Rest in Peace, Yankee Jim 1956-2008

Nice pic of YJ

You will be missed, Jim. Thank you for all the times you showed your kindness in small ways, for the messages of warmth and support. I so wish I could have at least tried to help you when you were hurting, that I had known before it was too late. I think of how there were so many  times I wanted to ask for your help, but like you, I wanted to appear stronger than I am,  and didn’t want to cause trouble for anyone.  Part of me is somewhat angry about what you did -was talking to a friend today who met you, and he is angry about this, because it’s too late – men don’t like to feel helpless- I don’t have to tell you this.  

Worse, they worry for themselves when they see someone who seemed so solid and strong, lose control- it is a scary thing. I’m angry ,  not because ‘it makes the Cause look bad’ and I am certainly not your judge, but angry simply for your loss- the world is much poorer without you, and I’m  angry at myself for not reaching out to you when I needed help simply because I didn’t want to cause trouble.  I do think I understand from what you wrote,and things you had told me years ago that  it wasn’t so much about what she did-but how you were  treated following that and perhaps before. I understand about wanting to be strong, and then the pain getting to be too much, how very cruel people can be. Just like you wanted to not appear less than strong- some people don’t know how to be wrong , they can only go on the attack or shut you out, make threats, yell and scream- and so on.  Being wrong to them is as being weak was to you.

I know you believed in God, and I know you prayed and asked for forgiveness and strength many times long before and after it was all over. You were a true believer- In a way, that is why I don’t understand how you ended up like this, because I thought you had faith, something I don’t really have, and I thought people that have faith  could never do this, that their faith “protects them, keeps them strong” . Youknow, the ‘God doesn’t give us anything we can’t handle’ . I suppose that is just another remnant of my naivete, that Christians are above human frailties and of course the belief in the  ‘WN Ubermensch’. Now I see how great the need is for  real life community versus only cyber-community. I now see how alone you really were.

 I’m not a tremendously social person, probably much less social than yourself, it works well enough when things are tolerable.  We get by. Maybe we get sick a little more often , maybe our hair falls out, maybe we cry more often, or don’t eat right, smoke more, sleep less, take aspirin for chest pains or just feel like crap but we are able to still  function-because we have to– but there comes a point where we can’t do it alone anymore, the pain is too much, and I know you were there. Pain which brings you out of sanity and into the land of dispensing your own brand of  justice or simple escape, cashing it all in.  I am hoping  people start to  make changes as far as  what could be called online isolation and localized isolation brought about by not living around those of a like mind and perhaps most importantly, starting to count one’s  life off  line as working for the cause.

Of course, like what happened to you with the newspaper- one may be ‘outed’, whether one finds out about it as you did, or it happens more covertly. Even relative or total unknowns- people may treat them the same, they may have better luck in the outside world- but WN is  in our head either before or after we officially discover WN, and it changes how we see the world, known or unknown WN struggle with that. There has to be some respite, a counter to the sturm and drang  of bad news, people  getting deported, arrested – our own getting killed, violated- general life worse than the world in which we were brought up. People throw stones in the political arena- and they will- whether or not they have a real idea about who you are ,what you have given or sacrificed. They’re still kids. To deal with all the online infighting, mindgames and s(*&-talking, and then to have to deal with more of the same in real life- those kids do not yet know what we know: that only someone who knows one very well can truly make one suffer, but I am preaching to the choir.

Know  this, Jim- your fall does not take away from who you were and still are in our hearts and memories , the many good things you did, and time you dedicated to help others, stood  up for what is right for various victims of crime, and causes even unrelated to WN , like breast cancer-  how you wanted to be part of things and were rejected for your political beliefs and were denied entre into this or that volunteer effort or local organizations more than once , your  great ability to  promote, organize and motivate people. I still have that Coombs file and lots of your old radio shows.

Jim, you acted in good faith so many times  before that terrible day.  No, they can’t take that away from you. I hope to see you, on the other side, but it’s all right if you hang around in the meantime, I could use the company, and I’m not afraid of ghosts.

YJ RIP

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6 thoughts on “Rest in Peace, Yankee Jim 1956-2008

  1. I feel horrible about this. I wish someone who knew he was having problems could have reached out to him. Had I known, I most certainly would have. WN people can get very isolated, and many times we are alone with our pain, frustrations, loneliness. Let me tell you now, he is not the only out there, there are others who have been close doing what he did,or suicide alone, they have talked to me. I wish Jim had. Sometimes when you go to someone for help, you save THEIR life, too.

  2. Jim is free now and he’s around, he as also a guitar player.
    Yankee Jim, Hendrix, Crockett, Ben, Entwistle
    The band up there is getting larger and better !
    RIP Jim

  3. I am only leaving the post before this as an example of either “trolling” or the true nastiness that typifies the latte-loving rainbow sign wavers. I doubt this is a personal acquaintance of YJ, since the website affiliated with this person “the hermetic feast.com” is hosted by a Utah ISP, which I find strange as most types there in UT would either not care or even know about YJ, or if they did, they would be remembering a life that was more than his worst day.

    I do not condone what YJ did, but I understand how remaining stoic under great pressure basically can make one start to break down, as well as not having any real-life support (other than Internet ‘friends’), fundamental personality incompatibilities that at first seem fun and charming, but years later someone wants to kill you, not even for crime committed per se, but just because they have come to hate you, and thus like the Joan Jett song goes “I hate myself for loving you”, and whatever the other person *did* is just the excuse, they hate them for who they *are* , not for this or that behavior.

    After that many years together it is much bigger than “she did that, he did it first”, snipe, snark, etc. It is much more about the day-to-day dealing with someone , someone you may have children with, or have some amount of feeling for left, or even a lot of feeling for, but it is like magnets jumping away from each other, it truly is bad chemistry,no one’s fault- but many people think if there is good chemistry in one area, it will extend to the mundane, or they fail to make the distinction between ‘opposites attract’ vs long-term complementary qualities. In the language of the eco-community, it is not sustainable. One person usually has to ‘become different’, more like the other for this to work out, or at best a kind of tolerance-distance-business relationship is achieved by default, but it cannot be said most people actually thrive this way, because so much is missing that would otherwise exist naturally.

    Most often the stronger party,as in mice experiments with dominance, ends up consuming the less aggressive, or debilitating the less aggressive mouse in some way. For some the breaking point doesn’t come for years ,for others, weeks. Why do you think people cry at weddings? You don’t realize the other meanings of the tears until years down the line when you are the guest.

    I miss the YJ that I knew. I find myself re-accepting the reality of his absence/death/murder/suicide . Some find that casting blame helps them accept this, or are vicariously sympathetic/contemptuous/angry/guilty/upset/frightened in relation to their own lives. In other words, they use YJ as a yardstick with which to measure their own stoicism , or lack thereof, their own anger, their own guilt, betrayals, resentments, etc. People ask themselves, “Would I be capable of such a thing?” ” What are my limits?” or maybe they qualify it, they say ” I wouldn’t have done that, but I’ve thought it”. This is what I mean by yardstick. Not saying this is abnormal or passing judgment on that, only that it certainly exists.

  4. Melitaea Athalia- How low class. For someone who chose the name of a beautiful butterfly for a username, you sure have an ugly spirit.

    SC, if readers of your blog are interested, they can download Yankee Jim’s blog, the Hudson Valley Freeman, in its entirety, at:

    http://concertshooter.com/files/YankeeJim/thehudsonvalleyfreeman.zip

    This is the only way to read his work now, since all but the front page has been taken offline. I’m not the one hosting the file, but I don’t think he’ll mind.

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