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The Las Vegas “Free Buffet” suicide and the cost of aggrieved entitlement

John Noble posing with one of the women he was most obsessed with
John Noble with one of the women he was most obsessed with

You may have already seen the headlines, most of which were a variant on the following: MAN KILLS HIMSELF INSIDE VEGAS CASINO AFTER LIFETIME BUFFET PASS WAS REVOKED. 

On Reddit’s charming FatPeopleHate subreddit, where a link to a story on the suicide garnered more than 450 upvotes, this became Fat fuck kills himself, blames it on the loss of free buffet for life.

“And nothing of value was lost,” quipped one Redditor. “Another proof that they live only for food,” added another. “Do these sound like the actions of a man who had ALL he could eat?” joked a third.  You can find similarly sensitive remarks in the comments of sites ranging from Breitbart (” Please tell me this was Michael Moore!”) to the Las Vegas Sun (“Man that buffet must be to die for”).

But John Noble, who shot himself in the head at the M Resort buffet on Easter Sunday in front of a roomful of witnesses, wasn’t upset that the M Resort had taken away the free food he’d won in a raffle in 2010. He was upset that the casino, two years ago, had taken away his access to the female staffers he had been stalking.

We know this because, before he took his own life, Noble sent a box full of documents to the Las Vegas Review-Journal detailing his case against “the M Resort Spa Casino and [the] employees” he said had wronged him. As the newspaper reported:

Noble’s hand-bound stack of notes and documents stretches on for more than 270 pages and includes a table of contents, photographs and a two-hour DVD of him talking about his troubles.

The second-to-last page, titled “The Curse,” spells out all the harm he wishes on those he believed wronged him.

Included on the list are several women who worked at the buffet and who were showered with gifts and unwanted attention by Noble after he won meals for life there in September 2010.

Noble, who described himself in one Facebook posting as “just a lonely nice guy,” was a deeply troubled man reportedly suffering from depression; in 2013, when he lost his buffet privileges, he spent several days in the state psychiatric hospital after attempting suicide.

But it’s clear he was driven not only by despair but by anger — an anger obvious to everyone, it seems, but him. This anger seems to have played a large part in his choice of where and when to end his life: in front of hundreds of diners and staff on Easter Sunday. His actions, as he no doubt intended, horrified and terrified not only those who witnessed it directly — including a number of children — but those elsewhere in the casino who heard the gunshot.

Adding to the confusion and chaos: before shooting himself, Noble set his car on fire, closing down the parking garage for several hours and forcing many casino patrons to remain at the scene of his crime for hours.

I suppose we should be thankful that he didn’t decide to take anyone else with him.

Noble’s very public suicide shows once again the destructive power of aggrieved male entitlement.

Some people are puzzled, or profess to be puzzled, when someone like Noble — a sad and lonely man who saw himself as a victim — is described as “entitled.” But a deep sense of entitlement seems to have been at the heart of his anger and despair. It wasn’t just that he felt entitled to free food; he felt entitled to the attention of the women working at the buffet that he had become obsessed with.

It’s easy enough to see what worried the Casino staffers about him. In the alternately angry and self-pitying note he posted on Facebook after his 2013 suicide attempt, he recounted the numerous notes and gifts he’d given to various female staffers, and blamed them for “encouraging” him with hugs and smiles. Never mind that these were women whose jobs more or less required them to act friendly to customers, and that his acts of “generosity” towards them were impositions rather than gifts.

He claims to have been blindsided when security finally showed him the door, though it’s clear even from his self-serving account that he was given plenty of warnings first; if he was blindsided it was because he was willfully blind.

Another self-described “nice guy” who literally could not take no as an answer. Another “nice guy” who was anything but nice. In that 2013 rant, a lengthy list of grievances, he lashed out at everyone he feels has wronged him, posting an assortment of accusations, some petty, some serious, against an assortment of casino staff by name, raging from the hostess he was most obsessed with to the company CEO. His sense of victimhood was such that he turned his favorite hostess’ butterfly tattoo into yet another Exhibit in his case against her.

So she has a small Butterfly Tattoo on her leg in honor of her Mother, Which now everytime I see something with a Butterfly on it I think of [name redacted]. And if you ever been to Vegas there’s a lot of stuff with Butterfly’s the décor at Encore Casino, the Butterfly exhibit they had in the conservatory at Belagio, The Butterfly bench at Nathan Adelson Hospice (Which I think she would like) among plenty of others scattered thru the city.

Aggrieved entitlement doesn’t feel like entitlement; it feels like rejection, failure, emptiness, and even, as in Noble’s case, like betrayal. That’s what makes it so insidious — and so dangerous.

H/T — r/againstmensrights

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mrex
mrex
7 years ago

@Bina, doubt you meant it this way but your last post could be interpreted as implying that everyone who goes through with their suicide is entitled. Suicide ALWAYS hurts others, and it ALWAYS “ruins other people’s lives”. It’s a sticky situation.

