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05/22/2005 Archived Entry: "Middle-class Outlaws"

MIDDLE-CLASS OUTLAWS. This is a strange new genre of citizen Our Beloved Government is creating. Ordinary middle-class or working-class men and women who, in order to stay free, must step outside the system. Or run like hell outside the system, for that matter.

This creates definite oddities. Joel Simon (aka John DeWitt) expresses the feeling very well in his adventurous poem "The Night of Randall's Crates."

Sort of a sense of WTF am I doing here? How did I -- me! -- the former vice-president of the student body, the former Chamber of Commerce member, former Republican party devotee, or whatever -- come to this??? Driving without a license, ditching the IRS, banking offshore, using fake ID, trading in illegal goods, monkeywrenching databases, or even just thinking about how to make the whole effing gummint go away ... ME!, Ms. National Merit Scholarship winner or Mr. Future Teacher of America.

Ian also brings up an aspect of the middle-class Outlaw dilemma in a TCF thread called "Black Market Problems." Nobody who ever grew up in the inner city or in an eastern bloc country of the Communist era would have to raise such issues. They'd already know how to run a black market or an underground railroad in a world where "law and order" is the tyrannical enemy of every individual. They'd already have an idea what you could get away with and what would be too risky.

We have to learn. And for most of us, I fear the Zorro capes will never rest quite comfortably on our shoulders.

But -- speaking of eastern bloc countries -- I know of several once-ordinary folk forced into exploits that the desperate citizens of East Berlin would have understood all too well. And all the while we listen to politicians prating on and on about how much they cherish our "freedom." I wonder if Stalin made speeches like that, too? Indeed these are strange and interesting times.

Posted by Claire @ 12:50 PM CST

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