~I love comics~
As a child I was an avid reader of Batman, Superman, Spider-man, the Flash, Wildcats, X-Men — anything to do with Wolverine really — not to mention all the others that I’d picked up on a whim and read voraciously throughout all hours of the night.
Late yesterday evening — when I’d heard the news about Osama Bin Laden — I couldn’t help but to be reminded of those golden days of yore, cooped up in my room, pizza bagels a-plenty, re-reading my favorite adventures again and again.
Wherever it was reported, the all the proclamations of his death seemed to favor a “Villian-esque” title for the fallen crime-lord, which was undeniably reminiscent of a comic book nemesis.
“We got him”, they’d say,
“We got the bad guy!”
“The Bad Guy is dead”
But something’s wrong, I can feel it. Something to do with the way this whole situation made me remember comics…
Let’s see if I can’t piece this out. Spider-man, one of my all time favorites, would often find himself in encounters with “Bad Guy’s” as he attempted to keep the peace, all while studying for his College finals out of his home in Queens, NY. Being myself a resident of the borough I have to admit I’m of a rather slanted point of view. You see, he does get the bad guy. Every time — Sure. And boy does he take a licking on our behalf — of that there can be no doubt!
The trouble is, he’s rather sloppy.
Why just last week I went to use the “N” train to jump on into the city, only to find out that he’d been fighting some dude named “Scorpion” (one-name, like Madonna, this city…), over at my 30th Ave stop — and they “accidentally” demolished a portion of the track with a thrown car. We don’t know who threw the car, but as always I’ve got Spidey in my sights.
One can’t help but to wonder in the midst of all this do-good’erey if these guys would even be around in this measure — costumes and capes and whatnot — if Spidey himself wasn’t so aggressive or intimidating a foe? Does not necessity breed evolution? Also, with all that aside, guess who get’s to pay the increased taxes and fair hikes from now on, courtesy of his capers!?
Wait? What am I talking about? You guys should have stopped me — I’m really getting away with myself. This is only a comic we’re talking about. This isn’t real life. It’s not like my taxes are going up. My train fair is still the same. It still runs fifteen minutes late. It’s not like Bin Laden and his capturing are coming out of my pocket.
Wait a minute…
OH — Aw, Poo!
Turns out, this “War” has come with a mighty hefty price tag. I caught this little gem on twitter, @MichaelMoore: 10 years, 2 wars, 919,967 deaths, and… Wait for it… 1,188,263,000,000! — That’s One Trillion, One Hundred Eighty-Eight Billion, Two hundred sixty-three Million dollars!
All to capture one man…
And in all honesty, there were other costs. Some estimate the losses in excess of Three Trillion…
~~Not to mention our rights~~
The Patriot Act
Violations/Limits to our freedom of speech
Staggering, isn’t it? I mean when it’s all laid out like that…
What could 1/6th of that money — $109,333,333,333 — do for our country? That’s about what we spend on Science, Energy, and the environment combined (actually only: 62,227,000,000 — we could have thrown in agriculture, and community development and still made it in with money to spare!). What could 1/1000th — a cool 656 mil — do for you? For your community? For the world?
What we spend on defense is crippling the lower classes — Myself included, Say Thank-Ya — and it is because of this, ole’ Spidey, that the day is not, in fact, saved.
~Let me see if I can find us a visual…~
Ahhh, here we are;
Found it here @ barryhermanson.org , “Green party Candidate”. I gave Barry a plug because he not only claims to have made his handy visual tool, but on his site he’s detailed just exactly how much money those chunks represent in good old greenbacks — Check it out (It’ll open in another window).
All this beckons the question, amidst our celebrations and proclamations of victory — as we all stand cheering at a public hanging — what have we won?
At least Peter Parker saves Mary Jane. What has our victory wrought?
And, more-so to the point, was it worth it?
We are not Super heroes. We might be able to fly, and shoot laser beams, travel faster than a locomotive, and stop speeding bullets, but we are living in the world which we create — and we’re footing the bill as well.
Today, barely 48 hours after the death of a tyrant, maybe we should all be a little less celebratory about what we “accomplished”, and a little more solemn about what we gave up along the way.
And maybe, now that we’re done, we can lower the defense budget a little. It’s how, even from beyond the grave, Bin Laden is still kicking our ass.
Damn you arch nemesis!