Okay, I'm now going to stop starting this and deleting it and starting over and deleting it again and looking out at the rain and thinking: What on earth do you say or write on a day like today, when, just hours ago, President Barack Obama announced that United States forces had launched a surprise attack on Osama bin Laden and killed him? From a purely historical point, it's big. For many, it's the culmination of a 10-year battle to capture the "most evil man in the world." For others, it's a chance to jump on a bandwagon of self-promotion.
Like a lot of people probably did, I clicked on a quick Google News search the morning after Obama's announcement. And while there was plenty of news reports and analyses and such, there were also items about bin Laden's death making the stock market rise. There was a story about wrestler John Cena and how he announced it to a WWE crowd during "Extreme Rubs" on Pay Per View. (I don't know what an "extreme rub" is but it must be important.) And speaking of Google, there was a piece on how bin Laden's hideout in Pakistan, where he was killed, had already started getting the "Google Maps" treatment.
There were lots of entries about how the news really broke on Twitter and how many tweets per second were being sent around the world. And The Wall Street Journal, for years now, one of the most insipid newspapers in existence, felt compelled to address the issue of whether Osama bin Laden's death will change the movie being made about his life. Uh, do ya think? The paper also included some commentary or reporting — hard to tell in this case — about the sports world's reaction to the terrorist mastermind's death.
My inner jury is still out on the whole topic of his demise. I'll admit that my first reaction was not one of jubilation at justice finally being served — or, like the waiter in the restaurant where I was eating when the news broke — to rush outside and scream, "We got him!" Don't worry. I was not on his side. In the big picture, I think the world is better off without him, especially for those in the Middle East who want to live in peace.
My first gut reaction, without time to give it any rational thought, was sadness. I was sad that the world has become the kind of place it is, or that it has always been the kind of place that it is, in some respects. I think it's sad that someone like bin Laden could go from being an innocent child to being so filled with hate that he did the things he did. Sad that all wars happen. Sad that people use religion as a reason to kill each other. Sad that old men can't let go of the past. Sad that all of the people on this planet don't understand that we're on it together and that it could be really different and happy and one big party for everybody. I know. I am a naive idealist when it comes to all this, but think about it. What if Osama bin Laden had just chilled out as a young man and invented a cure for cancer and shared it with the world?
And that leads me to Donald Trump and Sarah Palin. Well, not really, but I am gloating and I just can't pass up the opportunity. How much do you think they care now about where President Obama was born and just how confident are they feeling about running for the presidency in 2012? I can see Trump running his fingers through that nasty comb-over, or whatever it is, and wondering how stupid he must look beating that horse to death while Obama knew it was just a matter of days before he announced that, on his watch, the manhunt for bin Laden would be over. If I were him, I think I would go hide out in one of his tacky hotels for a while and rethink things. New money. Ugh.
And to you, my lovely Ms. Palin: Just a few days ago you were wagging your tongue somewhere about the birth certificate issue and how Americans shouldn't let the release of the certificate distract us from some press conference about the economy. Yes, you demanded and demanded and yakked about and yakked about Obama releasing his birth certificate, but when he finally did it, probably just to rid the air of your breath for a few minutes, that didn't satisfy you either. It's a good thing he waved you off so casually and didn't spend much time on this or it may have gotten in the way of him doing away with the most wanted terrorist in American history.
How is that birther thingy workin' out for ya now?