Friday, February 19, 2010

What to make of it?

I'm just now catching up on the news, and finished reading about the guy who flew a small airplane into a building in Austin. Really I'm not sure how much to read into his final act or his apparent suicide note. Anyone tempted to read the action as either heroic or as the last act of a lunatic really should think very, very carefully before jumping to their respective conclusions. Instead, I tend to see his last actions as those of someone in financially desperate straits, whose faith in rugged hyperindividualism and American exceptionalism had been shattered by too many years of hard knocks, and who perceived he had nothing left to lose. He had to have been very stressed out. Other than some vague statements about the government and IRS in particular, it's hard to quite gauge the dude's politics, nor is it entirely clear that what he did was politically motivated; it seemed more like someone settling a score via a dramatic murder-suicide attempt. Of course that does lead me to wonder (as have others) how many Joe Stacks are out there, and who will succeed in capitalizing on their misery.

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