Terrorists want to terrorize. They want us to be quivering in fear, or so full of rage that we no longer think clearly. One way to aid the creation of that view is to treat them with more respect and solemnity than they're due.
Making jokes about OBL is a way of showing that we DO NOT respect murderous thugs. That we do not cower in the corner in fear of them. That we will not accord them the honor of taking their ideas and claims seriously.
OBL was not a martyr for a cause. He was a self-aggrandizing creep who boasted about killing people, many of them members of the very group he claimed to be acting in favor of. Think of how much good he might have done had he turned his obvious talents to actually helping people. Think of how much good could have been done with all the money that has had to be spent to repair the damage he did just to inflate his own ego.
Yes, he had to be taken seriously as a danger. But, no, he did not deserve to be treated with respect. He did not earn respect. He earned the contempt of any person who truly cares about the lives of human beings.
I am not going to run outside and wave flags because he is dead. But, equally, I am not going to hesitate to express my contempt for him. Please note: contempt, not hatred. I hate what he did, but I do not hate him: he doesn't deserve hatred. But he does deserve contempt. And making him the butt of sophomoric jokes is one way to demonstrate that.
- ▼ 2011 (6)