The day room is a breeding ground for anti-intellectualism. It’s our common area where people fight over the phones, receive our mail and watch television every hour of the day. The social climate is one where messes are made BECAUSE it’s somebody elses job. Line order is not respected, boundaries are violated, gambling grows from boredom, and EVERY sport has priority over educational programs. The biggest flaw in prison reform is that damned TV!
In IMU (solitary segregation), inmates are rewarded with a television. Cable costs us only 50 cents per month. The super bowl is such a big deal that scheduled movements are modified, meals are given in bag lunches, and the phones are unusable because of the violent noise. Whatever you do, don’t ask for them to keep the noise down, as it’s like to get you beat up! These televisions are the new prison guard. The only thing that some of the guards have to do, is tend to the emergencies and fulfill the menial job requirements. This causes many of them to become hyper vigilant.. But that’s beside the point.
Our “babysitters” at only 50 cents a month are causing an anomaly. It seems that after only a few years, you have thousands of mindless parrots.. miscreants with an encyclopedic knowledge of every commercial from every channel over a span of several years. This has become a form of communication, where snippets of a movie or commercial are inserted into the conversation to convey context or emotion. The artists are beading nothing but sports and designer clothing logos. Portraits are not of family, but of Elvis and Kobe Bryant or some other star. Our walls have art.. consisting of a Seahawks logo, and several members of the Luney Toonz cartoons from the 80’s. Why must I refer to Wednesday as “Hump Day” in the same voice of an annoying talking camel???!!?
The point is this.. We have been given a gift as our punishment. This gift is a large amount of time we could use to perfect a craft, or become amazing at something. If you spend a 25 year sentence in the study of ONE thing, then you will become an expert at that thing within that time. This type of thing will land you in a career! Seriously, why do we have to live up to the public’s negative perception of us? Why do we choose to drown when we have been given an opportunity to become expert divers? Let’s get off our asses and prepare for our future.