I will say this.
If I'm going to be hung, I don't want it to be recorded by an Iraqi official using his cellphone.
On Saturday I was here at the store, feeling like a baby had shat in my mouth and farted in my ear drums after a long night of reckless boozing down in Baltimore at Joey T's going away party. Good fun was had and old friends were everywhere. It was like drinking in a time warp or if maybe six years ago, one of us had had one of those Saved by the Bell dream sequences where it's five or so years in the future. Everyone looks pretty much the same, just with minor differences. Maybe someone has a beard or has grown outlandishly fat. Bear had really long hair, so that counts.
It was a good time. Keg stands, beer pong, and Mark and I got busted for cheating. Somethings will never change apparently. Mark's a sonofabitch and I'm a verbose motherfucker. We're a good team.
I got back to Philly around 10, and there was some debate among me, myself, I, and Courtney regarding my sobriety. On the way to work we stopped at Wawa, and glancing at the Philadelphia Inquirer (which recently laid off 80 workers) I saw the headline Saddam Executed.
I got a coffee and a banana nut muffin. Both were delicious.
At work it was slow going and my head was starting to ache. I read online about the execution and then figured I'd watch it on Youtube, which I had recently become addicted too. Where else can you see Justin Timberlake singing about a dick in a box, Borat being interviewed by David Letterman, and the former ruler of Iraq being executed?
The only legitimate video they had was of Saddam being led to the gallows and the noose being placed around his neck. The media-savvy side of me was mildly disappointed because I figured I would be able to see the entire hanging. Yet the humane side of me was largely disappointed because I really wanted to see Saddam being hung. I guess I needed closure, from both standpoints.
Fast forward a couple days later and I'm watching Borat on the Daily Show. I decide to look into Saddam execution videos, to see if maybe any new ones had surfaced. I am nothing if not persistent and adorable simultaneously.
The video was up.
It was three minutes long.
The camera work was shit.
Someone should be fired. But who?
Yet I watched it. Twice. Yes, I watched it twice. I turned the volume up, but that did nothing. Saddam dropped like fourth period french. The video ended with a sideways picture of a lifeless Saddam. I really didn't feel anything. I wasn't sure what I was supposed to feel. Admittedly, it was interesting to see the reaction of those present, those who witnessed the execution. I wondered who those lucky few were. I wondered if anyone there dared to shed a tear or if the entire room was happy the Butcher of Baghdad was finally gone. Reports said that Iraqi people wanted to see the body. They wanted to be sure, to know for certain that the tyrant was finally killed, so they could finally live in peace and no longer be afraid. They wanted to see him lifeless. They wanted to feel safe. I wanted to see because I was curious and bored. And people say Americans lack proper motivation. I mean, really.
This morning I read in the Inquirer that not only did some dude in West Chester get a perfect score on the SAT's, but that the person who shot the video had been arrested and that like I had suspected, it had been taken with a camera phone. A razor maybe? If that were the case, it's not a great advertisement for the phone's video camera options because the recording was shit.
Reports are that the man involved was "an official who supervised the execution." Others in the room remember seeing a man recording the event with a phone, which actually answers a question I had, because it's not as if recording something with your mobile telephone is a discreet act and someone must have noticed. And apparently they did, they just don't know the fella's name. Fifteen people in the room and not everyone knew each other. That would never happen in America. We know everything about everyone. If Saddam was executed here and someone recorded and subsequently someone witnessed it, they'd not only know the recorder's name and the make of his cellphone, but where he got it, if he's a frequent text messenger, and what his plan is. But that leads to the question, would this have happened if the U.S. had been in charge of the execution?
No, if you mean would there have been a shitty recording of it.
But yes if you mean it had been recorded and then released. Because you best bet that FOX News or at least Geraldo Riveria would be there, and the camera work would be much better. Because anything worth doing, is at least worth doing right. Perhaps if we can't spread democracy through the Middle East, we might at least be able to to provide an attention to detail when it comes to production value and recording techniques.
Then at least something good will come from all of this, not just banana nut muffins and good SAT scores.
album of the new year: The Roots: Best of Mix Tape J. Period
DVD collection of the new year: The Office: first series (U.K. edition)
disappointing movie of the new year: Clerks II
drink of the new year: Lemonade Vitamin water
decision of the new year: shoes or sandals?
outcome of the new year: sandals inside, sneakers outside
article of clothing in the new year: CBL sweatshirt (in a remarkable comeback!)
food of the new year: apple Cinnamon waffles
new year's resolution: to frequently go big or go home