Anyway, I’m very glad that you’re feeling better. *Hugs* if you want them.

@Catalpa

http://theoreticalliving.tumblr.com/post/38520363601/on-gift-giving-and-rape-culture

🙂

Bina
7 years ago

@Bina, doubt you meant it this way but your last post could be interpreted as implying that everyone who goes through with their suicide is entitled. Suicide ALWAYS hurts others, and it ALWAYS “ruins other people’s lives”. It’s a sticky situation.

Anyway, I’m very glad that you’re feeling better. *Hugs* if you want them.

Eeek — most definitely not what I meant to say. I’m all for suicide prevention, whenever and wherever possible. Unless a person is terminally ill, in which case, medically assisted suicide should be an option. Depression, though, is usually not terminal. It just feels that way.

Hugs gratefully accepted, in any case. I’m glad to be out of that hellish episode, too. It’s been 20 years now that I’ve been well.

Dawn Incognito
Dawn Incognito
7 years ago

@Bina:

I felt my blood burning, and the pull of the tracks…and I had to stagger back and shut my eyes until the train was gone

Wow that sounds so familiar my hands are shaking. For me it was commuting to work every day on the subway. Staring listlessly down to track level. Feeling the wind buffet me as the train rushed into the station. And so many times thinking about how to time the jump and every time stopping myself because I did not want to fuck up the lives of every person on the platform and in the front car of the train.

I can understand being in such a dark place that you don’t think of the people around you. This Noble guy, though, was making a statement. Entitlement indeed.

Bina
7 years ago

Wow that sounds so familiar my hands are shaking. For me it was commuting to work every day on the subway. Staring listlessly down to track level. Feeling the wind buffet me as the train rushed into the station. And so many times thinking about how to time the jump and every time stopping myself because I did not want to fuck up the lives of every person on the platform and in the front car of the train.

Yup, that’s how it felt for me, too.

Someone I knew in Toronto, whose dad worked for the TTC, told me that there were on average nine suicide attempts every day on the subway tracks in that city. NINE. A DAY. And of those, very few resulted in injuries, most likely because someone either changed their mind, or intervened before a train arrived. That, and they tend to take place on platforms, where trains are slowing and stopping, rather than midway between stops.

I can’t even begin to imagine the horror it must be for the subway engineers, seeing someone jump out in front of them like that.

contrapangloss
7 years ago

Platonic (and not return-or-else) hugs to the lot of you.

I can’t imagine being in that place, and I’m really, really glad you managed to pull through, because I like the lot of you and think you’re as awesome people as awesome people can be when you’ve only known them through the keyboard.

Also, the fact that you were willing to think about not screwing up the lives and emotions of the people around you when you had those thoughts says a lot about you all, and how wonderful you really are, because it’s probably really, really hard for people who get into that place to remember to think about that kind of stuff because that kind of place sounds absolutely awful.

And that was rambley.

Basically, hugs for surviving! You’re wonderful. Carry on carrying on.

Bina
7 years ago

And having said all that awful stuff, I now offer brain bleach:

Tracy
Tracy
7 years ago

How does it feel to miss the point so hard, Tod Kelly? Today I learned that you can’t be both mentally ill and also an asshole (and still be held accountable for your actions).

This bothers the hell out of me too. IME, unfortunately, here’s what an honest-to-god crime stemming from mental illness looks like.Major trigger warning ahead for murder story.

When I was 18-19, I worked at a coffee shop. An older man used to come in all the time with a very young girl, about 6. He’d sit, she’d come over and sit with me at my table and we’d talk, she’d colour, I’d let her play with stuff. (Small, local, crappy coffee shop in a small town). She was precocious, really sweet, and made my shifts much happier.

He started coming in more and more without her, and staying for hours. Eventually, out of the blue, he proposed to me. He had it all worked out: his daughter loved me, so I would be there for her and we’d be married, he’d drive me to university (where I was headed in a few months, about 5 hours away) and we’d live in his house with his mother. I turned him down as nicely as I could.

The only time he ever frightened me was when I’d forgotten to lock the door late at night before closing, and he suddenly appeared in the back room as I was taking muffins out of the oven. Another plea for marriage, and he gave me his phone number and address.

A few months later, my best friend called me at school to let me know he’d been arrested for murdering his mother and daughter. He had paranoid schizophrenia, was not under any sort of managed care (the system failed this family in MANY ways, which came out during his trial), and thought his mother was a demon – his daughter came into the room while he was stabbing his mother, and he stabbed her about… 89 times, IIRC. He called the police right after to tell them what he did and why. He was arrested and as far as I know is still incarcerated in a max. security hospital.

