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submitted 1 month ago by MicroWave to c/news

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.

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[-] jordanlund 105 points 1 month ago

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

[-] [email protected] 64 points 1 month 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 14 points 1 month 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...

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[-] son_named_bort 11 points 1 month 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.

[-] [email protected] 10 points 1 month ago

"so you're saying we need a fire suppressant grenade launcher? we'll get right on it."

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[-] dhork 70 points 1 month 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.

[-] BeefPiano 64 points 1 month ago
[-] NocturnalMorning 28 points 1 month ago

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

[-] Wogi 18 points 1 month ago

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

[-] [email protected] 15 points 1 month 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 13 points 1 month 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.

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[-] disguy_ovahea 23 points 1 month 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 16 points 1 month 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

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[-] [email protected] 19 points 1 month 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 19 points 1 month ago* (last edited 1 month 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] 17 points 1 month 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 15 points 1 month 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.
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[-] [email protected] 7 points 1 month ago* (last edited 1 month 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.

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[-] SacralPlexus 10 points 1 month 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.

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[-] PoliticalAgitator 52 points 1 month 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 7 points 1 month 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.

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[-] PurpleTentacle 34 points 1 month 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 17 points 1 month ago

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

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[-] recapitated 68 points 1 month ago

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

[-] [email protected] 32 points 1 month ago

Yeah if you really wanted to send a message, you'd set those evil billionaires on fire not yourself.

[-] [email protected] 20 points 1 month 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 19 points 1 month 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.

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[-] gAlienLifeform 10 points 1 month ago

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

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

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[-] FlyingSquid 66 points 1 month 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.

[-] [email protected] 35 points 1 month ago

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

[-] [email protected] 14 points 1 month 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 8 points 1 month 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] 19 points 1 month ago* (last edited 1 month ago)

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.

[-] [email protected] 17 points 1 month ago

Paranoid Schizophrenia is a hell of a thing.

[-] [email protected] 14 points 1 month ago

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

[-] [email protected] 7 points 1 month 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 10 points 1 month 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] 9 points 1 month ago

Florida isn't sending us their best

[-] [email protected] 14 points 1 month ago

Plot twist...he was their best.

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[-] Linkerbaan 9 points 1 month ago

So what was on the pamphlets?

[-] [email protected] 18 points 1 month ago* (last edited 1 month ago)

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.

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[-] Lifecoach5000 8 points 1 month ago

I’m not sure but he had a few printable pamphlets with wild shit on his substack:

https://theponzipapers.substack.com/p/i-have-set-myself-on-fire-outside

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[-] lennybird 8 points 1 month ago

This is honestly just sad. If you know someone who is falling down the conspiracy theory rabbit hole and increasingly radicalizing, get them help. Seriously.

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this post was submitted on 20 Apr 2024
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