In order to live outside the law, you must be honest.
– Bob Dylan
Anyone who has spent any amount of time amongst street types – lawbreakers, either victimless or otherwise – that line in that song instantly rings a bell and makes perfect sense. I think people who don’t know much about street life would be more likely to be baffled. “What do you mean, to be a criminal, you must be honest? That makes no sense. Crooks aren’t honest.”
Oh yeah? Crooks have no sense of justice? Get yourself locked into a prison or jail sometime and start victimizing the other inmates. A lot of the time there are going to be some very serious retaliatory consequences coming your way.
And as the saying on the street goes, “Paybacks are a bitch.”
When I lived my victimless street criminal life, I used to hear this all the time. If someone was going around committing injustices like ripping off the local dealers, the dealers and their friends would get together and really fuck the guy over hard.
My friends and I put a bomb on the windshield of a car and blew it up once because the owner of the car had been going around ripping the local dealers off. Two dealers participated in the bombing, another guy and I, and we had both been ripped off by this guy.
There really is a sense of cruel morality to the street. You can almost get away with more as a “legal criminal” than you can on the street. Sometimes I also think a good motto of the street is “the street has a thousand eyes and a thousand ears.”
Not only that but perversely enough, the street believes in justice. People who run around actively harming other street types usually have a pretty rude awakening coming to them. As in paybacks. It’s not uncommon for such victimizers to even end up dead.
“You don’t mess with the street” would be another saying of mine. Don’t mess with street types. They’re basically criminals, for Chrissake! They’ll kill you! A criminal will hurt you for an injustice committed against him far more than a law-abider will. They don’t have a lot compunctions about committing nasty crimes to get back at you. They’re used to committing crimes, being criminals after all.