Filed under podcast miscellaneous:
This morning I walked into work and said something to one of my co-workers along the lines of, “So, is your life any better now that Osama is dead?” She looked at me said, “OMG, the President is dead?” And I said, “Huh? What? No. NO. Osama. Bin Laden!” And then she squinted, looked at me curiously, and said, “What the fuck are you talking about?” Just then another co-worker held up the front page of the newspaper which had a huge picture of the deceased terrorist mastermind on it and a massive headline that said “BIN LADEN DEAD.” Or maybe it said “BIN LADEN KILLED.” Honestly, I can’t remember anymore. But the headline was huge.
A week ago I said to a friend: “Dealing with your enemies is simple and easy. The best way to combat them is to simply make friends with them. Make friends with them so hard that it hurts.”
It’s so weird to me still that one of the time I felt most unified with this crazy, amazing, fucked up country was on 9/11. The wost metaphor I could use here would be: It’s like that girlfriend, the one who’s really fucking amazing, if a little weird, and way too good for you, and you just treat her like shit. She should really quit you and your bullshit. You just don’t appreciate her and for some reason she just won’t leave you. And you don’t realize how important she really is to you until someone else threatens here. Some clarity only comes to us on the precipice of great and terrible disaster. Life is funny like that.
Part of me is glad that Bin Laden wasn’t captured and forced to answer for his crimes to us and to the world in person, though I would have wanted that, of course. Part of me was glad to hear that this was finally over, that everyone who had been wounded by the tragedies that seemed to be dialed up at this man’s fingertips can now crawl just one more inch ever so slowly and painfully into the past. I wouldn’t really call this “justice “though because, well, there is no such thing as justice. Scales aren’t balanced because Bin Laden is dead. His life will never ever begin to be equal in worth to those lost on 9/11 or those who have put on an military uniform and defended a certain set of ideals and beliefs that we all take for granted every single minute. America is a brilliant, beautiful idea, but not a perfect one, and it can be hurt and it can be dented, but it’ll always be stronger than some cheap thug, no matter where he lives, no matter what he looks like, no matter what he worships. It can only be killed by those who give up on the idea, or who sell it out bit by bit in the name of “freedom.”
The death of what we consider to be an evil man on the other side of the world doesn’t bring back all those special people that we lost but hopefully it helps some people to breathe easier. Hopefully it reminds us why those people were special to us and hopefully we never forget what they meant to us. I’d like to say that hopefully it makes us appreciate each moment we have on this planet all that much more, but we should’ve been doing that long before now, and of course should continue doing that to the moment we draw our last breath. Hopefully someone like Bin Laden will never ever come close to challenging that idea every again.
I’ll admit to being conflicted or just confused about this news and how I should be feeling, but I’m lucky. Lucky to be here, lucky to be typing this in the land of the free, home of the brave. I’m lucky that I didn’t lose anyone ten years ago on that strange September day or in the fights and wars that followed. Who Osama Bin Laden is and what all of this means is something for you to decide. I can tell you that I don’t view this man’s death as closure, but honestly, I won’t look down on anyone who gets it from this news.
Thank you, mom. Thank you, God. Thank you, Barack Obama. Thank you, Donald Trump (with your stupid ass hair and head full of shit). Thank you, Pakistan. Thank you, India! Thank you, everyone who’s ever stood up for what they believed in and put that belief above themselves. Thank you, Bill Murray. Thank you, internet jokesters and “expert thinkers.” Thank you, Doctor Who. Thank you to the moon and to The Onion, both. Thank you, mainstream media. Thank you, “Mission Accomplished.” Thank you, those who agree with me, and thank you to those who would never agree with me in a million years. Thank you, Jack Donaghy, and thank you, Condoleezza Rice and thank you, Margaret Cho (for guest starring on 30 Rock). Thank you, strange new/old world that has such people in it. Thank you, post-Now. Thank you to everyone who thinks this matters and everyone who knows that it really doesn’t. Thank you to all those who never forget and especially thank you to those who are doomed to remember.
The terrorists are always winning. And the terrorists are always losing. And the battle will keep raging and hopefully we’ll never forget what we’re fighting for or who we should actually be fighting.
Well, because the story’s not over and the dream is never ending.
And like PKD said, Maybe the Empire never ended?
Like fake MLK said, “I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy.”
It’s been over 24 hours now and tonight when I go to bed I’ll be thinking the same thing I was thinking last night, “Okay, so Osama’s dead. And what will tomorrow look like?”
Superman is no longer an American citizen. Deal with it.
The uncensored version of Oscar Wilde’s The Picture Of Dorian Gray to finally be published.
They might actually release Joss Whedon’s Cabin In The Woods.
Lars Von Trier and the apocalyptic whimper.
Budget cuts curtail the search for alien life out there.
