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This is the blog of Ian Rosales Casocot. Filipino writer. Sometime academic. Former backpacker. Twink bait. Hamster lover.

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Thursday, October 04, 2007

entry arrow9:37 PM | F***k the System!

I absolutely had no idea that this book, a cult classic by the late communo-anachist Abbie Hoffman, actually exists.

It's an in-your-face manual on how to rip-off The System and live off it for free, like any true hippie anarchist. One of its tips on how to get free food any time you want goes like this:

In restaurants where you pay at the door just before leaving, there are a number of free-loading tricks that can be utilized. After you've eaten a full meal and gotten the check, go into the restroom. When you come out go to the counter or another section of the restaurant and order coffee and pie. Now you have two bills. Simply pay the cheaper one when you leave the place. This can be worked with a friend in the following way. Sit next to each other at the counter. He should order a big meal and you a cup of coffee. Pretend you don't know each other. When he leaves, he takes your check and leaves the one for the large meal on the counter. After he has paid the cashier and left the restaurant, you pick up the large check, and then go into the astonishment routine, complaining that somebody took the wrong check. You end up only paying for your coffee. Later, meet your partner and reverse the roles in another place.

An unlikely bestseller for many years after its first run in 1971, it is now out-of-print, and is controversial (and underground) enough to make it one of the most stolen books of all time. (It's No. 5. The Bible is No. 1. How's that irony.) People actually do follow the demand of its title -- which may be why most bookstores and libraries refuse to carry it.

Now, it's finally available online. Read it at your own risk. Wikipedia, after all, describes its contents as including "advice on such topics as growing marijuana, starting a pirate radio station, living in a commune, stealing food, shoplifting, stealing credit cards, preparing a legal defense, making pipe bombs, and obtaining a free buffalo from the U.S. Department of the Interior. It discusses various tactics of fighting as well as giving a detailed list of affordable and easy ways to find weapons and armour that can be used in the event of a confrontation with law enforcement. The book advocates rebelling against authority in all forms, governmental and corporate."

Heavy stuff.


[0] This is Where You Bite the Sandwich