We need a new John Dillinger

Rob from the banks and keep for yourself. Apply Within

By Tony Sokol

Bonnie and Clyde is playing right now and it’s not really holding my attention. All I’ve read about it is that it’s taking license with the history of Bonnie and Clyde. No shit, really? A Lifetime bio-pic that plays fast and loose with the facts? Never fucking happen. If you’re looking for that, don’t tune into Lifetime, no matter what other cable networks are simulcasting it, shit. But it got me to thinking about John Dillinger.

John Dillinger was a product of his generation. He was the best and the worst the depression brought out in Americans. The country was in a shambles, everybody owed money, the banks were corrupt and suckered people into predatory loans, politicians were corrupt and didn’t give a shit about anything but getting themselves back in office. Sound familiar?

Dillinger comes along and robs some banks. He doesn’t rob the people in the banks. No, they got to keep their money. Dillinger would hop over the bank booths like a jack-rabbit, where he got his nickname. He was cool, he was debonair. He had an impish grin and mischief just oozed from his every pore. They got Dillinger because he was a bit of a romantic and they screwed the lady who fingered him. Deported her. What the fuck did they care? When the feds offed Dillinger, people wept. Women dipped cloth in his blood on the street. A slab photo of Dillinger was posted and it made him look like he had a 23 inch penis. Oh the things Rigor Mortis does for a street rep.

We need a Dillinger now. Someone to go on a bank robbery spree and post their shit on youtube and never ever ever get caught. They don’t have to rob from the banks and give to the poor. They don’t have to be Robin Hood. They just have to stick it to the banks. That’s what people loved about Dillinger all those years ago and that’s what people would respond to right now. I’m not talking about some guy going on a shooting spree or some other act of useless violence. We need a bank robber. He’s just got to target financial institutions. He’s got to do it in a way that doesn’t touch the regular people. And he’s got to have a way to let us know he – or she – listen, crime has a glass ceiling that’s just waiting to be busted wide open. We have to know what’s going on. And the banks have to pay. It’s a shame Matt Taibi has ethics or he’d hire a tech geek to go on a virtual snatch job.

John Dillinger robbed a dozen banks, four police stations and broke out of jail twice. Eyewitnesses pointed the other way when the cops came. They had nothing against him. They did have something against the banks. The present police state surveillance camera world owes a great deal to Dillinger. Hoover changed rules everywhere to get him. Hoover invented Stereo to get John Dillinger. We need someone to set things back. To steal from the institutions that steal our money and the institutions that protect them. Not only does our new Dillinger have to get away with it, he’s got to change the rules and dismantle the organization that’s been created to catch new Dillingers.

Published December 8th, 2013


Tony Sokol is a writer, playwright and musician. He writes for Den of GeekThe Chiseler, KpopStarz.com and wrote for Altvariety, Coed.com, Daily Offbeat. Dark Media Press, Wicked Mystic and other magazines. He has had over 20 plays produced in NYC, including Vampyr Theatre and the rock opera "AssassiNation: We Killed JFK." He appeared on the Joan Rivers (TV) Show, Strange Universe and Britain's "The Girlie Show."