Also, Natalie Portman’s dad self-publishes a novel about severed heads, stolen presidential embryos, and mysterious clones.
May Day, 1871: The day “Science Fiction” was invented.
Emma Watson leaves Brown.
Speaking of which, the new Harry Potter trailer is kind of epic.
Ayn Rand’s first love and mentor was a sadistic serial killer who dismembered little girls.
Charlie Sheen and Chuck Lorre: Honestly, who gives a fuck anymore?
Mitt Romney’s bullshit is back and it’s not off to such a great start.
RIP Joanna Russ.
Bessel beams are cool, but don’t actually exist.
FYI: It’s Walpurgisnacht!
Before he retires Steven Soderbergh will make Channing Tatum’s male stripper movie.
I don’t know where you are but summer’s here.
Is Netflix helping to reduce movie piracy in the United States?
Giant black holes discovered in the nuclei of merging galaxies.
An interview with Chuck Klosterman.
Big Boi and Modest Mouse are finally working together.
Scientists create stable, self-renewing neural stem cells.
The 10 greatest apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic music videos.
All living humans are more closely related than you might think.
Vigilantes band together to protect NYC sex workers.
What can we learn by comparing the old and the new covers for the Left Behind series?
Unemployed ninja for hire.
Last night I had the strangest dream…
In the dream, it was the end of the world, or, well, it was the last night on Earth, and the following morning it was all going to end. In fire and flame, buried and suffocated in ash, or via instantaneous evaporation into total nothingness… the how I didn’t know. Things are vague in dreams. They change moment to moment and you just feel things, just know them. And I felt like it wasn’t this year, not 2011, but maybe it was next year, or maybe it wasn’t.
In the dream, some people had known that the end of was coming for a long time. The crazy people, we called them and always had, but they were the ones who had been having the dreams for years now. That’s how we all knew, every living thing on the planet, I mean, that’s how we knew that it was expiring the following morning: we had dreams. Most of us started having them about six months before that final night. In the dreams we were told that our time was finite and we woke up with the certainty of it. The sad, cold certainty of it.
We knew from the dreams and from intuition that most wouldn’t accept this, that there would be fights and attempts to stop it and plans concocted to spirit away or just generally save the human race, and that every effort must be made. But from the dreams we knew that all those plans would come up with nothing, all those efforts would be ultimately fruitless, and in the end… it would come down to the simple question of how would you want to spend your last night alive?
In the dream I had last night, I had tried to get in touch with my friends, but they were all on the other side of the world from me. Whoever they were and wherever I was, they were somewhere else. They had lives to finish living and people to wrap their existence up with. It was just me, me by myself, just as it had always been. And I was thirsty with nothing to drink in the house, so I went to a bar. There were strangers there living like there was no tomorrow, which was fitting because there would be no tomorrow, and everyone was laughing and talking and loud and very, very drunk. A band was playing. It felt like a celebration. The band wasn’t that great, but for the occasion, they were amazing. The music was so loud, so perfect. It felt like it wasn’t just coming from their instruments and their speakers and souls, but that it was coming from inside me. And they were playing this song:
This morning I woke up and the sun was shining. Dogs were barking down the street, my neighbor was mowing his yard, and car alarms were going off somewhere. And I had to pee really, really, really bad. For the briefest of moments, beyond anything else that could possibly be going on, it just felt good to be alive.
“Is religion a force for good in the world?” That was the question asked in a debate between former UK prime minister Tony Blair, a recently converted Catholic, and author/journalist/polemicist/anti-theist Christopher Hitchens (who was recently diagnosed with esophageal cancer). The meeting of the two men was part of the ongoing Munk debates sponsored by the Aurora Foundation and the motion put forth was simply “Be it resolved, religion is a force for good in the world,” with Blair taking up the pro side and Hitchens naturally taking on the con argument.
And all of that on last night’s Lost, entitled “The Last Recruit.” Savor this time, people. Savor it and cherish it. This moment, this building to… to… something, this can only come once, and this is it. And soon, it’ll all be gone…
“But,” says Man, “the Babel fish is a dead giveaway isn’t it? It could not have evolved by chance. It proves that you exist, and so therefore, by your own arguments, you don’t. Q.E.D..”
“Oh dear,” says God, “I hadn’t thought of that,” and promptly vanishes in a puff of logic.
“Oh, that was easy,” says Man, and for an encore goes on to prove that black is white and gets himself killed on the next zebra crossing.
The text above is from The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy by Douglas Adams, a lovely excerpt that I was reminded of here.
“Your belief in God is merely an escape from your monotonous, stupid and cruel life.”
“No man is great enough or wise enough for any of us to surrender our destiny to. The only way in which anyone can lead us is to restore to us the belief in our own guidance.”
“The mark of your ignorance is the depth of your belief in injustice and tragedy. What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the Master calls the butterfly.”