Saturday, May 28, 2011

Jay Kirk: Kingdom Under Glass

I was recently advised by my mom that I am reading books that are just a little too heavy. I'm not exactly sure why she thinks that, given my recent selection. I'm thinking she's right- the selections have been heavy, but I'm not sure about too heavy. I told her that rather than heavy, I was going with bizarre this time. Fitting, right? "Kingdom Under Glass" is the story of Carl Akeley, the man who modernized the art of taxidermy. Taxidermy really does seem like an art, as Jay Kirk portrays it, not just something weird that you see on the side of the road in out of the way towns, or in creepy TV crime shows. Akeley also invented a movie camera that helped put taxidermy out of business: he developed it to help him preserve images of animals in the field so he could come back and build more accurate models for people to see, but people didn't need accurate models when they had videos to watch.

In some ways, Kirk presents Akeley as totally a man of his times: he went on safaris, pulled himself up by his bootstraps, and is in awe of the manliness of Teddy Roosevelt. He sees the world shrinking, but can still see ways to improve it, and doesn't let much get in his way. He fights through fever after fever and fights off a lion and an elephant, steals someone's wife, ditches her when it's convenient, and finds a suitable one shortly thereafter. In other ways, he's slightly ahead of his times: his first wife is very much his artistic partner (though it's not clear that she gets any credit for her work), and both wives are active participants in his safaris. He is not content to stay with the status quo of taxidermy techniques, or with his social class (rural farmer).

Basically, before Akeley, taxidermy was all about skinning animals as fast as possible and stuffing them with whatever was on hand, usually sawdust. It was crude and impermanent. Women wore taxidermied birds on their hats, so there was a huge market to kill them at large rates, and stuff them and sell them as fast as possible. The skinning and stitching and stuffing was obviously, and the animals didn't resemble their live versions. Akeley didn't like this, and set out to progressively make the animals more and more lifelike, eventually changing the art to end up as we know it now: the dioramas of animals in situ in natural history museums- whole families of elephants, giraffes, deer, etc. His first wife, Minnie, painstakingly collected the flowers and grasses and bugs that would really live with the live animals, and the assembled lifesize scenes with the skins of animals they had hunted. This became the museum standard, and Akeley (not his wife) became a celebrity. He also became somewhat of a preservationist: while hunting in Africa, he realized that elephants and gorillas were not going to be around long enough to preserve them, either stuffed or any other way, and was influential in the building of a national park in Belgian Congo. (This didn't stop him from being compuslive in finding "the right" specimen, and killing many in search of that one.)

Kirk writes in a historical-fiction type tone, filling in a lot of blanks, and bringing us along for Akeley's life story. The book is a pleasant read, and for most of it, fast paced. There's a few points where it lags while filling in historical details on eugenics, etc, and a few threads left too far open: Akeley's first wife is described as insane, but was she? What were the effects of all of the fevers and monkey bites that both Akeley and his wife suffered? Was this the cause of the bizarre behavior on both their parts? The fiction-style doesn't leave a lot of room for analyzing on Kirk's part, but it seems like with the amount of research that went into this book, he's the man to do it. A nice light read; I'm back to the heavy stuff.

The Year of the Bug: Brownie Boy

(more camera porn)

Week 21: Brownie Boy

The brownie is courtesy of, from Australia.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Paul Reyes: Exiles in Eden

So relieved that this book is as good as I was hoping! I believe I found Paul Reyes' "Exiles in Eden" in a short list of book reviews from "The Nation," when I was skimming through looking for books to have on the list for a library trip. When you go to the library, especially in Oakland, you have a big list. Even if you check the catalog before leaving the comfort of home and have a smaller list of books that are supposed to be on the shelves, they're not all there. So it's important to have a wide range of books you want to read. I have found a library (the Rockridge branch) that has an appealing "New Nonfiction" section that's *almost* as good as browsing a bookstore, but it seems like the biggest sections are new-age religion and DIY money managing, so it's really not all that exciting. So "Exiles in Eden" went on the list and was there the same day. Which was great, since I also picked up "The Turquoise Ledge" that day, and we all know how that turned out.

