Tuesday, May 04, 2021

On Moles And Leading A Double Life

One of the lesser known songs to come from the Styx album Kilroy Was Here (1983; arguably one of the best albums ever in the fact that there is not a bad song on it) was entitled "Double Life" in which the underground hero of the Rock Opera, Jonathan Chance (Tommy Shaw), laments the life he has to lead as a rebel opposing the then all controlling "MMM - Majority for Musical Morality", in trying to bring back rock music:

"Leading a double life
Friends in the daytime, strangers at night
Leading a double life,
Can it be wrong when you know that it's right?"

Claire Wolfe ponders the question from a different angle in her article "Outlaw Moles:  Now More Important Than Ever".

The article (I am summarizing, you would do so much better to read it fully yourself) posits that there are four sorts of "Freedom Outlaws", those who seek to restore freedoms instead of bind them:  The Ghost, who is so far off the grid and buried that they are not visible; the Agitator, who actively works to re-establish them publicly (and not necessarily in the "violent" fashion that the title suggests; agitators can work through the system as well - but they are public); the Cockapoo, those who are effectively beaten down by the system and so choose to live off the system to bring it down the faster; and the Mole, those who essentially live double lives:  appearing on the outside to buy in to and conform to every aspect of the system, but passively preparing, protesting, or even supporting the other three models.

"In the dark so all alone
Slowly reach for the telephone
A message waits just for you
A secret place, another rendezvous
It's not always honesty
That is the best policy
But little lies can give you away
Though you'll deny it if they say maybe you're just 
Leading a double life..."

In reading the article, I (re)discovered the fact that I am a mole.

I am not terribly brave. There are those that might argue that simply posting as I do, under a nom de guerre, at least makes me suspect if not guilty.  True, perhaps - although to be fair, given the world we live in today I am neither rich enough, isolated enough, or connected enough to be "protected" from idiots who believe their right and privilege is to squash all that disagree with them.  And besides that, being in a sense "impersonal" allows me a persona of sorts to discuss and debate things which in real life would only end in shouting, tears, and slammed doors.

But even without that, I am not terribly brave.  I will avoid confrontation wherever possible.  Whenever I called on do something, I will like do it, even though it might be something I partially disagree with (Not completely though.  Even I have my limits).  I do not argue.  I certainly do not fight.  I go along to get along.  I (to paraphrase Claire's article) pay my taxes, cross in the cross walks, drive the speed limit, and to the greatest extent possible, conform to the law (to the extent it drives others crazy sometimes).

And work diligently in the background.

"The other side of the Berlin wall is
Not far enough to avoid the call
Somebody knows, somebody's seen
Somebody knows right where you've been
And that you're just 
Leading a double life..."

I have friends here that are brave.  Glen is brave (although arguably, almost foolhardily so).  STxAR is brave, as ClaireLeigh and Ed are quietly brave.  Reverend Paul is brave, unapologetically so.  And my dear friend, quiet, artistic friend Rain is probably the quietest and bravest of us all.  

And yet - loud or not, they are all doing what they can to live their lives and quietly (or less so, in Glen's case) living lives contrary to the dominant paradigms, both real and imagined.

"Nowhere to hide, though we both might try
I'm schizophrenic, and so am I
Double life, a double life, a masquerade,
You know we all live a masquerade
I know you're out there!"

Two points that deserve consideration:

1)  Being a mole in this circumstance is an "evil" thing.  Merely by living a life which in some way, form, or fashion does not conform to the existing paradigms is not an "evil" thing - although it may be a rebellious things, as those raising chickens or openly gardening in their front yards might tell you.  One can be a mole without intending anything than living a life differently that what is demanded by a society that seeks to effectively control a great deal - the simple act of not living that way or questioning makes you a mole, a potential threat to the system.

