Sunday, May 1, 2011

So. Osama Bin Laden Is Dead.

And the world is a tiny bit better for it. Cool.

I'm not going to apply 'perspective' to this, because frankly, it's too horrible. I'll just say: congratulations, USA, you got your man. Well done.

Now, in the aftermath, can I make a few requests?

The first is to the USA. For fuck's sake, America -- please take the opportunity to make this mean something. You can start by having a look at the country you were before the WTC came down, and maybe trying to figure out how you can get some of that old mojo back. You could, for example, try putting 'Freedom of Speech' back as an everyday baseline of normality, and getting rid of those incredibly bloody depressing 'free speech zones' that Bush came up with.

You could maybe acknowledge that to date, all the groping and x-raying and all the hostile bullshit at airports has achieved precisely nothing -- that of the three attempted hijacks/inflight kablooies that have been attempted since 2001 (that I know of, anyhow) all were thwarted by vigiliant passengers and aircrew. So - maybe you could look at trying to treat air passengers as human beings again, and perhaps putting away all that fucking hi-tech radiation-scan shit before somebody turns into the freaking Hulk (and Prof Boylan sings about it without due cause)?

You might also take a look at that very badly named "Patriot Act", and see if you can't restore a few things to the people of the USA, including freedom from unlawful search and seizure, and maybe even a little privacy, eh?

And hey - if you don't have to spend quite so much money on chasing Bin Laden and on invading places where he might be hiding, maybe you could give some back to SETI, and to your NPR, and maybe to important bits of your infrastructure that have been growing increasingly worn-out and fucked up. Maybe? Could you?

As for the rest of the world - hey, there are plenty of you that could use this as an opportunity too. Here in Australia, for example. Maybe we could start being less goddam paranoid about poor bastards escaping from hellholes in shitty, leaky boats? I'm not saying we need to offer 'em gold-class citizenships and Prime Ministerial blowies... but is there a problem with treating 'em like human beings while we check their bona fides? Especially the kids, because frankly, I've got a real problem with treating children that way, no matter who their parents are, or what those parents may have done.

In short, folks, a bad man got what was coming to him. Now, maybe, we can start refocusing our considerable energies away from him and what he represented, and back on the things which actually used to make us, and our countries, better than he and his people in the first place.

Fuck knows, we've certainly paid a high enough price.