Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Thane Plowman: Giving Despair a Face

Oh, can you see their world is crashing
Crashing down around their feet
And angry people in the street,
Are telling them they've had their fill
Of politics that wound and kill

-The Moody Blues

"They Call it the "American Dream" because you have to be asleep to believe it."

-George Carlin

Thane Plowman was born on August 7, 1968 and died on October 27, 2011 at the home he shared with his mother in Felton, California. His earthly remains were cremated yesterday.

Depressed an
d in utter despair, he had come to believe that the so-called "American Dream" he had believed in all of his life was just that - a dream. He was correct of course. It's a farce. It's a sham. It's a three-card-Monte hustle. Get a grip. And if the plutocratic power brokers who rule our lives have their way, in a decade this goddamned country won't be worth the paper the maps of it are printed on. Don't count on either of the two political parties to come to your rescue. The Democrats are littered with corruption and the Republicans have become so thoroughly corrupted that they're no longer a political party. They've become an organized criminal enterprise.

And yet these disgusting whores for the plutocracy refuse to comprehend the anger of the people who are occupying Wall Street - who are occupying America - who are occupying the fucking planet, baby! I'll use that contemptible Buddy-Holly-lookalike, Eric Cantor as an example of what I'm talking about. This asshole dismisses these patriots as a "mob". What he fails to understand - indeed what most of Washington doesn't even come close to getting - is that the American left has awaken from a very long and troubled slumber. This isn't a fad. This isn't some kind of mass, childish temper tantrum that will pass the moment the weather hits the freezing mark. This is for keeps. Wake up and face the dawn.

You may have the money, but the people whose economy you've destroyed have the power - lots and lots of power. And they're going to give you a example of their power on the day after Thanksgiving - "Black Friday" as you call it. On that day, which is usually such a boom for the economy, enough of them to make a marked difference will not be going shopping. As a matter of fact they won't be spending a dime. Think I'm kidding? That day will merely prove to be a nasty harbinger of things to come. Eventually the American people will bring you to your knees. In fact you won't even know what hit you. They have the power to shut this country down. You don't. Black Friday indeed. I get as giddy as a school girl just contemplating the possibilities. Forgive me.

"We need to keep his image in the brackets of our vision, and his memory in our hopes for the future. We need to remember Thane to appreciate the best parts of the past, and to keep alive our hopes for a better future."

-Lance Hames

Thane Plowman lost everything - his means of living, all of his benefits, his self esteem - everything. He was a victim of a system that threw all of us overboard three
decades ago. On the twenty-seventh of October his mother became so alarmed at his visible deterioration, she momentarily left his side to get him the help he was in such desperate need of. When she returned a short time later, he was dead by his own hand. I won't go into the details of how he ended his life. He's gone. We'll just leave it at that. In an e-mail yesterday, his mother Christine told me:

"He was my best friend, my soul mate and my prankster in crime....He was in great despair. I want to fight back for him and for all Americans who are hurting so deeply right now. I don't believe Congress has a clue. My dream would be to speak before them. It's a tragedy beyond my ability to express."

I'll bet. I've always had this immense talent for empathy but this one is way out of my league. I won't even attempt to interpret this tragedy for you. Christine's words will have to speak for themselves. I cannot imagine the grief that she and Thane's family and friends are going through.

It's time to take sides, folks. You're either going to be on the right side of history or you're going to be left standing in the sewer. The choice has not been this stark in a century-and-a-half. We've got to put hideous bastards like the Koch brothers on notice. We need to make all of them realize that the people are standing up and they're not going to stand down under any circumstances.

Call it a silly hunch on my part but I've got a feeling that Thane Plowman would have approved.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


The Jungle
by Upton Sinclair

The p
roblem with the American people is the fact that there is no one left alive who remembers what life for ordinary working people was like in this country when this book was published in 1905, in the days before unions and workplace regulations. When Upton Sinclair died on November 25 1968, both he and his most famous book were pretty much forgotten. Recent years have seen a resurrection. Do you want to understand where the right wing wants to bring us back to? Read "The Jungle".

Here is a link to a Facebook page dedicated to Thane'e memory:


Stop by if you can and offer his family and friends a word of condolence and support.


At 8:24 AM, Blogger Nance said...

I'll read The Jungle, Tom.

Did you take any heart from election results last night?

At 8:27 AM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

I did indeed, Nance.

At 8:36 AM, Blogger Brick1101 said...

It seems like people think life 100 years ago was the sanitized happy life portrayed by movies and TV shows. "The Jungle" is a book I have meant to read for too many years. It is now on my library book list. Another groundbreaking book is: How the Other Half Lives:
I know I'm going to spend half the day trying to find my copy of this book.

