San Francisco’s newspaper is reporting the death of Paul Addis, who in 2007 “spent time in prison for setting the Burning Man wooden icon on fire four days too soon.”
The notorious “Burning Man Arsonist” (and performance artist) served nearly two years in prison for what he’d described as an act of protest. “This was not an act of vengeance, it was one of love,” he’s remembered as saying in the San Francisco newspaper. “A love of the ethos that is fading at Burning Man. There’s no sense of spontaneity. No sense of ‘Fuck it. Let’s burn this down.’”
At the time, he was appearing as Hunter S. Thompson in a one-man stage play called Gonzo: A Brutal Chrysalis. San Francisco’s newspaper reports that in 2008 he was also arrested against outside a San Francisco church with a backpack filled with fireworks “after telling neighbors the church ‘isn’t going to be there anymore.’”
This Saturday night, he was killed after throwing himself in front of a BART commuter train. Paul Addis was 42 years.