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Aug 07 2012

Flaming Cheerios: a weapon of mass destruction

The Smoking Gun has a hilarious video of a guy with a blowtorch and a box of Cheerios. It turns out that cheerios burn really well, and he set the lawn of General Mills on fire.

But there’s also a sad part. The event took place in Minnesota; I hate being reminded that I’m surrounded by stupid people. The guy with a blowtorch is Mike Leisner, and wouldn’t you know it…he’s doing this to protest the policies of tolerance practiced at General Mills, because he has a hard-on for the gays; he hates ‘em, and thinks we all ought to, too. He’s been preaching hatred on youtube for some time.

He had a youtube channel called “Live4Chr1st” (wouldn’t you know he’d have to be a raving Christian nutcase?), but no more. It’s been taken down. He works as a real estate agent for Greater Midwest Properties — it’ll be interesting to see how long that lasts.

But I will try to look on the bright side. We have a referendum coming up in November on gay marriage in Minnesota; it helps that the opponents are such embarrassing fools. I’m also thinking that when the Revolution comes, I should stock up on boxes of Cheerios, rather than molotov cocktails.

54 comments

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  1. 1
    ibbica

    Science time! I’ll have to try soaking some cheerios in wax to test as firestarters for camping. They *might* just be more cost-effective than wax-coated cotton balls/pads…

    [/deliberately missing the point for the sake of my sanity]

  2. 2
    Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant)

    Setting fire to something with a political motive =/= terrorism?

  3. 3
    Dick the Damned

    I’ve sent him something that should give him food for thought. Of course, thinking doesn’t seem to be his strong point.

  4. 4
    birgerjohansson

    Meet the Republican base.

    Maybe we should encourage the Ku Kluxers to use phosphor as an accellerant when they burn crosses?
    Then we should film the resulting mayhem!

    On the site in the comments thread there is a redneck who claims this must be a false video…

  5. 5
    simonsays

    If you’re a man, is having a ‘hard-on for the gays’ necessarily a sign of hatred?

  6. 6
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    No shit Honey Nut Cheerios burn well– it’s full of sugar! I would expect most cereals do.

    *sigh* This has got to be the stupidest form of protest I’ve seen in a good long while. I’m going to show my hatred of “the homosexual agenda” by burning a box of cereal that I purchased! You’re still supporting Big Cereal™, buddy.

  7. 7
    carlie

    I saw that the other day, and wondered if he had soaked them in lighter fluid or something – at one point it looked like he was literally pouring fire out onto the ground.

  8. 8
    taylorbaine

    The more they protest the quicker positive change will come about. They’re words are the Cheerios of ignorance that will fuel the flames of tolerance.

    Taylor
    http://Taylorbaine.com

  9. 9
    subbie

    Good IEDs and good for you!

  10. 10
    charlessoto

    Grain silos go kaboom all the time. The carbs are quite flammable, and the dust easily ignites. Silos often go up just from static sparks.

    I also advocate the cheerios-vs-molotov selection. Save the cocktails for the enjoyment of the freedom fighters. I mean, we don’t ALL have low serum LDLP.

  11. 11
  12. 12
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Grain silos go kaboom all the time. The carbs are quite flammable, and the dust easily ignites. Silos often go up just from static sparks.

    True, but they go up less frequently these days as the silos are inerted with nitrogen gas. Besides taking one of the components of the fire triangle away, it also has the benefit of pest control, as it makes it hard for the insects and rodents to breathe.

  13. 13
    Randomfactor

    Either this guy has homosymps* in his camera crew or he’s even dumber than he APPEARS to be on camera.

    In what universe does that make him look good, and the video worth releasing?

    *(This was writ ironical.)

  14. 14
    UnknownEric the Apostate

    Personally, I’m proud that my hometown (Buffalo) smells like Cheerios.

  15. 15
    timgueguen

    I’m sure some people secretly love it when kooks burn their commercially sold creations in protest. How much extra cash did JK Rowling make because the crank squad burned Harry Potter books? And the sales data doesn’t indicate why a product was purchased, so burning stuff just makes it look like the offending product is even more popular than it actually is.

  16. 16
    Ibis3, Let's burn some bridges

    To be fair (!), the box looked half empty, so maybe it was purchased before General Mills got all gay and stuff.

  17. 17
    lochaber

    Yeah, that box was doctored with some sort of accelerant or something. Both by the way it bursts into flames with just brief contact from a propane torch, and how the spilled contents kept burning, even after being stomped on.

    srsly, you people didn’t spend enough time burning stuff in your adolescence, I’m ashamed of you.

    :P

  18. 18
    Yoritomo

    Zinc Avenger @2:

    Setting fire to something with a political motive =/= terrorism?

    Since flag burning with a political motive is free speech and not terrorism, so is Cheerio burning with a political motive. As long as he doesn’t torch other people’s Cheerios, at least.

  19. 19
    Gregory in Seattle

    @lochaber #17 – I spent my mad scientist youth building AM radio transmitters and rebuilding cathode ray tubes. My efforts and mind control didn’t work out, so I moved into computer programming. Much more success.

