The Heroes And Zeros Of Summer 2011

The Heros And Zeros Of Summer 2011

Loser of the Summer, Runner Up: The Man Diving For Osama Bin Laden’s Body

Bill Warren Diving for Osama Bin Laden

He knows the corpse must be down there somewhere. The water-logged, bullet-riddled corpse of the world’s most wanted man surely lies anchored somewhere to the Indian Ocean seafloor.

It’s why diver Bill Warren will spend up to $1 million combing the depths for Osama Bin Laden. “There is still a $25 million reward that no one has collected, and the reward says dead or alive,” Warren reasoned. “Well, if—in fact—he is dead, then I could collect the $25 million reward. Why not?”

Maybe because the White House formally stated the reward money has been canceled. Or because the Indian Ocean spans 28,350,000 square miles. Or possibly because of the sharks.

But these are trifling details to Bill Warren. The diver avers he has found every ship-wreck he ever sought. A bagged-up body should be no different. “Well,” he told CNN, “you can get lucky…”

UPDATE: Bill Warren has not found Osama Bin Laden’s body.


Bobby Kirk Hero of 2011

He had to run off the fourth wife. It wasn’t a legal marriage, for starters. Then her kids kept stealing his deer meat. And you do not mess with Bobby Kirk’s deer meat.

Bobby Kirk doesn’t do grocery stores. He believes air conditioning ruined everyone. And he especially doesn’t tweet. Bobby Kirk does brew his own brandy from peaches and corncobs, hunt, and go fishing. Or at least he used to.

It was too hot to fish,” Bobby Kirk reckoned to the city-slicker reporter and spat out a glob of tobacco juice. He narrowly missed her Minolas and struck a nerve with a fed-up nation.

The frustration went viral. The interview rattled around cyberspace—Twitter, Huffington Post—before CBS caught wind of it. Then The Colbert Report. Then the world. There were even Bobby Kirk T-Shirts and Bobby Kirk baseball caps.
And just like that a pot-bellied farmer from Bogart, Georgia became an overnight celebrity. His is the plain-spoken voice of a country fed up with Congressional gobbledygook. His home-spun Forrest Gumpisms a welcome respite from wonkish newscasts about the debt ceiling and deleveraging.

Because whether the U.S. defaults or the Euro Zone disintegrates, Bobby Kirk will still be Bobby Kirk. He will still dip on the front porch. And he will still pick his home-grown butterbeans and okra for supper. For reckoning. For shooting straight in an age of dithering politicians. And because it really was too hot to fish, Bobby Kirk is the Hero of the Summer.

Someday the fish will bite again. The Bobby Kirk T-Shirts will fade. The networks’ cars will stop carving up his front yard. But Bobby Kirk will forever be a camouflaged, overall-wearing reminder. The man of the moment in a confusing time. He will be a quirky, pop-cultural footnote from a Summer we’d just as soon forget.

Right above that dancing beluga whale.

This is the third of a 3 part series on the Summer of 2011. See the other parts here: Why Obama Is The Big Loser Of The Summer and Is The Summer Of 2011 The Worst Ever?


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