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Sons of Anarchy Puts Outlaw Motorcycle Clubs in the Spotlight

By Tom Kiley on October 7, 2009 - Comments off

Sons of Anarchy, a fictional series about an outlaw motorcycle club in northern California, have put outlaw biker culture back into mainstream America. Bikers have long been trying to distance themselves from the perception that motorcycle clubs are mainly organized around illegal activity. Sons of Anarchy have made that goal a little bit harder.

Set in the fictional town of Charming, CA, the Sons of Anarchy serve as both villain and savior. They distribute guns to rival factions and gangs in the Pacific Northwest and protect their town from rival motorcycle clubs, gangs, and drug dealers. As a result, most of the residents of Charming hold the Sons of Anarchy as a positive influence in the town.

Of course, there is lots of drama involved with this series between members within the clubs, relationships, gangs, white supremacy groups, and law enforcement. The dramatic elements are surprisingly good, particularly involving the club’s Vice President.

Jackson (Jax) Teller is the son of the deceased original club founder and the step son of the current club President, Clay Morrow. Jax’s biological father wrote a detailed journal which Jax found during the show’s first season. Reading his father’s words causes Jax to question the club’s leadership, purpose, and lifestyle.

The conflict between Jax and the club is also a conflict he has with himself. He’s a devoted father with a newly born child, a loyal friend, and has a loving relationship with his childhood sweetheart. He also is a killer. His struggle represents the club’s struggle to find its true purpose.

Of course, you can’t have an outlaw motorcycle drama without violence and sex. Sons of Anarchy has plenty of it. True to origins of motorcycle clubs, women are not members but are considered property to be shared among the club. The notable exception to this is Jemma, Clay’s “old lady.” She is the matriarch of the club and the backbone of Clay’s strength. She is also Jax’s mother.

Like traditional outlaw clubs, the Sons of Anarchy only have white male members. Outlaw motorcycle clubs in the past generally organized around racial boundaries. They also ride similar bikes. The Sons of Anarchy almost all ride Harley Davidson Dynas.

Sons of Anarchy airs on FX on Tuesdays at 10PM EST and is a great way to delve into the world of outlaw bikers. Previous episodes can be viewed on Hulu.com. If you like good drama that also has bikes, guns, sex, and violence, then the Sons of Anarchy is the series for you.

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