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The Skull Brothers (Non-Fiction?)


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#1 Abishai100

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Posted 24 February 2017 - 12:11 AM

What is it about bank robbery that makes for such fun and conspiracy-thrilling culture films?

I wanted to try my hand at this genre, so I came up with this 'tavern tale,' partially inspired by the Roger Avary film Killing Zoe.

The question loomed, "Are the conveniences of the modern age (e.g., Internet) signs that humanity has become sensitive about labor?" If so, bank robbery stories/films are not entirely...fiction!


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Stanley and Idris were two journalists working for the New Yorker magazine and became frustrated with the claustrophobia created by bureaucracy in the modern world. They decided to leave their jobs and begin part-time steady work at a telemarketing office by day and perform democracy-inspiring deeds by night (as 'vigilantes'). Stanley and Idris called themselves the Skull Brothers. Stanley attended Yale and was two years older than Idris who attended Harvard. They were cousins and both studies Psychology. The Skull Brothers decided to go on a nationwide 'crusade' robbing banks while offering up offbeat patriotic messages (with megaphones) such as, "Money does not control the voter in America!"

The Skull Brothers decided to write a memoir of their robberies (20 successful ones in all across 15 U.S. states including Massachusetts, New York, Florida, Michigan, Arizona, and California). Their unique memoir became the subject of a Hollywood film about two bank-robbing brothers finding mysticism and having their bond during their 'crusade' being challenged by a beautiful woman who came between them. The film won the Oscar for Best Picture and was considered as culturally-symbolic as a handful of other well-respected films such as All the President's Men, The Town, and The Parallax View. Stanley wrote the 200-page memoir, and Idris composed the following summarizing 'abstract':

"After our first two robberies (both in Massachusetts), during which we used our megaphones to deliver incendiary credos to the frightened but unharmed bank patrons such as, 'Remember the Skull Brothers who made you perceptive of America's mismanagement of federal banking and un-negotiated taxation!', we decided to perform multiple bank robberies in New York State. It was here we started formulating our 'American Mystic Manifesto,' and started becoming conscious of a new age moral malaise and ethics deformity (perhaps created by consumerism-conveniences). During our first NY robbery (in Buffalo), we heard faint sounds of a banshee-like woman echoing through the halls while the bank patrons remained silent as we were looting the safe. Stanley realized the banshee-sound was a haunting ghost who 'lived' in the bank and obviously wanted to relay to us some ideological message about humanity yearning for something more vital than wealth obsession.

When we went to Florida to continue our spree, we noticed the papers had started calling the Skull Brothers a new-age Butch Cassidy and Sundance Kid, and we evaded the police by remaining two steps ahead of them and constantly changing driving cars (which we stole and hotwired). We remained mostly on the road and wore the same skull-themed masks during our bank robberies. It was at a Miami bank robbery where we kidnapped a beautiful young red-headed bank teller named Endira and kept her as a hostage, intending to hold her for ransom until the Miami mayor agreed to post pictures of the Skull Brothers next to the caption 'A Vigilante Duo Revitalizing Tax-Free Romance.' When the mayor refused, Endira started crying, and Stanley felt sensitized (he had fallen in love with her --- but so had I!). We decided to let Endira go, but to this day, I believe Stanley kept in touch with her and flamed the romance that eluded me. What I learned mostly from Endira was that human frailty is impossible to predict.

When we went to Michigan for a future bank robbery, we read in the newspaper that an anonymous woman had sent in a large essay about the Skull Brothers' 'crusade,' calling us robber-bandits with cliched American Dream cynicism but boasting an unusual but certain pedestrian panache. This woman claimed that we just might succeed in promoting democracy in a world gone somewhat apathetic towards the human value of wealth and luxury. Stanley joked to me that the woman was probably Endira, but I did not entertain that funny notion (perhaps I should have). Growing up, I did not actually idolize Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow (the iconic Depression-era bank robbers), but I always held sacred the terrific finance-related achievements of America's first titan treasurer, Alexander Hamilton, whose tragic end made me think that the 'pseudo-idealistic' federalism-critical deeds of the Skull Brothers might nevertheless lead to some kind of 'proverbial' Las Vegas demise."

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#2 MacCGStudy

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Posted 24 February 2017 - 01:25 PM

Wow, all I can say is, "Wow". :good:

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