At 8:49 AM, Blogger Patricia said...

This is such a heartbreaking reality for too many people. Not the least of which are the daily suicides for so many returning veterans. With all the funding cut off for any mental health help, People with issues brought on by this economy are hopeless and desperate. It is just so sad. My heart goes out to this man and his family. This used to happen all the time during the depression, but no one seems to remember that. Taking care of a persons spirit has no value in this culture. It has to change. Unfortunately for the millions suffering alone and in silence, I fear there will be many more tragedies to come.

At 10:08 AM, Blogger Kathleen Meredith Cole said...

May Thane Plowman's death give people pause.-We need engage kids in shaping a more enlightened society. Books I proposed a sophomores English Class I taught were banned by the School Board. Ironically the ban came too late ... we'd read them: "Lord of the Flies," "The Catcher in the Rye," "Catch 22," "Slaughter House Five." I considered them essential contemporary reading in the sixties.

At 11:45 AM, Blogger Ellis D., Esq. said...

I'm all for a more enlightened society, been working on that for over 35 years now. It's a shame that for some suicide is the most viable life choice as much as that sounds like a contradiction. I guess the despair of realizing one has been sold a bill of goods and that the Amerikan Dream is really the Amerikan nightmare is too much for some to bear. It would be better to channel that despair into positive energy which could be used to effectuate change. I'd bet there are at least a few OWS demonstrators who have contemplated suicide. Fortunately these folks found a more positive way to channel their anger and despair. So Tom is absolutely right, the pissed off WE THE PEOPLE have awakened during the nightmare and are not going to be duped into slumber again. So lets bring it on...more general strikes, more boycotts, more sustainable living projects and continued solidarity and unity. Being that we are on our own we need to get this done ourselves. So don't give up the fight. People like poor Thane Plowman deserve no less, his death should not be in vain.

At 1:00 PM, Blogger Laneman said...

If ever there was a contemptible bastard Eric Cantor is it. And his sycophants too.

At 2:13 PM, Anonymous diane clare said...


Rough wind that moanest loud
Grief too sad for song;
Wild wind when sullen cloud
Knells all the night long;
Sad storm whose tears are vain,
Bare woods whose branches stain,
Deep caves and dreary main, -
Wail, for the world's wrong!

Percy Bysshe Shelley

At 3:20 PM, Blogger charles moore said...

For any of you who have not read The Jungle, do so and do not put it off. Without a doubt the most depressing book I have ever read. Along those same lines I would recommend Han's Fallada's book Little Man, What Now? about the German financial collapse that preceded WWII. And if you don't think it can't happen here, dream on.

At 4:41 PM, Anonymous Just the Facts! said...


I am so very sorry for the loss of your friend Thane Plowman.
In reading and rereading your post I see you are blaming some people and groups for Thane's death. I would like to understand better what these
people did to bring about Thane's early and untimely end to his life.
This list is based on your post:
Republican Party
Democrat Party
Eric Cantor
"Thane Plowman lost everything - his means of living, all of his benefits, his self esteem - everything. He was a victim of a system that threw all of us overboard three decades ago."

What did Eric Cantor do to Thane three decades ago, that caused him to lose his means of living, all of his benefits, and his self esteem?

Help me understand in this your time of grief and anger over Thane's death, what could or should have be done different that would have prevented his taking of his own life?

Again, I'm truly moved over your grief and sorrow and can only express my deepest condolence to you on the loss of someone so close to you.

At 3:34 AM, Anonymous Ron Baldwin said...

I read "The Jungle" about 60 years ago.

I haven't eaten a hot dog or any processed meat since then.

At 12:45 PM, Blogger Laneman said...

@JTF It's "Democratic Party"

At 2:17 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

Human suffering and tragedy have always been the by-products of institutionalized greed and corruption. It will continue, but resistance is forming. You bet it's class war, especially when we fight back at the aristocratic aggressors.

At 7:00 PM, Anonymous Just the Facts! said...

"Human suffering and tragedy have always been the by-products of institutionalized greed and corruption."
Dave Dubya
What a crock of out house deposits that statement is.

To wit:

Because some one is born with one leg shorter than the other is due to greed? Because one person has an IQ of 150 and next door the person has an IQ of 110 is due to corruption?
Because one person is an avid and talented surfer and the next hates water is due to an institution?

Human suffering and tragedy has been the by product of being human, since the dawn of mankind. Life is not always fair, to feel is should always be so is to live your life a victim. To hold someone or some institution accountable for your well being, without holding your self to that same level of accountable, is pure stupid sheep like behavior. It's what cattle do.

