One has to wonder why people act the way they do. I turned on the television today after a few hours of looking for work, and what do I see? A building burning off a freeway with traffic slowed down to a crawl to look at it in Austin, Texas. Then I hear news reports about a man who burned his house down…with family still inside, who then went out, hopped in a plane and crashed it into an IRS building.
I went online to check out the story and see what else I could find out, and ran across a story in the Chicago Tribune saying that the man involved, whose name is Joseph Stack, has apparently had tax trouble and money issues of one sort or another for quite a number of years. So, after years and years of it, the man simply couldn’t take anymore, and decided to kill himself.
Then I read what he wrote, his last words. This man was sick. Sick unto death. Sick of government, sick of feeling like he will never be able to make ends meet, sick of monied interests running the world at the expense of the people that live in it, sick of a system that cares for nothing but itself.
And while, in general, I can sympathize with that “sick of it all” mindset, it is the sheer violence of thought, the weakness of character it showed, his complete inability to realize part of the problem was himself that I find absolutely stupefying. His attitude towards the world and what he thought it should give him and what he actually got shows that despite all of the things he knew, or thought he knew, he was in fact a terribly ignorant man.
He laid blame for all his issues and all his angst at the feet of the IRS, Dubya, the justice system, Patrick Moynihan, his accountant, and a host of other people. Everyone but the person actually responsible for the things that went wrong in his life.
Himself. And yes, if his story is true (click here to read his words, a hearty thanks to the smoking gun for this) this nutbag had his share of problems, but it’s only money. Trust me, I know money problems, I’m out of work for nearly a year and I am flat broke, and lord knows I’ve made some bad decisions. But this is about him and his trying to make a political point with his death while running away from his problems in the real world. It conjours to mind a rabidly despondent fanaticism that seems somewhat reminiscent of Al-Qaeda. I’m sure Osama delighted in this story. He sounds like some soon to be patron saint for the tea party “Patriots”. But I digress…
What was his answer to the world of pain and frustration he lived in?
Make the world pay with blood and fire. For his bad decisions, for all the bad luck in his world, for all his pain and anger, for everything. And how different is the world now? How much better now that several people have been hospitalized, lord knows how many traumatized, and a building damaged. The laws he hated? Still in effect. The system he railed against? Still there. The pain from his world now made into pain for others, and a plain view of the his weakness and inability to handle his own emotions.
He wanted to make war upon the system, and take his own pain away, the pain he said was caused by the system. But it wasn’t caused by the IRS, or the Justice department, or anyone else. It was caused by his own weak yet stormy heart, and his emotional instability. That was where the answer lay, in his heart, but he refused to see, and unleashed his pain on an unsuspecting world, on people who were trying, like him until he just gave up, to live their lives.
If you hold onto the wrongs the world visits upon you, they become the stronger for it, if you let them go, they weaken. The government may well be the bad, foreboding thing this man called it, but holding onto the anger and the angst and the ugliness, he made it all that much stronger, at least in his own mind.
That’s it from here. Later.
Today’s nuggets, By Marcus Aurelius, Via wikiquote: Say to yourself in the early morning: I shall meet today inquisitive, ungrateful, violent, treacherous, envious, uncharitable men. All these things have come upon them through ignorance of real good and ill.
At dawn of day, when you dislike being called, have this thought ready: “I am called to man’s labour; why then do I make a difficulty if I am going out to do what I was born to do and what I was brought into the world for?”