  20. 20
    Fred Salvador, Onion Jumbler

    Oh the humanity…

    If you are so utterly maladroit that you inadvertantly commit criminal damage whilst trying to set a box of breakfast cereal – a BOX OF BREAKFAST CEREAL – on fire as a protest against something for which no reasonable objection exists, why in the name of all that’s green and pure would you allow the video to be uploaded to the internet?

    So, this chap is both a bigot, AND a clown.

  21. 21
    Zeno

    Grain silos go kaboom all the time.

    True. I blew one up in my novel to make up for the lack of sex and car chases. Not sure it was enough. If only I had included Cheerios flambé, too!

    Time for breakfast. Hmm. What to eat? What to eat?

  22. 22
    Naked Bunny with a Whip

    Naturally, this won’t be interpreted as a warning from God to STFU.

  23. 23
    sonofrojblake

    Not at all surprised to see Cheerios burned so well, or that the presumably crumb-filled box did also. My best buddy and I built a flamethrower at university in which the fuel was custard powder. It was very effective. Finely divided sugary solids + oxygen + source of ignition = fire, if you’re lucky. If you’re unlucky, it’s a dust explosion.

    Only thing that baffles me is why this video was ever released. If I had a tinfoil hat I’d almost be prepared to believe it was a false-flag operation designed to advertise General Mills’ laudable policies. But this is only because I have a naive need to believe people aren’t that stupid.

  24. 24
    IslandBrewer

    Here’s another cool thing about cheerios (well, it used to be true, haven’t tried it in a decade).

    1) Grind up cheerios into dust, and suspend them in an aqueous medium.

    2) While stirring, drop a magnet into the medium

    3) After a minute, pull up the magnet and see how much colloidal iron there is in cheerios!

    The iron in there counts as “Iron” under the nutritional ingredients count, but as colloidal iron (as opposed to an iron salt), humans can’t really metabolize it.

    * General Mills may have changed the cheerios formula to remove colloidal iron in the past decade or so, but this was still an inherent trait of cheerios as of the late 90s.

  25. 25
    otrame

    It says in the article that his son uploaded it without his knowledge.

    Which is even funnier. Wonder what he did to piss that kid off.

  26. 26
    Sili

    Chronest? Who’s chronest?

  27. 27
    Sili

    So, this chap is both a bigot, AND a clown.

    I’m pretty sure clowns are actually very well educated in how to handle fire and fires.

  28. 28
    nomennescio

    Why post a link to his workplace?

    What does his job have to do with his particular(ly stupid) protest action? I don’t recall him saying anything in the video indicating he was representing the company or acting on its behalf, so why draw the association?

    Don’t people in the real estate business have the right to be flamingly stupid bigoted assholes in their private lives?

  29. 29
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Sili:

    I’m pretty sure clowns are actually very well educated in how to handle fire and fires.

    Seltzer bottles? Squirting flowers?

  30. 30
    Gaebolga

    Some of the commenters on the Smoking Gun site are positing that this is a clear case of homocointelpro.

    I only mention this because I wanted to coin the term “homocointelpro.”

  31. 31
    jiuguizi

    I would like to respectfully submit that “he has a hard-on for the gays” now be the only acceptable means of discussing guys who are raging homophobes.

  32. 32
    Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts

    Don’t people in the real estate business have the right to be flamingly stupid bigoted assholes in their private lives?
    Doesn’t his employer deserve to know that their employee may be discriminating against GLBT customers?

  33. 33
    Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts

    Don’t people in the real estate business have the right to be flamingly stupid bigoted assholes in their private lives?

    Doesn’t his employer deserve to know that their employee may be discriminating against GLBT customers?

    FIFM

  34. 34
    Sili

    Seltzer bottles? Squirting flowers?

    For instance.

  35. 35
    Fred Salvador, Onion Jumbler

    Audley:

    Seltzer bottles? Squirting flowers?

    This video couldn’t possibly any more ridiculous, even supposing he’d deployed both of these items to quench his burning cereal.

    And then done a series of cartwheels back into the car. Alongside twenty other clowns. Then honked his nose as he drove away.

  36. 36
    fabianocaccin

    Unintentional comedy alone makes life worthwhile.
    I humbly suggest to turn “Cheerio flaming” into a meme and/or edit “Yakety Sax” over the clip.

  37. 37
    Loqi

    When Minnesota for Marriage did that General Mills protest, I put up a post on my FB page telling my friends to name their favorite General Mills cereal, and for each of them, i’d buy a box and donate it to a local food shelf. After seeing this, I think I’m going to have to make it a recurring thing every time bigots publicly embarrass themselves trying to protest General Mills.

  38. 38
    carlie

    , so is Cheerio burning with a political motive. As long as he doesn’t torch other people’s Cheerios, at least.

    Well, he did torch someone else’s lawn.

    Speaking of which, that girl behind the camera seemed teenaged by the voice quality and brief glimpse. So bets on whether he just made his daughter an accessory to arson?

  39. 39
    carlie

    Oh, just saw at the bottom that it was his son, possibly and daughter or other friend of the son. So he made two kids accessories to arson.

