The Tipping Point?

by alphamonkey on November 9, 2006 · 52 comments

in Uncategorized

It is sad that, on the eve of what may yet mark a turnaround for the direction of our country and the war in Iraq, one man’s protest is lost amongst the endless churning of news.  Chicago musician and documenter of the Chicago jazz scene Malachi Ritscher immolated himself last Friday morning in protest of the continuing war in Iraq.  Roll that around your mind for a minute.  The man set himself on fire in protest.  While the news reports make it out to be a bizarre suicide, a ‘mission statement’ on Ritscher’s website shows that it was so much more than that.  In his own words:

“Here is the statement I want to make: if I am required to pay for your barbaric war, I choose not to live in your world. I refuse to finance the mass murder of innocent civilians, who did nothing to threaten our country. I will not participate in your charade – my conscience will not allow me to be a part of your crusade.”

To date, Google only returns 3 news articles about his act, a fact I find increasingly sad.  While the act itself is difficult (at best) to applaud, Ritscher’s passion and commitment to peace are impossible to dismiss.  I can’t imagine that a culture like ours would readily imitate his actions (nor frankly do I wish it to), but gawdamn….  What is it going to take to convince those in charge that things absolutely have to change?

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  • http://www.belch.com/~blog BelchSpeak

    “What is it going to take to convince those in charge that things absolutely have to change?”

    I think it would take the RIGHT number of democrats to set themselves ablaze.  Where is Cindy Sheehan?  Oh yeah, in jail after refusing to obey law enforcement officers.

    Ritscher was a kook.  Mentally unbalanced.  Deranged.  He should have been in a psyche ward, not running loose on the streets.

    How can you applaud this loony?  What he did was not heroic, necessary or considered to further the cause of “peace.” All he did was help paint those that take up his cause with the same color of crazy.

  • http://www.myspace.com/dragonlews elkciN

    If you don’t think anything needs to be changed, you might wanna be careful where you point the ‘kook’ finger. Glass houses and all…

    Ritscher was far from ‘deranged’, and while I’ll admit his actions were extreme, the message behind them should be heard. It’s people like you that would prefer to stifle such messages, and, unfortunately, people like you who are running the country. I can understand that dismissing anyone with a different point of view does make life easier, but at what point do you take the time to think ‘what if I AM wrong?’. Without such thought, progress is impossible. But then again, change isn’t neccessary, right?

    Besides, what’s another life lost amongts the thousands the war has taken so far? I’m beginning to see where you’re coming from.

  • Enslaved By Ducks

    Ritscher was a selfish douche bage, plain and simple. he obviously never even thought of those friends and relatives who he would leave in the lurch or their feelings. All he thought about was himself.

    Not to mention the fact that the city of Chicago had to foot the bill for his autopsy as well as other expenses, such as cleaning up the mess he made.

    Douche, plain and simple.

    Oh, elkcIN, you are precisely the kind of whackjob liberal moron zealot who makes me ashamed to be both a liberal and a Democrat. Whyn’t you and your other filthy hippy friends go and od on acid or something. The 1960’s are over. You guys lost, in fact you got your asses kicked. Altamont proved that.

  • Just Plain Bob

    you’re right. giving up his own life to make a statement about the slaughter of innocent civilians is the most selfish thing he could’ve done. what a douche.

    i do believe the point of Alpha’s post was that this didn’t show up anywhere on the news. What’s up with that?

    do we still buy this whole ‘freedom of the press’ thing? they may be free, but they sure are stupid. that’s the problem with giving the public a say in how things are done; the public is vastly undereducated.

  • bbking

    “Not all people who kill themselves are mentally ill. Most major religious traditions, including Buddhism and Christianity, teach that death is something to be welcomed. And death in the service of a greater cause, like peace, makes you a martyr, not mentally ill.”

    Uh, no.  It makes you a coward, escapping from the situation rather than standing up to it.

  • Just Plain Bob

    for the record, i think suicide has been stigmatized in the most ludicrous of ways. yeah, it sucks, but what’s with all the propaganda? why is everyone brainwashed into thinking there’s never a message in suicide? most people who kill themselves have a very good reason.

    we just aren’t allowed to talk about the reasons because we might get in trouble for thinking their death wasn’t a complete waste! oooh!

