Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Payback's a Bitch

Last week after 9.5 years, the US finally killed Osama bin Laden & captured his body.

The death of this individual acted as a national catharsis. Not since the fall of the Soviet Union has any one individual been immersed in our psyche as the bogeyman. Ye unlike the Soviet despots, Osama has actually killed Americans.

There are very few individuals in this world whose death I would openly cheer. Bin Laden is one of those. Though I am, nor was I one of those people who actually celebrated his death, I entirely empathize w/ where they're coming from.

I still remember as if it was yesterday smelling the chemical stench of lower Manhattan when I made my pilgrimage down there 2 months to the day after the Trade Tower attacks. I still remember persuading in vain in to getting my family to go up the Twin Towers (I know I could get a shot of them w/ Liberty Island in the background) after watching our crappy Red Sox get beat by the Yankees that very same weekend. I dreaded losing sleep over being recalled back to the Marines (I'd been "honorably discharge" 1 year minus a week on the day of the attacks). I remember drinking a beer in sorrow upon discovering that one of my Marine brothers (as well as the rest of his C-130 crew) died during a mission in Afghanistan when their plane had mechanical problems & crashed.

A part of me is disappointed we weren't able to (or willing...the reports are kinda fuzzy at this stage) capture him alive. I would have loved to have seen his ass on trial after the Eichmann model, stripping him of his mythology & revealing to the world yet again what has been called "banality of evil". Unfortunately, history will never be able to record that. However I'm not going to lose any sleep over it.

All I can say is payback's a bitch. May you rot in hell, Osama.

Below is a scanned image of a print (I was shooting film back then), taken outside Trinity Church in lower Manhattan, Nov 2001:


Below is another scanned image Ground Zero looking north. Again taken in Nov 2001:


Comment away on any part of this if you so choose.