Thursday, June 12, 2008

Weird, Wild Stuff

How I shall miss the internet when it is gone. I just got to watch a news video of naked man being arrested and carted off in an ambulance.

In Georgia a naked black man drove to a gas station and started dancing atop his car. He then got back into his car and rammed the pumps. The car caught fire and the man ran away. Fire fighters were able to extinguish the blaze before other cars caught fire and the police were able to taze and apprehend the naked Negro. The news announcer commented that police have no idea what would drive someone to do this sort of thing. Allow me to put forth a theory. This man was a super-commuter, just like the coworker I've written about in previous postings. He bought a house with an ARM about 80 miles from his job in downtown Atlanta. His home's value has fallen off a cliff and he can't unload it. Meanwhile he is spending about $500/month-- between a quarter and a third of his take-home pay-- on gasoline. He is upside down on his mortgage so can't afford to sell and neither can he find another job closer to his exurban home that pays remotely well enough to offset the savings in gas and is thus forced to keep driving the 80 miles to employment. Maybe he has some other financial and emotional stressors like alimony and child support payments. The tripling of gas prices in just a few years might have done the poor guy in. He no doubt sees this all as grossly unfair. Wasn't he supposed to leverage a big house out in the middle of nowhere and heroically commute for over 90 minutes? Wasn't this the goal of every American? How could everything get so expensive all of a sudden? How could his pay fail to increase while the costs of everything he needed to live suddenly surged so much? A couple hundred million Anglophones are surely asking themselves the same questions. A few of them are likely to snap in similarly spectacular, but possibly much more tragic and gruesome ways.

I don't claim to be omniscient-- at least not out loud-- and I could be way off base about this man and his motives. The interpretations are so blatant, however: Nakedness symbolizing poverty, striking the source of the pain (the gas) with the tool that makes the gas necessary... The man's message seems pretty damned clear to me.

(Here's a link to the news clip on Youtube: )