Yelling “Fire!” in a Crowded Theater Filled with Pyromaniacs

I saw some op-ed on the internets that compared right wing hate media’s (O’Reilly, Hannity, Limbaugh, etc.) take on abortion providers as being akin to “yelling fire in a theater filled with arsonists.”  I thought that was an amusing line, but wondered when we’re talking about folk like Scott Roeder, if “pyromaniacs” might be the better choice.  Arsonists can, after all, have fairly rational reasons for setting fires – collecting insurance, etc.  pyromaniacs are a different breed as I understand it.

I have been told that pyromaniacs will often visit the fire they have set and will, either at the time of viewing, or shortly after, masturbate.  Their urges toward crime have been eroticized – in other words, strongly reinforced and thus prone to happen again.

Scott Roeder’s crime, while not apparently eroticized, was driven by religious certitude.  He was “doing God’s will”.  Another variety of very powerful motivation for engaging in and repeating a crime.

So, while I think every person is ultimately responsible for their own behavior, it does seem to me that those who would incite into action people like Scott Roeder share in some of that responsibility.  Yelling “fire” in a crowded theater filled with pyromaniacs is serious business and not at all funny.

Iggy Donnelly


Filed under abortion, Crimes, hate groups, Psychological Disorders, Religion, Republicans, Wingnuts!

17 responses to “Yelling “Fire!” in a Crowded Theater Filled with Pyromaniacs

  1. See this link for a brief discussion of the sexual motivation in pyromania – this assertion may be more speculation than anything else. Pyromania is not a well understood disorder and thankfully is pretty rare.,+sexual+motivation&source=bl&ots=zqeMxk8NZV&sig=dYgtKFfUUIqyRvhrnY_l0ENSuDU&hl=en&ei=B642StDzCo3GM8vLkIYK&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1#PPT209,M1

    Sorry those google book links are terribly long.

    My source for the connection of pyromania to auto-eroticism have been fire-investigators who tell me that at a fire that they think was intentionally set they will look for males in the “audience” who have their hands in their pockets. Kid you not…

  2. Iggy,

    The world feels all topsy turvy crazy. 😦

  3. ninjanurse

    Well, if I believed Bill O’ Reilly I’d be laying my body across the entrance of Planned Parenthood till the cops took me away.
    For that matter, If Bill believes himself, why is he not committing civil disobedience?

  4. I heard on the news tonight that Roeder’s bail was increased to $20million. They said there was evidence bail was being raised, and that was the reason for raising it.

    Can you even imagine — a group of people raising money to get this guy out of jail. Puts a whole new slant on who someone would feel worthy, what deeds would be admirable, and reminds me why there is a federal investigation into conspiracy. Sounds too much like terrorists who become martyrs for deeds of unspeakable evil like blowing themselves up in order to kill others.

  5. fnord,
    Not sure I got that last transmission. The bail is being raised because people with resources, or a lot of people, are raising money for him? Very strange…

  6. You know how Nola is — she loves the camera but also loves to keep the mystery — so there wasn’t much said.

    District Attorney Nola Foulston says circumstances have changed since Roeder’s last bond hearing on June 4th. Since then, Roeder has talked to two media outlets from jail. By statements he allegedly made, she contends Roeder is a public threat.

    Deputy District Attorney Kim Parker says Roeder’s bond should be increased “based on the very public nature of this and the activist groups, if you will, that might be willing to assist in posting the bond and/or assist in helping Mr. Roeder escape the consequences of moving through a court system.”

    Prosecutors and Roeder’s defense attorney acknowledge there has been talk of a bail bondsman somewhere along the line.”

  7. klaus

    Also making the journey over from where I’ve been a regular for a while now. You were right–ther content here is a nicely complementary to the stuff there. Cross-pollination is, IMHO, a good thing.

    At the risk of highjacking the thread: I am sure that some pyros do get an erotic thrill from their fires. But to link that to O’Reilly….

    Made the mistake of watching a clip of him with…I do not remember her name, but she is a leading member of the pro-choice community. Anyway, ol’ Bill was up to his usual tricks: asking questions then not letting her answer, shouting, calling names…the usual puerile display.

    However, it occurred to me that the proper response from his “guest” would have been: “Bill, are you aroused?”

    I have the feeling that he derives a level of such stimulation from his act.

    Now, my apologies if I’ve been too explicit. First time visitor, don’t know the parameters, etc. I tried to couch this obliquely, but that’s a matter of personal judgment.

    BTW: I got the name: SE Kansas. I like it. And the blog. Suspect I’ll be back.

  8. Welcome klaus, and thanks for the laugh! Couldn’t help but get tickled over your excellent suggestion of what the response should have been! 😉

  9. lilacluvr

    Bill O’Reilly and Ann Coulter are both the same types in my book. I think they do what they do just to get an arousal – of any kind.

    Kinda like – shock and awe.

    Rush Limbaugh is doing his thing strictly for the money – nothing else.

    Glenn Beck is doing his thing because he wants to ride the coat tails of King Rush and the rest of the Little People into the Land of the Golden Money.

    As for Sean Hannity – I just pity that man.

    • frigginloon

      Hmm, come to think of it Lilac, you never see their hands! Hmm, wonder what they are doing in their pockets? Remember O’Reilly’s little kinky out of court payment…sexual harassment in the work place! Urgh, the spin stops there!

  10. jammer5

    The talk show pundits on the right really don’t realize the damage they’re doing to the Republican party as a whole. By suggesting, or cramming down throats-take your pick, anybody disagreeing with them are either pagans, commies, socialists, fascists, racists, yadda yadda, they’re driving away moderates, young people and anybody else looking for a place to practice their political beliefs.

    Really stupid.

    • lilacluvr

      Do you really think these talk show pundits don’t know what they are doing to the Republican Party or are they like Pontius Pilate at the crucifixion of Jesus – they have washed their hands of it and think they are guilt free?

  11. I think my oblique point on the thread was that people who have eroticized or religiositicized [a shameless neologism] motivations for committing crimes worry me. Those who whip up the latter group into a froth, make me angry.

  12. klaus

    Lilac, you obviously have a much stronger stomach than I do if you can listen to these clowns enough to distinguish their motives. That 1o minute clip of Bill and was enough to send me running for the porcelain repository.