It takes a worried man to sing a worried song, and a great many men are spending a great deal of time worrying these days. But while most of us were distracting ourselves by living vicariously through Team USA in the Winter Olympics, holing up with the latest Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, getting ripped, or simply gearing up for March Madness, Joseph Andrew Stack was posting a screed that railed against "Mr. Big Brother IRS man" on the Internet, setting his family home ablaze, and, subsequently, piloting his Piper Cherokee PA-28 into an Internal Revenue Service building in Austin, Texas. This dastardly, Running Man-inspired stunt, which at first blush had the feel of the first of a new wave of terrorist strikes, was apparently over taxes, which makes me wonder why he didn't just wait a few weeks, until mid-April, which would have made a bigger statement.
(I'd bet Homeland Security is bracing for copycats right about now. A lot of folks don't have much left to lose right now, and some of them own Cessnas and G5s and byplanes.)
We'll never know whether or not the reputedly "easygoing" Stack, a sometime musician himself, was cranking the tunes in the Cherokee en route to his maker. But we can make some baseless, uneducated guesses anyway.
A sixty-plus second hardcore-punk sneer wrapped in an Islamic prayer call that makes its authoritarian point with that titular six-word phrase, leaving it up to the listener to arrive at a possible cause for that sinking, unsettled feeling the song wants to inspire - a shudder-y feeling that most people escape because there's so much other shit of titanic importance to care about. (And really, thank God for that, because without those sort of distractions, we'd have many more Joe Stacks on our hands - to say nothing of the number of likely Joe the Plumbers - and way more senseless mass murders. This is the kind of stuff people at top levels of government spend time scratching their heads and gnawing at their fingernails over.)
Pretty self-explanatory, right?
"Money in the mirror!/Money in the mirror!/Money in the mirror!" singer Kevin Barry howls, ruthless and unsparing, over this crumbling, accusatory noise-rock comet, even if it's hard to say who he's pointing the finger at. Stack didn't see money when he looked at himself in the mirror; he saw somebody who was being robbed blind by the IRS. So he decided to try to kill a bunch of IRS employees, and failed at that.
"Head like a hole!/Black as your soul!/I'd rather die, than give you control!" would seem to neatly encapsulate the venomous emotions running through Stack's mind in the last couple days of his life.
Earl Simmons would like you to be more charitable so he doesn't have to stick you for your money and possessions or bit you, like one of the many pit bulls he's humanely housed over the past decade. "You been eatin' long enough!" See, that's what the IRS was trying to tell Joe Stack, and, what Joe thought he was saying in his online jeremaid, and then, well, his real response was on CNN for a day or two last week, and now most people have forgotten all about him, because Tiger Woods forewent tart-sex rehab long enough to open his mouth.