exciting, informative, snarky, and very likely fabricated tales of life as an american expat in london

it’s times like this, i feel like an alien

by Jen at 4:45 am on 2.05.2011 | 4 Comments
filed under: rant and rage

osama bin laden is dead.

i don’t even have a television in my sublet right now, and even without the hyperactive, in-your-face hyperbolic news coverage, it’s all getting to be a bit too much for me. my twitter and facebook streams were suddenly flooded with messages of jubilant rejoicing.

these are people i know – people i consider friends. and it makes me feel like i’m not even in the same universe, because all i can think of is how grotesque i find the display of glee in another human being’s death.

don’t get me wrong: i’m not shedding any tears for a mass murderer. i’m not sad for his death. but the joyous gloating in the killing of someone, is not something i can even begin to comprehend. it is *that* unrestrained glee which upsets me.

because it’s murder. the president ordered murder. my vote helped aid murder. my tax dollars helped finance murder.

should i be happy about that? the reaction from everyone around me seems to indicate that i should be. and yet i find it repugnant to even contemplate cheering.

the killing of osama bin laden does not balance the books. it doesn’t bring back even a single one of the thousands who died. and it doesn’t prevent future deaths any more than simply capturing him would have done.

what it does, is make the public feel good. it allows them to pretend that justice has been done. it satisfies their bloodlust for vengeance. what it does not do, is make any single one of us a better person.

i’m not trying to come off as high and mighty here. i fully understand the emotion that bin laden’s death brings back to the surface. we are all revisiting a piece of that day – i am too. but how can we ever achieve peace when we glorify death?

see, all those videos and messages that bin laden sent after 9/11? telling us how much *he* was reveling in the death? and how disgusting we found it. how barbaric and evil it seemed. celebrating death is vile business, and that’s precisely what osama bin laden did. it revolted us. and when i don’t do the same, in my own little way, i get to feel superior to that fucker. i am a better person than he.

but if my social networks are anything to go by, i’m nearly alone in this opinion. an alien being from another planet, who just doesn’t “get it”. even this evening, i’ve had people challenging my thinking, trying to change my mind, and justify their feelings to me. i’ve never asked them to, but i won’t/can’t change how i feel. and, in a sea of celebration that i find awful, i can’t/won’t sit silent about it either.

yup – must be an alien.

3 people like this post.


  • 1

    Comment by Julie B

    2.05.2011 @ 14:42 pm

    You’re feelings about this are not far from my own… I don’t think it’s right to be joyous about the death of Bin Laden, especially since it really means very little in the scope of safety, security or peace for the world. I cannot stand the images we’re seeing on telly with people rejoicing and shouting ‘USA! USA!’ like we just won the World Cup or something. Although I was disgusted by the way my fellow Britsh fawned over the Royal Wedding, I’m genuinely disturbed by some of the rejoicing I see going on over Bin Laden’s death. I am being cautiously optimistic that this may enable Obama to justify further withdrawal from Afghanistan, but that’s about about as happy as I personally can get about the event. If anything, I’d rather have seen him go to trial. I can go on forever, really winds me up.

  • 2

    Comment by Jen

    2.05.2011 @ 15:02 pm

    thanks Julie – always nice to know i’m not alone, even when it sometimes feels like it.

  • 3

    Pingback by Jen’s Den of Iniquity » apropos of nothing…

    3.05.2011 @ 17:38 pm

    [...] if the fact that i won’t cheer the death of someone makes you uncomfortable, that’s your problem, not mine. i don’t run around telling [...]

  • 4

    Comment by Demonic chicken of the apocalypse

    4.05.2011 @ 13:42 pm

    … I wholeheartedly agree. It’s amazing how countries that cry christian virtues to the heavens are so keen on an eye for an eye killing. Keep your bloodthrist for the football field or hockey rink!

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