I'm in the privileged position of being able to say that I'm slightly sick of hearing about the foreclosure crisis. I'm lucky that I'm not directly affected by it: I rent and my family members have made smart investment decisions. I'm very challenged when it comes to understanding banking and the financial system, so it's taken me a long time to understand even the basics of how the economy got into this mess, and what banks and why defaulted (?), made predatory loans (?), and caused foreclosures. This is another reason I haven't paid attention to it: I just can't wrap my head around it. I'm acknowledging that I'm extremely lucky to be in this position where I don't have to understand this stuff. Reading "Exiles in Eden" was an insider, eye-opening look at what's going on, a reminder of my privilege.

Reyes' parents are in the foreclosure real-estate business, and he spends some time working for his dad, who cleans out the foreclosures to get them ready to sell. I mean cleans out: tears up rotten boards, takes the trash and furniture left behind to the dump, cleans the yards out of all kinds of plants, etc. It's not a pretty business. He meets the sheriffs at the houses on eviction days- one sheriff had done over 10 evictions on one day. Talk about burnout! He works with a pair of old-time cleaner-outers that have worked for his dad for years, and even though the foreclosure is booming business (sad, right?) these guys struggle to make ends meet. While banks make money off of crappy loans, even the foreclosure economy is a trickle down economy and the people working the houses of victims of poverty into shape make almost nothing. Reyes talks to and writes about some of the people whose houses he is cleaning out and they all, to a person, seem as confused about why they are losing their houses as I am about the whole foreclosure/economy thing. They aren't sure what banks they are indebted to, they're not sure where the money they are paying (or not paying) is going to, or how the system works.

And heartbreakingly, Reyes shows that the scams these people are unclear about are not new. He takes us to his parents house in the middle of nowhere. 40+ years ago, on their honeymoon, they were swindled into paying $10 down, $10 a month for a house in Florida that they never saw. The house was portrayed as the ideal retirement on a quarter of an acre, which seemed like a ton of land. Only the developers who sold them, and tons of other people, the land, never planned to build houses on this land. And now, there never will be houses on this land: there's no infrastructure like sewage, power, water, etc. Reyes finds the plot and there is one house for miles around. It's a wasteland of a money suck: thousands of people have been sending money in for decades, for empty land, just as the people losing their houses now are sending money in to pay interest for loans that they will never be able to pay off. The people who lent them the money, the banks that made the loans, knew these debtors would never be able to pay off the loans, just like the property owners in Florida knew there were never going to be houses on that land. Easy money, taking advantage of the American dream of home-ownership and the almost universal lack of education about finances.

Interestingly, on a walk today, a man clearing a weedy yard offered to sell me a house about 2 blocks away for $284,000. He pitched hard, even though he said he was just the gardener, and that it wasn't his house. He told me it was a good investment, and maybe someone I knew wanted to live close to me. A few months ago, I was considering buying a house- it seemed like something someone my age should do. I felt I wanted to live in Oakland forever, and that I was in a stable place in my life. Obviously, this isn't in the picture now, since I'm intentionally not working. Further, I'm not convinced that Oakland is a good investment- sure, everything comes around, but as Reyes articulates, it's just not clear when the end of the cycle is- my lifetime isn't seeming so possible for Oakland's economy. The house I was offered was probably $600k a few years ago, and I just don't see that happening any time soon. Triangulated from my house and that house, two men were killed, by OPD, a few nights ago. At the library, part of my walk today, a library staffer was getting a petition signed because the new Oakland budget includes cutting 14 of the 22 libraries. And supposedly, the economy is doing better. Maybe it is doing better, for some, who have figured out how to profit off of the bottom. Reyes' book shows part of the rest of the story.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Year of the Bug: #buginarug

Week 20: #buginarug

So, this totally isn't the shot I was doing. It wasn't even an outtake- it was a pretake, when I was trying to set up the lighting and angle and stuff. Not even the lighting, because I don't do that. The ISO, aperature, etc. Then I put an A's hat on, because I knew that Mac would look so pathetic- he hates having things on his head and he's so tired of this project.

But that was the point: the A's suck, and being an A's fan is pathetic. And there we have it. Every day I listen, which is somewhat pathetic, and masochistic, and maybe even bizarre. It's like maybe THIS year, THIS week, THIS game they can do it. But they can't. They're pathetic.

But I liked this shot- I'm doing a series on Instagram, hence the hashtag, called #buginarug. You can see it here: of Mac in various forms of tucked-in-ness. He can't tuck himself in, so he's always got part of his body under the covers, or when I tuck him in, part of his body out of the covers. Smart dogs figure this out, but he's, you know, almost 10, and not quite there yet.

