Man identified by police as Max Azzarello, from Florida, declared dead after incident outside lower Manhattan courthouse

A man has died after setting himself on fire outside the New York courthouse where Donald Trump’s hush-money trial is taking place.

The New York City police department said on Saturday the man had been declared dead by staff at an area hospital.

Officials had said earlier the man, who was in his late 30s, was in critical condition.

The New York police department said the man, who they identified as Max Azzarello of St Augustine, Florida, did not appear to be targeting Trump or others involved in the trial.

Witnesses said the man pulled pamphlets out of a backpack and threw them in the air before he doused himself with a liquid and set himself on fire on Friday. One of those pamphlets included references to “evil billionaires” but portions that were visible to a Reuters witness did not mention Trump.

  • @jordanlund
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    10529 days ago

    Another case for, at a minimum, universal mental health care.

    • @[email protected]
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      6429 days ago

      I don’t think you can advocate for universal mental health care without universal health care. Mental health care is health care.

      There’s a reason where I am that a mental health clinician is part of the cancer team. Having just the therapy aspect covered would do nothing for people unable to treat their physical illnesses.

      Promoting better accessibility of mental health care is reasonable- even places with universal coverage mental health lags behind. The tricky thing is that some people will refuse to access care even if its available. Its more visible in cases like this but happens all the time with other chronic illnesses like COPD and diabetes where it gets out of control and the person succumbs quietly.

      I don’t know where I’m going with this. I wish he had sought help and I wish that help was available. I’m glad no one else lost their lives in this case.

      • @jordanlund
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        1429 days ago

        Well, that’s why I say “at a minimum”. Once everyone has universal mental health care, then maybe we can get the real deal…

      • @[email protected]
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        428 days ago

        It seems to me, at least in suburban middle class liberal millennial circles, that mental healthcare is getting a lot more destigmatized.

        I hope this anecdote is part of an actual trend, and it expands to other demographics.

        • @daltotron
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          128 days ago

          I dunno, I kind of remain pretty skeptical of that being the case. For just as much as I’ve seen that mental health concerns are getting de-stigmatized, I’ve, in almost equal measure, seen all manner of people throwing around terms with absolutely no meaning, taking identification in certain terms without really understanding or elaborating a clear case for their use. I’ve also seen just as many people call, say, someone who sets themselves on fire “insane”, and effectively use various mental health stuff as a thought-terminating cliche, as a kind of offhanded dismissal of anything that makes them feel bad, or they don’t like. Just mechanisms by which they can slot people into boxes and promptly file them away to be forgotten.

          So I dunno, I beware the idea that it’s just gonna get swept up, like everything else, into like, middle class liberal self-help bullshit.

      • @sudo42
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        328 days ago

        Agreed. Treating mental health separately from health makes about as much sense as requiring different health insurance for teeth as well as eyes.

    • @son_named_bort
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      1128 days ago

      While I do think that we do need universal mental health care (and universal health care in general), I’m not sure it would have helped in this situation. The thing about mental health care is that you can’t force it on anyone, they have to want it themselves. He had friends who tried to get him help but he wouldn’t take it, and there’s only so much that can be done if he refuses. It’s like the old saying you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink.

      • The Fire Witch
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        28 days ago

        A firefighting low-power 40mm grenade would actually be a dope idea, though I don’t know how effective it would be. There’s been attempts at similar “grenade” type extinguishers you toss.

        • @[email protected]
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          My highdea is a firetruck that has cans of compressed nitrogen, and a firehose of sorts that’s got some resistive heating elements lining all the inside of it (that can be turned on or off). Then it just dumps out nitrogen at a huge CFM/PSI/whatever, displacing the oxygen quickly enough to blow out the fire, but not long enough to suffocate the immolator.

          Basically a huge, super powered hand dryer. That chokes the fire. And a 50/50 shot as to whether it’s nice and warm or freezing fucking cold.

      • @Agent641
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        428 days ago

        Ill call Raytheon, see if we can get the unit price below 1 mil.

      • @[email protected]
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        428 days ago

        You think better access to psychological care won’t reduce instances of self-immolation?

          • @[email protected]
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            328 days ago

            I would give your comment passing marks if the prompt were to give a general sense of smug disagreement without saying anything with actual content. Also, I get the distinct impression that you don’t know what the word “patronizing” means.

              • @[email protected]
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                228 days ago

                Telling someone their problems aren’t real and it’s just mental health is a textbook example of patronizing them.

                Tell me you know nothing about mental health without telling me you know nothing about mental health.

