First he was a villain, then a rogue, then a murderer; then in evasion and invisibility, Osama Bin Laden became legendary, even mythical, like a unicorn, or Carmen Sandiego. Where in the world was he? What were the chances that we'd ever bring him to account, that we'd smoke him out of his hole? These probing, mostly-unasked-outside-of-military-circles questions are irrelevant today, because Osama bin Laden is plankton food. 9-11? Avenged.
So, you know, say goodbye limited-edition, authenticated-by-experts Bin Laden cassettes lacking John Wiese laptop noise or "Lemonade" freestyles, say hello to a raft of crude jokes about human shields, getting shot in the eye, and Pakistani geography, and join Gimme Noise in celebrating the sweet taste of long-delayed vengeance the way we celebrate pretty much everything: with a mixtape.
Rusted Shut, "Shot In The Head"
An apt title, as most of this Houston noise group's material suggests the moment of confusion and agony and disorientation that probably comes immediately after being shot in the head. Ironically, the troops who took bin Laden out probably experienced something similar immediately after lowering their weapons, because, well, they took bin Laden out. One enters the military hoping to serve one's country and maybe get some money for undergrad; one doesn't so much think "Maybe I'll be in the unit that busts bin Laden." You know the heads in that squad are ballooning right now, they've gotta be totally elephantine. And who could blame them?
Martha Reeves & The Vandellas, "Nowhere To Hide"
If, by some bizarre cosmic fluke, bin Laden awakens in some heavenly paradise to a 70 or 80 virgin waiting to service him, I hope they're all singing this song, over and over again and incapable of ever stopping, with the fanfare of girl-group shimmy and jangle piping in with no off-switch for all of eternity.
Scarface, "No Tears"
No, the title doesn't amount to a gruff, gangbanging endorsement of Johnson & Johnson baby shampoo; the song is about revenge, about grabbing a gun and tracking down the scoundrel who capped your best friend, about wandering over to the dark side in order to come away with a sense of justice, of balanced scales. Is it too much to hope that now, with bin Laden very literally on ice, we can start wandering back towards judicial sanity?
Tracey Thorn wanted to spend enormous amounts of time in her room; Osama bin Laden probably didn't want to spend enormous amounts of time in a labyrinth-like warren of caves somewhere up in the Pakistani mountains. (Down in a hole! Losing his soul!) And as unpopular as it is to admit this with regards to a man responsible for the deaths of thousands worldwide, on a purely humanistic level, bin Laden is better off dead; we did him a favor by finally finding him and taking him out. Because, really, what kind of quality of life did the guy really have? It wasn't like he could get out to the movies or a mosque or a meal in a nice restaurant. Dude must've been going a little crazy out there in the hills. He's in a better place now, hopefully fanning flames and choking on sulphur fumes.