By the way, this is apparently the 500th post on Anti-climactic, but we also didn't die yesterday, so, I guess it is what it is.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Leslie Marmon Silko: The Turquoise Ledge

Sometime in grade school- middle school? high school?- I was assigned to read Leslie Marmon Silko's "Ceremony." It's one of the best books I've ever read. I read "Almanac of the Dead," another wonderful fiction book, and was thrilled when "Ceremony of Dunes" came out in 2000, though slightly disappointed. I was so excited when browsing the library and saw that Silko had a memoir, "The Turquoise Ledge," out. All of Silko's books are intensely personal works of fiction- it's clear reading them that she is intimately tied up with her characters who practically climb out of the pages. However, this book is a huge disappointment: the few times I ever really felt Silko was when she talks about her childhood in the first few pages and her dogs in the last few pages. The rest of the book is a meandering journey through the mountains outside of Tucson where she lives: she collects rocks, watches and paints the clouds, and waters her plants. It's boring and impersonal- the exact opposite of her fiction works. I slogged through it, hoping for it to pick up, but it never did. I'm disappointed and disillusioned.

There is a snippet of praise on the back of the book from Terry Tempest Williams, author of the spectacular memoir (which I was also assigned to read sometime during school), "Refuge." The authors clearly share an immense love and reverence for the desert, but Williams tells a story, while Silko meanders through a year of collecting rocks and observing the desert around her. I probably wouldn't call "The Turquoise Ledge" a memoir, but it is described as such on the cover. It reads more as a journey, a diary, a moment in time- perhaps a long essay (which would have been better shorter). Williams' book, as I remember, was a more apt memoir: telling a personal story. Clearly, the author has to decide what to reveal, what to share, and how to tell their story. I've read a few other memoirs since I started blogging my book reviews, and clearly the ones that work for me tell the authors' lives, for better or for worse. I'm curious what inspired Silko, such a wonderful story teller, to tell her story now, and in this fashion. It tries and fails to be the story of a year in the desert, the history of a life, and the current tale of an author.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

James Stewart: Tangled Webs

The premise of James Stewart's new book, "Tangled Webs," is that lying- specifically lying while under oath or perjury- has become an epidemic. The publicity that I read made it sound like he investigates this phenomena in a sort of academic way- why is this happening, what does it mean, what's going on? But really, the book is a fast-paced, sort of entertaining behind-the-scenes look at four recent blockbuster cases of lying celebrities: Martha Stewart, Libby Gordon, Barry Bonds, and Bernie Madoff. The book reads as four case histories; impeccably researched and eloquently told, but there's very little analysis.

The stories are fascinating, and each present different riffs on why people lie. Martha Stewart presents as a self-centered businesswoman, unwilling to tell the truth if it means sacrificing even a cent of her money or an iota of control. Throughout the controversy, she never shows a shred of contrition for the disregard she shows for the justice system or the people she hurts, and by the end, seems to be one of the liars who truly believes the lies she tells. Jail is no deterrent. Scooter Libby, on the other hand, seems to be an upstanding man, who really believes in his cause, caught in a lie that he can't get out of. It is possible, as well, that he was exceptionally loyal to his boss, Dick Cheney, and just couldn't fathom telling the truth if it meant watching where his reputation unravel, possibly taking Cheney with him. Then there were Barry Bonds and the other athletes caught up with BALCO. Barry Bonds seems like a singularly obnoxious character, which makes his lies unsurprising. He was never going to tell the truth, and didn't really care who was brought down in the process. Finally, Stewart writes about Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme. This lie seems to come down to money. Madoff was living the good life, mostly with money he didn't actually have. The truth would have cost him all of that, and the money was built on two decades of an elaborate set of lies. There was no way to tell even part of the truth.

Stewart makes the point by showing, not telling, that the justice system can't work without people telling the truth, and that celebrities and people at the highest levels of the government don't seem to take telling the truth very seriously. For me, the most telling example was Scooter Libby. Although not surprising, George W Bush said that he fully supported the investigation into the leaking of the name of the CIA agent Valerie Plame, and the leakers (and subsequent liars) would be punished under the full extent of the law. Only, they weren't. The leakers were not punished (Armitage and Rove) and Bush commuted Libby's sentence. The then-President of the United States condoned lying. (OK I know no one is surprised there.) One of the people charged in the BALCO case was a defense lawyer: he leaked confidential grand jury papers to the papers presumably in order to get a mistrial for his client. Libby himself is a lawyer. Even those meant to be upholding justice system are lying.

