The next one is a letter to my dad. You don't get to read it now. Gimme a minute.
Saturday, August 2, 2014
Friday, August 1, 2014
Also Done With Mirrors
From The El Paso County Jail
In jail now for contempt of court, i can only hope that i will not be punished for thought, given my intent with this piece more or less to publicly scorn the same court and many of its agents represented here at the misnamed Criminal Justice Center of El Paso County. I will concentrate on this local example for specifics because of intimacy, but recent news and broad history supports my encouragement to the reader that (s)he extrapolate freely.
I’d almost rather sleep than pace around here like a tyger in a fucking zoo, but i am as i have been formed. I really don’t think you fuckers can make me sleep without some kind of assault. It’s possible a dispassionate observer might develop the notion that you can piss me off, so to speak, that you can make me blow my Zen, but no--that was i, and i’m over it already.
Here at the El Paso County Jail, called the “Criminal Justice Center,” uniforms abound and each, of course, conveys a message. All the prisoners are color coded. The deps and “specialists" and nurses and “contractors” are all of a feather, some with fancier tails as it were, expressive of assorted specifics. Variation is for the most part strictly verboten, (sorry to misuse the language for such a purpose, T. You know what i mean.)
Prisoners are separated by severity of “crime,” degree of danger to self or others, and some by a certain degree of “privilege” (these are called “trusty”). Deputies are generally demarcated according to “authority.” Some have little shoulder insignia indicating rank, “honors,” or extreme pathology. “Civilians” in various “house nig...um...servant,” (ahem), positions bear yet further uniform garb, while certain haughty nabobs glide around in suits carrying clipboards, heads high, presumably to be the more able to reach the rarefied air that must sustain them with their pinched aquiline nostrils.
With irony that may or may not be intentional on someone or something’s part, the same uniforms described as so expressive also squelch some communication, which would be quite freely broadcast in ordinary circles. Certainly “club” colors are vigorously banned. Stuff like those placeholders for my ears. Some shit slips by: Many Department of Corrections guys, (prisoners), are recognizable by “penitentiary” labels on personal clothing. Haircuts, though highly imperfect at clarity, often show fondness for a martial life. The richest bearers of information of all apart from coded wristbands we wear under a pretty fair degree of duress are tattoos, freely and openly displayed by all but the besuited clipboard crowd.
The deputies have prevented me from wearing the little protective posts made of comb teeth i put in my ears, meant to keep the piercings from closing, as an experiment in boundaries, and as an expression of my identity; a bit of communication through appearance; silent aesthetic vocalization. One pleasant deputy said to me with great concern and chagrin in both his voice and his eyes, “Oh, no! This is terrible!” I asked him about his concern and he played it off as a joke; “Sarcasm.” But to me, “this”--that is, a bit of aesthetic experimentation that serves to announce my separation from a society i find abhorrent--is a marvelous thing, rich in multifaceted, radiating, information-bearing emanations. We all do these things, and some of us then wonder why we are rejected by those for whom we define ourselves as Other by those choices of appearance we make of our own volition.
No one can do anything about skin color, for example, and we ought not make assessments about human beings that are based on unchangeables like that, but we do anyhow. And life probably works out to support those assessments. Whether the differences are real or not, when two segments of society conspire to call one another’s members hateful names, like “nigger,” or “cracker,” or “Palestinian,” or “Jew,” the intonation of Otherness establishes a state of polarity where the prophecies inherent in the expression all become true, eventually. That’s pretty crazy in itself. At The El Paso County Jail the most desperate of prisoners--the mixed-color-teal-and-yellow crowd--are garbed thusly so that they are easily recognizable as homicidal-suicidal. They seem to live a miserable existence, isolated from everyone because of mutual fear, from which font their own dreaded behavior springs. The nurses in the medical unit where many of these saddest of souls reside sometimes and apart from regulation wear colors so similar that i have been startled by the spectacle of those shades in unexpected places. But i have had conversations with EPCO jail employees that went something like, “You should find something to do that doesn’t eat your soul.” “Oh, I’m fine--I get home and just forgetaboutit. Turn it off,” with a motion like flipping a switch. “Do you really think partitioning your personality--your life--your Self--to that degree so you won’t flip out is healthy!!? Isn’t that exactly how ‘multiples’ work things?” So just who are the crazy ones?
One deputy said to me, “Sixty to seventy percent of the cops in this town are just doing their jobs.” This is so multi-dimensionally wrong: Only a mental pathology allows a guy to perpetrate violence against an unwilling subject for a mundane paycheck that is derived in part from money confiscated from that very person being so victimized. This is deeply parasitic and also pretty fucking stupid in that biologically, the most successful parasite is one that works a symbiotic relationship with its host. The relationship of our government, (and virtually all governments), to its host our society is now and will soon prove to be catastrophically vitacidal. Meanwhile, what are the other forty percent doing? My estimation figures the best part of this minority is enjoying the sanction of the same gullible society to be violent for pay and false “honor.” Some of these two groups are actually deluded to imagine they are helping people.
“Can’t break the rules just doin’ my job nothin’ personal behind that blow to the head gotta paycheck to collect gotta family to feed….”
Assuredly history’s most spectacularly egregious crimes, and lest any reader seeks to comfort himself with false abstraction, those of this very day, this very moment, have always been committed beneath the false flag of “The Rules.”
I’ve heard it said in the context of “appearances” that the men and women of “Gateway” “represent El Paso County,” so that they are not permitted to wear a Mohawk, (or i suppose, bits of comb in their ears). Now, be alert that i am not a Gateway man, exactly, but i am here because of appearances, at least in part. To be clear, i don’t represent El Paso County, by any means and i give but the merest of fucks for appearances. I represent some higher Thing, and not by my choice at all; but having been chosen for this i serve my purpose while Judge Williams serves his. We are what we are, and what each of us represents is so far beyond El Paso County that i can’t see its apex from here and i suspect that Judge Williams has scarcely even apprehended its Its truth, having heard of these things only in forgotten dreams. I hope you aren’t hurt, dear Judge; these lots of ours are assigned, not chosen.
I certainly never meant to cause you harm, or even pain, though i can’t deny i have been quite angry; far more at your system than at you, personally. It’s up to you how much grief will be in this for you, but: Fear not, sir; for as i have said, this is all perfectly safe, And again: We are in this together. All of us. Like it or not.
*Submitted with respect to those EPCO Schindlers who struggle daily to avoid division by zero. And i’ll have to talk more about Gateway, later.