                Mental health problems are absolutely 100% real. It’s not “in your head”. Depression isn’t something you can just walk off. Panic attacks aren’t something you can fix by taking a sick day.

                To imply that “mental health = not real” is not only destructive, but also incredibly insulting.

              • @[email protected]
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                128 days ago

                Telling someone their problems aren’t real and it’s just mental health is a textbook example of patronizing them

                Sure, but no one said that the problems weren’t real, and no one’s being as reductionist as you seem to think.

                My criticism was there to highlight how patronizing you are being while simultaneously illustrating that no one else here was. To be more specific, you’re assuming a lot about everyone else’s positions and giving the most surface-level explanations you possibly could.

  • @dhork
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    7029 days ago

    I feel bad for this guy. I mean, he felt passionate enough about his cause to feel that the only way to draw attention to it was to self-immolate. But his cause is… what, exactly? I’ve read a few articles and couldn’t really figure it out.

    It seems to me he was a bright guy who believed what he read on the Internet, and when his mother passed he lost any moderating influence in his life, so that he had no one to pull him out of the conspiracy theories. It was the lack of critical thinking that killed him in the end.

      • @NocturnalMorning
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        2829 days ago

        I was skeptical of the mental illness angle until I clicked on the link. This guy was deeply into conspiracy theories.

        • @Wogi
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          1829 days ago

          It’s not often well adjusted people set themselves on fire.

          • @[email protected]
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            1529 days ago

            It does happen though. Was a form of protest during the Vietnam war. I believe the monk on the cover of a Rage Against the Machine album was friends with the famous Zen teacher Thich Nhat Hanh.

            And unfortunately because this guy was so deep into his paranoia the world is going to dismiss it. Though the alarm that he is sounding is real. Like, we wouldn’t have mentally ill people setting themselves on fire in the first place if we took better care of people right.

            • @Wogi
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              1329 days ago

              Thich Quang Duc is the monk you’re referring to, this was during the build up to Vietnam, but to put it in context for you, John f Kennedy was still alive when this happened.

              He was not protesting the war, he was protesting the Catholic Church, which was the largest land owner in South Vietnam at the time. Buddhists were being marginalized and a ban on flying the Buddhist flag had been enacted, the Vatican flag flew over most buildings.

              Buddhists protesting the government has recently been victims of a massacre, government forces fired blindly in to a crowd and killed 9 people.

              Duc self immolated over religious inequality.

              • @[email protected]
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                228 days ago

                I know some other practitioners did self immolate during the war. And religious inequality is putting it lightly considering nine people were killed. I doubt the guy killed himself over the flag in other words.

      • @disguy_ovahea
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        2329 days ago

        Lastly, we string these major discoveries together: Cryptocurrency is an economic doomsday device; our government is a secret kleptocracy; The Simpsons exists to brainwash us.

        • @gAlienLifeform
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          1629 days ago

          I want to live in the timeline where he got the right treatment/producer to make a podcast or video series using Simpsons scenes to describe macroeconomic theories

        • @PoliticalAgitator
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          629 days ago

          It’s always heartbreaking when people grow skeptical of neoliberalism (and the greedy, self-serving people who push it), only to be preyed upon by groups like neo-nazis, conspiracy theorists and crypto bros.

          Anywhere you find people who are frustrated, depressed or paranoid, you’ll find extremists using that vulnerability to groom more extremists.

      • GiantFloppyCock
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        1929 days ago

        I mean, a lot of what crypto has become is pretty Ponzi-ish. But yeah, he’s a bit deeper off the conspiracy cliff than that.

        • @antidote101
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          29 days ago

          …and the two parties do seem to work together. Also, tech billionaires and their platforms do seem to promote and allow a lot of white supremacist propaganda on their websites.

          So a lot of what he writes about seems to have a basis in reality.

          • @[email protected]
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            1729 days ago

            It becomes more crazy looking the more he tries to connect everything he is suspicious of into some grand interlinked conspiracy with some grand unified masterplan.

            • @grue
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              1529 days ago

              Yeah:

              • “Democrats and Republicans work together to screw over the public” — not crazy.
              • “Harvard-educated Simpsons writers are on a mission of propaganda” — crazy.
              • @NocturnalMorning
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                529 days ago

                Yeah, the first paragraph or so, I was like, yeah, this isn’t that out there. But by the second or third paragraph the conspiracies went off the deep end pretty quick.