2)  Being a mole - "Leading a Double Life", as the song says - sounds like it would be hard.  But if your are someone (like me) that is used to introspection, having interests that no-one else in your immediate group shares, and are an introvert, it really does not feel like a task at all.  Effectively, you have done this all your life:  learned to not speak about that which interests no-one but you, quietly gone about your life even in the midst of people, enjoyed a rich inner thought life (complete with arguments and debates in some cases.  It is just a logical extension to what you have already done.  Add to that a healthy dose of learning to be the proverbial "grey man" (Toirdhealbheach Beucail's Cardinal Rule:  Do Not Draw Attention To Yourself), and it actually interrupts your lifestyle very little.

There was a meme making the rounds some years ago that I used (reused here) that expresses it perfectly.  Be quiet, meet all your requirements and obligations - and go about in your own quiet way, preparing.


  1. Sakes, what a compliment. Thank you. There is another option, though. Could be I'm just not smart enough to be quiet. Bravery requires risk, and there hasn't been much of that yet. It's when your principles run up against your commitments. Will I stand for what is right, when I know full well it will harm me and mine? Will I pledge my sacred honor when it will hurt to do so? That's an area that I wonder about. I hope I have the courage to do that. I also hope I won't have to find out if I do. I may be more "Brave Sir Robin" than I know. Great food for thought post.

    1. Pbbfbfbfffftttt. STxAR, when the times comes you won't think twice about it. None of the folks here will. Neither you or any of the folks here are craven.

    2. STxAR, I am with Glen. When the time comes - the actual time, not the almost time - it will not be a question. We will all quote Jean d'Arc, say "I was born to do this", and simple step out.

  2. I am not foolhardyTB; I am a full blown fricken retard! ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ‘

    A lot of you and your guys have your perspectives taken from insulated economic or intellectual bubbles. It gives you a clarity of thought and an objectivity that allows you to calmly and dispassionately observe our impending cultural implosion from a safe distance. I am not slagging anyone in saying that, I am actually envious.

    I grew up in the depths of that unplumbed degenerate cultural profundity... and it has its own event horizon. The people in there can’t see out, and many of you can’t see in. Down there things are so tightly compressed and warped that foolhardiness, heroism, and desperation become one and the same. Somehow by the grace of God I got out, but at great cost. Most of my family and some of my friends are trapped in that cultural singularity and they will be there forever. It’s heart breaking, and I compensate for my bitterness with rude jokes and I suppose it gets tiresome.

    I wouldn’t call you a mole or hang any labels on the others. We are all just regular slobs trying to make our way in an increasingly unstable world. Some of us will do a better job of it than others depending on their position and circumstances. Be thankful for yours and make the best of it you can.

    1. Glen, I am going with foolhardy!

      I think your comment is fair - I grew up in one world view, and it is not the view that you are relating. I am aware of friends that have moved to that area and even a very few that grew up in that milieu, but I am sure that things would look very different from there. You have insight many of us do not.

      I would agree that we are all regular folk making our way in the world - that said, we do it in different ways. One of the things that I find to be more and more true is that as we continue the descent into madness, more and more people are realizing that what they thought they had wanted was not what they wanted at all.

  3. Lots of food for thought here. I may have to come back and read it again when I have more time to ponder what you've written.

    I like Styx and need to see what I have in my collection. I feel sure I don't have that LP since I would remember that title. I have a history with Kilroy.

    1. Thanks Kelly. It was was actually just on the downside of their peak - they closed up shop (the first time) in 1984.

  4. I think of myself more of a chameleon with the ability to easily adapt to situations and people.

    1. That is a skill, Ed. To do that and not lose yourself is even more of a skill.

  5. Good post and lots of good comments.
    God bless us all.

    1. Thanks Linda. Indeed, God bless us. Every one.

  6. Anonymous2:55 AM

    I don't think avoiding conflict is cowardly. Life is hard enough to iive withouy deliberately inviting more trouble.

    1. Anonymous - I do not wish to imply that avoiding conflict is inherently cowardly. Where, at least for me, it can be cowardly is when I should say something and I do not because it would create conflict between myself and that person, even if the concept or argument is wrong. At that moment, at least for me, it becomes cowardly.


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