  • http://www.belch.com/~blog BelchSpeak

    I know this is not in the media, but I blogged this and have passed it as tips to a lot of other people too, and maybe they will talk about it.

    http://www.belch.com/~blog/2006/11/09/lonely-moonbat-sets-self-ablaze/

    I did take the time to go through this guy’s online suicide note and narcissistic self written obituary.  He claimed that he showed up to slit Donald Rumsfeld’s throat but chickened out.

    He had delusions of grandeur and probably a Christ complex, thinking that a noble sacrifice of his own life could wipe away the sins of the United States.

    But if you compare the political motivations to the personal ones, you will see that he wrote more often of the overwhelming loneliness he was feeling.  His own kid wanted nothing to do with him, and he complained that he had lots of acquaintances, but no real friends.  He wrote a fantasy “autobiography” where he talks about committing suicide after he hit 50. 

    He wrote “The metaphor for his life was winning the lottery, but losing the ticket. In the end, the loneliness was overwhelming.”

    I think he knew that the country was heading for a course correction with this election, which would make some of the extreme protesting unnecessary.  He was planning on suicide anyways, but wanted deeply for his life to have some kind of meaning.

    I take back what I said earlier about him being deranged.  He was deeply depressed and lonely.  Suicide is always such a waste.

  • http://www.myspace.com/dragonlews elkciN

    Ducks, your name-calling completely opened my eyes. What a well thought out argument, though I should have expected it, considering your previous posts here. I now see the error of my ways, and will retire my patchulli bottle immediatly. Though I doubt I’ll give up the acid, though. It makes everything fuzzy, and people like you a lot easier to deal with. I can take your close-minded rantings, and pretend that the letters look like zoo animals. ‘Douche-bag’ is just another monkey to me.

    Oh, and I think the city of Chicago will be able to bear the heavy economic blow that comes from paying for an autopsy, etc. We’ll certainly try our best, everyone might have to chip in, with the economy the way it is (you know, due to those people who make those decisions…..who are they again…damn acid killing my brain…..OH! Our federal government!) I’ll agree that suicide isn’t the option I would’ve taken, and I think it’s sad that he apparently felt it was the only one left to him. Regardless of how depressed or disturbed he may have been, I still think the message behind his suicide, regardless of any ‘real’ reasons he may have done it, is one that deserves to be heard. I know the war supporters are used to people dying in vain, but every once in a while it could pay to take a step back and look at things from a different point of view.

    Also, Bob, I agree with you regarding the coverage. I guess it’s not scandalous or entertaining enough. You know it’s all about ratings, and enlightened individuals such as these would just turn the channel, being as it’s just another kook job offing himself. Besides, the finale of Dancing With the Stars is coming soon, and it’s not gonna watch itself.

    There should come a time when, whether you’re right wing, left-wing, up-wing, down-wing, hippie, yuppie, or a guy in a bird suit, you come to wonder ‘when did I become so afraid that I might be wrong that I won’t even bother to consider another option?’ For some, that time never comes. The world is clear cut black and white, right and wrong, and ignorance is bliss. That’s much more tragic than suicide.

  • Just Plain Bob

    ZING!

    PS: i’d vote for a guy in a bird suit.

  • BADD

    OMG!  elkciN!

    Your scaring me dude!

    Your being articulate and making sense.

    You better smoke some crack before you actually acheive respectability!!

    I know I am….

  • http://www.myspace.com/dragonlews elkciN

    Sorry, I slipped up. Cut me some slack, it’ll never happen again. I ran out of crack on Friday.

  • http://www.myspace.com/dragonlews elkciN

    oh, I missed a few people. For those who say killing youself is wrong, isn’t killing others just as bad, or worse. Last time I checked, and I’m not a religious man, the bible doesn’t say “Thou shalt not kill* (*unless they really, really, piss you off). Sure, there’s eye for an eye, and tooth for a tooth, but I think 1,000 eyes for every eye is a bit excessive.

