January 20th, 2010

Cocktopus

Share the Wealth Wednesday #9


Good day to you, one and all! 

It is once again Wednesday, and therefore once again time to share that greatest of wealth with one another -that stash of internet goodies you have been hording in your favourites section. As with every week, we take this moment to provide one another with links to the entertainment which is freely available across the internet.

This week, I have something a mite peculiar, in the form of the Colton Harris-Moore Fan Club.

Colton harris-Moore is a bizarre figure; something of a counter-culture folk-hero in the Seattle, Washington region of the north-western United States. He spent his childhood and adolescence in trouble with the law, and about two years ago, was locked up in a halfway house. He staged a daring breakout, however, and for the past two years, has been living in the wilderness of the islands of that region, robbing houses, stealing boats, crashing planes, and evading all solid detection. A one-man crime spree which the authorities have proven utterly incapable of containing or halting for two years now, in spite of astonishingly brazen and bizarre crimes, he's garnered quite a bit of interest, including the above-linked fan club. He seems to harken back, in some ways, to an earlier age, and infamous bandits like Bonnie & Clyde; apparently unstoppable scofflaws who bring a bit of chaos into our lives and shows that the reach of the law, no matter how long it may be, is not inescapable.




I wouldn't call myself a fan of the fellow, but I would be lying if I said there wasn't a certain sort of admiration there. Apparently, at one point, the local police had him pinned down to an island out in the water, whereupon they began the largest systematic manhunt in their history, closing in a human net upon the landmass. Not only did he manage to slip away, only two of the officers involved were even able to claim to have possibly seen a glimpse of him. He apparently decided on the strength of having played some flight simulator video games that he knew how to fly a plane, and that he was furthermore entitled to put these skills to the test by stealing not one, not two, but three planes. And to his credit, he not only got them airborn, he managed to survive and escape all three crash landings.

This is a kid that was truly born into the wrong century. His skills at evasion, survival, improvisation and stealth would have made him some sort of bandit-lord in the dark medieval past. It's easy to imagine him as some sort of roguish resistance fighter in a guerrilla conflict or post-apocalyptic landscape. Tell you wouldn't like to have a guy like this on your side during a zombie apocalypse! 

And yet, for all of his considerable skills and wiles, it's difficult to imagine much of a future for him that doesn't involve, basically, more of the same. Eventually the law will get lucky, or he'll slip up, and he'll find himself behind bars. And while I have little doubt that he'll eventually find himself free of that confinement - either due to another daring escape or just due to the passage of time, what more awaits him afterwards? This is an unmistakably gifted and talented young man whose talents modern-day society will never reward, and which honestly has no place for.

I only discovered this a few days ago, and am still reading up on all of the many detailed accounts of this astonishing young man's life, but I feel fairly certain I'll be keeping an eye on it for however long he manages to continue to live this insane and exciting life he's chosen for himself.