Lighting yourself on fire is set to join picketing, petitions, and political rallies as the most cliche' ways to protest against anything. Apparently Abdou Abdel-Monaam Habadah's Tunisian blaze of glory caught on as a hot idea, with six others lighting up in copycat burnings. Sorry everyone, but that trick's been old hat since the sixties. It's not so radical anymore, with taxes and apathy being past reasons for activists to take up smoking. At this point, ignition has lost its spark. Rather than actually being a signal for change, it's become a sign of surrender. If you want to end your life with the equivalent of "shit happens," it's the dissident suicide of choice.
Daniel Mikelonis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. When he isn't struggling to become a dog, he enjoys reading and making his life harder than it should be.