    As for suicide being for cowards, you know what else shows cowardice? Carpet bombing a city full of civillians to take care of an enemy, instead of facing up to them and dealing with your problems face to face is a huge show of cowardice. I suppose it’s just the ‘hippy’ in me talking, and I’m well aware that in this day and age that wouldn’t be possible (I’m not crazy, I swear). Just trying to make a point, clouded though it might be after that last bong hit.

    Of course, there’s the “They started it!” argument for war, which worked fine in grade school, but sooner or later someone would have to step up to end it. Unfortunately, relations between the peoples of the world have broken down so badly that we will never experience peace, no matter how many wars we fight. Whodathunkit? War not leading to peace? That’s just crazy talk. I suppose eventually we could end up killing off everyone that doesn’t think like us (I imagine that would be the ultimate goal of any war), but that would take a long time, and I’m already coming down from my high.

  • fellaz

    committed? wanted to help the anti-war effort, eh? how did he accomplish it?

    1. burned himslef. the anti-war campaign needs reason, not maniacs

    i guess he might have done good in a way he never imagined

  • http://www.thedelicateillusion.com zentaochi

    the anti-war campaign needs revolution. not reason

  • http://www.myspace.com/dragonlews elkciN

    We also need cheetos, because revolution makes me hungy.

  • http://www.thedelicateillusion.com zentaochi

    in the words of the prophet Kahlil Gibran:

    “perhaps a man may commit suicide in self defence”

    it is pointless to throw mud at eachother in slander, for we shall all have our eyes, ears and mouths stifled before long if we permit the pharisees in charge to do so. If we don’t wake up soon we will all be under the rule of the new rome.

  • http://www.thedelicateillusion.com zentaochi

    if you want to help the war effort. stop paying the income tax that funds it. read the buddha for more info on that.

  • http://www.belch.com/~blog BelchSpeak

    Avoiding payment of income taxes is real easy.  Just don’t work.  Otherwise, lotsa luck to ya. They take it out of your paycheck, ya know.

    Alpha, as far as this guy setting himself flambe, it is only curious for its morbidity.  It doesnt matter what this guy did it for. 

    Would you feel the same if the guy did it to protest teaching evolution in schools?  Or for favoring cheaper box office tickets for the matinee showing? 

    You say it takes “supreme dedication” to do something like that.  It sounds very similar to calling the terrorists “brave” for flying airplanes into the WTC, ala Bill Maher.

    He did not really do this for a war protest.  The war protest was a way he could martyr himself and satisfy his Christ complex.  He did it for attention.  He desperately wanted his disappointing life to have some type of meaning.  If you read his suicide note online, he admits he was quite a loser.  He spent more than two years preparing for his own suicide, writing about it; fantasizing about it.

    He had delusions of grandeur too.  He wrote about how he went to DC to murder Donald Rumsfeld and didnt see any guards around, which is a lie.  Rummy is surrounded by Secret Service.

    There are photos on his website of his toes hanging over the ledge of a tall building in Chicago.  It is captioned “I can fly.” Would jumping off a building to protest the war amount to the same thing alpha?

    http://www.savagesound.com/gallery34.htm

    Alpha, evidence points to the fact that this guy was unhinged.  His suicide did not make him a martyr to any other cause than mental health.

    It is sad that he allowed his depression and lonliness to get the best of him.  And it is sadder still that no one was able to see this coming and help stop it.

  • http://www.dadsbigplan.com .alphamonkey.

    You’ve repeatedly shown a complete unwillingness to see anything other than what you already suspect in those whose actions or opinions you disagree with.  So I find myself completely unsurprised that you would assume that a) I wouldn’t post a similar news account were the cause any different or b) that you can’t possibly accept that there might have been even a smidgen of legitimate protest in this man’s actions.

    Have I stated, even in passing, that I thought Malachi Ritscher was free of any troubles emotionally or otherwise?  No, of course I haven’t, but I know enough to not assume that I can dismiss his action as nothing more than the fancy of a delusional depressive.

    And yes, setting yourself on fire (and not making any attempt to put it out) does indeed take some serious mental will and dedication.  Don’t believe me?  Why not fire up the old stove top and then rest your hand on it for five minutes without moving it.  No, really.  Go ahead, we’ll wait.

