Monday, May 02, 2011


I think most of us had long given up on anyone catching Osama Bin Laden. I assumed that we had given up, for all of the rhetoric on the subject. The world is a large place, and while he was very recognizable it isn't impossible to hide. Some days I can't find my keys, it seemed more than likely that a mass murderer who was trying to hide could somehow mange it.

My brain didn't know how to process the words that President Obama said last night.

I saw the celebrations on TV. The kids cheering and chanting and singing. A large part of me wanted to cheer too. Not out of joy but something more like relief. Patriotism certainly. Satisfaction. I also felt shame, shame to feel that joy over something monstrous like state-sanctioned, totally justified, life-saving murder. Shame of all of us for acting like our team just one the Super Bowl. My feelings were complicated--are still complicated today--and I bet 90% of all of us feel the same way. I felt the same gross, nauseated feeling today when I started seeing the smug Facebook statuses. All of the people trying to shame others for feeling joy and relief.

My feelings about all of this, 9/11, the "war on terror", politics in this country for the last ten years, how much of our civil liberties we have signed away are complicated. I am angry at all of us and the terrorists that took those things from us. That we gave it all away sickens me. I am angry and sad and yet somehow weirdly proud that we are still here. And watching the demonstrations and the weird political posturing and the smug asshole Facebooking I think that we all may feel the same way.

I don't feel happy that the man is dead. But it is comforting all the same.