Bonfire of a fool’s vanities

A man lit himself on fire yesterday in front of the Trump International Hotel in D.C., an act rich in historical resonance for anyone who lived through the fall of the Diem regime in South Vietnam.  The Buddhist monks protesting the Catholic Diem family’s rule had the courage (or detachment from the material realm) to actually do a competent job of burning.

Not so in the case of the Washington wuss.  The Washington Post reports that “a construction worker in the area said he saw a man surrounded by flames, uttering the name of President-elect Trump in what appeared to be an angry manner.”

If you look at the lower right corner of the picture below, posted to Twitter by Michael Shoag, you see what appears to be a line of flames.

I wonder if he accidentally burned himself, rather than actually trying to commit suicide in sincere protest?  The Post reports:

The man was taken to a hospital with what were described as third-degree burns on about 10 percent of his body.

Sounds more like klutzy execution of a stunt rather than a recapitulation of self-immolation as a means of protest.