Wednesday, November 30, 2005

criminals and outlaws

From Still Life With Woodpecker by Tom Robbins:

The difference between a criminal and an outlaw is that while criminals are frequently victims, outlaws never are.

Indeed, the first step towards becoming a true outlaw is the refusal to be victimised. All people who live subject to other people’s laws are victims. People who break laws out of greed, frustration or vengeance are victims. People who overturn laws in order to replace them with their own laws are victims.

We outlaws, however, live beyond the law. We don’t merely live beyond the letter of the law – many businessmen, most politicians, and all cops do that - we live beyond the spirit of the law.

In a sense then, we live beyond society. We have a common goal, that goal is to turn the tables on the nature of society.

When we succeed, we raise the exhilaration content of the universe.

We even raise it a little bit when we fail.

1 comment:

Gael said...

A favourite book of mine from many years ago that I haven't thought about for a long time. Maybe a re-read is due! I first read it when I was about 19, (having come across it in a wholefood shop in Finsbury Park) and it had quite a big influence on me as far as following my own path was concerned. Robbins is good at giving a different perspective, a sideways & satirical look that celebrates autonomy and refuses to kow-tow to the illusions of power that try to subdue us. Thanks for reminding me!