    From our previous conversations here (as well as the writings on your own site), I know full good and well that you are all too ready to dismiss any viewpoint that doesn’t already dovetail with your own. Or do you repeatedly use the term ‘moonbat’ as an affectionate label?

  • http://www.thedelicateillusion.com zentaochi

    I agree that not paying your income tax is easier said than done as most people have it deducted before their cheque even arrives, but there is a significant amount of self-employed people to at least tip the balance slightly and create a greater awareness of the issue.

  • Enslaved By Ducks

    Give me a fucking break.

    If all of the “self-employed’ people in the country suddenly stopped paying taxes the response would be a giant, “No one gives a fuck, you’re all just selfish pus filled douches.”

    And how do you equate not paying your taxes with the anti-war effort?

    The whole idea behind the tax system is that you, the individual have no say in what your tax money is psent opn, ‘cause if you did, research has shown that there would be a shitload of kiddie and snuff porn suddenly becoming available, and I for one want no part of that shit.

  • http://www.dadsbigplan.com .alphamonkey.

    Where the hell do you get your research from?

  • http://www.myspace.com/dragonlews elkciN

    *ahem*

    Where was that blacklist you were talking about?

  • http://www.dadsbigplan.com .alphamonkey.

    Well, I’m certainly more inclined to view Ritscher’s act as one of protest rather than just sheer suicidal desperation.  After all, self-sacrifice in the name of a cause has a long history (or has everyone forgotten the Buddhists who immolated themselves in protest over the Vietnam war?) by those who wish to do no harm.

    Is he a hero?  No, I think not. Nor do I approve of his manner of protest, but that’s not my judgement to make, now is it? Obviously the man cared deeply for ending the war (he was a fixture at Chicago anti-war protests), and he choose to make his ultimate statement. 

    Seeing as most people can’t even be bothered to vote, I hardly think ‘coward’ is an appropriate label.  After all, imagine for a moment the horrific nature of his death.  Burning alive isn’t quick or even in the same universe as painless. It takes supreme dedication to do something like that.  Again, I’m not applauding the man, but I do think his act bears some reflection by us (those for which he committed the act). 

    As JPB correctly pointed out, one of my major points was that this garnered no coverage outside the Chicago area, and that struck me as incredibly odd (and a little sad).  Reading about this man affected me deeply

    As an aside: You know, I try very hard to conduct these comment discussions in a manner which avoid needless rancor, and I’m continually frustrated by those who insist that insults and ad hominem attacks be included in any discussion over opinion. Resorting to insult does nothing but show your unwillingness to engage a debate on it’s merits, and in the end undercuts your own position more than your target.

  • bb

    Well, I’m certainly more inclined to view Ritscher’s act as one of protest rather than just sheer suicidal desperation.  After all, self-sacrifice in the name of a cause has a long history (or has everyone forgotten the Buddhists who immolated themselves in protest over the Vietnam war?) by those who wish to do no harm.

    As you wish, but he accomplished nothing through it, unless you count a bunch of yahoos (myself included) arguing over whether it had any meaning. And arguing over it does not give it any meaning.

    Is he a hero?  No, I think not. Nor do I approve of his manner of protest, but that’s not my judgement to make, now is it? Obviously the man cared deeply for ending the war (he was a fixture at Chicago anti-war protests), and he choose to make his ultimate statement.

    There’s no getting around the fact that he chose to escape rather than confront.  Had he lasted a few more weeks he could have seen the Glorious Revolution of Nov. 7.

    Seeing as most people can’t even be bothered to vote, I hardly think ‘coward’ is an appropriate label.  After all, imagine for a moment the horrific nature of his death.  Burning alive isn’t quick or even in the same universe as painless. It takes supreme dedication to do something like that.  Again, I’m not applauding the man, but I do think his act bears some reflection by us (those for which he committed the act).

    By this standard, the terrorists who flew airplanes into buildings were dedicated, brave men, and we should reflect upon that bravery and dedication. Okay, done.

    As JPB correctly pointed out, one of my major points was that this garnered no coverage outside the Chicago area, and that struck me as incredibly odd (and a little sad).  Reading about this man affected me deeply

    Probably because it’s not particularly newsworthy, except to the extent that others wish to exploit it for their own politicial beliefs. I applaud the media’s restraint.