                • @Spiralvortexisalie
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                  729 days ago

                  The vibe feels to be he was individually right about most things, but people can find one thing they personally disagree with and the media said he is crazy, so he must be crazy. The Simpsons point was somewhat more of a general sense of the media thats free to consume was paid for by somebody and probably not just the goodness of their heart decided to foot that bill. Arguably Simpsons was, is, and always has been paid for one by of the worst humans alive Rupert Murdoch (A literal Monty Burns), so you really do have to ask why?

                • @[email protected]
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                  229 days ago

                  Yeah… this was the quote that jumped off the high dive for me.

                  In order to explain the massive anomaly [massive stock growth and drop], our criminal government unleashed COVID on the world and told us these were the “stay at home stocks.”

              • @antidote101
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                Aren’t we all pretty sure the wealthy classes seem to have different rules applied to them? Lighter sentences, less likelihood of being arrested, better treatment when they do get arrested.t Much shorter sentences in prisons which compare holiday resorts. I mean the first time Epstein was arrested for sex crimes he was allowed to leave the prison in daylight hours.

                … doesn’t that start to look like elites are in a criminal conspiracy? That other elites create these conditions for them? Eg. Wealthy elite schools producing unchecked criminality, and sharing the secrets of getting these better conditions?

                Like Harvard is a crime school?

              • @[email protected]
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                128 days ago

                Claiming Democrats and Republicans work together on anything seems a pretty crazy suggestion these days.

                • @grue
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                  128 days ago

                  You should pay closer attention. There are plenty of party-line votes on “culture war” bullshit, but there are also plenty of times in which they engage in bipartisanship to screw us. For example, they just not only renewed but also expanded FISA spying.

          • 🇰 🔵 🇱 🇦 🇳 🇦 🇰 ℹ️
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            29 days ago

            I would think many conspiracy theories do have nuggets of truth in them, but the problem comes from interpreting them incorrectly. See “The Voyager Conspiracy” S6E9 of Voyager for an example.

            • @antidote101
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              429 days ago

              I had a realisation today I’ve never seen anywhere before: Voyager would have been greatly improved had Tom Paris “grown a beard”.

            • @[email protected]
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              28 days ago

              Well yeah, many of them do have nuggets of truth, it becomes “conspiracy theory” when linking it all together in one big plot against humanity organised by a few people.

              The “big” truth is often even scarier then any big conspiracy theory: we are ruled by things that come/happen together by accident. We are ruled by chaos. Some are powerful, but not a single few people are ever completely in control of everything.

      • @SacralPlexus
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        1028 days ago

        When we piece it all together, we understand the truth: **We are in a totalitarian doomsday cult. **

        Why on earth would our elites do this? There are many reasons, but the simplest is because capitalism is unsustainable, and they knew it: Climate change and resource extraction would catch up eventually. So, they never intended to sustain it. They knew all along that they would gobble up all the wealth they could, and then yank the rug out from under us so they could pivot to a hellish fascist dystopia.

        Yeah I too think he was likely mentally ill. But damn if this didn’t resonate.

        • @Gabu
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          228 days ago

          A nutter with a good point is still a nutter.

    • @PoliticalAgitator
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      5229 days ago

      It should be noted that for-profit media companies will play dumb on any protest critical of the types of people that own and run for-profit media companies.

      During the “occupy” protests, it was common to see reporters staring into the camera and asking “but what are these protests about?” in front signs stating exactly what the protests were about. They knew if they fairly reported on the movement, their audience might start agreeing with the protesters. So both “left wing” and “right wing” media companies held hands and united to undermine it.

      But without that reporting, fuck knows. If he’s posting on reddit conspiracy subs, they’ve become a place for extremists to recruit the stupid and the clinically paranoid.

      • @mojo_raisin
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        729 days ago

        Whatever society might look like on the other side of beating the billionaires, for-profit news surely won’t be a part of it.

      • @riodoro1
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        328 days ago

        This. It’s hard to not realize what this guy was protesting about, we all feel it but the media wants us to buy a new iphone to be happy instead.

    • @PurpleTentacle
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      3429 days ago

      His Instagram tells a really sad story. He was an infrequent poster of perfectly ordinary content. No sign of any mental illness: pictures of his sisters wedding, some jokes, nothing concerning.

      Then, some posts about the death of his mother and almost right after, his sharp decline in mental health becomes apparent.

      • @I_Has_A_Hat
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        1729 days ago

        He was apparently active on Reddit and posted semi-often in the /r/conspiracy subreddit

        • @daltotron
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          128 days ago

          I also think he was a frequent /r/True_Anon poster, if I remember right

      • @Gabu
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        228 days ago

        TL;DR: The guy is a nutter.

