Monday, March 15, 2010

Moving, Motion, Mobility

So, I've decided to haul my little self-indulgence over to Wordpress and from here forward, you can find me at or And maybe because I find Wordpress to be a slightly friendlier format, I'll do some things with some semblance of regularity. Not that once every two months isn't a regulated schedule, but nonetheless.

Friday, March 5, 2010

I've Been Thinking About Arson A Lot Lately

Fire is on my mind. It's not supplanting love letters and pretty things and the new episode of The Office or any of the other things I find myself thinking about often, but arson is there. Crammed in with all that other stuff.

If the short list in the previous paragraph hasn't gotten me off the FBI watch list the title of this post pegs me for, let me clarify that I'm researching cases of arson. Not figuring out to do with my afternoon or anything.

A recent series of articles on wildfires on discusses the phenomenon of firefighters who commit arson and I haven't been able to get it out of my head all week. Apparently it's a pretty substantial, albeit under-reported problem. According to the piece:

When the SCFC and the FBI created profiles of firefighter arsonists in the mid-1990s, the FBI concluded that their No. 1 motivator was a craving for excitement. Some firefighter arsonists are would-be heroes, starting fires so they can rush in and save the day. But often they’re simply bored thrill-seekers who, particularly in rural areas, are frustrated because there aren’t more fires to fight. Such arsonists are drawn to the work not by a desire to perform a public service but by the anticipation of excitement. So, when there’s not enough action, they don’t like it.

This strangely echoes of that mid-century mentality that lingers in some communities (Berkeley?) about Western doctors secretly conspiring to keep Americans sick so as to boost private practice incomes. But this is true!

Might I suggest that there's a lesson herein as to why so many aspiring writers agree to teach adjunct comp courses for $1500 per semester? Think about it. Think.

To read the full article, go here. You should.