    As an aside: You know, I try very hard to conduct these comment discussions in a manner which avoid needless rancor, and I’m continually frustrated by those who insist that insults and ad hominem attacks be included in any discussion over opinion. Resorting to insult does nothing but show your unwillingness to engage a debate on it’s merits, and in the end undercuts your own position more than your target.

    “its merits,” not “it’s merits.”

  • http://www.belch.com/~blog BelchSpeak

    As far as the story not getting out, it is now.  Lots of blogs have picked up on the story.  http://www.technorati.com/search/ritscher

    Lots of other people are having the same debates over this that we are.  Alpha, contrary to your remarks above, I did not say that the suicide had nothing to do with the anti-war ideology of Ritscher.  I was saying that he used that as a cover story and an excuse to commit suicide.  I still think you hope that he is viewed as some sainted martyr, which is an idea I of course, wholeheartedly reject, as you have pointed out.

    But Veterans Day is this weekend.  Real heroes have volunteered to serve and defend this country and have lost their lives to safeguard our freedoms.  Will we see any articles on the site about those noble men?

  • eurolames

    Yes, a real veteran like John Kerry.  Awe, I just like yankin’ yer chain Belch. 

    Without knowing much about this guy, he does sound like a nutjob.  But he was a nutjob with a message.  Good job picking up on this story alpha.

    As a pseudo-existentialist myself, I think suicide is a cheap way out, see generally Albert Camus, but I can understand why people do it.  And I think that when people are willing to kill themselves as an expression, it is the symptom of desperation.  For example, the Palestinians.  Life for them is so difficult, they would rather kill themselves than continue to live as they do.  Now before you call me a terrorist, I don’t agree with what they do.  All I’m saying is that if the socio-economic status of the Palestinians were elevated (allowed to travel for work, stay out beyond curfew), I think you would have a lot less people willing to strap a bomb to themselves. 

    At least this guy didn’t blow himself up and kill a bunch of innocent bystanders to get his message across.

  • http://www.myspace.com/dragonlews elkciN

    You ever here that line about assuming? Do you even open your mouth before you shove the foot in, or do you just force it through your teeth, like a preemptive strike?

    Shit, I forgot about that part where AM said he hated the soldiers! How did I miss that? Then again, even if he didn’t say that, anyone against the war is obviously against the soldiers right? It couldn’t be that they’d like them to come home safe, and stop killing and dying for an corrupt cause, against an undefeatable foe (I think we’ve discussed before that it’s impossible to declare war on an ideology).

    Here’s a simple truth for you. War is human beings killing other human beings. Following that logic, any supporter of the war is supporting the death of our soldiers, and the death of Iraqis (not that they matter, they’re not American). These are people with families and lives, each one like you or me. And they are dying right now because they bravely volunteered to serve their country. A country who’s corrupt government continues to throw them to their deaths to serve its own political ends.

    If anyone can even explain to me what the war in Iraq is actually supposed to accomplish, let me know. It’s obvious that those who declared the war don’t even know. And I don’t mean that in as snarky a way as it came out, I’d just really like to know.

  • http://www.myspace.com/dragonlews elkciN

    Oh, and ‘staying the course’ is NOT an acceptable answer. ‘We fucked up, so I guess we’ll just continue fucking up’ is a horrible excuse for anything.

  • http://www.belch.com/~blog BelchSpeak

    Hey elki, newsflash:  There are veterans from lots of wars.  I wasnt talking specifically about Iraq, so dial back the vitriol.

    My point is that Alpha was pointing out Ristcher for applause (though it was difficult to do) who died for what he believed in.  If dying for what you believe in fills him with introspection, I was wondering if he would consider fallen soldiers on Veterans Day.

    And the reason we are in Iraq has been documented countless of times, even by the UN.  Far from merely disagreeing with it, it seems that you have closed your ears and eyes to the reasons and goals.  You just do not believe it nor accept it.

  • http://www.myspace.com/dragonlews elkciN

    Well, I’ve just been confused by the numerous different reasons. Which one is it this week?