The question lingering in my head is "why?" Stewart doesn't answer this question. It's clearly not the mission of his book, but I was disappointed, nonetheless. I don't like liars. Honesty is one of my "things"- I feel like it's what makes society work. Sure, everyone says that, I'm guessing even liars. I just don't see the point of it. In Stewart's examples, it helped people keep their money for awhile, or their prestige, or their homerun records. Some of them did it out of loyalty, especially the lesser characters. And maybe some people feel the rules don't apply to them. The justice system doesn't work when you lie, though: Stewart starts out arguing "That a witness will raise his hand, swear to tell the truth, and then do so is a breathtakingly simple proposition on which the entire American legal system rests." It's the honor system. Only the person speaking can really know if they're lying (usually) and only the person lying can know why they're lying. But the whole system fails when they do.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Year of the Bug: Fat Head Takes the Day

I wasn't going to use this one, but I just love the fat head affect that the fake tilt-shift gives. Sofafree+fathead=can't pass it up.

Week 19: Fat Head Takes the Day

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Jon Ronson: The Men Who Stare at Goats

Yesterday I both finished Jon Ronson's "The Men Who Stare at Goats" and watched a fascinating National Geographic documentary on North Korea. (Clicking that link will take you to the documentary on YouTube, but it's also available for streaming on Netflix.) Although the Goat book is not about North Korea at all (it's not *really about goats either), as usual, I couldn't separate the two. (See my tumblr for more things that you probably don't think are connected, but that I see all the time.) Ronson's book is about some strange stuff that went on starting after WWII, picked up again after Vietnam, and then was used again after Afghanistan and Iraq began. The book was published in 2004, and one can only assume that the strange techniques continue. I guess the book is now a bad movie, but I haven't and won't see it. That's how themacinator rolls.

The title line comes from one of the Jedi techniques that was originally attmempted, and possibly acheived: killing goats through mind power alone, with eyes. Staring. Matilda-like stuff. Only evil, not good. (In my mind, at least, staring a goat to death is evil.) So here's one of the ways that the North Korea doc fits in: The way that the outsiders get into the country is with the "Miracle Doctor" who gives blind people their sight back. The camera crew and filmmaker gets in saying that they are part of the medical team, and manage to get footage throughout the 10 day trip. When the 1000 patients open their eyes after their operations every single person thanks the Dear Leader, Kim Jong Il, for their sight. The Dear Leader has the Jedi Power to do what no one else (except the doctor who actually has done it) could do. Is it belief or medicine that cured the blind? How does the Dear Leader maintain such power? According to the filmmaker, the answer is fear. Without the belief, they couldn't live, as terror pervades every second of their lives.

Ronson, I believe, describes some of the US government's responses to fear of a world out of control, as well. If the "First Earth Battalion," the hypothetical group of super soldiers who can pretty much do anything because of their psycological powers, can be trained to be invisible and kill people with a simple touch, the world becomes controllable. Fear is unnecessary. Ronson digs as deep as he can into places like Guantanamo, Abu Gharib, and older incidents like MK-ULTRA- the LSD trials. At one point, after delving into a complicated death of a governmetn employee somehow involved in MK-ULTRA, Ronson describes how then-President Ford was able to smooth the whole thing over. He invited the devestated family to the White House and promised to look into the incident, "seductively" wooing (most) of the potentially dangerous family into submission. Similarly, the Great Leader allows a few humanitarians in to his country, along with media, to increase his psycological control over his people.

This is the book for conspiracy theorists. It's both credible and incredible, though I think Ronson would say that he felt the same way while researching and writing the book. Many times he would research soemthing and everyone would say the same thing, or point to the same person. Their statements would be fantastic, but congruous. What is really going on in the world of Army Intelligence or the CIA? Does Abu Gharib or Guantanimo back up Ronson's speculations? Will we ever know? I sound convinced, but I remain on the fence. And I certainly don't mean to compare our government to North Korea, but reading "The Men Who Stare at Goats" certainly gave me insight into how North Korea works and how the US treats its enemies.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Elif Batuman: The Possessed

Like memoirs? Or books? Or intrigued by college and universities and students and intellectuals? Elif Batuman's "The Possessed" is probably going to be a good one for you, then. One of dad's recommendations, I was hesitant at first: Batuman studies Russian Literature at Harvard and Stanford and lives to tell and write about it. That didn't sound too promising: as many times as I try to read those "great books," I just can't do it. But you don't have to have read "Anna Karenina" or "War and Peace" to enjoy the book.

