Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Playing Out Fiction

Two major events occurred over the weekend that captured worldwide, public attention: The Royal Wedding, with its ostentatious display of wealth, grandeur, and pageantry, viewed by over two billion people, and the long awaited assassination of Osama bin Laden, with an even larger global news audience the following day. These events represent two extremes almost too difficult to comprehend at once. But then I noticed a disturbing link between the two.

The parting video of the prince and princess, pulling out of Buckingham Palace in an Aston Martin convertible was evocative of Britain's legendary secret agent, James Bond. Especially in the film "On Her Majesty's Secret Service." This image, as lovely and joyous as it was, reminded me of the conclusion of that least watched of all the Bond films. If you do not know what I am referring to, watch the video. I won't give voice to it here.

On the heels of the royals' honeymoon, there was the assault on Osama bin Laden's hideout by Navy Seals. We got our man and left with his corpse. When the government revealed the game plan to the press and public the next day, it looked and sounded like the end of a typical James Bond movie replete with an elite assault team, helicopters, and a miraculous finish. It had everything but the signature Bond soundtrack. And America rejoiced.

The photo of our president and secretary of state, with the rest of the National Security Council, watching a live feed of the operation released the following day, bespeaks the violence and horror of the event. This was not Hollywood bloodshed. Osama met an Old Testament death, but he has only so many eyes and teeth. What he still has is a large following with an endless supply of vengeance.

As we Americans celebrate our triumph, we need to temper our glee. Murder is a nasty business whether justified or not. The forces of retribution are gathering, and make no mistake about it, What Goes Around, Comes Around.