Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Why Students Went Nuts Over Osama's Death

My blogroll is filled with posts analyzing why students in particular engaged in very tasteless displays of glee over Osama bin Laden being killed. Most of the explanations, as you can see from this post, are an exercise in inanity.  The authors of these weird explanations prefer to blabber about OJ Simpson's trial instead of looking at today's unemployment rate among young people. These kids are graduating from high schools and colleges only to realize how grim their prospects are. Unemployment, underemployment, crappy part-time jobs and living in your parents' basement for years to come - these are their main prospects. Students who are graduating from my university either can find no jobs at all or are offered ridiculous salaries of 10-12K per year. We keep hearing that the post-recession reality we are living today is "the new normal," and we should just get used to it.

So is there any wonder that these kids chose to release these tensions that must be bothering them every day in this way?


Pagan Topologist said...

Several of my students told me yesterday that they had "rioted" over it the previous night. I questioned the use of the word 'riot' and they read to me from an online dictionary that apparently the word need not be restricted in this context to violent demonstrations or uprisings, that large enthusiastic crowds are included also.

I have not read any of the commentary, but I suspect that it has something to do with the fact that he has been a notorious villain for the students' entire lives, so the event is more overwhelming to them than it is to us older people. I had a similar reaction to the first human and later the first American orgiting the Earth when I was that age. It had seemed an impossible dream all my life.

Anonymous said...

You have a problem with people celebrating the removal of a person that has done great evil?

Would you also have a problem with Holocaust survivors celebrating Hitler's death?

Clarissa said...

I think that jumping around, waving flags and screaming "USA! USA" (or "Canada, Canada!" Or "Ukraine! Ukraine") is a reaction that I'm even ashamed to look at on TV.

Anonymous said...

That's because you're weird.

Clarissa said...

No, buddy, that's because I have a brain.

Pagan Topologist said...

This gives me a bit of deja vue. When I was a child, I became convinced that being weird and having a brain were strongly correlated, if not the same thing. So, I proudly considered myself weird. I still tend to instinctively understand 'weird' to be a positive characteristic, even though I know many people use it negatively.

I suppose it should be regarded as merely a synonym of 'not typical.'