Batuman has a sense of humor, and I'm not sure, based on her book, that all Russian Lit scholars have one, which is part of why the book is so enjoyable. She wryly acknowledges that they all share angst and alienation, but also sees that not all of the scholars are intuitive that maybe the alienation is not as existential as they feel it is. After all, they are studying books and authors that have been deemed classics: a lot of sighing and arguing takes place while discussing some of the most-discussed literature of all time. Batuman doesn't focus only on the main Russian dudes- she travels to Uzbekistan and treats the Uzbek language and lesser known authors with the same benign irreverance as she reserves for the greats. I did get lost (as I am known to do) when she waxes philosophical, and almost totally lost it when she went onto mimetics near the end of "The Possessed." Fortunately, mimetics are something I studied (and then buried) in college- and was deeply amused to read Batuman's take on the subject. If you need a readable discussion of a fairly unreadable subject- trust me, you'll sound educated after you finish "The Possessed," this is a must-read.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Year of the Bug: Still Life with Pit (x2)

Alternately: Pit with a Pit

Week 18: Still Life with Pit (x2)

(alternate title is a reference to the mango incident.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Charles Bowden: Murder City

I'm surprised I haven't posted book reviews by Charles Bowden before, as I've read and enjoyed "Down By the River" (wonder where that review went!) But I haven't, so I'll just start here. And it's a good thing I'm starting today, because it's a chance to bring back my reminder about Cinco de Mayo. If you have a chance, watch this, by Democracy Now!, and if you have to, bring a beer with you.

This is a book that I had to slog through, unfortunately, because the subject matter is powerful, and meaningful to me. The book is repetitive and without details. I get why Bowden has done this: first, it's his writing style, which I appreciate, but most importantly, the extensive violence in Juarez is repetitive and meaningless and detail less. In some months, 150 people are murdered, and none of the murders are investigated. None of the murders are caught. The army, the police, and the government, are all caught up in the crime, if not the murderers themselves. None of the answers given for the violence are adequate: the war on drugs (Bowden calls it "the war for drugs") is not the cause of the violence, free trade and the ensuing poverty is not the cause of the violence, the "serial killer" killing the girls on the border isn't the cause, the collapsing state isn't the answer. For Bowden, there is no cause, really, this is the "new way of life, one beyond our imagination and the code words we use to protect ourselves from life and violence. In this new way of life, no one is in charge and wa are all in play. The state still exists- there are police, a president, a congress, agencies with names studded across the buildings... The violence is everywhere... And the violence has no apparent and simple source. It is like the dust in the air, part of life itself."

The United States tells a story that they are working with the Mexican government, that things are getting better, because the Mexican government (army) is taking care of business. But Bowden paints a different picture: the Mexican army has terrified the people and institutions in Mexico so much that the police wear masks and refuse to go on patrol for fear of reprisal and being killed. Men who beat their wives don't go to prison, they go to short workshops and back to their wives. Journalists are told what to print, and if they stumble into the wrong story or type something out of script, they are kidnapped or killed. The United States does not grant asylum to journalists, even though they are pursued and unsafe in their own country. "Juarez is a place where a declarative sentence may be an act of suicide." The Mexican government tells a story that only the "bad" people are being killed, that you have nothing to fear if you keep your head down. But none of the killers are caught or brought to justice, and continue to roam the streets with AK-47s and other big guns. What does that add up to?

Charles Bowden is a masterful storyteller. Unfortunately, this is a story that seems more appropriate for a magazine article, rather than a full length book. This is a contradiction, though, because Juarez is a full-length book of mind-numbing violence. Bowden concludes his book with short newspaper article after short newspaper article about murders and government cover ups (presented by the papers as government investigations) from January 1st to the middle of May, 2008. It's mind-numbing, but also an awakening to Bowden's new world order. Juarez makes Oakland feel safe.
But for me, fear is a sometime thing, almost a special event. But what if it is like oxygen, part of the very air one breathes, and so it is not noticed and yet is not ignored? To notice it would require concentration, to ignore it would be an invitation to death. Imagine living a life of constant caution, of fearing police, of avoiding the authorities, and yet this blanket of fear is so steady and pervasive that awareness of the sensation ebbs because fear becomes the fabric of life.

