Thane Plowman: Giving Despair a Face

thane plowman

Thane Plowman

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 and 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 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 planet, baby! I’ll use that contemptible Buddy-Holly-lookalike, Eric Cantor, as an example of what I’m talking about. This yahoo 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 awakened 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.

Memo to the One Percent:

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 an 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.

tom deganThane 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 regressives 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
The Rant



The Jungle (Enriched Classics)
by Upton Sinclair

The problem 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 (Enriched Classics)“.

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.


  1. Matt Micuda says

    We are all on the verge at time in our lives and contemplate.
    It took Thane the lack of his needed meds and maybe some serious support at a critical time. I don’t know for sure, but I feel for the guy. He looks very content in that pic at the ocean. God bless!

  2. Mitchell says

    Thane Plowman was my friend. As I understand it, he couldn’t get adequate treatment for his depression because he wasn’t insured. Healthcare should be considered a basic human right. BTW, I re-read The Jungle a few years ago. I didn’t really get it in high school. I’m still surprised that most people remember it as a book about the horrors of the slaughterhouse and not the inequities of a capitalist society.

    • Christine Frandsen says

      Thanks Mitchell….you’re so right….he slipped through the cracks as so many people do…it’s a tragedy that is beyond my ability to describe. I just learned that more veterans and service people have died from suicide than from combat… a result of our current wars….it’s all so sad…so unnecessary.

  3. Linda Young says

    Thane’s face represents the consequences of greed. This loss is the price we pay for the heartless actions of 1%.

    Thane’s mom is devastated, struck with loss and pain most of us cannot imagine. Share the loss of your own loved ones, offer comfort and support to his mom, Christine, on ‘The Thane Plowman Remembrance Page’ on Facebook.

    • Christine Frandsen says

      Bless you Linda for your support and thoughtfulness….tonight has been particularly hard….your words provide comfort…..there are so many of us in this club we never wanted to belong to.

  4. Ray Gallant says

    We all choose how we make our statements of what is good and what is evil ~ Thane stood up 4 good in the only way he felt he could against all the evil that is destroying so many life`s !! He Died A Soldiers way and I will always Honor that !!!

    • Christine Frandsen says

      Ray, your words have deep and valuable significance for me….I will always remember what you’ve said here….he was brave to live as long as he did with all the despair and difficulty.

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