August 10th, 2018 was a day when a working class folk hero was born in the minds of many Americans. Richard Russell was your average everyday normal white man, with a wife and kids, working a job as a ground service operator for Horizon Air, and his social media page was that of an average man who had dreams. He tried running a bakery (it failed), he had a trophy wife and kids, and he was going to college for some media class. He took a communications class at Washington State University, and on the surface he looked like just another ideal man. He’d make blog posts on a blog he made for his class, talking about how he’d traveled the world, and about his job and what he did. He had dreams of being successful in life, getting a management position at his airline or even joining the military, but alas that wasn’t the case. He only got paid minimum wage, and he lived not too far from Seattle in Sumner Washington, a city with a high cost of living (and soon to rise given how many rich people are fleeing California to shit up Washington State with high property values and high costs of living). Chances are, he also found it hard to move up at his job since the days of becoming a shelf stocker, moving up in the company, and paying for a house and car are long over. Sure, he made a few mistakes in life like investing in worthless degrees, but back in the day you could drop out and make a killing a lot easier.
August 10th was the day where he decided to have a bit of fun, before he’d finally end his life in a manner that would stand out. He decided to steal a parked Bombardier Q400 airliner and have a bit of fun flying it. The plane was intercepted by fighter jets, and as they followed him, he decided to have some fun, both by doing stunts, captured on every camera within range against a nice beautiful sunset:
And by talking with ATC while he was flying:
He didn’t do it as some sort of dumbass attempt at getting the high score on some IRS building thinking he’d copy that time when two giant Boeings flew into the WTC (and the F15s likely ensured that), he didn’t carry out a dumb mass shooting on his boss, some megacorp, or a bunch of random people he felt wronged him (and chances are it would have been forgotten about in a week if he did, even if he killed the most people), and he didn’t just blow his brains out or hang himself in a basement or jump off a building or bridge. He wanted to go out, and go out while having fun and with style. He did some barrel rolls on an airliner, likely getting those skills from playing FSX or X-Plane, and wanted to have an experience that only expensive training (putting you into debt) could normally get you. He was in his late 20s, and as anyone knows when you’re older, good luck getting hired when you’re an older person with not too much past experience.
In the end, the plane crashed at some island that was mostly empty, causing the airliner to break up and burn with wreckage that barely resembled an aircraft, leaving him with a fate that certainly ensured his death. He was the only death after his flight was over, costing his airline millions of dollars, and instantly elevating him to folk hero status. This was helped by his motive, briefly mentioned during his ATC recording, his general state of mind, and the fact that the only casualties were himself and a multimillion dollar aircraft owned by some airline which can easily afford to get a new one. The security clearances will get even tighter at airports most likely (or they’ll sit around and do nothing) as the media ponders for a week how someone could have stolen an airliner, scared some terrorist could have done another 9/11. Hell, there are already clowns asking how he did this and some even wanting restricted access to 30 round assault flight simulators.
Now the ATC recording is a bit interesting, because in it we get to see the mental portrait of a man who simply did not care anymore. He was talking about how beautiful it was to fly and see everything from the plane itself. Besides saying he had a “few screws lose”, he also talks about his minimum wage job, asks the ATC controller for the coordinates of the orca carrying the dead baby, and makes a joke about how he’d never get a pilot job since he’s white (a line censored from a lot of news broadcasts), and it’s the kind of recording that sticks with you for a while especially if one has gone through the same situation in life.
See, you probably have had parents or grandparents who will talk about the back in their day stories. My grandpa worked for a department store, and he made enough money to invest, invest in the stock market, and retire after working 40+ years, at one time even owning a house in Myrtle Beach (a popular vacation town) and talking about buying a boat. My dad had a stable job and got a position he held for a while, one that made it easy for him to move and get the same position he had. But me on the other hand? Oh right, I’ve struggled with college, a brutal car accident that should have killed me, have had parents who will throw all their resources at my brother who is moving out in a few days and goes to college, all while I continue to live every day like the same old same old. Distractions only do so much and when those turn to shit, you’re left with the bitter hard truth. How am I going to move out of my house when I am never going to get money needed to?
