Friday, April 06, 2007

Osama bin Laden releases a statement in which he denounces Buddhism as “pagan Buddhism” and so security surrounding the Dalai Lama is beefed up big time. While there should be no surprise that a sociopathic terror monger like bin Laden would attack anything that isn’t Islamic (indeed, doesn’t a general sense of religious xenophobia form a healthy component of any organized religion?) some questions remain unanswered. Questions like: who is doing his publicity because frankly, this particular cry for attention is ranking up there with the time Jesse Metcalf went into rehab and when Mariah Carey announced she was buying a kid. It’s not that exciting or resonant when it’s been done and done and done to death by other people before you.

We already know that the most effective way to get publicity at the moment, particularly in the US, is to attack either popular religion or to stab a metaphorical fork into the open sore on the American consciousness that is 9/11. Rosie O’Donnell pioneered the way in “hitting the cultural jugular” with her ongoing campaign for a show of her own by attempting to prove she is ratings worthy through a series of mindless bickering attacks on public figures like Donald Trump. Her latest which involved arguing that 9/11 was potentially an inside job triggered a response bigger and predictably more disapproving than any of her prior attempts at ratings because the memory of 9/11 is an abscess that will more than likely never fully heal. Next up was Christopher Hitchens who jumped on the “hit the cultural jugular” bandwagon by systematically denouncing the point of pretty much every major religion, because he has a book that is about to come out. Not surprisingly, people were upset.

So now, in THIRD place when it comes to “hitting the cultural jugular” bin Laden chimes in with a limp attempt at shock and awe by merely disapproving of Buddhism. Who is doing his press? What is the point of this? While bin Laden is certainly tuned in to what gets people’s attention, if he wants to stay in the loop – which he seems inclined towards, then this recent attempt is, sorry to say, both derivative, not new information when it comes to what the public understands as his cores beliefs and an all round average attempt at best.

Still, crap publicist aside, why is Osama getting into the press right now anyway? Did Osama bin Laden get some kind of book deal?


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