A novel by the late Joseph Heller about a fictional bombadier named Yossarian. It was formerly one of the most influential books of its time, a peer of The Catcher in the Rye and Slaughterhouse Five, but has of late fallen into disuse.

The original Catch-22 was this: In order to be grounded you had to be declared crazy by the doctor. Everyone was crazy to fly. But to be grounded you had ask the doctor (who was rather brutally portrayed). This was an act of self-protection and thus sanity so you couldn't be grounded. Fly and be insane, and possibly dead or ask to be grounded and still fly and possibly die.

Capitalism is harshly criticized in the form of Milo Mindbender who even bombs his own squadron but is excused when it is shown how he made a profit. Even in the end the chance for profit makes him abandon the one he owes the most to, (Yossarian).

Each member of the group deals in his own way. For instance, Dunbar knows he may die any moment so he tries to extend his perceived life by being miserable. Any activity that makes him miserable makes him happy.

This is an American classic black comedy/social commentary. The characters are generally exaggerated aspects of society and generally stupid with the exception of Yossarian, Orr and Milo Mindbender.

There was also a movie.

I'm listening to Keasbey nights by Catch 22 the ska punk band under Victory Records as I type this.