Thursday, July 17, 2003

Weekly Criminal

I strip away the old debris
That hides a shining car.
A brilliant red Barchetta
From a better, vanished time.
I fire up the willing engine,
Responding with a roar.
Tires spitting gravel,
I commit my weekly crime.
   —Rush, Red Barchetta
The song Red Barchetta is set in the future, when internal combustion engines have been outlawed. The narrator sneaks away each week to drive his uncle's beautiful sportscar through the countryside. He is doing what you probably do all the time: driving a car. And yet, he is a criminal. Every Sunday he commits his weekly crime. As governments increasingly control our lives with new laws and regulations, more and more decent people are made criminal just for trying to live their lives.
There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. When there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. … —Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

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