Dec 18, 2007

Way out of here

"Pseudocide," faking one's own death, has an enduring place in popular culture, regularly revived by stories about our favorite celebrities who may, or may not, have committed pseudocide. We talk about Elvis. We talk about Andy Kaufman. We talk about D.B. Cooper. Rather than being disturbed by the idea they wandered off in a faux-amenesia, a self-imposed exile, of sorts, we hope they made it.

We live a modern society where everyone's tracked, where everyone's classified according to Capitalism, where debt and credit and Google, taxes and utility bills and pay stubs all quantify and, maybe even, qualify our lives.

I understand why we sometimes want to quit everything. I look at my cell phone bill, and I can feel why Darwin would want it all behind him. We have all felt the crush of the system, have all felt trapped by our belongings, tethered by our responsibilities.

I write stories regularly about criminals who've fled and been tracked down by the U.S. Marshals. Every time they're caught because they kept their cell phone, went to their mother's house, or, in some way, couldn't make the break from the life they knew. We're all glad they've been caught, but part of me always wonders when it became so impossible to leave.

Is there no way out?

Checking the exits: The hope of pseudocide