"America is in a cultural decline," the internet troll and 27-year-old hacker Andrew "Weev" Auernheimer said into a microphone on Monday morning outside Newark's Martin Luther King Courthouse. Bearded, in a black hoodie with pockets that bulged with his omnipresent 3G-enabled tablet computer and a neckerchief, the stocky Auernheimer was dressed for hurling chunks of sidewalk through storefronts in a European street protest. He was speaking to a pack of cameras in the shadow of the enormous High Modernist bust of Lady Justice that dominates the plaza. "In my country there's a problem and that problem is the Feds. They take everybody's freedom and they never give it back."
On a gray Wednesday morning in October, the car headed west on the Lincoln Highway Bridge hit 100 miles per hour and I started to worry it might hurtle off into the tangle of rusted-out warehouses and smoke stacks that pass for a landscape in northeastern New Jersey. I peeked over the driver's shoulder, watching the speedometer approach the sound barrier. But my companion in the back seat of the Buick, the 27-year-old hacker and internet troll Andrew "Weev" Auernheimer, seemed not to notice as we nearly doubled the speed limit. He slouched and explained to the driver, who had asked him for a cigarette, why he didn't have any.