"In many disciplines, for the majority of graduates, the Ph.D. indicates the logical conclusion of an academic career." Marc Bousquet

Monday, May 2, 2011

Will All Be Well Again in the Land of Oz?

I don't know about you, but I'm a little creeped out by the celebrating. Not that I don't understand and appreciate that people would be happy at the news of bin Laden's killing, but it's not the sort of news that would make me want to go party in the streets. I'm reminded of these lyrics:
Ding-dong the witch is dead.
Which old witch? The wicked witch.
Ding-dong the wicked witch is dead.
Wake up you sleepyhead.
Rub your eyes, get out of bed.
Wake up! The wicked witch is dead!
She's gone where the goblins go,
Below - below - below.
Yo-ho, let's open up and sing and ring the bells out.
Ding Dong' The merry-oh, sing it high, sing it low.
Let them know the Wicked Witch is dead!
Yeah, the munchkins had cause to celebrate, but even they wanted to know:
But we've got to verify it legally
To see...
To see...
If she...
If she...
Is morally, ethically
Spiritually, physically
Positively, absolutely
Undeniably and reliably dead.
In Oz, the munchkins get their proof:
As Coroner, I thoroughly examined her
And she's not only merely dead,
She's really most sincerely dead.
Now, I'm not questioning that he's dead (though dumping the body in the ocean so quickly is a little strange). I'm just saying the whole "morally, ethically, spiritually" part is the problem, rather than the "physically" part. It's not as if the guy didn't have a whole lot of overzealous followers. So, people are celebrating what was essentially revenge more than anything else, and that revenge is likely to beget more revenge, in the form of more terrorist attacks.

But, why should we worry about that? That would require thought and sincere consideration of foreign policy that isn't exactly causally innocent.

Don't you agree it's more fun to sing? Sing it with me again, friends, one more time:
Ding dong, the witch is dead.
Shot in the head,
He's good and dead...
Even though, as I listen as I type, NPR reports, "The threat could be higher now that he's dead."


  1. I have no problem with Bin Laden being killed. But I have a big problem with massive celebrations of "patriotism". It sends chills to my spine.

  2. Yeah, that's pretty much how I see it. The killing is a sobering fact that should not be the cause for celebrations of patriotism. I call it "a sobering fact" not because I object to the killing but because it underscores the instability of U.S. military dominance -- at once suggesting power (how far they were willing and able to go to get this one man) and vulnerability (that, in spite of its military might, the U.S. is still vulnerable to the actions of an individual).

  3. I also hate the excessive celebrating, although I'm not upset that the man is no longer alive.

    To the burial at sea, though, I did see a few comments suggesting that it was done that way so as to avoid creating some type of burial shrine or "holy ground" of sorts for his followers at his burial site.

    That made sense to me. I understand it makes everything seem a little odd ... but at the same time, once a few weeks/months go by and he hasn't released new tapes, I think it will become clear that he really was killed. bin Laden wouldn't exactly be one to hide quietly in the shadows and let the world think the Americans had killed him when they had not, you know?

  4. Even after they release photos (I hear they're going to do that soon), I'm betting on a Tupac-like legacy, some people getting caught up in conspiracy theories and just refusing to believe it. But that's all beside the point...