OAKLAND, CA—Amid a remote work fiasco seen erupting among tech companies (namely, Apple) that has even made second-rate hardware developers suddenly look attractive to young engineers, the infamous Heavens Devils motorcycle club has themselves sparked controversy as their president announced Tuesday afternoon that the outlaw motorcycle club would no longer be so “liberal” regarding its nomad membership policy.
A nomad is a motorcycle club member who does not formally belong to a specific charter or group; they may live in a geographic area with fewer than required members to form a charter, or they may voluntarily choose the “nomad” designation as it reinforces their personal life choice to pursue a more solitary existence.
An outlaw motorcycle club finds itself having to reckon with a global pandemic
The coronavirus outbreak, which has changed the way Americans work, has turned those operations on their head, reshaping how outlaw motorcycle clubs like the Heavens Devils assemble. Established charters by and large have needed to respond to the public health crises affecting its members by adopting a charter-agnostic “nomad” policy. The revered table meetings (often viewed sacred and referred to as “church,” or “chapel,” by members) have long been conducted around an ornate table within a motorcycle club’s central nucleus. Responding to the advice of public health officials, however, these meetings have more recently been held via video conferencing apps like Zoom and Microsoft Teams.
Club members have held competing beliefs about these nomadic video conferenced table meetings.
Some have embraced the underlying principles that necessitated them. “I think, regardless of how we got here, nomad has staying power,” Manny Ortiz, an Anaheim club charter member reflected.
Others have found themselves opposed to the nomad policy. “I feel like a jackass leading club meetings here at the head of the table in an empty room, you know what I’m sayin’?” Anaheim club president Matías Alvarez framed rhetorically. “I crave the spirit of family and the chance encounters with my brothers you couldn’t get on a computer screen, where we come together and solve a real tough problem, like how those chumps in Mongrels M.C. are encroaching on our territory, and how we gotta bust some caps in their asses!”
When asked his opinion of his charter president’s concerns, Ortiz rebutted: “Alvarez can blow it out his ass! I bet his argument is rooted in his opinionated bullshit, completely disregarding studies that show we work better at home.”
A “tone deaf” memo finds nomadic bikers angry with their governing body
In a memo sent to charters nationwide via fax machine, Laxon “Lax” Yeller, the president of the Heavens Devils Original Charter addressed the nomad policy to club members:
Intense standoff leads to firefight
Despite having the semblance of a “commitment to brotherhood,” many Heavens Devils club members found their president’s memo to be “woefully uninspired, tone deaf, and obsolete.”
In quick succession to the club letting individual charters have their own discretion as to how stingiest these policies are, many nomadic bikers have found their values displaced.
“You can expect that you will be required to be at the club house at 9AM, Monday through Sunday, especially for Church,” a Texas-based charter president wrote to his charter members in a memo of his own. “It’s time to get back to work and normalcy.”
Needless to say, charter members were not happy, with as many as 5 refusing to abandon the flexibility of their nomadic posts.
“Drop your pieces and fall in line, you drama queens,” shouted Chaz Digger, Sargant in Arms of the Austin, Texas charter of the Heavens Devils outlaw motorcycle club. “This is not a matter up for a vote.”
Wielding semi-automatic handguns pointed at each other in Tarantino-style dramatics, club members stood their ground in an intense stalemate, each with piercing eyes fixed on the brother next to him as fingers hovered over firearm triggers.
“Nomad or nothing,” said Louis Gutiérrez, a newly elected club member who had been promoted from prospect over Zoom.
“Drop it, chump, or go back to cleaning up toilets. The next one won’t be yours!” Digger retorted, fuming with rage.
“Ha! You call demanding me to clean my apartment over Zoom a prospecting punishment?” Gutiérrez quipped. “You’re like my mother telling me to clean my room. And I just showed you a screenshot of a clean apartment I found in Google image search. My apartment is filthy!”
“That does it!” Digger bellowed, thunder in his voice as he pointed his weapon directly at Gutiérrez and opened fire.
As the gunfire ceased and bullet casings hit the pavement below, empty silence filled the air around the violent scene as pools of blood surrounded lifeless bodies.
The future of “nomad” bikers in question (or is it)?
The senseless violence that shook the Heavens Devils outlaw motorcycle club, if nothing else, may serve as a cautionary tale.
Workers have started the “great resignation.”
As a wise 80s principal once said, “Don’t mess with the bull, young man. You’ll get the horns.”
When you tell a nomadic biker he mustn’t be nomadic anymore, you just may find yourself on the wrong side of a Glock.
Furthermore, when Orwellian employers overplay their hand thinking they may force “chance encounters” in the spirit of “productivity,” they typically find that half of US workers are willing to quit.