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The Living Room General Celebrating a death
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Celebrating a death
When the word got out Sunday night that Osama Bin Laden had been killed by Navy Seals there was quite the celebration in the streets of America. In the past two days we have seen non-stop coverage (ugh...enough already) of jubilant Americans waving flags, yelling "USA, USA, USA" , gathering in small town squares and major cities to celebrate the death of a terrorist.  Is it just me or does the whole dancing on a grave bit that is going on ad nauseum throughout the country seem uncouth?  I think it wrong to celebrate anyone's death - even if he is a monster in the eyes of many Americans.  I find the celebrating unseemly, undignified.  We look like a bunch of barbarians - our blood lust has been sated - for now.  I didn't lose anyone on 9/11, I'm sure I would feel differently if I had.  But I don't think I would be celebrating. Terrorism is not dead with bin Laden - if it was then there really would be a reason to celebrate.  What do you think?  Am I being too uptight about it all?
I think you are mostly correct, not all Americans are celebrating, some just say he's gone 'good' what's next.  And you may as well face it a lot of Americans are Barbarians, uncouth, and unsophisticated, just like every other country in the world.  We're just human after all.
I agree with you completely about the over-celebrating.

I hate to be so hard on my countrymen and women, but Americans are such children when it comes to anything that involves foreign affairs. While not wanting to diminish the grief caused by the terrorist bombings of Sept. 11, 2001, recall that during the Second World War the Germans bombed London daily for months at a time over a period of years. The main difference being that the terrorist act in the US was a "surprise," while the Battle of Britain was part of a declared war.

Still, Americans, who have never fought a foreign enemy on American soil, seem so sheltered and ignorant of the world at large.

The first thing I saw about the bin Laden killing was through the satirical website Deadspin. A professional wrestler announced it to the crowd, which went wild, as though it were all part of the game.

It's laughable and very sad at the same time.
As a current student at a relatively medium-sized private American university, suffice it to say that the general reaction to these events was eye-opening. Being a first-year student, naturally I am required to live in the dorms, so I witnessed other students' reactions firsthand. When Bin Laden's death was first announced by news agencies, I was in the common area of my dorm doing some homework. Nothing really happened in the immediate aftermath of the news networks breaking the story, which I found to be pretty surprising - you'd think that something as significant as that event would elicit some kind of non-normal behavior from others. When I first heard the news, I told everyone in the common room what had happened, and I received pretty apathetic reactions.

Turns out, crazy behavior happened - but only once the President was finishing his speech, approximately 45 minutes to an hour after the news first broke. It was at that point that one of my fraternity brothers ran up to me draped in an American flag, wildly shouting "USA," and the true frenzy began. Others nearby started to take interest in the affairs only once the big TV in the common room was changed to a news channel and the President's mug was onscreen.

Obviously people's reactions to and endorsement of violence are frightening, but I found it even more frightening that no one gave a damn about the events that were happening until the President spoke about it. I was livestreaming newscasts and dutifully procrastinating homework by searching for further nuggets of information, but everyone else seemed distant and absorbed in something else in the interim between news breaking and the President giving his official take. Granted, the 15-20ish people in the common area probably don't constitute a large enough sample size to justify generalizations, but regardless I found the initial reactions to a big piece of news very telling of how our culture operates, particularly among my generation - the Internet generation.

Are we so bad at filtering the informational deluge of daily life that we have to rely on authority figures telling us something is important in order to make the connection that we should give a damn about it? Are we fundamentally trained to consume information passively? The nature of how we first made sense of the event is certainly connected to the nature of the celebrations; the subject of this topic. Is it a societal expectation that we should glorify the actions of the military, and are those who celebrate Bin Laden's death merely doing as our culture impels them?
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Latest Post: May 21, 2011 at 1:12 PM
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