Thursday, May 5, 2011

Thoughs on the Social Networking Aftermath of the Death of OBL

Weird that it's taken me so long to comment on the killing of Osama Bin Laden, right? Politics and current events used to be the bread and butter of my blog, but I've kind of shifted gears these last several months. I did, however, want to comment a bit on the fall-out of the OBL stuff.

I had several friends make comments, write posts, and put up falsely attributed quotes all in the name of talking down people who were celebrating OBL's death. Let me start by saying that I don't think most people were solely cheering for the death of another human being, and then let me add that pretty much anything anyone does in the form of a mob is not really a good descriptor of anyone's true feelings on a matter. Individuals are smart, mobs are dumb, so while there were plenty of images of people cheering and dancing in the streets, I don't think his death was the only thing they were so excited about.

Let's remember who it was that was killed over the weekend - Osama Bin Laden - the same guy who was the symbol for, and the driving force behind the terrorist movement for many years. This is a guy who would not hesitate for one second to kill you or anyone you care about, all in the name of pushing his brand of religion on you. There are few individuals in the history of the world who are recognized the world over as being "evil," and this guy was unequivocally one of those people. When people were celebrating and everyone who wasn't started chastising them for doing so, they're ignoring the triumph of a small measure of justice, and is it really such a bad thing to celebrate when something truly right actually comes to pass?

No, the war on terror isn't over, but it has taken a very large and unmistakable step forward in alerting evil-doers across the globe that the world's lone superpower will not stand for injustice, even if it takes 10 years to come to pass. And that's a really good thing, and something that should be applauded. While some of the demonstrations of glee may have been in poor taste, the only thing most of these people are really guilty of is getting overly exuberant about something that is long overdue.

Plus, why do you want to be the dirtbag who gets on Facebook and tells everyone that they're dumb for celebrating such an important moment? Do you really want to be that guy? Really?

Also, why is everyone so insistent that anything well-spoken must be attributed to someone famous for it to have any real validity? The rise and fall of the MLK quote was quite comical, but true words are true words, regardless of who said it. If something is said wise and correctly, it's still useful and edifying even if spoken by a fool, is it not?

I put up a status on Facebook earlier this week related to these points and a friend of mine sent me a message asking if the quote was my own, and if he could steal it. That made me laugh.

Just thinking out loud.


Douglas said...

I don't think I cheered or yelled or screamed, but just sat solemnly on the couch, a bit in disbelief. I was talking to Dave and we both agreed that if his death meant the end of terrorism, then yes, we would be screaming for joy, for the future safety of our kids, for the protection of freedom, but it doesn't. There will be another cockroach to rise up and take his place.

I am happy though. He definitely fits in the Evil category along with Stalin, Hitler, Hussein, African warlords whose names I don't know, etc.

I like that my word verification is "broceps"

Caitlin said...

I definitely think that the man was evil -- no doubt about that. But I must admit that I did feel revulsion at watching the cheering mobs and even a little at some of the facebook exclamations that people were making. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely believe that he deserved to die for his crimes, but many of the celebrations felt wrong and tasteless. So, the "MLK" quote, although not his, rang true to me. I'm not looking down on anyone who feels relief and justice served at his death, because I, myself, do. I'm just not sure we should throw a party over it. That's all I'm a-sayin'.