Cazenovia He didn’t really know who he was. Osama Bin Laden thought he was that guy, like the Bruce Willis character in “Die Hard With a Vengeance,” when he shot down a helicopter with a car because he ran out of bullets. The man thought he was righteous. He sent videos taunting the world and nobody could get him for the longest time. He just wouldn’t go down.
In actuality, Bin Laden was more like the Humphrey Bogart character in the Hemingway novel “To Have and Have Not.” He had all intentions of doing business legitimately until politics threatened his sense of fair play. He turned desperate and began taking the law in his own hands.
He became a bad guy. He rationalized all his actions but eventually paid a steep price. No he didn’t walk away whistling with Lauren Bacall and Walter Brennen; that was Hollywood. In the book, he lost his arm and died, a rather mundane ending for a guy with a hero complex. Basically, he lost sight of who he was and he went down.
Ten years later, after that surprise attack on Sept. 11, 2001, after the galvanization of America as one nation, under God and indivisible, we are at odds with each other. We seem to be wondering who we are.
People like to ask, where were you? Who were you and what were you doing? But what they really want to know is where are you? Who are you and what are you doing now?
They want to know if you’ll vote Republican or Democrat. They want to know if you’re Christian, Jewish or Muslim. They want you to think America is broke and can’t be fixed, that no stimulation whatsoever will revive the corpse.
Forgive me my doomsday patter. I recently spent three nights in the ICU at St. Joe’s for anemia. Turns out, I did not react well to a procedure and almost bled to death. Blood is to have, or have not.