Par The Girl; Pour RUST Magazine
It was rebellion. It was freedom. It was the only show on television known for sticking it to the man.
Sons of Anarchy not only wreaked havoc, but also represented the liberation from the shackles of the status quo.
I free ride into the heart and soul of this authentic world.
If Sons of Anarchy spurred me to ask something it would be why the heck not? Of course it doesn’t take too much to make me realise why it would be a shitty idea to mule cocaine or deal in guns. But when these bearded outlaws risked their lives together week after week, it cemented some sort of an enviable bond of brotherhood.
The show’s creator, Kurt Sutter, depicted a world in which self-sacrifice, loyalty and honour – along with hedonism and violence – were the social norm. But how different was it from the lives of the show’s devoted returning audiences? How different was it from my own life?
Even though the series was known for its Shakespearean parallels, it was more than just Hamlet on a motorcycle battling haemorrhoids. From featuring writing that’s clever and honest to genuine breakthrough performances, Sons was a life guide on how to act in fucked up situations.
"It was more than just Hamlet on
a motorcycle battling haemorrhoids."
Jax Teller (portrayed by Charlie Hunnam) and his fellow Men of Mayhem aren’t your typical white hat good guys. But they aren’t violent law-breakers either. They are kindred spirits who exemplify the mixture of virtue and vice found in every human being’s moral character. Jax’s constant battle was to maintain a balance between the incongruous duality of being a father and the leader of the club. Clay loves Gemma and is blinded by anger when he learns of her rape; the same man who is also capable of bouncing her face off the floor, a victim of the very same emotion that lead him to avenge her honour.
Sons offered a weekly spectacle of arson, gunrunning, murder and other violent and unsavory activities, but it’s really the relationships that drove the show. It’s a series that essentially builds on the notion of family, an ideal long since gone in the US, where the show’s primary audiences reside. It creates a high stakes version of what America lost years ago. The concept of people going to any lengths to protect their pride, and their family’s best interest – sometimes according to their own skewed ideals.
The series also captured the imagination of those of us who feel uncomfortably constrained by the world we live in. It reminded us to look this life in the eye and make moral decisions that will drive us towards the unknown future and even perhaps to oblivion.
While our journey down the show’s highway didn’t always have a definite destination, Kurt made sure us viewers passed over a number of road signs along the way: loyalty, authenticity, honor, solidarity and freedom. And whether at times the show took itself down far too many unexpected plot twists one thing is for sure: it was damn worth it. █
this story was originally published in 2015 for RUST Magazine