"...it's not the training to be mean but the training to be kind that is used to keep us leashed best." ~ Black Dog Red

"In case you haven't recognized the trend: it proceeds action, dissent, speech." ~ davidly, on how wars get done

"...What sort of meager, unerotic existence must a man live to find himself moved to such ecstatic heights by the mundane sniping of a congressional budget fight. The fate of human existence does not hang in the balance. The gods are not arrayed on either side. Poseiden, earth-shaker, has regrettably set his sights on the poor fishermen of northern Japan and not on Washington, D.C. where his ire might do some good--I can think of no better spot for a little wetland reclamation project, if you know what I mean. The fight is neither revolution nor apocalypse; it is hardly even a fight. A lot of apparatchiks are moving a lot of phony numbers with more zeros than a century of soccer scores around, weaving a brittle chrysalis around a gross worm that, some time hence, will emerge, untransformed, still a worm." ~ IOZ

Dec 17, 2010

Prison Break

Despair comforts. It encourages a pretense - whispering: your suffering, my suffering, our suffering belong in the annals of eternity and we can know the certainty of the rightness of it...we can rest in it, give up, stop holding on, stop moving, stop struggling against the bonds, and chill, cuz hey, nature compels it, the universe has wires and we hang from them; don't struggle, that hurt you cannot take back. Despair surrenders rage to the colonial outpost in the head, imprisoning the unbroken native of anger in the false hope of a tomorrow we can welcome because we think it looks just like the horror of today. Despair counts on the duplication of a familiar suffering, on the belief that pain, at least, will keep its promises.

Despair hurts; it hurts the way you, I, we want it to.


It has no remedy because you don't belong in a cage. You did not come out from the womb bolted to the floor of a prison cell. The flesh does not trap. You have to learn to feel the body as a trap, this life as a wound, a tear in the heart of the only world you can ever experience because you don't look out from another prisoner's bars, out from the eyes of anyone else's head.

You have to learn a role, to feel your body violate it.

You have to learn to obey, to feel the constriction of submission.

You have to learn to see a lie for a lie, to know why you've heard them all your life:

We have reasons to despair, no doubt, no wonder. The whole fucking human world bears the memory of wounds which outweigh, outshadow, outlast and and outnumber the moments of joy. We live in a world where daughters must shoulder the regrets of murdered mothers, and sons of murdered fathers trade their humanity for a reasonable shot at a comprehensible vengeance:

It falls to us, all the same, to make other paths in our memories, to know that despair can remind us that pain alone can never crack the cage, or break the savage hold of a world that will consume us, forget us, and move on to feed on those we leave in our wake, our children, our loved ones, strangers who stand alone and together against the unsheltering sky of misery and human degradation. We need to feel it, claim the suffering that makes us sisters and brothers, and then release the captive it contains:*

"...In Georgia, where one in twelve adults is in jail, prison or on parole or probation, "prisoners are us," as Black Agenda Report puts it. A strike of historic proportions among Muslims, Blacks, Mexicans and whites has been taking place in Georgia's state prisons since last week. They are demanding pay for their work, opportunities for education, decent health care and nutrition.

These prisoners are peaceful, well-organized and united—in defiance of every expectation and in the face of a thuggish corrections system attempting to goad them to violence. But prison strikers are asserting their humanity in a place designed to rob men and women of their souls."

h/t Will Shetterly


Randal Graves said...

Gasp! Not a believer in the obvious rehabilitative powers of the life-affirming prison?

Vengeance is, sadly, one unquenchable motherfucker.

Richard said...

I have an interview scheduled with Elaine Brown today on KDVS 90.3 FM at about 5:15pm today, CA time, about the strike. KDVS can be heard on the web. As you probably know, she has been a prominent spokesperson on behalf on the inmates.

Jack Crow said...


I have found it useful to assume that revenge does not automatically mean violence. It still thirsts, but...


Damn it. I'm all over the place with my kids this afternoon and tonight. Will you be making copies?

davidly said...

I don't know how you keep it up without going mental, Jack!

Thanks for your prolific misbehavior.

Jack Crow said...

Thank you, davidly. I must confess, though, that I deserve no accolade.

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

where one in twelve adults is in jail, prison or on parole or probation

An appalling statistic. Has Georgia privatized its prison system?

Jack Crow said...


Only 2 that I can tell, so far. But, more appear to be in the works.