Ezy Reading: A 2-Minute Interview In Detroit
On Changing The Channel
Evan Kanarakis


THE CUD: So what have the last few weeks been like for you since hearing about Osama Bin Laden’s death? You served as a Marine in Afghanistan, right?

J.S: I suppose my main reaction was relief. Relief they finally caught up with him… I didn’t feel like celebrating though. None of that. It didn’t feel ‘happy’… Seeing people dancing in the streets and hearing about college frat houses holding ‘Osama is dead keg parties’… That was weird for me.

THE CUD: Reactions on that kind of stuff were pretty mixed…

J.S: Right… And I guess people are allowed to mark an event like that any way they want, but for me it just made me think about 9-11… Lives we lost not just that day but since, over in Iraq and Afghanistan... The whole mess of it all. We got the fucker, and that’s great, don’t get me wrong, but hearing that didn’t have me instinctively feeling happy or wanting to run down the street screaming ‘U.S.A! U.S.A!’ It made me sad about things that came before. But hey, that’s just me.

THE CUD: I guess the reality is also that while it’s huge that what he represented and the role he played has now been removed, it doesn’t destroy an entire movement or end all of the conflict overnight.

J.S: And that’s part of what pissed me off about the reactions I saw on TV. The day after Osama was dead, we still had troops over there getting shot at… The Taliban is still going. And there are still terrorists out there. Hell, there probably always will be. But we had people on Fox News trying to score political points saying ‘now Obama needs to bring our boys home’. That really pissed me off.

THE CUD: Because it’s never that easy-

J.S: Exactly. And I know we’ll never have a neat, happy resolution to all this, say ‘Mission Accomplished’ and go home. That fairytale ending shit never happens in war. But I know a lot of men and women over there who need to know that what they’ve been putting themselves on the line for every day mattered- and that we’ll not leave before the job is done. Or at least as close to ‘done’ as we can ever get... And right now, I’m telling you, we’re not there.

THE CUD: So while we'll undoubtedly always look at Osama’s death as an important development, it'll perhaps be seen one day more in terms of having been a critical turning point.

J.S: Right. And of course I hope it ends up becoming a turning point towards something positive! ...When Hitler died, World War II didn’t suddenly end within minutes. The Japanese had something to say about that. And I’m sure plenty of people sympathetic to Osama are feeling the same thing right now as well.

THE CUD: So perhaps people can be optimistic with news like this, but 'cautiously optimistic' is probably a wiser path... It’s grim stuff, isn’t it?

J.S: Yeah it is. But then I wonder how many people really get what has been going on anyway. How many people genuinely give a damn.

THE CUD: How so?

J.S: All these people dancing in the street and letting off fireworks. Two days after Osama’s death they were probably back to talking about a royal fucking wedding and who got voted off ‘American Idol’.

THE CUD: People move on pretty quickly.

J.S: Changing channels. That’s how people roll in this country. They just keep changing channels until they see something they like… Or that helps them to forget.


Ezy Reading is out every month.