Vancouver Zeitgeist
Reflections on Vancouver, British Columbia and other topics, related or not


Self-indulgently suicidal

Could the McDonald’s immolation
indicate a new trend in narcissism?

March 18, 2018

McDonald’s fake suicide threatens to burn others

No one was hurt but the perp, yet he scared the hell
out of several people and wrecked a once-thriving business.


Like subway and Skytrain jumpers for example, there’s a class of suicide that intends to go out with a bang. For all its drama, the March 15 Broadway and Commercial standoff turned out to be more of a 40-minute whimper that didn’t even end that guy’s life.

He did burn himself seriously, according to media, a detail that distinguishes him from the obviously bogus “suicide epidemic” among northern Ontario natives. If those pathetic cases really wanted to snuff it, they need a course in death skills.

There’s a disturbing possibility that the type of self-indulgence inflicted on McDonald’s staff and customers will gain momentum, with more attention-craving characters looking for increasingly scary ways to endanger others. That could be far more narcissistically gratifying than, say, shutting down the Lion’s Gate Bridge for a few hours while pretending to contemplate a jump. The neat, orderly and efficient euthanasia clinics envisioned by Evelyn Waugh would never appeal to these people.

Unfortunately for those who work and eat there, this particular McDonald’s wasn’t a surprising venue for such a spectacle. At any time of day the place often resembles a human zoo with Vancouver vignettes—those really fucking gratuitously nasty encounters with really fucking gratuitously nasty people—occurring regularly. Confrontations I’ve experienced there mostly involve people trying to jump the queues (with no objection from the staff) but also include a young middle class woman who threatened to sic her big dog on me right inside the restaurant (with no objection from the staff) and a young, maybe 300-pound guy who objected to me objecting to him for shouting at the staff “FUCKEN CHINKS!” (with no objection from the staff).

Whether or not the McDonald’s immolator really wanted to die he should be locked up for the safety of others. But he likely won’t, not for any length of time anyway, even though he specifically threatened to burn at least one other person besides slopping gas all around restaurant patrons. His freedom to endanger others attests to the flakery of a profession that fast-tracked the Greyhound bus beheader for rapid release and collaborated with the catastrophically faddish idea of shutting down mental hospitals. Contributing to the mess is public discourse dominated by opportunistic poverty pimps, sanctimonious politicians and low-IQ media.

Easy access to highly addictive insanity-inducing drugs just might be a factor too. Of course as society becomes unravelled, so do a lot of individuals. For many of them, Vancouver’s the place to go.


Postscript: Video recorded immediately following Alek Minassian’s slaughter shows the guy apparently trying to goad a cop into shooting him. That would make this another mass murder/suicide, unsuccessful on the latter point but horribly successful on the former.

Media speculation suggests this guy represents a newly identified group that could be called Losers Who Can’t Get Laid. If accurate, that’s got to be just one of many categories of inadequacy which, combined with narcissism, could produce more Minassian-type assholes. Imagine a growing trend of resentfully inadequate creeps expressing their frustrations through techniques of jihad.

Might Vancouver experience more of this? So many self-considered losers1 come here that the city’s largely characterized by The Revenge of the Inadequate.

Not all of them channel their emotions through environmental activism.


Of course an earlier and deadlier mass murder/suicide was the 2015 example of Andreas Lubitz, the Germanwings pilot who deliberately crashed his plane into the French Alps, snuffing himself and murdering 149 others. And it looks like most of the people behind the American psycho tradition dating back to the ’40s either killed themselves or (surely predictably even by their deranged thinking) got killed by cops. So maybe there’s nothing new about my McDonald’s immolation speculation about mass murder/suicides.

Other mass killings involving those who go “postal” (exacting what they consider to be revenge) and terrorism (a sadistic ideological tactic to kill and maim, but also to undermine society through fear) do fall into different categories of bloodshed.

In one sense, bloodshed is bloodshed is bloodshed and innocent people die. But it’s useful to examine the different reasons why it’s happening.

With all that in mind, there were obvious faults in the above McDonald’s immolation post. But the broader concern holds. And with the shortcomings of our institutions, like increasingly flaky psychiatry and psychology along with steadfastly simple-minded Canadian journalism, it’s up to reasonably intelligent people to try to determine for themselves just what the fuck is going on.


1 It would be unfair to label people as “losers” mainly because the term implies life is a competition. Furthermore, so many acclaimed “winners” turn out to be privileged people of absolutely no accomplishment. Nevertheless many resentful people seem to consider themselves losers and, for that reason, some of them don’t hesitate to express gratuitous animosity to others.

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