    I haven’t closed my eyes or ears to anything, I just refuse to accept the ‘enforcing stability’ explanation. Here’s an analogy: An injured wild tiger is brought into confinement for rehabilitation. During it’s stay it’s fed routinely, treated respectfully, and once it’s healed up, it’s released. What happens to the tiger, after months of being fed?

    What I’m trying to say is, regardless of if we leave Iraq tomorrow or in ten years, once we’re gone they’ll be left to their own devices. If anything, the longer we stay, the more damage we do. I imagine Iraqis get just as angry about being killed as we do, but with your extensive knowledge of foreign policy, possibly you could correct me.

    And I’m well aware that other wars have been fought, I was just addressing the part where you decided that alphamonkey hated veterans.

    “My point is that Alpha was pointing out Ristcher for applause (though it was difficult to do) who died for what he believed in.  If dying for what you believe in fills him with introspection, I was wondering if he would consider fallen soldiers on Veterans Day.

    Just so you know, if you weren’t busy already disagreeing before you even read, AM himself stated that the act itself is ‘difficult (at best) to applaud’. Also, dying for something you believe in is one thing, but killing and dying for something someone in charge (probably actually doesn’t) believe in? I choose to honor the Veteran’s for their decision to serve our country, but that doesn’t mean I have to honor the war that’s killing them needlessly.

  • http://www.belch.com/~blog BelchSpeak

    I am certain that Alpha hold no animosity toward any of the troops except for those that have given this nation a black eye for dishonorable service, ala Lindy England and others.

    It is absolutely easy to be angry and confused about the national purpose in a war, but its harder to see those goals through to the finish.  There were lots of debate in the UN and in congress before we went to Iraq, based on what turned out to be questionable intelligence.  Be that as it may, now we are in it to the eyeballs.  But now we are not an occupying force, but are there at the request of the legitimate government of Iraq.

    I dont think you are right when you feel that the longer we stay the more damage we do.  We are still in Korea after the Korean war.  South Korea has a flourishing economy.  We were in Germany until the 80’s when the Berlin wall came down.  West Germany went on to flourish while east germany did not.  We occupied Japan for a very long time after WW2.  Same with the Phillipines.  In fact, I can’t think of a single country we were at war with that did not flourish after our presence there.

    Except Vietnam.  Congress cut the funding for the war and we did not finish the mission there.  Pol Pot killed millions in Cambodia and Vietnam is only now coming online with any sort of a recognizable economy.

  • http://www.myspace.com/dragonlews elkciN

    Economies tend to flourish when there’s nowhere to go but up.

    Korea-Yeah, we’ve got lots of friends North of there. Last time I checked we were never at war with South Korea.

    Germany-One could also argue that if the Nazi regime had taken over all of Europe, they’d have a kick ass economy as well.

    Japan-well, Japan was fine before we occupied them, if you want to argue that we helped them, then why are they so far ahead of us?

    Basically, it goes back to the ‘America policing the world’ argument we’ve heard since grade school. Is it within our rights to tell other countries how they should govern themselves, just because we have the power to do so? I completely agree that Saddam needed to be taken from power, but I don’t think it was our place to do it. What would America be like if France had carpet bombed the US to get rid of the British? We had to learn to stand on our own two feet, and we’re much better for it.

    I don’t think we had any right to ‘save’ another countries people. In the end, it will only leave them weaker, and the region worse off. Just because a course of action was correct in one situation, doesn’t mean it’s correct in all of them.

  • http://www.myspace.com/dragonlews elkciN

    “In fact, I can’t think of a single country we were at war with that did not flourish after our presence there.”

    Isn’t that an argument for leaving?

  • Enslaved By Ducks

    “Economies tend to flourish when there’s nowhere to go but up.” And then you list North Korea.

    How much fucking angel dust laced pot do you smoke every day?

    That’s a serious question>

    Do you just dip the joints in the dust or do you let them sit there overnote so the dust can soak through the joint.

    North Korea has quite possibly the single worst economy on the fucking planet and it is no one’s fault but their own, because the country is run by a fucking whackjob.

    The NK economy has been in the shitter for over 25 years and has gotten immeasurably worse ever since the Soviet Union broke up and stopped sending massive amounts of aid. And there is NO evidence that it will get any better anytime soon, in fact it has been estimated that to revive the Nk economy to even a bare Third World level would require an influx of at least $5,000,000,000,000. How many countries have that kind of change hanging around?