Aggrieved entitlement? Something completely different, and completely independent of depression or other mental illness. Whenever I hear ppl go all “oh, he must have been mentally ill to do x” I think of that little girl, and her father, and I get fucking mad. You can be mentally ill and be an asshole, and have your actions stem from the ‘being an asshole’ part rather than the ‘mentally ill’ part. And when something really is a result of a mental illness, it tends to be pretty bloody obvious. And much rarer.

Sorry – this just brought this all back to me and made me sad and angry.

This Noble guy, though, was making a statement. Entitlement indeed.

QFFT.

Tracy
Tracy
7 years ago

Wow, sorry to post that right after Maru brain bleach.

Also, the fact that you were willing to think about not screwing up the lives and emotions of the people around you when you had those thoughts says a lot about you all, and how wonderful you really are

This too, x100.

mrex
mrex
7 years ago

@Dawn “Wow that sounds so familiar my hands are shaking. For me it was commuting to work every day on the subway. Staring listlessly down to track level. Feeling the wind buffet me as the train rushed into the station. And so many times thinking about how to time the jump and every time stopping myself because I did not want to fuck up the lives of every person on the platform and in the front car of the train.”

Yeah I think to some extent this is a common morbid fascination, sort of the same as how sometimes normal people get impulses to drive into trees or jersey barriers or something. There’s just something about cars and trains that invite it. I’m like this on the subway as well, and it doesn’t help much that the sounds of the train brakes echoing through the tunnels remind me of screaming.

Worldwide there’s tons of suicides on the subway. Between the trains, and the third rail, and the ease of just keeping on walking straight in front of the train. You don’t even have to do anything. I’m actually surprised that there’s not more accidental deaths considering how many people seem to want to stand right on the yellow line.

@Bina, yeah I kinda side eyed you at first, but then I reread what you said. I didn’t think that’s what you were saying. I mean, this guy, Mr. Noble, clearly went out of his way to hurt others. I think it’s a lot different to make that argument about people jumping in front of trucks or trains, to say that they were entitled or selfish because they didn’t think of how their actions would hurt others. But I don’t think that was the argument that you were making.

Anyway, I don’t know how close you ever got to actually attempting suicide, but it’s a really energenic, agitated, and aroused state to be in. People can be really angry, and extremely impulsive, and if they blame others it’s really easy to get into a state of mind where they think “fuck them, they should be suffering like me.” It’s a really dark place to be in. A lot of evil comes from there.

And if they survive their attempt, afterwards they’re spent. And shell shocked. It’s tramautic. But it doesn’t mean their entitled.

mrex
mrex
7 years ago

*they’re

And on that note, I gratefully give hugs to Bina. So glad you’ve been better for 20 years! That’s wonderful!

Bina
7 years ago

@mrex, thanks. Yeah, it was a shitty place to be in. Like I said, I didn’t actually want to die, much less traumatize someone else with my method of doing so. I wanted the pain to end, and I was getting damn desperate for a way out. The one good thing about major depression is that it actually saps your energy completely. You have enough, paradoxically, to get you through a day, but not enough to do more. You have enough energy to think obsessively about suicide, but not to plan it or go through with it. And you have enough energy to be thoroughly horrified at yourself for thinking such awful shit and hating yourself for it, and that’s it. It’s weird that an illness should pull a person two ways at once, but that’s how that one went for me. I was mentally paralyzed to the point of contemplating suicide, and by the time the paralysis lifted, I didn’t want to kill myself anymore.

Moar brain bleach?

And hugs to everyone out there in need of one right now.

mrex
mrex
7 years ago

@Tracy “Aggrieved entitlement? Something completely different, and completely independent of depression or other mental illness. Whenever I hear ppl go all “oh, he must have been mentally ill to do x” I think of that little girl, and her father, and I get fucking mad. You can be mentally ill and be an asshole, and have your actions stem from the ‘being an asshole’ part rather than the ‘mentally ill’ part.

I can agree that mental illness, violence, and entitlement are all separate things in the sense that you can have one and not the two others, or two and not the other. However when they exist all together inside the same person like hell they don’t influence and feed off of one another. Shall I draw a venn diagram?

I imagine that you’re responding to the myth that “crazy” people are violent and that violent people must be “crazy” to do what they do. Yeah, obviously that’s hogwash. However, doesn’t mean that there’s no relationship between these two.

The mental health system in the US isn’t always the best, and we rely on our corrections system to pick up the slack. I don’t know much about Mr. Noble, but I wonder if he was maybe borderline? A cornerstone of BPD is a really overblown reaction to real and perceived rejection. Some borderlines will do things like send you letters in their own blood if you make a new friend, and that’s just normal for them. BPD is also super frequently misdiagnosed, or sometimes purposely *not* diagnosed since there’s so much discrimination in the mental health field itself against it.

Our system really falls down on personality disorders.

