22 September 2011


photo by Brad Johnson, via

The widespread appeal of the Hell's Angel's is worth pondering. Unlike most mother rebels, the Angels have given up hope that the world is going to change for them. The assume, on good evidence, that the people who run the social machinery have little use for outlaw motorcyclists, and they are reconciled to being losers. But instead of losing quietly, one by one, they have banded tighter with a mindless kind of loyalty and moved outside the framework, for good or ill. They many not have an answer, but at least they are still on their feet. . . .  

There is an important difference between the words "loser" and "outlaw." One is passive and the other is active and the main reasons the Angels are such good copy is that they are acting out the day-dreams of millions of losers who don't wear any defiant isignia and who don't know how to be outlaws. he freest of every city are thronged with men who would pay all the money they could get their hands on  to be transferred -- even for  a day -- into hairy, hard-fisted brutes who walk over cops, exert free drinks from terrified bartenders and thurden out of town on big motorcycles after raping the banker's daughter.

Hunter S. Thompson, Hell's Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga

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