    Answer–none.

    As for Germany you said, “One could also argue that if the Nazi regime had taken over all of Europe they’d have a kick ass economy as well.

    The Nazis did take over all of Europe you moronic ‘tard. But thire economy was based in large part on slave labor ie the use of Jews and other subhumans and since the Nazis intended to murder all of said subhumans their economy would then go into the shitter.

  • http://www.dadsbigplan.com .alphamonkey.

    If you can’t comment without resorting to insults, I suggest you refrain from commenting.

  • BADD

    Oh I dunno AM, I kind of think it fits.  It really makes my ignorance post below hit home a bit more.

    Ebd, you sir are a buffoon.

    There now I am ignorant too *tee hee……*

  • http://www.myspace.com/dragonlews elkciN

    Oh, and just so we’re clear, I was adressing the implied assumption that we wouldn’t see any articles here regarding Veteran’s Day, because AM hates soldiers so much.

    One thing I’d like to say in defense of this site, though I may be biased, is that I come here so often because there is such an open forum and all (most) view points are accepted, without the usual name calling and general childishness of other similar sites. I can appreciate a good argument, and can respect another person’s desicion. If I am accused of being a ‘hippie’ or on ‘vitriol’ (sorry I don’t know what that is, it might be a compliment), I will start not respecting your views and opinions.

    That being said, I apologize for the ‘foot in mouth’ comment earlier. I may have inferred something you didn’t mean, and it was a knee jerk reaction. I can appreciate that you are an intelligent person, and I respect your right to disagree with me.

    Just as long as everyone knows you’re wrong, and I’m right. smile

  • http://www.belch.com/~blog BelchSpeak

    I know this site is not a political site. (usually) I would no more expect Alpha to post a Veterans Day special video on here than I would expect to see it on most blogs that aren’t dedicated to the military.  I was just pointing out that one person’s heroic sacrifice was another’s senseless waste.  And vitriol is “venomous words of ill will.”

  • http://www.myspace.com/dragonlews elkciN

    Damn, I knew I should have paid attention in school. I thought you were accusing me of being medicated. Point taken, and I already apologized for that.

    I definately wouldn’t consider this to be a heroic sacrifice, though I know I would’ve been running around screaming like a 5 year old girl once I had started myself on fire.

    All I’ve been trying to say is that if someone comes to the decision that self-immolation is the best course of action to take, you might want to figure our what may have driven the person to that. I wouldn’t dismiss him as a kook job. I’ve read his site as well, and I can acknowledge that he wasn’t the cheeriest fellow, but I’ve seen some emo kids on myspace that would give him a run for his money.

    I guess I just thought it was pretty sad that he thought that was the only way to get his (purported) message across. It shows just how little say the ‘people’ have in this government that is supposedly ‘for’ and ‘by’ them. I know I’ve pretty much given up in having any say as to what direction this country goes, as I’m far too poor to buy any Capitol Hill votes.

  • http://www.belch.com/~blog BelchSpeak

    LMAO!  Emo kids on Myspace.  If only that could be a trend, eh?  True it was sad that he chose that method to get his message out.  But have you read some of the other blogs?  Lots of people are claiming to have known this guy, loved his website and even knew that he talked about suicide.  But they didnt do anything to stop him, or get him help.  That’s what I think is sadder.  I read that his family is devastated too.  He wrote his obituary to say that it was his son’s request to remain estranged, but that does not appear to be true either.

  • http://www.myspace.com/dragonlews elkciN

    Yes, families do get devastated when their loved ones die.

    *ahem*like, say, in a war*ahem*

  • http://www.myspace.com/dragonlews elkciN

    Actually, just war in general confuses me. Can’t we all just get along? Whatever happened to diplomacy? I know they attacked us, but I think we totally got even when we blew up their entire country (and didn’t actually kill the man responsible, I might add), then moved on to blow up another. Then again, I suppose you could argue that American lives are worth more than Arab lives, and we’re not quite even yet. Do we really have to fight until one side or the other is completely annihilated? Is there really no hope for the human race?

