April Showers Bring May Flowers...
E-Mail by Michael Tenneson Bio/Address
I wonder what April snow storms will bring? I'm glad I'm not superstitious or I would
really be in a bad psychological state of affairs... I must say that this last four months
as Commentary Editor of the Cell Door Magazine has been very rewarding, but
like all double-edged swords, it cuts both ways.
When I began this column I made a tentative decision not to "bash" the system just for the sake of exercising my own ego, or taking cheap shots at people with whom I may, or may not agree. Not only have I restrained my own emotional outbursts, I have gone to great lengths to remain fair, objective and patient with my captors. But, I cannot help but wonder what their true motives are in the draconian, paranoid ignorant policies they seem to come up with on a day-to-day basis. I also cannot help but wonder what manner of ignorance and mismanagement is running rampant in the undercurrents of fiefdom politics which dominates the everyday displays of ineptitude by agrarian-pig-farmers masquerading as corrections professionals. I can say with conviction, though, that it is now very clear to me why so many messed up people come to prison, and they leave even more screwed up than when they came in!
Enclosed this month are two items that I thought were particularly interesting:
Why would I bore you with my letter to the Warden? Well check it out and give me some
feed back on it if you will - as well as the Together
We Can Stop the Madness proposal that was sent to "these" people
last Winter - Since then I have lost my mural painting job: had my watercolors taken away,
and could go into some pretty interesting things that seemed to coincidentally have
happened as a form of subtle retaliation (but it's probably just my imagination...). Why
is it that it is so damned hard for someone to try and do something good in prison? Why
does the prison system go so far out of it's way to be sure that even the simplest little
entrepreneurial, and educational ventures are repressed?
You know why? It's because prisons are not in the business to rehabilitate people! The simplest and most guarded secret in the prison industry is this: Prisons make their money on how many living bodies they can contain - they do not make their money on how many get out and stay out! So, the goal of a prison is to keep as many people in prison at any given time as possible. Period!
I can imagine the chagrin that may be worn on the faces of some of you who are reading this article, wondering, "Can this dude be for real? Is he some paranoid, cynical nut? Is he just another disenfranchised inmate who is crying the blues?" It seems that those are many of the attitudes that are prevalent in society, regarding prisoners complaints, but ... what most of you don't realize is that the reason so many of us come out of prison worse than when we went in is because that is the way the system wants it - prisons are places where people are taught to continue to fail! The politicians don't care, so long as you keep paying your taxes and giving them carte blanche to embezzle your money and misappropriate it to their own pork-barrel projects. The prison administrators and guards don't care either, because they make their money off of our failures - they don't want us getting out and staying out, for obvious reasons.
Until society demands more from these so-called "experts" you will continue to receive the same old bullshit, and ... pay a higher cost for even less.
So, the reason I have presented the materials offered this month is so that you can see for yourselves what a real-life hard-core prisoner's struggles are like. I have spent 18 years taking part in these kinds of struggles, and am really no further ahead today than I was when I started. Do I say the hell with it, and quit? Should I just resign myself and relinquish my fight for a kinder, better world? Isn't it very ironic that a person in my unlikely position is trying to make people see that violence, hatred, and vengeance are not the answer ... ? I have found that out the hard way. Who better to walk around advocating for people to not play with matches, than one who has been burned from head to toe ... ?
I am really confused this month. Can somebody tell me what time it is... apparently my watch is not working.
Who would believe that a dreg of humanity...
would and could cry for the collective soul of humanity ...