Sunday, October 13, 2013

Starktober: Who Do You Want to Be?

"Let us suppose, let us suppose there's a crap game going on in that park across the street. In the crap game there's two burglars, a mugger, a professional killer, and an arsonist. Now, let us suppose you -- let us suppose I go over there with a gun to hold them up. What will happen?"

Bronson smiled grimly. "They'd tear your heart out," he said, enjoying the image.

"Of course. And why? Because they're crooks. They're outlaws, crooks. They don't think of themselves as part of society, they think of themselves as individuals, alone in a jungle. Therefore, they are always on the defensive, always ready to protect their own. They'll never call for the police, never put in a claim in their fire and theft insurance, never look to society to protect them or repay them or avenge them. Shouldn't people who work for the syndicate think the same way? But they don't. They people at Club Cockatoo don't think of themselves as crooks at all, they think of themselves as average working stiffs. Therefore, they let two robbers come in and walk all over them. Whereas, if they thought of themselves as our hypothetical crapshooters in the park, they would have torn those robbers' hearts out."
-- Richard Stark, The Outfit, pp.152-153

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