Everyone on the street wants to know: Have you seen the video? What was he wearing? Is he still mad at us? And, ultimately: Can Bin Laden make a comeback, or is too late?
Bin Laden and his agent aren't the only ones pulling for a comeback this year. The whole Muslim world, tired of Muqtada Al Sadr's stale jams and jacked up teeth, are clamoring for someone to step in and say, "Here I am. Now is the moment. I'm ready for my close up."
With a new video and companion audio recording Bin Laden feels like it's really HIS time again. His last video was released in 2004 and his most recent audio single was cut in June 2006.
Many in the industry were worried that Bin Laden would never record again, but now it looks like these new tracks are a promise of things to come. Critics are calling Bin Laden's most recent work reminiscent of George Micheal's comeback attempt with the album "Older", released in 1996. He's got a new look, a softer message, and it's very much crafted, understated, and ultimately unsatisfying.
In the video Bin Laden calls for young Muslims to follow his example which shows he's keen on the attracting the youth audience which is so important for mainstream, world-wide success. In an earlier video, which many believe he released as a trailer for the new recording, Bin Laden urged Americans to convert to Islam, and proceeded to mock American ways of life including: Capitalism, Democracy, and financial and military assistance to countries who stay in line.
"This video isn't simply an appeal to his rabid Muslim base in the Middle East. It's a call to all the supporters of Bin Laden in white countries like Great Britain, America, and in some cases Australia. It's a call to all the Tim Robbins's and the Warren Beatty's to get their far left flocks in line to subvert the American system of freedom and security," notes PLN National Security Adviser Kern Smith.
Lately, Bin Laden has been marginalized by the sympathetic liberal media. Many have called him a merely "symbolic figure", a "patsy", and "so yesterday". Even George W. Bush himself said he, "wasn't that concerned with him." PLN's Cultural Affairs reporter Harvey Lortz sums up his predicament, "It got old. He need to take a break, change his look, spend a little more time with his Kabbalah or whatever. You'll notice his new beard is getting rave reviews. Laden's obviously saying, "Look at me. I may be hooked up a dialysis machine in a cave somewhere, but you know something, no little gray hair's gonna give me the blues."
The fact that Bin Laden didn't move much in the video has prompted some to ask questions about his health. Experts have commented that Bin Laden looks, "plugged in", a reference either to his dependency on dialysis machines or his widening influence on a growing number of angry Middle Easterners.
What a number of analysts find interesting about Bin Laden's latest PR blitz is the fact that he didn't release his product through his usual venue, Terrorist News Station Al-Jazerra, instead allowing his fans to download it straight from the internet through various Muslim related web pages like Youtube.
Only time will tell whether or not Bin Laden's got the goods to extend his run into his later years ala Kylie Minogue or if he will fade into obscurity like the Sandy Dennis, Gloria Estephan, or Selena(Seriously, what ever happened to her?).
Lortz points out the easiest way Bin Laden could put himself back on the map. "Turn yourself in. Look, The President still has at least two years left to find Bin Laden, so he should just turn himself in and use that momentum to do a little touring."
No matter if his popularity is up or down he's clearly the most popular Bin Laden, which is just how Bin Laden likes it. "If you go to Wikipedia and type in "Bin Laden" it doesn't exactly ask you if you meant Geoffrey Bin Laden," says Lortz. "Bin Laden has what psychologists call the "38th Child Syndrome". It's a deep need for approval which manifests itself in acting out violently towards innocent people such as Israel and it's supporters. This is clearly a guy who's in it to win it, stay on top, and at the same time destroy freedom as we know it."
Its just the right combination to make everybody ask: What WILL he do next?!