Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Well. As my friend JMB reported, 200 hits on the bin Laden post. Lucky me, I'm topical once in a while. Fortunately people are responding privately and via Facebook, and I appreciate the feedback. The positive, and the negative.
Let's try to remember something though folks: If I don't mention you by name, I certainly haven't committed any slander. The people who know you will understand your point of view; and you don't have to care about the people who don't know you as well.  

I compared notes with another friend today about how we talk to our kids when events of universal importance occur. His children, same general age group as mine, heard about bin Laden right away yesterday morning. "Something happened last night that you ought to know about." I respect that. It may not be wise to always strive to protect my own kid from the world as it is. And knowing the news is important.

I found myself uncomfortable with the dialogue as it was reported to me, though, mainly because I'm not sure the socio-political nuances of this particular event are available to the average seven-year-old. And the for-Dummies version of such events, already a specialty of the mainstream media, creates a kind of credulity in the minds of kids and grown adults alike that perpetuates all the other myths we seem to suffer from as a society.Was bin Laden akin to the evil Emperor of the Star Wars movies? As my friend pointed out, the Darth Vader comparison doesn't really work because Vader turned out to be a little bit good in the end. Did I cheer when the Emperor bought it in "Return of the Jedi?" Maybe. It seems likely. And why not? In the movies, the wars end, and everyone lives happily ever after.

I recently asked another friend about a private relational situation, and the answer I got was "It's very complicated, and talking about it wouldn't be useful." I think that's an interesting question to ask oneself: is this line of conversation useful?

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