Tuesday, December 13, 2005


Lately I've been thinking. And you know what that means. No mere drizzle here, folks. Full-on t-storm is what that means. Take a step back and let a brother rhapsodize.

First of all, I was thinking about how to improve our nation's prison system. I'll admit it's something I think of often. I've thought of it most recently, in fact, in response to the death of the left's most recent subject of poorly placed and misguided sympathy, Tookie Williams, who I'm pretty sure did kill those people, since other people saw him do it. Remember in Dead Man Walking when you were all like, "Maybe he didn't do it. Maybe he's an innocent man!" But then later in the film, right before he's executed, he admits to it, and then you're all like, "Well, maybe he never would have come to this resolution if it weren't for the eminence of his state-sanctioned death!" Which, when I think about it, probably isn't the point of the film. Needless to say, I'm not going to change anybody's minds about the death penalty and as far as I'm concerned it's the stupidest thing (economically, politically, and morally speaking) our government does. But to be honest, I don't have any ideas to solve the problem of capital punishment, save scrapping it for good. You know what I do have an idea for? Fucking revolutionizing the entire penal system, that's what.

Pardon me while I grab your ear.

What if...prisoners were allowed to not only have jobs, but they were able to apply for and take on increasingly more difficult jobs? What if there were a separate and non-transferable jail currency which prisoners could "spend" on better living accomodations, "purchasing" an education, better food, clothing, the works. In other words, the longer you work at your job, the more jail money (J-Money) you have. The more difficult your job is and the more people you are responsible for, the better your wage. Once you've saved up enough J-Money you can "rent" a better jail cell, with a more comfortable bed, more space, etc. If you choose not to work, you get a shit cell. You eat shit food. If you have J-Money, then you can purchase more food, food which is healthier and more fresh. And so on. The foreseeable problems are corruption and intimidation which would certainly occur at the onset of the J-Money Market Penal Economy. But given time, this system would not only reward those who worked the hardest, it would also give them the workplace and education skills needed to succeed in life outside of prison.

You think I'm finished? What are you, INSANE! I'm just getting started, you negroes, mulattos, mestizos, caucasios, pistachios, and Japanese.

Stand back while I light this fire.

What if...someone were to write a story reprising the great story of the Trojan War, set in contemporary times. And, uh, and the woman, instead of Helen, is, like, a celebrity, because we, like, worship celebrities now. And what if it were like, you know, Angelina Jolie, right, and she went to North Korea to help feed little starving concentration-camp Korean kids, and Kim Jong-il kidnaps her, because he's bat-shit nuts and he's waaaay into movies and he's already kidnapped famous people from South Korea, and so anyway he kidnaps her and keeps her in his palace and forces her to make a movie about how awesome North Korea is and the whole time he's, like, blackmailing the United States and he's like, "Give me 40 Billion Dollars or I'm going to kill her after I make this movie with her," and then there's this huge debate in the United States about what to do, because some people are like, "She's just a no-good do-gooder liberal pinko Hollywood actor, why do I care if she dies, she shouldn't have gone there in the first place," but then other people are like, "But she's a true humanitarian and she's helped so many unfortunate people and also she's fucking smoking hot," so it's like a blue-state, red-state thing, and eventually it just becomes the last straw for the President, who has been having problems with North Korea already, and we go to war with them and nuclear bombs are set off and it's the beginning of this huge, you know, thirty-year war, and if there are even history books and people alive after the whole ordeal, it'll go down as a war over a woman. A very beautiful, full-lipped, large-breasted, home-wrecking, sultry woman. Think about THAT, you fucking mestizos.

Oh, American Mastodon, how could you possibly have any more ideas! Those were amazing! No single human mind can come up with more brilliance than that!

Prepare for warp-speed-amazing. Rocket boosters...IGNITE!

What if...okay, so you know how they have rodeos and they're a really big deal, and they're even kind of fun to watch on ESPN2 late at night when you're sitting on the couch wondering what your life has become and if you'll ever be a success at anything? Well, have you ever thought to yourself, "This is sort of cruel and inhumane, because these poor horses aren't living free; they're just raised for this purpose and then put in a ring for our sport and lassoed and ridden around on and maybe if there were still mustangs in the wild, then they could film actual cowboys riding out into some remote area of Wyoming and rope some wild mustangs, and they make a competition out of THAT, sort of like in The Misfits, and then at the end they let the horses go like they do on the fishing shows, because it's about the SPORT of the thing and if you have a great reverence for the animals, then you are also a steward of the land and of the fragile ecosystem of our Western states."

