“We are only short $1,999,125 of our goal!”
That’s a depressing thing to read if you are the donations manager for the Make a Wish foundation, or maybe someone who is trying to buy a pristine black-market kidney. But if you are Jason“Mayhem” Miller, it means you have collected an improbable $875 in under twenty-four hours from some suckers on the Internet. That, or they thought they were buying some Allstate Insurance.
Just three weeks ago, Mayhem was live-Tweeting a SWAT standoff with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department from inside his home in Mission Viejo. According to Lt. Jeff Hallock, the officers were trying to serve an arrest warrant for alleged stalking when the former UFC fighter barricaded himself inside. Miller continued refusing to surrender, Tweeting, “I would like to give up, but not with 50 RAMBOS out there. Not cool.” He also suggested, “THEY ARE TERRIFIED” and “I did nothing wrong. This is the state of American Justice. I feel you black men. They fear, so they threaten to take our lives. Abhorrent.”
Miller’s theatrical delays were concerning. He was clearly paranoid, and his up-to-the-minute narrative hinted at delusions of grandeur. Miller could not process the need for such a massive police response. Of course, his bizarre behaviour, his past history of violence, and the nature of the new charge didn’t help. And after a couple quirky hours on social media, Orange County Swat finally declared, “Suspect surrendered in back of residence following remote front door breach. Suspect IN CUSTODY.”
Now, Miller has started a gofundme.com campaign, seeking $2 million. In his plea for donations, he explained,“The damage to my home was extensive, and although the Sherriff eventually came and boarded the broken entrances to my home, they have not responded to my requests for reimbursement. They also broke the gate, and my dog escaped, and was picked up by the county, who is asking for approximately FOUR HUNDRED dollars to release him from the pound.”
But a quick tally of damages and Gator Hotdog Dog’s bail falls a tad short of two rocks. Mayhem explained,“As I stated before, I am a Mixed Martial Artist, and any money that you invest will be reinvested into the Art. I will also #FreeGator from his small concrete cell, and hire a camera crew to document this turbulent time in my existence.”
After a few gofundme.com users told him to get a job, Mayhem updated, “This money is not just about getting my dog back – or fixing my exploded home – or allowing me to live an extravagant lifestyle – NO. This money is about investing in the ART . . . I will invest this money in myself as a martial artist, as well as the THOUSANDS of younger Mixed Martial Artists, who are tired of the current power structure.”
How do we characterize this request to become an insta-millionaire? Does he merely want to reverse the effects of a SWAT standoff? Will he hire a movie crew to document his oh-so-interesting life? Or is this really about starting some grassroots revolution for the little guys and girls in MMA?
The key, of course, is deciding whether Mayhem is off his rocker, whether he is sane but completely self-absorbed, or whether he is a blooming hero for social justice, stable enough to manage a benevolent cause. The best clues probably lie in his last few years. Unfortunately, they were marked with periods of sometimes dangerous instability.
Mayhem’s visible troubles began in 2011, when he was arrested for alleged simple assault and false imprisonment after an incident with his sister. The next year, he was found naked in a church he burglarized after a Twitter spat with UFC President Dana White. As fans debated whether Jason was experiencing a genuine decline in mental health, just doing some real-life method acting, or perhaps a little both, he was jailed for allegedly choking, punching and urinating on his ex-girlfriend. His oddly expressive behavior during the criminal arraignment hearing even prompted a judicial reprimand. Mayhem loudly explained, “I am an artist!” Then things quieted down for a while. But on October 8th, Mayhem accused Dana White of getting an STD from one of his “diry girl” friends in the past. The standoff happened the next day.
It’s difficult to take Mayhem’s mission to act as MMA’s savior at face value. He appears to be drafting his plans on the fly and mixing them in with self-serving, grandiose ideas such as hiring a personal camera crew. Rather than accepting responsibility for damages that could have been avoided if he simply cooperated with a criminal warrant, he is asking fans to repair his home. And all the while, Gator Hotdog Dog sits in doggie prison. That’s not the sort of hero MMA needs, or even deserves. We’ve said it a thousand times now. Miller needs real, effective help. Well, he’s apparently not getting it.
So grab a $400 cashier’s check. Drive to Orange County. Spring Gator from dog prison. But for God’s sake, kiss the rest of your money goodnight and tuck it back into your nice, comfy wallet.