Anyway, I agree, Bina is super awesome and sweet for considering how her suicide would effect others. However, can we please not double down on the implication that people who carry through are selfish, whether it’s intended or not? It’s super upsetting.

mrex
mrex
7 years ago

@Bina, yeah I hear you. Isn’t that why antidepressants paradoxically increase the risk of suicide? The can give someone who’s been too depressed to carry through just enough motivation to do it. And then there’s so much adrenaline, and stuff. It’s fucked.

And thanks for the hugs. And brain bleach. 🙂 I appreciate it!

Dawn Incognito
Dawn Incognito
7 years ago

That kitten playing with Maru’s tail as he laid in the box was just the most adorable thing.

Dawn Incognito
Dawn Incognito
7 years ago

@mrex

BPD is also super frequently misdiagnosed, or sometimes purposely *not* diagnosed since there’s so much discrimination in the mental health field itself against it.

I was diagnosed with BPD almost strictly on my self-harming behaviour. I disagreed with the diagnosis at first because I didn’t believe I had impulse control problems. She countered with the self-harming being a lack of impulse control. I’ve read the DSMV and am still not sure I buy it, I’m not entirely sure she ever saw me but made a diagnosis and then tried to fit me into it.

Then again, I’ve never been treated successfully with dianoses of depression or bipolar, so I’m willing to give it a shot. I’ll keep asking for help and be a guinea pig rather than give up. Take that brain! *shakes fist*

Tracy
Tracy
7 years ago

I can agree that mental illness, violence, and entitlement are all separate things in the sense that you can have one and not the two others, or two and not the other. However when they exist all together inside the same person like hell they don’t influence and feed off of one another. Shall I draw a venn diagram?

No need, and that was a tad condescending. And of course if someone has all 3, they will influence each other. My point is mental illness is generally not the primary cause of behaviour such as Noble’s – at least, it’s certainly not a requirement or prerequisite. It’s the first thing ppl generally jump to, however, and it really pisses me off bc when a mental illness IS the actual cause, it tends to be pretty obvious.

Our system really falls down on personality disorders.

Yeah, in Canada too.

Anyway, I agree, Bina is super awesome and sweet for considering how her suicide would effect others. However, can we please not double down on the implication that people who carry through are selfish, whether it’s intended or not? It’s super upsetting.

You’re right – I’m sorry about that. Several years ago an old friend/boyfriend of mine hung himself in his parents garage. I didn’t think he was selfish, just in unimaginable pain that obviously overrode everything else.

@Dawn Incognito I love your attitude 🙂 Really hope you find something that works for you! Interesting about the self-harm being the impetus for the dx – I used to self-harm but in my case it was extreme depression. Re: fitting you in to a dx – good friend of mine was once diagnosed as having OCD based on her saying that yes, she did compulsively check the lightswitches and heating in one room of her house… because they’d had a fire in that room caused by faulty wiring. *shrug*

maistrechat
7 years ago
Reply to  Tracy

Isn’t that why antidepressants paradoxically increase the risk of suicide?

That phenomenon generally only occurs in teenagers and is pretty much unheard of in people over 25.

Nop
Nop
7 years ago

@because reasons
“After he died someone was nice enough to point out that he did, in fact, “like” me and that my not reciprocating was one of the reasons he killed himself.”

“”nice”” Grrr.

“That still haunts me.”
I’m not surprised. You still didn’t owe him anything though, & you did nothing wrong.

gilshalos
7 years ago

BPD dx for self harm ? I’m with Tracy, I used to self harm and it was cos of long term clinical depression.
Though I have wondered about BPD. Course I and my doc have also specualted about me being on the autistic spectrum.
Guess I’ll settle for the clinical depression for almost 30 years with additional social phbia, occasional agrophobia and a few other such things. :/

LBT
LBT
7 years ago

*shudder* Mental illness and suicide is a dark road. Some of the older folks here might remember how I was in 2012 and 2013. It was not a good time for me, and part of what kept me in line was being multiple; there was no way to end my existence without axing my entire system and my husband on top of it, and I just couldn’t justify that, even though shit DID suck.

RE: Dawn Incognito

Have you tried DBT at all? I found it really handy, and there are a few good workbooks around.

legelle
legelle
7 years ago

I don`t see anything that hints to feelings of entitlement in the butterfly-quote

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
7 years ago

@legelle:

That butterfly quote is buried inside multiple paragraphs detailing how Noble thought Lori was leading him or something, and detailing his research into her life looking for inconsistencies in her own descriptions of her life. It’s basically him trying to shoot down any reasons for why she wouldn’t want to date him. The butterfly is a side note of him obsessing over her, as if she were responsible via the tattoo for him constantly thinking about her.

There’s a cached version of his facebook post here. Just do a ctrl+f for butterfly to see the quote in context. The entitlement is pretty clear even in his own telling of the story.

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