Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The New Burning Man Trend

Another Greek Tragedy getting traction in the media:

All hope 'annihilated,' retiree kills himself outside Greek parliament
by staff and news services
A retired Greek pharmacist shot himself dead outside Greece's parliament Wednesday, saying he refused to scrounge for food in the garbage, touching a nerve among ordinary Greeks feeling the brunt of the country's economic crisis.

The public suicide by the 77-year-old in the center of Athens quickly triggered an outpouring of sympathy in a country where one in five is jobless and a sense of national humiliation has accompanied successive rounds of salary and pension cuts.

Just hours after the death, an impromptu shrine with candles, flowers and hand-written notes protesting the crisis sprung up in the central Syntagma square where the suicide occurred. Dozens of bystanders gathered to pay their respects...

Self-immolation has played an increasingly imporant part in the "resistance" memes that are building up as more and more people lose faith in systems that look corrupt beyond repair (see Tunisia as a specific case and this article discussing the building phenomenon in the Arab World). 

Most of these horrible events are swept under the rug and receive little to no attention in the various media.  They are potentially powerful images, though.  When this rally finally collapses, self-immolation may become part and parcel of the wave of anger that will come to dominate politics and society.  Watch also for the tipping point, when people who feel they have nothing left to lose turn from self-destruction, to the destruction of those they blame for the destruction of their dreams... 

1 comment:

David said...

I've said for years that the ultimate outcome of the Ponzi schemes of FDR and LBJ would be widespread suicides of old people as the political handouts on which they've depended crumble and the natural, traditional family systems that served mankind for all of time remain crowded out by the state.

The main tragedy of all this is that it is so predictable. Obviously, consequentialist thinking is foreign to most people.