Michael Marin was not scared of the extreme. This former Wall Street broker, Yale Law school graduate, scuba diver, art collector and overall good ol’ boy traveled the world climbing the highest mountains. You know, all that cool stuff poor people can’t afford to do. Despite having 18 original works by Pablo Picasso, in 2009 he hit a dead end of options in maintaining his finances. So he emptied out his mansion at 71 Biltmore Estates in Phoenix, Arizona and set it on fire. He ‘barely’ escaped from the home, alone and wearing a scuba mask. Genius and unbelievable way to use expensive sports equipment, it seems. Three years later, he is found guilty of arson.
Last January, he did, however make a plea to prospective sympathizers of his wealth. In a six minute video of his own poetry and prose, he asked for support for completing his mission in Almost Seven Summits.
I’ve set my feet on windswept heights known only to a very few, where views far too beautiful for mere words to express dazzle the senses and touch in the soul. A paradise of peace and joy where the horrors of the half-lived life are unfamiliar. I’ve dared to profane with my presence high sacred places where the thin veil between here and now and the mystery of the great beyond is but a frozen whisper in a howling wind. I’ve felt bone chilling wind and excruciating fatigue. I’ve gasped for breath in the rarefied air. Mindful of lost friends and worried love ones, burdened by heavy loads, climbing up, endlessly up, utterly interminable, utterly exhausting pitches. I’ve seen things, experienced things you may never know even in your wildest dreams.
Yeah, all those pretty words sound nice when you can have a hobby that costs thousands with paid time off. But a life of luxury doesn’t last forever. Michael only had Antarctica left, but didn’t have enough money and was going to jail for 16 years so he figured he’d kill himself instead. In case you were wondering what it looks like to die from cyanide, you can watch his suicide here. I give my condolences to his family and friends who obviously will have to live with the trauma of his public death, but in the end I think there’s a lesson to learn here. Money makes you sick and you don’t deserve to be wealthy. Any drop of wealth a white man has in america is due the fact that that their white ancestors stole the land we stand on today. They did this simultaneously with committing genocide of native people and snatching Africans from the homeland across an ocean to work for free. Wealth is acquired through forced labor and exploitation, not a degree from Yale. Besides colonization still happens today, so don’t think this is irrelevant.
Marin states “I’m not looking for a handout” in his final statements of the video. Yet, everyone remembers when we bailed out the banks in 2008 and once again saved capitalism. He would have continued in his privileged adventurous ways, if Arizona didn’t have such harsh punishments and sentencing for every criminal offense, ironically set up to catch immigrants, not wealthy white men.
Maybe justice played out in some way, but then it didn’t because Marin just took some tiny poisonous pills that saved him from the horrors of bare prison walls and forced anal sex. Once you experience a lifetime of convenience by working very little, it’s hard to imagine a life of limits and non-organic food. Remember Michael Marin, not for his personal accomplishments and achievements, but as an example of the dead meat found in our vulture capitalist society we live in today.
Now here’s something to make you feel better/bad.