The Century of the Fugitive and the Secret of the Detainee

Cops used a forward-looking infrared device (FLIR) to find traces of Tsarnaev’s heat signature.

The 21st century will be the century of the fugitive. Not because fugitives are proliferating, but because they are disappearing. And not disappearing in the way that fugitives like to disappear, but disappearing because they simply won’t exist. Technology won’t allow it. A manhunt summons forth the great machinery of the state: scores of armed… Continue reading The Century of the Fugitive and the Secret of the Detainee

Are you a guest or a host?

Thinking more about fugitives and detainees, and how fine the line is between them, I am wondering if there is some corollary relationship between the detainee and the detainer, between the prisoner and the warden. I am guided here by a curious etymological fact: the words "guest" and "host" share the same root. Both words… Continue reading Are you a guest or a host?

Fugitives and Detainees in American Social Life

Two years ago in Tracking the Fugitive I predicted that one of the dominant symbolic figures of the 21st century will be the fugitive. In film, literature, music, art, video games--in all these arenas, the fugitive will play a central role. And the reason, I suggested, is because there is no room anymore for fugitives… Continue reading Fugitives and Detainees in American Social Life