I agree with you on the uncomfortable parallels. I can appreciate how you might feel savage satisfaction - "savage" is a good word, actually. And I think it's important to recognize that as a savage emotion and that decent people manage savage emotions. Hence, sure, private jig. But your call for dignity is right-on, and I think would do good things to America's international image.
(Then again, I know there are strains of american patriotism that think no one ought to care what the rest of the world thinks... but that's a discussion for another day.)