Just a few weeks ago this scene flickered onto our laptops and flat screens. The people who witnessed it said it felt like an earthquake. It left this smoldering building in ruins. You remember what happened:
Joseph Stack, in some kind of dispute with the IRS over his taxes took matters into his own hands. On his website he had written, “I am finally ready to stop this insanity. Well, Mr Big Brother IRS man, let’s try something different; take my pound of flesh and sleep well.”
He burned his house to the ground, and headed for the Georgetown Airport, 40 minutes north of Austin Texas. Witnesses said that they saw his aircraft flying low towards the centre of the Echelon building at full speed, skimming over traffic lights, before crashing into the building.
The remainder of the manifesto on his website read like the angry, frustrated ramblings of a man who felt ignored by his Government and the people who were supposed to represent his interests. Mr Stack cites the government bailouts of banks and auto companies and the “murdering [of] tens of thousands” by the greedy insurance companies while his government representatives sit idly by and only help the rich.
Mr Stack added: “I can say with a great degree of certainty that there has never been a politician cast a vote on any matter with the likes of me or my interests in mind. Nor, for that matter, are they the least bit interested in me or anything I have to say.
“I know I’m hardly the first one to decide I have had all I can stand,” Mr Stack wrote before declaring: “I also know that by not adding my body to the count, I insure [sic] nothing will change.”
Well, Joe didn’t live long enough to see that, regardless of the body count, nothing really has changed. He threw away his life getting back at a system that will now just dismiss him as a lunatic and castigate him as a murderer. Where’s the logic in that? What’s the point?
I think that really is the point. The point is . . . there really isn’t any point. There never is anything logical about the mad desire to so seek what this world offers, or even to preserve what you’ve achieved in this world that you’ll do anything to get it, or to keep it. There really is no logic to that, yet it is something that goes on constantly.
Perhaps that’s why the last couple of years have been so anxious in this country. People, who in 2008 would not even go to the polls, in 2010 are showing up at town hall meetings to shout at their congressman. Why? One word: MONEY! People, just like Joe, see their financial situation slipping and they are filled with fear. Like a cancer it has spread until our whole system has almost locked up. As one philosopher said, “There is no passion so contagious as fear.”