Dave, tell us all, what did either political party, and or Eric Cantor do three decades ago that has caused your life to be such a pile of human excrement today?

At 7:08 PM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

Just the Facts:

With all due respect, reading what you posted leads me to one conclusion:

You're a bit unfamiliar with the history of the human race. Your lack of knowledge in this area can only be described as stunning.

Seriously and sincerely,

Tom Degan

At 7:27 PM, Anonymous Harry Deitch said...

I agree with Dave Dubya. If Thane had lived in Cuba where there is no greed and where there is social and economic equality, Thane would be living the dream and would not have taken his life.

At 7:39 PM, Anonymous Just the Facts! said...

So all human suffering is due to greed? Earthquakes, tornado's, blizzards included?
I am sorry for the loss of your friend. It is horrible. But to blame someone else for his death, when his death was due to his own action(s), just does not follow reason.
Why does there have to be a person or institution to blame to understand the human condition is as far short of perfection as the world we live in?
But enough of that, how are you handling your grief? Have you resources that can help you get through this time? Let us all know how we can help you if you need any.

At 8:38 PM, Anonymous Tony Kegan said...


Tom may have posted Thane's story as a plea for help. I'm concerned Tom Degan may need some professional help ASAP. I have repeatedly called Tom's number (845) 294-5714 but it seems the phone is off the hook.

Tom may be just as despondent as Thane was in that "The Messiah",
"The One Who Would Stop The Oceans from Rising", or "The Chosen One's" lofty 2008 campaign rhethoric was nothing but a lot of hot air blown up our arses.

At 8:17 AM, Blogger Gypsy Bob said...

RE:GREED - Normal Human Greed is instinctual and as such part of our survival mechanism.

Corporate Greed takes the concept of basic human greed and refines it using technology and marketing etc to disguise and hone greed making it an almost desirable trait.It is the fuel of K Street. It Kills as efficiently as a Bullet and leaves no Blood on the Perps Hands or Conscious.

At 9:26 AM, Blogger Ellis D., Esq. said...

JTF and his ignorant comrades completely miss the point. Yeah LIFE SUCKS, it is the job of a civilized society to mitigate that fact in whatever way possible. It is wrong to perpetuate suffering and inequality by rigging the game, stacking the deck and marking the cards. So JTF, do we ridicule the poor soul with one leg shorter than the other ?? Do we ridicule the poor soul with an IQ as low as yours ?? I think the job of a civilized society is to provide assistance for the disadvantaged. This applies to a society with an even playing field. When the game has been skewed like it is here in Amerika even more needs to be done to assist and protect the disadvantaged who are at the mercy ( or lack thereof ) of unethical, unscrupulous disciples of Satan I call the establishment. Greed lies at the heart of the establishment's inability to treat its citizens fairly and humanely. Until the 1 percenters are put in their place and get their shit that they think smells better than ours rubbed in their faces this tyranny will continue. You trolls that post here are an embarrassment to the human race.

At 2:29 PM, Anonymous diane clare said...

It's not the shortness of a leg, per se, or the difference in IQ, it is those who would abuse the man with the short leg and take advantage of the person who is not as savvy. That is greed, meanness and ignorance at its worst. People adapt to physical disablilities they are born with, but if it occured because of a poisoned environmnet due to greed. If a person with a lower IQ is unable to make good decision because they cut education over and over for greed. Then misery ensues. How dare the person who attacks when people are greiving a friend. That is human misery being perpetrated by a miserable human being. I pity them.

At 2:37 PM, Anonymous Just the Facts! said...


Give examples of where society does to people what you listed. You still owe me an answer to your statement that you had enough taken from you by America, like what was taken from you for starters.

I know you believe it is the duty of a civilized society to level the playing ground and to provide assistance to the disadvantaged.
I know you believe the game's outcome is rigged, that the
deck is stacked against you.
I know you hate the " rich" and the establishment.

I do not believe what you do.

I am sorry for the death of Mr. Plowman and those who knew and loved him. But I do not believe for 1 second that his death is any ones fault. He is totally responsible for his actions, not society, not the 1% ( who ever they arethe establishment, not the Tea Party, not the GOP or the DNC, or Eric Cantor, not the Occupy Crowd. Sadly in life people make choices that are not the best ones, but they make them on their own.

I don't believe what you do for one second.

At 3:03 PM, Anonymous Annie Mouse Too said...

Just the Facts,
I know that you think you are oh so clever and morally superior to most of Tom's posters. The fact is if you are too slow witted and intellectually shallow to understand what Ellis is saying he does not "owe you" anything by way of an explanation. Your postings are childish, tedious and boring and frankly I question your "sorrow" over the death of Mr. Plowman or Tom's grief. If you want to discuss a "crock of outhouse deposits" try reading your own statements.

