The brand of the month is “Defiant Brotherhood.”
There are two of them. One brand, which is as much a sisterhood as a brotherhood, is at least a year old and the other was incorporated in Florida in January. Together, they seem to represent the cynical commodification of American identitythat has followed Sons of Anarchy into the age of Donald Trump.
There is no obvious connection between the two Defiant Brotherhoods other than their names and the apparent mood of the kinds of people who make a show of labeling themselves like that. But what they share is a calculated redefinition of consensual reality – either by mysterious market forces or by institutions like the police – of what the phrase “motorcycle club” means.
The Defiant Brotherhood Motorcycle Club in Mesa, Arizona has a Facebook page, a website, and its members wear a three piece patch “because we like the traditions of the original motorcycle clubs. The center patch represents the three wise monkeys, Mizaru, Kikazaru, and Iwazaru, which embody the principle of hear no evil, see no evil, and speak no evil. This ancient proverb associates one with being of good mind, speech, and action. This is the foundation of Defiant Brotherhood MC, and it is represented in our colors. The three skulls with their eyes, ears, and mouth covered represent the proverb, the top rocker is the name of the club, and the bottom rocker refers to the state the chapter is from. The lettering in blue represents the thin blue line (law enforcement) that we honor, respect, and support.”
The Mesa chapter refers to itself as the “National Chapter” and the club obviously intends to become a national presence. It broke away from an unnamed “club that preached family, riding, and law enforcement support.”
The Defiant Brotherhood describes itself as “an independent MC that enjoys the freedom of two wheels, friendship, and doing what we love – riding in the wind. Defiant Brotherhood MC believes in total equality, therefore all Sisters and Brothers wear colors. Family comes first, then work, and then club. We respect all other clubs; however, that does not mean we condone what other clubs stand for, or what they do. We support all law enforcement and charities of the club’s choosing.”
This club is hell bent on selling gullible buyers both its authenticity and its harmlessness – as both Sons of Anarchy cast members and Bikers For Trump simultaneously proclaim their outlaw authenticity and their impeccable ideals.
Defiant Brotherhood Limited Liability Corporation just wants to help you look the part. Probably. The corporation was founded in Jacksonville by Steven “Lightning” Light who has a Facebook page here and a website here.
This Defiant Brotherhood sells patches, decals, coffee cups, tee shirts, beanies, skull masks, “Old-School ‘Getback’ Biker Whips,” and “spring assisted folding” knives in colors including “stonewash” and pink.
The corporation’s website warns buyers, “Defiant Brotherhood is NOT an MC. There are no large separate location rockers. Patch Holders purchase their patches, they do not earn them. Defiant Brotherhood, LLC, shall not be responsible for the actions of those wearing the patch. Please do not represent yourself as being something you are not. A good person can find themselves in a very bad situation, going up against a true 1%er MC Member. Please be safe out there.”
However, there is a rumor seeping through the internet that Light, who owns the corporation, is planning to create his own Defiant Brotherhood Motorcycle Club. “Membership dues are expected to be $200 US per year,” Light or someone pretending to be him is alleged to have written, “and will include a four piece set of patches with location rockers for your riding vest, plus a DB T-shirt, 1 small & 1 large DB logo decal. DB MC will be born in December 2017, and will be Members only, with Club Chapters, Internationally. Right now, USA, Canada, Great Britain, France, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa & Brazil are in negotiations for DB MC Chapters.”
We live in an age of wonders in which half-baked ideas become reality and reality is fast becoming just another half-baked idea. Some days in is tough to tell the difference between the two.