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posted by [personal profile] dglenn at 05:25am on 2011-05-02

[Perhaps it was because (due to procrastination) I was searching for a good Holocaust Remembrance Day quote when I heard the news about the killing of an old, no longer influential, but oh so very symbolically important man ... that my reaction was not "Hooray, he's dead," but merely, "Huh. That's pretty big news, innit?" It felt like a really odd moment to cheer for any death. Was this justice or vengeance? Well, probably both but definitely the latter ... Anyhow, I saw a few people in different places quote Mark Twain, and I'm betting more will have done so between my typing this and when it gets posted; it does seem ever so appropriate.]

"I've never killed a man, but I have read some obituaries with great pleasure." -- attributed to either Mark Twain (b. 1835-11-30, d. 1910-04-21) or Clarence Darrow (b. 1857-04-18, d. 1938-03-13)

"Can we bring our soldiers home, now? And maybe kill some asinine laws made out of the misguided belief that a loss of liberty will ensure safety?" -- [info] - personal ilyena_sylph, 2011-05-01

"I am somewhat disappointed that he was not apprehended alive and tried, but welcome the opportunity for the president to make what political hay of this he may." -- [info] siderea, 2011-05-02

"I'm not rejoicing, and I'm glad this item got scratched off the national To Do list." -- [info] redaxe, 2011-05-02

[I do think the world is better off without Osama bin Laden in it, but I'm uncomfortable with all the "Fuck yeah! Wooooo!" at the death of (arguably) a human being. I would revel in his defeat, but as long as we, as people, are looking over our shoulders in fear, imposing or submitting to stupid security-theatre rules, trading liberty for the illusion of safety, and trading our ideals and the moral high ground (I'm thinking of Gitmo and all the issues surrounding that, for a start) for that same illusion ... I don't really feel like my country has won yet. There remains the ongoing real fight against al Qaeda and others, as well as the paranoid fight against our own shadow and the paradoxical fight against our own principles, that one powerfully symbolic death won't be enough to resolve. We've got work to do.]

"The Holocaust is a central event in many people's lives, but it also has become a metaphor for our century. There cannot be an end to speaking and writing about it. Besides, in Israel, everyone carries a biography deep inside him." -- Aharon Appelfeld (b. 1932-02-16)

[I didn't want my original idea for today's quote to get entirely lost in today's news.]

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