Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Moving Finger Writes

Joseph Stack was mad at the IRS. So he typed a long rambling screed on his website in which he set out a litany of grievance against the government, churches and politicians which you can read by hitting the following link:

He was so mad at the IRS that he set his house on fire, gassed up the private plane that he owned and flew it into an office building where the IRS had an office. He killed himself and an IRS employee who had served 2 tours of duty in Viet Nam. Other folks were injured but nobody else died which has to be something of a miracle.

Samantha Bell, Stack's daughter had earlier referred to her father as "a hero" a claim that she later recanted. However, she later said that "[i]f nobody comes out and speaks up on behalf of injustice, then nothing will be accomplished."

But her Dad wasn't speaking out against injustice. He was writing crazy shit on his blog.

Just like me.

Some people live inside their heads a little too much. If you think about it, only a complete narcissist would believe for 2 minutes that committing a terrorist act would effect any kind of meaningful change.

Stack's insane plan reminds me of the time 20 years ago when a young man came to me for legal advice. He had gotten charged by the DEA for possessing weapons and drugs. He had lawyered up with a guy who he said told him that while the lawyer thought he had a shot at suppressing the stuff the Feds has seized he told his client he might want to consider a deal. The young man told me that he was inclined to go to trial.

" This will be my chance to expose the DEA for what it is," he actually told me. " I want to show the world that they will do anything to get a conviction. They will regret the day they charged me. I'm not afraid to stand up to 'em."

" Well," I said." If that's your reason for going to trial you might as well plead out."


"Because you're nobody and the world doesn't care. You will be forgotten 5 minutes after you go to prison."

The Internet helps guys like Stack live inside their head instead of dealing with reality. The blogosphere is full of guys (and they're mainly guys) like Stack who have to reconcile their sad lives with a inflated self-worth that has no evidence to support it. And they spend an inordinate amount of time blaming everyone else for their troubles. Because when you live inside your head all the time you don't get any insight into your situation.

Joseph Stack was mad at the IRS and so he flew a goddamn plane into an office building. Last time I looked the Service was still collecting the tax. Last time I looked folks were still filing their returns.

Joseph Stack's kamikaze mission changed nothing. Because he was nobody and the world doesn't care.


arkansherpa said...

Nicely done.

Melissa said...

Very insightful. Time you admit your writing crazy shit on your blog.

But yeah the living inside your head too much is a problem and probably becoming more of a problem as people spend more time online with "likeminded" people instead of everybody else. They lack the opportunity to get a perspective on their views.

Murr Brewster said...

I don't think he's crazy at all. I'm only halfway through Schedule C and I would totally fly a plane into the IRS building. If I weren't afraid of flying. Or dying. Or if I were crazy, but see, that's only ONE possibility.