      • NostraDavid
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        These claims sound like fantastical conspiracy theory, but they are not. They are proof of conspiracy

        That’s not how claims work, buddy.

        Lastly, we string these major discoveries together: Cryptocurrency is an economic doomsday device; our government is a secret kleptocracy; The Simpsons exists to brainwash us. From there, the only research we need is critical thinking and we’re able to piece together the true story of our circumstances.

        Wait, I thought we were supposed to use that all throughout, not at the very end!?

        TL;DR Yeah, the guy clearly had a screw loose. Jumping from unfounded (conspiracy) theory to another. At least he was not a Nazi, I guess - he hated everyone* equally.

        * everyone being “the government”, “Crypo-anything”, even a few billionaires!

  • @recapitated
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    6829 days ago

    Lesson of the day: don’t self immolate. The most you’ll get from your opponents and sympathizers are shrugs.

    • @[email protected]
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      2029 days ago

      Or just “Don’t kill yourself.” Unless maybe you’re about to be tortured into revealing secrets that could get innocent people harmed and you have a cyanide pill. Otherwise, suicide is pretty much always going to be too much medicine for the sickness. Things are bad? Killing yourself guarantees they will never get better.

      I realize it’s easy to simply say this, but it’s still true…

      • @ChexMax
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        1929 days ago

        I think I understand the sentiment here, but you are assuming no matter how bad it is, the state a person is living in is inherently better than death. I think you’d find a lot of people can imagine a life worse than death. Death means everything is over, blank, no more consciousness. That sounds better than unhappy life to me, and it definitely sounds better than miserable life.

        • @[email protected]
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          129 days ago

          you are assuming no matter how bad it is, the state a person is living in is inherently better than death.

          I didn’t say that. My point is more that ending a life (including your own) is permanent and irreversible.

          Death means everything is over, blank, no more consciousness.

          You don’t know that, no one does.

          Not trying to be argumentative, just clarifying…

          • @Gabu
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            028 days ago

            You don’t know that a flying pink unicorn doesn’t follow you around everywhere. Is it safe to assume it does?

        • @daltotron
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          128 days ago

          Death means everything is over, blank, no more consciousness. That sounds better than unhappy life to me, and it definitely sounds better than miserable life.

          That sounds better, but I kind of doubt that realistically anyone can actually understand what “no more consciousness” realistically means, because it’s axiomatically opposed to the idea of consciousness itself, to the degree that you cannot experience it. “oh I get it when I go to bed” or “oh it’d just be black nothingness with no thought” yeah that’s bullshit. People think that cause they smoked weed and it shut off their internal monologue, that’s the same as true oblivion. It’s not, it’s imperceptible, by it’s very nature. Maybe you could make an argument against fearing on that basis, on the basis that it’s un-understandable, much as epicurus did, in fact, that’s an argument I’d make, but that’s a different argument altogether.

        • Echo Dot
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          -129 days ago

          Well definitely don’t kill yourself for a random political reason. Especially for an individual that isn’t even in power currently. Also don’t kill yourself if he ever gets into power, because how on Earth does that help?

          But then again we’re attempting to apply logic to a situation where it clearly was absent.

    • @gAlienLifeform
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      1029 days ago

      Azzarello: You’ll pay for this, with your kleptocrats’ blood!

      Establishment: Oh right, how you gonna get em, skeleton power?

    • @werefreeatlast
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      329 days ago

      For law enforcement maybe they shouldn’t rescue after a certain amount of time 😔? Like that was 2 minutes. Maybe cut off at 1 minute? I don’t know, it sounds so painful. One of my family members was burnt accidentally by hot liquid and those years of pain and suffering are a mark in my life and obviously in their life. Imagine 100C vs 800 to 1200C in a fire, and instead of just a single burn, continuous burn for minutes? 😞 And to survive that to live one more entire day in possible the most painful way possible.

      • @gAlienLifeform
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        1729 days ago

        Cops are not doctors and not individuals I would want making that kind of call

        • @werefreeatlast
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          229 days ago

          I guess the guy should have pull his cellphone from his pocket. That would have been much less painful.

      • The Fire Witch
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        I imagine your nerves die off after a certain moment. That said, I’ve willingly burned myself enough that I can only imagine the intense body pain as it happens. I’d also imagine your lungs feel like they’re also on fire during it, smoke inhalation sucks.

