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:

  1. An essay by Steven King Ainsworth, entitled, The Drumbeat. I feel this essay should hang on the wall of every pro-life advocate in the country. It amazes me that in a country where we claim such great religious pride and are so ritualistically pious and pure in our Sunday church garb - how could we be so blind to the true tenets of our celebrated Bible? A teacher once told me that the most important truth to adhere to in reading the Bible is "Context, context, context!" Meaning that all things in the Bible are clear, when read and understood in the proper context. For any who would call themselves Christian, or Catholic today, I would study your theology very critically, for it is clearly written in your book that "thou (meaning YOU) shalt not kill!" The message is absolutely clear.
  2. Another essay entitled Life is Fleeting, Monotonously by Lawson Strickland takes me to a place that few in the free world can even begin to understand, yet few in prison can escape ... I cried when I read it, for it is every day in hell, here on earth, prison. A mind thing.

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 ...

Michael Tenneson

Hit Counter