Saturday, March 10, 2007

Bin there, done that: half a century on

Both these unconventional characters have been around for 50 years now. The cat and the Sheikh are growing decidedly middle-aged, yet retain appeal for young, malleable minds.

Any other obvious similarities?

It's a very odd pairing indeed.

The lovable Cat in the Hat creates chaos and gets the kids in trouble (the Hebrew edition's cover is shown)

Osama Bin Laden, the face of fundo fury, has unleashed dreadful bouts of destruction, and now sends out taped messages from the forlorn Hindu Kush badlands.
One brash photojournalist from the US asserts that al Qaeda now supplies arms to Gaza-based Palestinian militants to launch attacks inside Egypt. Intriguing, but there has been not one shred of hard evidence of this. Paranoia and bravado between rival guerrilla factions stymies investigations here. Far more posters and t-shirts of Nasrullah and Arafat than OBL appear on the streets of Gaza and Palestine.

They make an unsettling pair,the cat and the tall ascetic, both hell-bent on teaching us some kind of lesson.

Bin Laden's horoscope today indicates he is a Pisces and an extremist..but didn't we know that already? (An alternate date, July 30 1957 has been put forth too; it's as if the sheik has taken to celebrating two separate birthdays, like the British queen. He has his share of admirers, alas. The Middle East blogosphere is buzzing with birthday tributes to the notorious recluse. The 25 million dollar bounty on OBL's head remains the same. Plus the $2m bonus from the air pilot's association, of course. So far , no takers.

Dr Seuss's frenetic feline, who famously Came Back the next year, is an irrepressible force. This cat is known to English-speakers the world over. His distinctive striped top hat is widely imitated. He has nine lives and lots of tricks up his sleeve.
Osama, the other other birthday boy, has the added unpleasant feature of being for real, albeit in a evasive way. Osama has become the bearded phantom of Al Qaeda, rarely sighted, and holding out against harsh odds, occasionally taunting the West from his tribal hidey-hole. I don't know what exactly Bin Laden embodies now. For some he is the ultimate evil; for others a defiant and righteous zealot. We live in bizarre times. Here's hoping none of OBL's birthday wishes come true.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...,7340,L-3377114,00.html

Some Palestinian guys on Al Fardaws pledged allegience to OBL. So it is not so farfetched after all
(Unless Rabat actually refers to morocco and not Israel. ALl most mysterious)