Time To Say Goodbye
Time To Say Goodbye
How We Talk about Self Immolation

How We Talk about Self Immolation


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On today’s episode, we talk about Aaron Bushnell, the active-duty Air Force twenty-five year old who self-immolated in Washington, D.C., the history of the act and how it has been seen in different eras and different contexts. We compare, for example, how Barack Obama talked about the self-immolation of Mohamed Bouazizi, a Tunisian street vendor who is credited with sparking the Arab Spring with how much of the liberal commentariat talks about Bushnell (largely in terms of mental health). And we try to make sense of what demands this act places on the public and how it could be understood.

We also talk about this:

We also talk about Jay’s recent article about Pretendianism in the New Yorker and Tyler talks about his own experiences as a minority in the academy.

Some reading:

Wapo report on Bushnell

Article Jay wrote in 2022 about the self immolation of Wynn Bruce

Pretendian article