One of the things I’ve noticed about depression is that it can be worsened based on your current position in life, and happy pills are only gonna do so much to improve it. Those days when you could go down your parent’s path just as easily are over. They can lecture you with the same old same old “believe in yourself, you’re still young, if you apply for jobs long enough and go to college you could be making money.” Richard mentioned his job a lot on his website and videos and it was clear it was a big deal to him. During the ATC recording he mentioned he only made minimum wage, and considering how he talked about plans to move forward he clearly wanted something that made more money as well. Honestly if I were my brother, with the energy and build of a linebacker, I might have taken his job too just because it’s so damn hard to find jobs in this town. I don’t want to sound racist but I spent months applying at grocery stores and Wal-Mart tier big box stores, and besides being turned down, well just take a look at the types of people who work there the next time you’re not hired. A lot of my online friends have only worked at places like Jimmy John’s or Wal-Mart, or they’re jobless living with their parents and cracking when they’re not distracted by video games thanks to the fact that even retail jobs want years of experience (and will likely diversity hire anyway).
And well, as a kid you’re told this great big lie, that when you grow up you can be anything you want. Childrens media, schooling, and whatnot tell you this in order to keep your morale up as a kid. As you get older you start to realize, this simply isn’t true. Colleges (which are where they tell you that you can learn anything) cost an arm and a leg and run you into debt and mentally into the ground, so you end up as another serf. A serf who thinks he has freedom, when he’s in reality controlled by his tech and his low wages. If you get some fast food or big box retail job, they’ll tell you that you can move up, yet it’s depressing when you see a Wal-Mart greeter or cashier with a “20 year employee” badge on their uniform. It reminds you that they’ve spent the last twenty years of their life working a job a teenager would work. Oh and the people who are successful and who “make it” in the system? Yeah, they’re the same people who fuck you over eventually. Look at Carly “outsource this” Fiornia, former HP CEO, who cut 30,000 jobs from HP and outsourced many of them. Hell here’s a story I heard from some oldfag in a Discord I’ve been in: When HP announced internally she was being forced out; he was on the phone with support. Suddenly there were loud noises and commotion in the background and he was put on hold. He assumed there was a bomb going off or someone going postal until he was put back on the line, and now there was cheering and singing in the background with one person yelling “Ding dong the wicked bitch is gone”. When he asked what happened the guy on the line said “Carly’s out.” Imagine being so hated at your company for outsourcing that your employees are excited that you’re gone.
Back on topic though, with a society like this, is it any wonder the white male suicide rate has gone up? So many people feel like they’re being used in a system slanted against them, that they’re going to be stuck with shitty jobs while some rich snowflake in California or the PNW can get a job because they knew the right person doing nothing of value. It’s a bad feeling, and one that hits you so hard you’ll feel like you want to die, like your entire life was a worthless waste of time and effort and resources, like you contribute as much to society at large as someone like Chris Chan, Narcissa Wright, or some generic video game streamer who wants to get paid living like a child.
That’s why Richard is going to be seen as a middle class hero for a few months, and probably for a while in the same sense the Killdozer guy was. The killdozer guy who was fed up with his life and the people who wronged him, and he just wanted to get back at the people who wronged him by destroying their buildings and property with a giant armored bulldozer. Richard was like that in the sense he was fed up with being a 29 year old serf, a 29 year old cog in the machine who didn’t like the lifestyle of forever remaining a low wage worker with no chances to move up the ladder, despite all the lies you hear when you get a fast food job (how many CEOs started out as big box workers at the same chain?). There might be a movie made about the guy and his crazy flight with some of the more politically incorrect details stripped, and people will look him up again. He didn’t steal the plane to fly into his employer, the IRS, or a big skyscraper; he stole it to feel freedom from his shitty job for an hour or so before his inevitable death. And that is what he got, freedom for an hour or so from his shitty job as a package handler. He was just a regular everyday normal guy, the polar opposite of a lot of people who end up doing crazy shit, and his family confirmed this. While woke twitter was quick to shit all over him, his comment box on his videos and videos of the event became somewhat of a memorial page, as people praised his antics and posted RIP.
And it’s also a reflection of the society we live in. There are many people just like Richard out there, victims of a system that told them big lies as a kid, as they struggle to come to terms with the harsh reality.