Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Saturday, May 07, 2011

Osama's Age-Old Act

Killing him is one thing, but the cruelest blow is showing 54-year-old, gray-bearded bin Laden huddled in a blanket watching TV, in short, looking like me and other aged retirees.

Releasing the videos may be intended to suggest that the mastermind of 9/11 was still a lethal threat, but the subliminal message is that age diminishes all, leaving us a parody of our former selves.

"Old age is a shipwreck," goes the saying, and for mass murderers, it apparently comes sooner than later, with that added insult of having others treat us as our former selves while we know that the wise-old-man and chairman-of-the-board clich├ęs are only routine courtesies from those in the real world.

No mistake, we are all better off without the brilliant madman who acted out his fantasy that murdering innocent people at random is a political statement, but his passing is also a reminder that nothing in this world is permanent.

"The dogs bark, but the caravan moves on" is a Middle East saying, and as the death of Osama bin Laden keeps the dogs barking over its implications, those who have seen many caravans, understand what those images of the prematurely old man with the shawl really mean.

He belongs to history now, and the dogs will soon be yelping after other caravans.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well put - "wise old man."