        • @daltotron
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          128 days ago

          I imagine your nerves die off after a certain moment. That said, I’ve willingly burned myself enough that I can only imagine the intense body pain as it happens

          This is most certainly the case after a certain case. The lack of oxygen able to get to the lungs as a result of fire inhalation is probably capable of putting someone down within about three minutes, if that, probably much sooner, and probably sooner than your nerves would bake, I’d wager. That’s all if the shock and trauma of being on fire doesn’t cause you to pass out or otherwise shut down before that happens, which I’d also wager would be the case for most.

  • Flying Squid
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    6629 days ago

    The New York police department said the man, who they identified as Max Azzarello of St Augustine, Florida, did not appear to be targeting Trump or others involved in the trial.

    It took The Guardian four paragraphs to get to that. This is why Trump’s people are going to turn this guy into a martyr. Because the media isn’t making it clear enough that this had nothing to do with Trump.

    • Funderpants
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      3529 days ago

      Sounds like, on limited info, he went where he knew cameras would be.

    • @[email protected]
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      1429 days ago

      “did not appear to be targeting Trump”…“A pamphlet angry at evil billionaires”

      I could see Trump being triggered that the guy coming to protest rich people was not there for him.

      • @Spiralvortexisalie
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        829 days ago

        Yeah the media is trying to silence this man’s message, a lot of the national news won’t even bring up his immolation. Even the locals have dialed back mentioning anything about his message, only saying “he did not breech the perimeter of security” about the event. He died to bring an important message, it feels wrong to bury it. If it is crazy, let the people decide for themselves: https://theponzipapers.substack.com/p/i-have-set-myself-on-fire-outside

        • @[email protected]
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          Thanks for the link.

          TL;DR: the world is in a Ponzi scheme, the elite are using cryptocurrency to get richer, all of the elite are in this together including politicians “competing” with each other, and the only possible outcome is either societal collapse or a fascist state. And The Simpsons and other media proves this is true.

          There was also this:

          In order to explain the massive anomaly [massive stock growth and drop], our criminal government unleashed COVID on the world and told us these were the “stay at home stocks.”

          There are components of his theory that ring true, but the cherry-picked examples and the strange conclusions of how points are connected definitely made it read like a conspiracy theorist.

          Despite that, one of the points he makes early on is to apologize to those he will hurt with his self-immolation, including witnesses and first responders. That fact alone gives me empathy for him. He truly believed his conclusions, and it drove him to this awful action.

  • Jaysyn
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    1729 days ago

    Paranoid Schizophrenia is a hell of a thing.

  • @[email protected]
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    1429 days ago

    I have always said that setting yourself on fire is bad for your health, and this just proves my point.

    • @[email protected]
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      729 days ago

      Give a man a fire and keep him warm for a night; set a man on fire and keep him warm for the rest of his life.

  • @LesserAbe
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    1029 days ago

    Sad to hear this person died.

    Have to say, seems like being in the state of mind that you’re willing to kill yourself because of a given cause doesn’t often overlap with having the media savvy to capitalize on such a drastic action.

    Maybe we’ll find out more, and it will have more of an impact. But just thinking about how before Aaron Bushnell someone else had apparently self immolated, but I don’t know their name or specifically what the reason was. I only know because articles about Bushnell mentioned it in passing. And even for Bushnell imagine if someone had messed with his phone or even accidentally blocked the image? Without that visual spreading online it would just be another blip in the news cycle.

    • @[email protected]
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      Basically a manifesto asserting that everyone with power is colluding to mount a fascist coup d’état on America; Bush v Gore was a fake double team to get Bush the presidency, The Simpsons is some kind of propaganda meant to dupe us into being slovenly dopes forced into doing the bidding of billionaire overlords, um, I think there was some accusations levied against the Epstein victims for being pawns of some greater scheme, et cetera and whatever. Oh, also a crypto Ponzi scheme.

      From the limited info I heard, he was a normal, decent guy, but he had some kind of psychotic break a couple of years ago after his mom died; that said, if anyone has more/better information, please feel free to correct me.

      • @rwhitisissle
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        429 days ago

        psychotic break a couple of years ago after his mom died

        Went from “weird” to “sad and tragic” pretty quick. Honestly, it makes me worried about my own mental health in a big way should I face a similar kind of tragedy.

      • @Linkerbaan
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        Thanks. So this guy thinks that crypto is the global ponzi scheme, not the gazillion dollar fiat debt?

          • @Linkerbaan
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            228 days ago

            Of course but thinking that Crypto was the catalyst while in 2008 the entire Fiat ponzi scheme got exposed by crashing the world economy and all bankers getting bailed out is some backwards logic.