Friday, March 04, 2005



Edward Abbey's The Monkey Wrench Gang (1975) is the tale of four nature lovers who destroy billboards, bridges, bulldozers, etc., in an effort to preserve wilderness areas from the depredations of mankind. One of the four is Vietnam vet George Washington Hayduke. I don't know where Abbey got the names of his characters, and perhaps it's just a coincidence, but the Romanian word for outlaw is haiduc.

I learned the word from the Romanian pop song "Dragostea Din Tei," by O-Zone, as lip-synced by the inimitable Gary Brolsma.

Update: Maybe Hayduke was based on a real person. Edward Abbey, Down the River (1982), p. 226, mentions "a Green Beret named Douglas Heiduk."

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