  40. 40
    Moggie

    The one time that pissing in someone’s Cheerios would be a good thing.

  41. 41
    Randomfactor

    Fired, sez JMG:

    http://www.joemygod.blogspot.com/2012/08/minnesotas-cheerios-arsonist-is-fired.html

    Moggie, where do I mail your Internet?

  42. 42
    Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts

    Why post a link to his workplace?

    What does his job have to do with his particular(ly stupid) protest action? I don’t recall him saying anything in the video indicating he was representing the company or acting on its behalf, so why draw the association?

    Don’t people in the real estate business have the right to be flamingly stupid bigoted assholes in their private lives?

    Well, lets see what his employer had to say,

    Greater Midwest Properties does not condone or support the actions of our independent contractors. Also, Greater Midwest Properties does not support the alleged destruction of property. Therefore, the agent’s license will be returned to the Minnesota Department of Commerce. Greater Midwest Properties has no involvement in this incident and it is unrelated to us serving our clients in a professional manner. Thank you for bringing this to our attention. – Greater Midwest Properties.

    ***
    Thanks for the link, randomfactor

  43. 43
    barbyau

    Property management worker big into arson. Yeah, that’s not going to last long.

  44. 44
    Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts

    Property management worker big into arson.

    Well, when you put it that way…

    Seems pretty obvious to me why his employer would want to be made aware of this conduct.

  45. 45
    Oenotrian

    The comments at Joe. My. God. are hilarious.

    I for one, am outraged. This is certainly a chilling effect on first amendment rights. I call for an Arsonist Appreciation Day at the local fast food restaurant of your choice.

    preferably a BBQ establishment!

  46. 46
    Rieux

    In related news, not twenty minutes ago I was walking in the downtown Minneapolis skyway wearing a t-shirt (this one) advocating a “no” vote on the anti-gay amendment, and some guy several yards away hollered “faggot!” at me. The three or four other people within earshot whirled around and glared at the guy.

    I’ve decided that the incident amounts to an achievement award for a white-straight-male guilty liberal like yours truly. Woo-hoo!

  47. 47
    chakolate

    There’s good advertising for you – a guy who works in real estate setting fire to somebody’s lawn. The agency ought to make a commercial from that. Brilliant!

  48. 48
    Crissa

    Why’d he lose his YouTube channel?

    Stupidity isn’t a crime, but he’s sure getting penalized for it ^-^

  49. 49
    Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts

    Stupidity isn’t a crime, but he’s sure getting penalized for it ^-^

    Does the, ^-^ emoticon-thing denote sarcasm? If not, that is a stupid comment.

    No, stupidity is not a crime. And he is not being penalized in any way by the entity that enforces crimes. Private corporations can choose to distance themselves from this bigot. Regardless of the fact that his bigotry is not criminal.

  50. 50
    andyo

    ^-^ is one of those cutesy Asian-style smileys. Sorry, I know that doesn’t make the intention of that comment more intelligible.

  51. 51
    joedelaney

    I remember this guy as one of the regular street preachers at the U of M Twin Cities ccampus’ mall back in the early to mid 90′s. The guy’s been a perennial piece of work around town for at least 20 years. He used to be a used car salesman, and claimed to have written a book called “Not Just Kicking Tires”. He would come on campus and shout outrageous far-right horseshit all day long, eliciting all kinds of predictable (and not so predictable) responses.

    I’m not a professional psychiatrist, but I always got the impression there was something deeply fucked about him. In my undergrad days, I despised him — by any normal measure, he is a loudmouth arrogant misogynistic authoritarian flaming asshole, who really does earn all the scorn the world dumps upon him. Now that I’m older, I see a tragic, flawed figure — normal, mentally healthy people don’t act the way he does.

  52. 52
    feralcrj

    man, i miss apple cinnamon cheerios! they don’t have em here in Perth. heck, cinnamon anything! I miss MN as well, but i have to say, this kind of stupidity is really disheartening. hate is a viral horror we all have to take part in ending.

    and as a side note, my partner and i will be marrying in Iowa in a month. Wish it could be MN, but no such luck. i’ll be sending in my first absentee ballot this year.

  53. 53
    leejohnson

    I agree with the others here who suggested that some kind of accelerant was used in addition to the cereal. That plume of flame at the beginning and his inability to put out the fire do not match up with normal cereal. I lit some off-brand Cheerios yesterday as a test, and while it did sustain a flame it was by no means energetic. (My test cereal was not sugar-coated, so perhaps that would change the burn rate.)

  54. 54
    dontpanic

    I’m going to vote that there was no accelerant. The box looked like “honey-nut” style, so these aren’t just plain ol’ O’s. No sir-ee Bob. Sugar coating: very flammable. Peanuts: flammable. The later I never really thought about ’til a few years ago but my wife teaches a physics lab where they measure the caloric content of a peanut. Apparently those suckers burn quite nicely. The wife and son love those things (yea! GM guess we get to continue to support you), but I think they’re vile. I’d give it a try, but I’ve forgotten where I put the blowtorch … and the cereal eaters might object.

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