A reader comments:
OK, in hindsight it's dreadful: a bunch of suburban kids lip-syncing high-pitched hair metal w/o make make-up and garish bouffants. But you know what, by the standards of the genre, and the age of the band, they were pretty good. The production quality, while also cheesy looking back, was good as well.
He clearly was a damn interesting guy. And anyone w/ the courage to wail like that on camera would obviously have no fear when it comes to putting the smack down on some terrorists in a time of need.
Yep. Bingham for me represents not just an openly gay hero. But the kind of hero modern America still serves up: culturally open, tolerant, fun, at ease with modern life, and yet also quite prepared to fight to the death in defense of Western freedom. He represents a lot that the curent right-wing doesn't seem to understand: just because blue and purple America loves modernity doesn't mean it is somehow decadent, unpatriotic or too weak to resist Islamist murderers. 9/11 showed that all of America, apart from its far left fringe, was prepared to fight. That legacy of unity, so bitterly squandered by Karl Rove, can and must be summoned up again. But not by this president; and not yet by his party.
(Photo of Mark Bingham, far right, and his Steelers rugby team-mates.)