1. It was a completely serious terrorist attack intended to and capable of taking down a large jet above a major American city, so 9/11 is vividly back in our consciousness.
2. But no one — other than the bomber — was seriously hurt, so we can discount it or play with it and be flippant or political in ways that we would avoid if there were specific and numerous victims.
3. There are lurid details: A man set his own pants on fire and did who-knows-what to his genitalia.
4. It's happening with a new President, so there is much potential for turning around the usual political arguments and making accusations of hypocrisy.
5. Ass-covering officials are saying mockable things like "The system worked."
6. There's a hero to laud. Yay, heroes. Yay, Army of Davids, etc. etc.
7. It was Christmas!
8. Obama's in Hawaii. He's trying to bask in the sun and the success — or seeming success — of the healthcare bill and now here's trouble. Attack him/defend him, etc. etc.
9. We haven't figured out yet what to call the suspect — whose actual name (Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab or Abdulmutallab) is hard to remember or even to figure out how to spell. The Pants Bomber? I used that in my post title because I saw that no one was saying that yet, and I thought it would do well in Google searches. The Christmas Day Bomber? Abdul-mutilate-a-balls?
10. See? It's funny and it's terrible — all at once. And then you can get outraged at the people who laugh or laugh at the people who don't laugh or analyze the trajectories of outrageous humor and the criticism thereof. The possibilities are endless.
11. The guy was privileged, rich, and well-educated.
12. His father ratted on him. Intra-family conflict. Is this extra-great evidence — even his own father turned him in? Or are you thinking: Is the government going to stop you from flying if your parents call up and say you're a radical? Discuss!
13. If the plane had exploded where the detonation was attempted, what would the parts of the plane have hit? Was there an attempt to hit specific sites on the ground? Which ones? How close was the targeting?
14. Coverage. Is mainstream media covering the right things? Is it giving cover to the Obama administration?
15. Can we get somebody fired? Come on, try. Blogswarm!