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The Outlaw


great license (for example, in England, on Beltane, all sexual restrictions were off for just that one night) and operated as a release valve that, in fact, helped stabilize the culture. In modern times, Woodstock held the positive image of the Outlaw culture, prefiguring the potential for a more utopian time, while Altamont illustrated the more dystopian potential for an Outlaw society to crumble into violence. One need only think of the success of Outlaw novels and films to know how powerful a force this archetype is in society today: Some, such as Rebel Without a Cause or Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, chronicle alienation from the culture that leads to breaking cultural norms and taboos. The resonance of such movies and books tells us that some part of every one of us feels some degree of alienation from the dominant culture, particularly when we are young. Other films, such as Bonnie and Clyde or Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, show the Outlaw as a somewhat glamorous figure and the breaking of rules as liberating. Still others, like The Godfather, Goodfellas, or Eyes Wide Shut, trade on the simple allure of criminal or forbidden behaviors. The hippies of the 1960s introduced countercultural, Outlaw values into the culture, and as baby boomers have come of age, such values have become mainstream, and with them magazines such as Rolling Stone. Rock music, which was once a countercultural statement, is now the music of choice of an aging middle class. In every generation, adolescents flock to Outlaw products. Just a few years ago, purple hair dye would fall into that category. Today, tattoos and body piercing fill this need, as do mosh pits, many forms of hip-hop and rap, and (attractive to Outlaws of any age) HarleyDavidsons. Outlaw brands include MTV, which is why kids tend to love it and parents worry about it. It is also there in a more subtle way on Fox, which, of the major commercial networks, leans more to shocking and edgy content than do ABC, NBC, or CBS. Although one could see Calvin Klein as a Lover brand, since its imagery is so sexual, the company also has Outlaw qualities because of the way it pushes the edge of what social propriety will allow. Hoards of people listen to Howard Stern or watch “Politically Incorrect”; drink Tequila, Jack Daniels, or Southern Comfort; or smoke Winstons. The pirate-like eye patch on the man in the Hathaway shirt adds just enough sense of the Outlaw to spice up what is,

Profile for Lewis Lafontaine

Mack, Margaret - Hero and Outlaw Archetype  

Mack, Margaret - Hero and Outlaw Archetype