Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Trial by Fire
(Update, from the "Six Degrees of Immolation" Department: I know this guy. A friend of mine called to remind me that she and I went to college with Paul Addis; I had several classes with him in fact. I remember him being a bit odd but otherwise he seemed relatively sane -- or as sane as someone who's willing to put himself into debt to the tune of $685-per-credit-hour (U.M. tuition at the time) can be. I wish I had some kind of great story regarding his early outlandish behavior, but unfortunately that might be reserved for my friend, who in fact slept with Addis and would like me to let everyone know that he has a small penis. I'll do my friend the favor of withholding her name.)
Awhile back, I wrote a column dealing with a man who'd set fire to the titular "burning man" from the most recent installment of that yearly tribute to latter-day hippie nonsense, the Burning Man Festival, a few days before its scheduled torch date (It was a Pleasure to Burn/8.31.07).
At that time, I gave the suspected arsonist -- a San Francisco performance artist named Paul Addis -- a very minor amount of credit for returning a spark of radicalism (if you'll forgive the pun) to an event which has become the furthest thing from what its creators had originally intended it to be.
Well, it now appears that Addis's affinity for arson extends beyond the desire to make a point to a bunch of stoned kids playing hackey-sack.
Sunday night, Addis was arrested -- still wearing his Burning Man makeup I might add -- for allegedly trying to blow up San Francisco's Grace Cathedral.
This is the ultimate case of mixed emotions for someone like myself, given my palpable loathe for both silly religious iconography and anyone who actually has the bad sense to publicly proclaim him or herself to be a "performance artist" (a designation which essentially means that that person has no real job to speak of).
Put another way: I couldn't care less if someone blew up a cathedral; I also couldn't care less if Paul Addis had set himself on fire in the process. In fact, if both had indeed occurred, I would've considered it a win-win situation.
No, I mention this again really for one reason only: it's an excuse to publish Addis's hilariously stupid mugshot (see above).