When I was around 12 years old my friend’s dad took us to watch this movie called, American Me. The storyline was centered around Latino gangs and prison life. The scenes of stabbings in prison were horrifying but the worst were the rape scenes. I had no idea that sort of thing went on.
After researching the topic on the internet a couple days ago I’m even more horrified by the written accounts of American prisoners. I was going to paste an excerpt just now but decided against it. The stories include the worst that humanity has to offer, possibly even worse than any third world country has to offer.
Aside from the heinous sexual acts that occur, maybe the worst part is that the victims have no way out. Telling the teacher on your perpetrators is ineffective at best and likely disastrous. The guards are in on it and are often the sexual abusers themselves. Damage control can be the only recourse. One can commit to be another man’s “wife” to prevent victimization from multiple men or decide to commit suicide. This could be your life every day for many years. The closer you are to being young, white, small and feminine the more likely you are to be a victim.
I suspect that some or many prison rapists were closeted homosexuals or bisexuals. I’m not totally buying the whole domination theory as the pure motive since they would still need to get sexually aroused. Perhaps if some guys don’t get sex from a woman for a very long time they go crazy.
If I had to guess why prison rape is not as prevalent in Canadian prisons, one reason would be the length of sentences. You almost have to be a convicted serial killer to spend the rest of your life behind bars here. People get convicted for murder in Canada and can be out in less than 10 years. When you’re spending the rest of your life in prison you have nothing to lose. If you have enough of these guys in one place then you’re going to have a hell circus. There’s also the issue of gangs and racism in America that seems to be unparalleled to any other developed country. The powers that be allow this rape victimization to continue because they’ve decided it’s the best/easiest way to manage this prison society.
As I lay in my Euro top bed in the free world I’m thankful that my hairless chest on my small framed body is situated above the 49th parallel.
Quite a while ago I made a list of things I was grateful for because it was supposed to make me feel better. I don’t think it did anything. The majority choose to search out the internet unaware of the suffering of envy it causes. The go-to destinations of Facebook and Instagram reveal only the best minutes of people’s lives.
As a contrarian play I started searching for videos, photos and stories of people who have it much worse than I do. If seeing people online who are richer and more beautiful than you makes you feel bad then seeing someone with a tennis ball sized facial tumour should make you feel gratitude.
A few days ago I saw a poster that read, 1 out of 8 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. That’s just prostate cancer. How about all the other cancers and other life changing conditions. If you can get through life with only being affect by a minor case of arthritis then you may have won.
Delivering stuff to people’s residences as a job taught me something. You won’t often see bearded women or people without eyes in public because they might not go out very much. Even having an overly large nose might keep you away from many social situations. When your nose is big enough it’s guaranteed that people are going to stare once they get a side view.
So I figure if there’s nothing much stopping you from being able to roam around in public with some enjoyment then your life might not be so bad…for now.
At my first job at a big-box retail store we had a 19-year-old Pakistani immigrant working the auto parts counter. His English was good enough and his auto parts knowledge was good enough only because you didn’t have to know anything about cars. He was enrolled in university at the same time going for his engineering degree.
Just over half a decade later he’s working at Blackberry making use of his university degree. Fast forward another 10 years he has his MBA and now working for another big corporation with some fancy title. I don’t think he’s earning minimum wage.
A lad from Mexico from the same store with similar beginnings also had a similar trajectory as my Pakistani ex-colleague. I’ll bet the both of them did better than any of us Canadian-born schmucks working at that store. We had every edge on them on paper. Comfort often breeds weakness.
Perhaps in the West we’re surprisingly melancholic because we often don’t capitalize on what is available to us. Centuries ago the great explorers jumped on a ship to seek out faraway undiscovered land without GPS, internet or multi-vitamins unknowing of the many horrific surprises that awaited them. We can attempt almost anything we wish, fail, not get scurvy and then have the opportunity to try again. Instead we often seek out what’s barely good enough thinking the comfort and mediocre cultural milestones will glide us joyfully through life. If you don’t dream at least a little bit then you might end up living a nightmare.
So far I’m as studious a piano student as one would predict judging from my past. In high school I was a C student at best. No one is going to yell at me now though because the only person who would gets paid $50 an hour not to. Included in that $50 is the service of restraining her internal thoughts. I’ll be dead and $3000 richer before he can play a song.
“I have no discipline,” I told her. Like many others I’m a seeker of low-class pleasures like sugar, jpegs, nap time. It’s a recipe for not getting as much out of life as possible. When they speak about me they might say I’m “good” at something but it’s really only relative to the people they associate with. If you’re not good enough to make money from something then you probably suck at it. Someone paying you to stop doing something doesn’t count.
With 30 years of teaching experience she can sniff out my practice regimen with great accuracy.
“You practice something for a while and then you stop.”
“You’re probably practicing the night before or the morning of.”
The sad part is that most of my minimal motivation comes from knowing that I have to face her every week. I can’t go in without at least some improvement.
She says 30 minutes a day is decent practice time. Two 30 minute sessions is even better. In theory I should be able to do this. I want to so I’m going to try.