Warning: This topic is disturbing.
Yesterday morning, January 27, a man set himself on fire in downtown Portland. People screamed. People called 911. People helped put out the fire. They also took pictures. A witness told The Oregonian and KATU-TV that the man shouted about animals dying and tried to get into a fur store as the flames engulfed him. Animal rights activists have protested fur shops in Portland for years on end but there is only speculation on the man's motives. He died yesterday at a hospital. He was 26 years old.
Already on blogs some animal rights activists are praising him as a hero. And some people are dismissing him as a fanatic. Barbs and snarky comments are flying on both sides.
No matter why he did what he did, I can't see his action as a form of protest, terrorism or heroism. It's strikes me only as a tragic manifestation of mental illness.