Tag Archives: California fires

Death Wish?

As I have previously noted, I regularly read a Texas blog titled Juanita Jean: The World’s Most Dangerous Beauty Salon, Inc. The blogger, Juanita Jean Herownself–nee Susan DuQuesnay Bankston–reminds me a lot of the late, great Molly Ivins.

The other day, her post suggested a possible answer to a question many of us find perplexing, namely, what the hell is wrong with people who stubbornly, deliberately engage in behaviors that obviously and seriously endanger them?

It isn’t just vaccination, either.

So there’s a giant fire in California and it looks like the only thing that’s gonna put it out is for Canada to melt and head south.

Firefighters are evacuating homes in the line of fire.

They ain’t going. And you can’t make ‘em.

They are met with people who have guns and [are] saying, ‘Get off my property and you are not telling me to leave,’” he said.

In response to those who flatly refused to evacuate, he said, deputies were asking for next-of-kin information.

Now, here’s what I say.  When people come to the hospital without a COVID vaccine and expect us to break the back of our health care system to help them, it pisses me off.  If you want to stay in a house that’s gonna burn down, do not expect us to come rescue you once the fire is at your door and there’s no escape route.  Give us your kids and then go sit in your kitchen and drink the kool aid.

This goes well beyond stupidity.

Could it be that a not-insignificant portion of the population actually has a death wish? I think of recent headlines about “deaths of despair” and the opioid epidemic; I think about the (fortunately, still rare) “suicide by cop” phenomenon. I think about growing rates of anxiety and depression…

The post led me to do some (very superficial) research on suicide and suicidal tendencies. I was shocked to discover that the World Health Organization has labeled suicide one of the world’s leading causes of death–I would never have guessed that.

In the articles I found, the personality traits most likely to be predictive of suicidal intent included–in addition to the psychological issues that one might expect–hopelessness and  hostility. Given the constant drumbeat of negative news, from climate change to COVID to the continuing inability of our government to function properly, and the consequential drowning out of news items suggesting  upcoming changes for the better, is it any wonder that many people–especially those who may already have experienced disappointments with their lives–might consciously or subconsciously harbor such thoughts?

Given the dawning recognition of social changes that are eroding White Christian male social dominance, I found it interesting that the highest rate of suicide in the U.S. is among White men over the age of 65.

Okay–I do realize that this exploration into the motives of people whose behaviors are incompatible with reason and self-regard is pretty fanciful. I’m probably just grasping for straws–but  I found Juanita Jean’s post interesting, because it reminds us that it isn’t simply the loons inventing reasons to avoid potentially life-saving vaccinations who are behaving in mystifying (and ultimately suicidal) ways.

And credit where credit is due: at least the homeowners who are willing to die in their houses aren’t endangering unaware others–something you sure can’t say about the anti-vaxxers.

The longer I live (and I’m one of those people who intends to hang in here as long as possible), the less I understand….