Sunday, May 01, 2011


#OBL is the hashtag used for "Osama Bin Laden" tonight, the night President Obama announced that US Special Forces had killed Bin Laden in Pakistan. I was listening to the Phillies game, idly checking twitter and doing a crossword puzzle (funemployment continues) when twitter lit up with an upcoming speech by President Obama. I scrolled back a little to see reports of rumors of Bin Laden's death. Quickly it came out that he had been killed by US forces (see the NYT on how we all knew before Obama told us. Then people started tweeting about how the TV announcers were beating around the bush, then finally saying that they knew we knew that they knew. At first I felt sheer dread, and started worrying about my family- my parents are traveling. I felt like a sitting duck, waiting for reprisals. Then tweets started coming out about the fans at the nationally-televised Phillies game cheering "USA" and I got into the spirit a little. Finally, 50 minutes late, President Obama gave a speech confirming what everyone on twitter knew an hour (plus) before: Bin Laden was dead.

Any happiness was drained from me. What I felt bordered on fear, not of any external forces, but of the President, of the patriotism that he was marshaling, of the smugness and pride in his face and voice and words. He thanked Pakistan for their cooperation (even though they clearly have been housing Bin Laden for years) in an attack that left no Americans harmed and "took care to avoid civilian casualties." President Obama poetically described the horror of 9/11 as the "worst attack on the American people in our history" and used images of empty chairs at the table to justify killing. Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda are terrorists, and malevolent forces. But President Obama used some of nationalism's worst tricks to make a proud political moment of the death of a human being. George W Bush started a war on an entire country (Afghanistan) that has destabilized an entire region (allegedly) for the crime of housing Bin Laden and for the sake of democracy. The longer the war continues, and indeed, with the killing of Bin Laden with only one mention of Afghanistan in President Obama's speech, I'm more and more inclined to think that this war is about the money. Democracy is not capitalism. But American wars seem to be about making the world safe for Disney and other corporations determined to spread the New American Dream of the bottom line. President Obama said as much:
The cause of securing our country is not complete, but tonight we are once again reminded that America can do whatever we set our mind to. That is the story of our history. Whether it's the pursuit of prosperity for our people or the struggle for equality for all our citizens, our commitment to stand up for our values abroad, and our sacrifices to make the world a safer place.
It's telling what his first priority is: the pursuit of prosperity. Equality? Second fiddle. Standing up for our values abroad? Well, if we're talking about killing people, that's only the third thing that comes to mind. And making the world a safer place? Last on the list.

I've copied and pasted some highlights from my twitter feed tonight that captured the ups and downs of the evening for me. I don't have an answer, a prescription or even a sure sense of how I feel about this. I don't think anyone "deserves to die." I don't think war is the answer. I'm almost positive there was a way to capture Bin Laden without killing him, just like I'm pretty sure that hanging Saddam Hussein wasn't necessary. I wasn't here for 9/11, and I still feel stressed out when I think of all of the flags on my return. I bet this week is going to be a mini-reprise of that. The dancing in the streets is despicable: I am not proud to be part of a country that celebrates the death of a human being. Any hope that President Obama was different in any remarkable way from George W Bush is gone. On the other hand, so is my complacency. We are still at war.

You can read a transcript of the speech here.

The video of Phils fans chanting "USA" at the game. I can't bring myself to watch it.

Bin Laden's obituary.

These are posted in roughly chronological order. Many are retweets from my contacts, so I don't know the original poster at all.

@brianstelter: Bin Laden's death revealed May 1, 2011 -- 3,519 days after Sept. 11.

@alapan: I wonder if the birthers are going to want to see Osama bin Laden's death certificate?

@MMFlint: 8 years to the day when Bush put on that costume and falsely declared "Mission: Accomplished."

@jennispinner: Osama killed 4K people on 9/11. War in the middle east has killed/wounded nearly 50K people since then.

@unicornrockstar: Blitzer: "we don't know who else was killed in the process." Just about 100,000 Iraqi, Aghan, and Pakistani civilians, Wolf. No biggie.

