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May 02, 2011


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Robert Allen

A friend called to ask if it was ok to not be happy about Bin Laden's killing. This is a huge topic of discussion everywhere. I already found myself mouthing these words: "Osama may have been a bad man, but I'm not going to celebrate because he died. It is sad when anybody dies, I see no reason to celebrate anyone's death". I feel like a chiding schoolmarm, a Pollyanna from some past order of things, clearly out of sync with the new viciousness of discourse.

C. DiDiodato


relatives of Canadians killed on September 11 feel the same way (except for the self-aggrandizing bit you've inserted about using it "as an opening" to a new "post-terrorism". I wish academics would drop this silly name-game).

I'll be relieved when the war on terror is finally over.



I think you've come close, but this whole 10 year long debacle has just made us all into victims. Now that he's dead, do you think the airports will open back up? No more searches and seizures? No more limited rights and suspension of rights under the still in place Homeland Security "laws" put into place?

Today, tomorrow, it will all be the same. Our freedoms will continue to fall victim from whatever new scare tactic, dictator with an agenda, extremist group that our government can get us to believe is a threat to our freedoms. Sadly, Osama got off easy. The rest of us will continue to be the victims and to pay for his crimes.

Robert Allen

here is a poem I'm working on, though I'm no Haiku Dave:

We're all Osama now!

we've all been killed by Seals
live from the situation room
paid for our own brainwash
with a gift that can't be returned

wayward sons of Abraham,
we died for his sins,
hidden in our mental caves

in this, the deadest of countries
liberated by murder alone

Jodi Dean

Bob--that is a really powerful poem; I'm particularly moved by the way it builds to the last two lines.

Robert Allen

Thanks Jodi, so interesting that you noticed a "building" toward the last two lines, especially when it didn't do that for me until I switched the last two lines to "liberated by murder alone/in this, the deadest of countries". Also I find interesting the "sons of Abraham" with its conscious exclusion of the feminine, and I wanted to convey the "Paying for our own brainwash" with a reference to cable tv, but couldn't find a bridge to that that wouldn't weaken the piece.

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