Donald Charles Davis is a freelance journalist who currently writes and maintains The Aging Rebel, a blog about outlaw biker issues. This book is an anthology of posts from that blog although much of the blog material focusing on The Mongols Motorcycle Club is absent (and presumably rewritten into another of Davis’ self-published books, Out Bad) and rather focuses, for the most part, on peripheral subject matter to the outlaw biker lifestyle and image.
The items that appear in The Aging Rebel carry a few key themes. Many of the posts relate to motorcycling such as helmet laws, or for greater safety awareness among car-drivers. Many other items are obituaries for bikers who died on the road. Other items are relevant to the world of outlaw bikers, including pieces on a Hells Angels trademark lawsuit and criticism of other reporter’s handling of biker news.
Davis’ book is interesting because its good writing about bikers from someone who knows about the subculture. It’s also old fashioned reporting like what you imagine reporters on tv shows and movies about newswriting churn out. So much of what appears in the news, on all topics and in all sources, are institutional press releases with a reporter’s name added because they tacked on an introduction. Davis investigates his stories, and adds insight drawn from his immense knowledge of his subject matter. His work is exemplary of what journalism can be in an age of ubiquitous self-publishing possibilities, where mainstream journalism arises out of an industrial process and older professional values are taken up by individuals who have a vested interest in exploring a particular subject.