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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Who ARE We?

June 23rd, 2011

Artist Rendering
Who are we indeed? What do we value? What matters to us? It is rare that a story so disturbing as the one that follows comes across my desk. The headline could just as easily have read No One Notices Man On Fire

Simon Black writes for Business Insider:

"Late last week, Thomas James Ball reached his breaking point. 

Driven to desperation by a system that bankrupted him and destroyed his family, Ball walked up to the main door of the Keene County, New Hampshire courthouse, doused himself with gasoline, and lit himself ablaze.

Hardly anyone seems to have noticed.

Conversely, when a 26-year old Tunisian man lit himself on fire a few months ago after police confiscated the fruits and vegetables he had been selling without a proper permit, it launched a wave of revolution across the Middle East.

People were shocked into taking action… protests and riots swept the region and one regime after another crumbled.

Rather than sparking an “American spring” and shocking US citizens into taking their country back, though, Mr. Ball’s act of self-immolation seems to have been largely ignored. There has been scant coverage (and scant is being extremely generous) of Mr. Ball in the mainstream media, and what little coverage there is generally discredits the man as a troublemaker."

The question of whether or not Thomas James Ball was altogether rational is not what is important here. The question is when did we become a country in which a fellow citizen could set themselves on fire for a political purpose in a public square and it wasn't news?


  1. I can't believe that this story wasn't picked up by the networks. I believe it answers the question of who we are and I don't like the answer.

  2. Well, there's nothing to gain by covering it... Hey, why don't we just talk about the Wiener "Scandal" some more?

  3. All I can say guys is escape while and if you can. Tom was right when he wrote, today's man is the Jew in the Nazi Germany.

  4. Why are we so naive to think people will forever tolerate the inequalities they see around them every day? Desperate men don't give a fuck and won't always turn the rage on themselves.