@sal_castaneda They started chanting "USA USA USA" at Citizen's Bank Ballpark. Kind of surreal. #Osama

@fuseboxradio Now if the military spending budget can get cut & People of Color can get treated normal at airports, we'll be winning #OsamaBinLadenDead

@AllAboutRace (two tweets) Although my hubby & I were beneath the South Tower when 1st plane hit, saw bodies, were evacuated, lived with the stench and debris after. +I feel no joy at Osama bin Laden's death. Doesn't change a thing about what we went through or what our country faces ahead. Nothing.

@BowedOak: Now lets get the fuck out of Afghanistan.

@friskygeek: As usual, the most relevant and intelligent commentary is not found on any US network but on Al Jazeera.

@GhostOsama: Well this sucks...I accidentally enabled location on my tweets.

@roborobb: Ok the reactions from some people are so scary... We are cheering for death? That's like doing the same thing they did...

@Anti_Intellect I'm not joining the patriotic orgy that will be the reaction to the news that Bin Laden is dead. This is only notable to imperialist power.

@nickbilton: Epic Fox News typo on Osama Bin Laden death (read the name): (Reports: Obama Bin Laden Dead)

@YousefMunayyer: Ten years after 9/11 Osama Bin Laden is dead. The question is how many Bin Laden's were created during this period?

@MonicaKeena1: Thank you to every member of our military & security forces who have spent 10yrs working tirelessly to find & finally get Osama Bin Laden

@bartongellman: If there's a DNA match, bin Laden died quite a few days ago. Getting sample to FBI lab, and definitive match, both take time.

@calebressas: 2011: US allows gays into the army. Later in 2011: US army kills bin laden. WAY TO GO GAYS.

@ileducprof: How does a so-called Christian president justify killing another man? #antiwar

@clarkshadows: People are running to the white house. Pretty big crowd cheering on Penn Ave

@ileducprof: Tribalism: Africans in America celebrating Pres Obama's victory in killing a fellow human. #antiwar

@northoaklandnow: Obama: "The American people did not choose this fight. It came to our doors..."

@ileducprof: One step closer to owning the Middle East. #antiwar

@ileducprof: Perspective: the same folk who urged Bush go to war, R the same people who demanded Obama's birth certificate.

@ShelbyKnox: Politically, wanting to clear the air of birther stench to make way for serious issues makes quite a bit more sense now. #obama

@anildash: The crazy thing re: Bin Laden being in Abbottabad is that it's tourist town, like if he'd been caught in Vail.

@mentalfloss: "It's not natural to celebrate the death of someone, but somehow it feels natural tonight." —Woman who lost her father on 9/11, via @NBCNews

@MaxAllstadt: Everybody Bin Laden killed is still dead. Everybody America killed is still dead. I'm recalling being in Brooklyn on 9/11. It feels awful.

@brittlagatta: doubt there will much change for better & exjudicial aspects of event could make things worse...

@SocProf: Dear media, please, I beg you, do NOT bring back Rudy Giuliani, for the love of all that awesome and cool.

@jeremyscahill: This dumb, sporting-event type reaction from these people outside the White House is idiotic.


@LidiaAnain: You haven't LIVED until you've voluntarily served your country! #thatisall (via@AllAboutRace)
@greenkozi (me): is military the only way to do this? RT @LidiaAnain: You haven't LIVED until you've voluntarily served your country! #thatisall
@LidiaAnain: If you tweet me anything anti-military EVER I will block you! ::hits @greenkozi w/ the block button::
@greenkozi: my kind of discussion RT @LidiaAnain: If you tweet me anything anti-military EVER I will block you! ::hits @greenkozi w/ the block button::
@justinryanbeck just favorited your tweet: is military the only way to do this? RT @LidiaAnain: You haven't LIVED until you've voluntarily served your country! #thatisall

RT @JPBarlow: We killed Bin Laden, but he won. The US today is dimmed, morally & financially bankrupted by our reactions to his works.

@Wirehead: does, of course, have to give special forces credit for doing what neither drones nor carpet-bombing countries could pull off...

@dharma69: Amazing...FDNY firefighters in Times Square celebrating Osama Bin Laden's death.

@EricFidler: Remember on Sept 12, 2001, when you saw people in some places abroad celebrating death? Exactly. Don't be like that.