Wellllll....they could totally do that! But it couldn't be horses. It'd have to be wild hogs. There are tons of wild hogs all over America and they're quite a nuisance, so nobody really minds if you kill them. Maybe a few pussies do, but most people don't. And the best way to kill them is to hunt them with dogs and the dogs corner them at the base of a tree or something and then the hunters bring up the rear and grab the back legs of the hogs and sort of wrestle to them ground, which would be AWESOME to watch on television. After the hogs are caught, they could either be killed (sort of the HBO version) or just roped and thrown in a cage in the back of a pickup truck (ABC Family version). And you get, like, ten of the best hog-hunting teams in the country and you gather them together in the Ozarks or something and film the contest like it's the most awesome reality show ever, which it would be. But I mean, fuck the stadium seating and the bright lights and the controlled atmosphere. I know what people want, and people want to see some back-country, swamp-foxy Confederate Army motherfuckers wrestling fucking feral hogs in a fucking swamp in Louisiana.

I mean, for seriously people, I usually don't give this shit out for free. Is it your lucky day or what?


Evan Belfi said...

Money in prison? Craig, it's quite obvious who would work and who would not. Then we would have to hear you cry about the class inequalitites and inherent unfairness towards those on the bottom rungs of the socioeconomic penal system. We would also have new problems involving extortion, loansharking, bribery, laundering, and all other forms of corruption taking place within the prisons. It's probably not a good idea to give prisoners a means to hold power over one another while behind bars. All in all, I think we should keep prisoners busy with the things they are good at: anal rape, weightlifting, and shiving one another. Jeez Craig, pull your head out of your ass.

Mathis said...

Classic Belfi. Give the guy a hundred dollar bill and he'll complain that you didn't give him five of them.

The more I think about this system, the more I like it. It's not like this money is real; merely credits that can be redeemed. As long as the warden and the guards are honest and incorruptible (which, seeing as how most are Republicans, means they must be watched and not trusted), then the system will eventually work.

I give you an amazing idea and you shit on it. It's like shitting on top of a ice cream cone.

I'd tell you to get your head out of your ass, but I don't which is which!


T.S. Farmhand said...

Whatever you had for breakfast, have some more and pass the plate. This is Grade A material.

Can't help myself from "riffing" on your ideas:

1) The funding for your J-money scheme could be raised by creating reality television shows, Apprentice-style, that track the most competitive and successful prisoners. These shows could be hosted by Mr. T. Instead of "firing" unsuccesful prisoners, they "go to the hole!"

2) The retelling of the Trojan War is pretty much perfect. If it was Angelina Jolie, then Brad Pitt could lead the Army just like he did in the movie. Brad Pitt could get interviewed by Barbara Walters to recruit volunteers for the Army and imply that only pussies wouldn't be scared to go fight the North Koreans.

3) What if there was just a show called, "Catch and Release," and each week a different species was hunted, captured/tranqualized, then released? Or they could actually shoot the animal, like a turkey or a monkey, and have emergency surgeons on hand to save the animal's life and then reward the animal with a luxurious life of freedom as a pet to some Hollywood star? The wild animal/now pet could then have its own reality television show.

Mathis said...

Sometimes I just sit and wonder at the amazing cosmological coincindence that brought you, Mr. Farmhand, and I, Mr. Mastodon, under the same roof and born into this world from the same parents. It's like Einstein and Newton being brothers or something.

Should we take this offline? Are we doing a disservice by airing these ideas so publicly? Goddamn, we're on FIRE.

Evan Belfi said...

You are correct on one point Craig: my ideas are worth way more than 100 dollars and therefore I would feel justifiably upset by such miniscule appropriation. Believing that guards would be honest and incorruptible is like believing that your sand dollar-sized nipples are actually worth 2 dollars. And since most prison guards belong to strong and very corrupt unions, one can therefore deduce that they most likely vote for welfare state democrats. On top of all that, since my ass and head are both equally handsome, I can understand your difficulty in deciding which to address.

Mathis said...

For one thing, don't use my name. There are millions of people who read this site and if they divine my true identity I'll have to move out of my apartment and get a new identity, and we don't want that.

Second of all, talking to you is like talking to a monkey. I say stuff and say stuff and I don't think anything is getting through but everyone once in awhile you clap your hands or smile or something so I think, "well, maybe he understands what I'm saying," but really, you're only shrieking and jumping up and down and laughing because you just shit your pants and you think it's funny.

Trevor Jackson said...

I think a Mr. T comeback--one that stretches beyond collect-call commercials--is long overdue. I might even get myself thrown in prison just for a chance to be on a show hosted by Mr. T.

Ian said...

Jesus. Did everyone chug an extra glass of long-windedness today?

I knew it was you, Craig!