    Just as I don’t agree that suicide was the best option to take in protest, I don’t think killing each other is the best way to settle our differences. Don’t get my wrong, I’m not trying to single out America, because I’d just really like to know what exactly one country says or does to another country (or more specifically, the leaders of said countries) that makes them decide, ‘alright, I’ve gotta kill’. I know this is all just idealist hippie bull I’m spewing, but I guess I just don’t understand.

    Hating another country is all well and good, and you’re entitled to you opinion, but killing the people of another country is a whole different thing. I guess I’ve never really understood how (generally) most people can agree that killing another person is wrong but for some reason, if war is declared, it’s just gotta be done.

    I don’t know, I guess I’m just stupid.

  • http://www.thedelicateillusion.com zentaochi

    why always at war?

    after the first world war it was the spanish civil war, followed by the second world war, followed by korea, followed by vietnam, followed by grenada, followed by panama, followed by the persian gulf, followed by somalia, followed by kosovo, followed by iraq, followed by afghanistan then followed by iraq again. not withstanding the cold war with the russians and the war on terror. and that’s only mentioning american involvement, there have been hundreds of others all over the world just in the last century, too numerous to mention at this time of night.

    and who pays to keep the world in a state of war? we do, with our stolen earnings.

    and why?

    because it makes a lot of profit for the warmongers and enables them to erode our rights and control us further.

    and how do they keep fooling us into it?

    by sowing vitriol, dissent and lies down our eager, gullible throats.

    isn’t it really about time we woke up, took the world back and started moving towards more positive things?

    we really are all brothers and sisters, it’s only the voices of our ancestors’ cultures that keep us hating eachother. they were fools and idiots spouting crap in fear of the dark. believing in flat earths and ridiculous gods.

    time to grow up, move out of our parents’ caves and make our own place in the world.

  • firekite

    There was a guy in Dallas, who when he committed suicide, laid his head down on the exact spot marked in the road with a metal disk where JFK was hit.  He did it on the anniversary to boot.

    Now this guy, who I’ve already forgotten, probably thought his suicide would have meaning.

    Point is, anyone can commit a suicide and then attach a meaning to it.

    Suiciders are depressed and crave meaning, and attaching their death to something big is a kind of FU to the world.  I wouldn’t put much thought into anything political these guys might do.

  • http://www.dadsbigplan.com .alphamonkey.

    I’m curious, did the monks who self-immolated to protest Vietnam accomplish anything? Or were they too doing it for selfish reasons?

  • http://www.thedelicateillusion.com zentaochi

    i think if one is going to commit suicide and has decided to take that step for whatever reasons, then at least point your aim in the direction of a worthy cause, even if it’s not the reason for the deed.

  • Anon Ymous

    Amazing the attitudes of people here.  Do you flamers have no pity or humanity?  I told one of my co-workers about this story (didn’t even mention the mental stability aspect), and the fellow said, “All he proved is that he is an idiot.”

    Alpha, there is definitely some merit to your “all too ready to dismiss any viewpoint that doesn’t already dovetail with your own” theory toward personalities.  I wonder how widespread the ignorance, or rather lack of cognitive ability, runs through our society.

  • BADD

    Ignorance is the sweeping majority of the world.  Forced and voluntary.  You can’t escape it.

    It is like a sleeping giant.  It waits till something happens that scares it.  Than it destroys what frightened it. 

    It can be led by madness, who knows better, but doesn’t care.

    It can be manipulated by the greedy, who can only see money and power, but not consequence.

    Don’t believe me?  Study the Dark Ages.  Especially the reason the world was plunged into it.

    A library of great knowledge is a tool to a wise man.  It is kindling to the ignorant.

  • J44xm

    “What is it going to take to convince those in charge that things absolutely have to change?” If you’re insinuating that some random guy killing himself for no real reason (instead of, for example, moving to another country) should change the tide of the world, I have to disagree with you.

  • http://www.dadsbigplan.com .alphamonkey.

    I’m not insinuating anything.  My implication was that the mood of this country has shifted massively, and I used this singular occurrence to highlight a larger trend of dissatisfaction.

  • J44xm

    Understood. By the way, quite the fine site you’re running here. Thanks.

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