When I was growing up, my childhood was spent reading books about ‘Robin Hood‘ and the ‘Outlaws of the Marsh‘. Then there was that movie starring Emilio Estevez – Young Guns. Then I fell in love with books written by Mario Puzo such as ‘The Godfather’. The first film of the trilogy starring Marlon Brando is one of my favorite movies.
A few years ago, I chanced upon a series titled ‘Hustle’ produced by the BBC. In recent weeks, I learned that the chinese video hosting site tudou.com had all the episodes up to season 4. To find the first episode in season one, type ‘Hustle s01 ep01′ as the search query. To find subsequent episodes, just change the number in ‘s01′ and ‘ep01′ to indicate the season and episode you are seeking. Each season has only six episodes. I also learned of another series produced by the BBC – The Real Hustle. This show is a documentary that teaches you how cons are pulled.
There is something about such stories that I find so alluring and captivating. The brotherhood among the characters. The importance of family and its protection. The honor among thieves. Living by one’s own code. Not serving the Man. Sticking it to the Man.
Why do we have government? Why do we subject ourselves to laws, rules and regulations? Why did our ancestors allow themselves to live under a ruling system?
Whatever the reasons for the taxi drivers in Singapore breaking the rules and regulations of the taxi companies, they have some measure of my sympathy. As always, Don Corleone says it best.
“I work my whole life, I don’t apologize to take care of my family. And I refused to be a fool dancing on the strings held by all of those big shots. I don’t apologize for that. That’s my life. But I always thought that when it was your time that you would be the one to hold the strings.”
The story of Mickey Bricks’ father is one that resonates with me. The fate of the father is one that I hope never befalls any Singaporean.
Sadly, it seems inevitable that it would.