At 3:53 PM, Blogger Ellis D., Esq. said...

While I might not owe JTF an explanation I will say this. His ( her ? ) posts prove that one of the biggest problems we face is the self-centered egoistic mindset of too many folks in Amerika. See JTF, I don't have to suffer personally to be pissed off. Actually I have managed to do well for myself and my family and my friends and anyone else I can help out when I am able. But see I'm not concerned about myself. I'm concerned about my fellow Amerikans who haven't been as fortunate as myself and have really been fucked over by their misplaced trust in the establishment that has brainwashed and conned them into believing the establishment is their friend. So if you want an answer to your what have they done to " you " question, my answer is they screwed my friends and fellow Amerikans which I take quite personally !!

At 5:08 PM, Anonymous Just the Facts! said...

"I know that you think you are oh so clever and morally superior to most of Tom's posters." Minnie, how the hell do you know what I think or feel about anything, you don't ask me, you don't know me and it is clear you do not respect me.

Ellis, you said one of the biggest problems with America is the "self-centered egoistic mindset". I can see why you feel that way. So here's a test for you and others who share this belief.

Zuccotti Park in NYC has become breeding ground for T.B. and the Norovirus due to the lack of, let's call it, good house keeping practices. Will you be going to Zuccotti Park to clean up the park so those that are Occupying it can continue to stay there or will you be hiring a clean up firm to clean up for them?

Ellis, I know you hate the rich because it would appear you agree with Dave Dubya that "Human suffering and tragedy have always been the by-products of institutionalized greed and corruption." Would I be correct in believing then, that it is your position that all the rich are guilty of getting their wealth at the expense of someone else or at the least through some criminal act? NO wealth is gained honestly nor is it kept in it's owners hands legally or morally?
None of what Dave, you Ellis or Minne have said has any relationship to what I said in my first post. In fact if you had done this on Dave's blog, you would have been called, correctly, trolls, for getting off the subject of the post.

Now with that all said, do you believe society and the government is guilty of doing something that caused Mr. Plowman to take the action that he did?

At 7:45 PM, Anonymous Annie Mouse Too said...

Just the Facts,
Given your smarmy, smart ass attitude, you do not deserve respect. When you respect the opinions of others, then maybe I will think about it.

At 7:59 PM, Anonymous Just the Facts! said...

"Given your smarmy, smart ass attitude, you do not deserve respect. When you respect the opinions of others, then maybe I will think about it." Minnie

On second thought I don't want you to know me. You give rodents a bad name.

At 11:41 AM, Anonymous Puzzled said...

Just the Facts, Why do you keep calling Annie Mouse Minnie? Can't you distinguish between two different names?

At 2:01 PM, Anonymous Just the Facts! said...

Cause I found it interesting that Annie kept responding to I figured they were one in the same.

But to the subject at hand, and that is the tragic death of Thane. It is unthinkable to me that someone with so much talent and so loved much by so many could reach such depths of despair.
What should society have done to prevent this from happening?

At 3:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

“Each one of us here today will at one time in our lives look upon a loved one who is in need and ask the same question: We are willing to help, Lord, but what, if anything, is needed? For it is true we can seldom help those closest to us. Either we don't know what part of ourselves to give or, more often than not, the part we have to give is not wanted. And so it is those we live with and should know who elude us. But we can still love them - we can love completely without complete understanding.”

At 5:10 PM, Anonymous Minni Me said...

i think Shane called it quits because he realized Obama turned out to be a big bullshit artist.

At 5:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

At 7:16 PM, Anonymous Minni Me said...

Equality, egalite, was what the French Revolution, the Bolshevik Revolution, Mao’s Revolution of 1949, Castro’s Revolution of 1959 and Pol Pot’s revolution of 1975 claimed to be about.

This was the Big Lie, for all those revolutions that triumphed in the name of equality were marked by mass murders of the old ruling class, the rise of a new ruling class more brutal and tyrannical, and the immiseration of the people in whose name the revolution was supposedly fought.

At 1:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am Thane Plowman's mother. I'm here to speak for him since he can no longer speak for himself. He would be appalled at some of the remarks here but encouraged that a conversation had developed. He would NEVER blame his circumstances on anyone and always took responsibility for himself....but he had no resources to access health care and no job...along with untreated severe anxiety issues at the very least. Please don't comment about Thane as if you knew him...he was a gentle soul and a remarkable man. His suicide doesn't change one could have prevented those moments in time and for anyone that has experienced this unbearable pain my heart reaches out to you without judgement or blame and with the compassion that can only come from sharing this tragedy.


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