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What the Heck is Going On in DC?!

First we have the actions of the Conservative Wing of the Republican Party. Then we have the unfortunate incident of the mother who attempted to crash into the White House and the Capitol. AND NOW SOMEONE SETS HIMSELF ON FIRE ON THE NATIONAL MALL?!

From the CNN link:

Washington (CNN) — Law enforcement and medical personnel rushed to Washington’s National Mall on Friday afternoon to assist a man who reportedly set himself on fire.

Officer Hugh Carew, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Police Department, said the initial report was the man was conscious and breathing. Carew could not confirm how the fire had started.

Adam Stifel saw part of the incident as he was running.

“I saw a man sitting in flames,” Stifel told CNN. “He had already doused himself in gasoline, I believe.”

Stifel said five or six people used their shirts to pat out the fire. He said he saw a red gasoline canister near the man.

The incident occurred near the National Air and Space Museum. The man was airlifted out to receive medical care.

Seriously, what is going on?! Full moon? Deep national angst? Freud’s Death Drive?

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About Matt Bernius
Matthew is a PhD student in Cultural Anthropology at Cornell University, researching the intersection of technology and culture. Prior to Cornell, he earned a Masters in the Social Sciences from the University of Chicago and was a visiting professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Matt started his career at Eastman Kodak, spending eight years in a variety of web development, community and content strategy roles. In his spare time (off OTB) Matt slogs (slow-blogs) on the future of reading/media, studies martial arts and self defense, and volunteers, along with his wife, at the Rochester Animal Shelter. Follow him on twitter @mattbernius.


  1. Jim T. says:

    If D.C. were a match-free zone, this never would have happened.


    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

  2. Gustopher says:

    I hope the guy has good medical insurance.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  3. John Peabody says:

    I blame George W.

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  4. al-Ameda says:

    If he’d been carrying a gun, he could have prevented this.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0

  5. Dave Schuler says:

    Matt, the most distressing part of all of the angst in Washington is that at least statistically people there have less to worry about than people in most other parts of the country do.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  6. dazedandconfused says:

    Be interesting to know if that guy has been watching the speeches being made in the House on CSPAN this week.

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  7. RGardner says:

    He wanted his 5 minutes of flame.

    (OK, groan)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  8. C. Clavin says:

    An apt comparison…the Tea Baggers and a mentally unstable person.

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