Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Everlasting Dramatic examples and Symbols

So Osama Bin Laden is dead. Along with the questions I asked earlier I came up one more.

You see when it comes to getting people to support your cause you need a target. A symbol. An enemy that you can focus all your attention on. Something that the people you are trying to convince can point to and say, "That's the enemy!" I think its safe to say that Osama Bin Laden became that symbol over the last 10 years. He has become the face and name of terrorism that we as Americans have been cheering our military forces on to go out and kill. Well now that he's dead does that mean that terrorism has been vanquished? Of course not.

In fact I'm willing to bet that even as I type this there are people in Al-Queda that are vying for the top spot in that organization. Or perhaps they are playing smart and are not going to show themselves for fear of becoming the face of evil that the entire free world fixes its crosshairs on (like Bin Laden and Hussien before him).

And I think that exposes a serious problem when someone becomes a symbol.

What our dear Bruce Wayne may have missed in his speech is that not only is a symbol stronger than a single person but it also focuses all attention on itself until that symbol becomes the thing its trying to represent. Now on one hand this is good considering that Batman does go on to become the living symbol of the fight against crime in Gotham City. However at the same time this also creates the problem of putting all the eggs in a single basket. If you've never read the Batman novel "Knightfall" (I'm sure there was a story arc by the same name in the comics) its about the introduction of a villain named Bane that does what no other villian, even the Joker, was able to do. He crushed the Bat and left him helpless. And (if memory serves) when that happened that was the siren that all the hoods and freaks of Gotham needed to come out and play.

Effectively they thought that with the fall of the Bat everything was fine and dandy for the criminal element to come out and play. I wonder if the same thing may happen with the death of Bin Laden.

Now that he is dead are people going to really start thinking that terrorism is really finished?

Just as other heroes stepped to the plate when Batman was injured (if I'm not mistaken Dick Grayson actually donned the Batman costume while Wayne was out of action) surely there are other terrorists still watching, still waiting, still ready to strike. I'm just a little worried that people are gonna really start thinking that Obama (EDIT: I didn't even realize that I had done this until it was pointed out in the comments. However I'm gonna leave it there just to show how easy it can be to make that mistake. Thanks JM.) WAS terrorism and with him gone the threat died with him.


DaisyDeadhead said...

I actually wondered, for awhile, if he was real.

I just keeping thinking about: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emmanuel_Goldstein

DaisyDeadhead said...

Whoa! I see at the end of that Wikipedia entry that someone already thought that... well good, since I often think I am alone in my weirdo hippie skepticism. :-D

Danny said...

I actually recall people talking like that Daisy. Wondering if Osama Bin Laden was just a name and the man in the videos was just some random man or perhaps they got together and decided that he had the best look for the part.

Danny said...

Or maybe he's more like Dread Pirate Roberts? Where the man in the videos was the original but has already passed on the title. Maybe the one that was killed had already passed on the leadership and a new one will rise?

JM said...

Don't look now, but you just pulled a Fox News in that last sentence...

Danny said...

Funny thing I was just posting on Twitter the other day asking how many times has that mistake been made in the last few days. I don't think that every slip was a "slip" (as in intentional slight of one or the other) in fact I bet that the majority of them were genuine slips.