It’s OK to Laugh at Osama

You don't have to respect the dead if the dead is a mass murderer

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted May 2, 2011 1:59 PM CDT

(Newser) – It is, in many quarters, still too soon to joke about the 9/11 attacks, but America hasn’t wasted a minute making jokes about Osama bin Laden’s well-earned demise, notes Mary Elizabeth Williams of Salon. “You know Barack and Michelle are having some crazy ‘we killed bin Laden’ sex right now,” tweeted comedian Christine Nangle, while Washington Post writer Ezra Klein asked, “So does this mean I can keep my shoes on at the airport?” And plenty of people piled on a certain real estate developer. “Great to see Barack Obama defeat the man who brought so much pain to the city of New York: Donald Trump,” wrote Neal Brennan. And already there's a @GhostOsama tweeting things like "Hitler is pretty chill."

So is it kosher to laugh at this? Williams thinks so. “While the jingoistic hooting in the streets may seem deeply unnerving to many—including those of us directly affected by the terror attacks—the impulse to share a cathartic laugh after 10 long years seems eminently healing.” We need to smile, “not in a fist-pumping ‘USA! USA!’ way, but in a relieved ‘Christ, what a circus’ one.” The war on terror may not be over, but this “proves we know one of its most effective weapons—a devastating zinger.” Click to read her entire piece, which features more zingers.

Comedian Aaron Barschak dressed as Osama Bin Laden poses for photographers outside Prince William's 21st birthday party at Windsor Castle, Windsor, England in this June 21, 2003 file photo.
Comedian Aaron Barschak dressed as Osama Bin Laden poses for photographers outside Prince William's 21st birthday party at Windsor Castle, Windsor, England in this June 21, 2003 file photo.   (Getty Images)
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