Sunday, April 10, 2011
After Mass today I watched a documentary about Bob Marley called "Rebel Music." There is a whole drawer full of Bob Marley and other reggae videos at the Video Room in the Chapel. I can check them out and watch them on a small TV with my headphones. I love Bob Marley's music.
I'm not so sure about worshiping Haile Selassie as a god. He was actually an orthodox Christian and he never made any divine or messianic claims. But Bob Marley still had good messages and good values in his songs. In my experience most people believe a few absurd things anyway.
I finished "Anarcho Grow," by T.A. Sedlak. It doesn't have a very happy ending. It doesn't say that much about either anarchism or horticulture. It's a little brutal. Now that the main character is brain damaged, where does the story go from here? Why does the CIA spook have to go around ogling teenage girls? What are we trying to imply? Ben Starosta needs to make a comeback and kick some ass.
While I was at the Chapel, I checked out "Philosophy of Religion," by David Elton Trueblood. Khalil the Chapel Librarian gave me an evil look. He's like my nemesis now. He's been watching me like a hawk ever since Lyric the Evil Gay French Jew accused me of stealing books and called me a "Book Thief."
Monday, April 11, 2011
I've been listening to the "Girls Rock" show in 88.9 The Pulse on Friday mornings from midnight to 2:00 AM. I wrote a letter to Dj Riot Grrrl and Dj Fembot yesterday asking them to play more songs by Miley Cyrus, Taylor Swift, and Selena Gomez.
Prison wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for all the other inmates. I never heard so much whining in my life. First one man whines because his brother doesn't talk to him when he gets more support from his brother than I do from my whole family. Another man gave me an earful because I skipped him in line for the washing machine. I thought we were going from left to right and somebody moved my bag over to the right. So I thought I was next.
He also complained because my clothes stank "like [I] never washed them." My clothes stank because I had to take out the trash this morning. The trash bags were wet and filthy and some of them ripped open on me. That is why I was washing my clothes. Who washes one pair of pants, one shirt, one sweater, one coat, and one hat? I don't want stinky clothes laying around my cell.
Then this Nazi gets on my case because I pulled his clothes out of the washing machine and put them on the dryer. He doesn't like people touching his clothes. I never heard anybody complain about that before. Now they're going around telling everybody and pointing me out to people. People take my clothes out of the washing machine and skip me all the time!
I practiced the banjo and the mandolin this afternoon. I played with Rob and Dave for a while. I'm getting better at both instruments. I need to learn all the notes on the banjo and start practicing with standard notation instead of tablature though.
It was very warm and breezy today, but it started raining heavily after I came back to the housing unit. We watched the rest of "Funny Girl" at Classic Movies tonight. After that we started "Zeigfeld's Follies." I got to see the real Fanny Bryce. Her nose wasn't nearly as big as Ms. Streisand's. But I'd still have to say that Babs was cuter. It's weird. I love the women dancers and the song about "glorifying the dames." Nothing like some good old-fashioned American sexism.
I finished "The Philosophy of Religion," by David Elton Trueblood. It turns out that I can read fairly quickly when I apply myself to finishing a book. It's a very thought-provoking book too. I had to agree with most of his conclusions. Now I'm going to tackle the "Autobiography of Mark Twain, Volume 1." Father Peter Harer of St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Lewisburg was nice enough to send me the Book of Common Prayer. Now I just have to figure out how it works.
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
I've been thinking about all the reasons why I hated the Army. People ask me about it all the time. They seem to think I must have gotten kicked out just because I'm in prison. In reality, it's a combination of the personal, the political, and my own deficiencies.
Firstly, I hate authority. I hate when people yell at me and tell me what to do. I don't want to boss other people around either. Crass displays of authority sicken and disgust me.
Secondly, I hate violence. I wont say it's always wrong to resort to violence. There are some circumstances in which it could be justified. It just makes me feel bad to hurt other people, even when they deserve it. I don't even like to hurt animals. It's not a good feeling.
Thirdly, I have no mechanical aptitude. It's very embarrassing because people know that I'm smart. My intelligence is mostly verbal and ideational though. I have very limited physical intelligence. I'm not good at using tools, working with machines, or manipulating physical objects. I just get a mental block and I can't deal with it.
Even the more intellectual parts of my job involved a lot of number crunching, manipulation of data, memorization of facts and figures, following complex step-by-step procedures, and working with electronics. I could handle it a little better but I still have to use the mathematical part of my brain which seems to be atrophied.
Fourthly, I hate P.T. I'm flat-footed, I have a heart murmur, and strenuous physical activity makes me feel sick and dizzy. I'd push myself as hard as I could, but I'd often feel like I was about to pass out. I was lucky to get into a mechanized unit. Whenever we got done with P.T. I'd feel so tired and sick I'd feel so tired and sick I'd be nauseous for hours. I should have gone to see a doctor, but I didn't want to admit that there was anything wrong with me. I was afraid that they would kick me out then.
Lastly, I've always been a big civil libertarian. I never trusted Bush and I did not believe for one minute that there were any WMDs in Iraq. The story that Saddam Hussein had been working with Al-Qaeda or that he was somehow involved in 9/11 was absurd on the face of it. I didn't believe that we could impose a democracy on Iraq by force. I didn't think it would even be desirable to do so.
What's so great about democracy? I hate when one man tells me what to do. It's even worse when millions of people get together to impose their rules and their values on me. The fact that I get a vote doesn't matter since I'm outnumbered anyway. It's like the old saying: "I'd rather live with one tyrant who lives 3,000 miles away than 3,000 tyrants who live one mile away." Nobody cares what you think anyway unless you have a lot of money and power.
Anyway I never saw any evidence that the Iraqis were prepared to govern themselves. If they wanted to get rid of Saddam Hussein, they should have overthrown him themselves. While I was there the Iraqis never took the initiative to do anything except kill Americans.
I've always suspected that 9/11 was a sinister plot by men inside our own government to take away our civil liberties and start foreign wars for oil. People will say that I'm a lunatic, but I know guys that will kill you for ten bucks. We know that most politicians and bureaucrats are lying, stealing cheats who have no morals, plus there are trillions of dollars at stake! Think about it.
I had no business joining the Army. What can I say? People made me feel like my own ideals and values were childish and impractical. I needed a job. I needed the money. I had no direction. I figured it could teach me good skills, discipline, and motivation. It would give me a good start in life.
It turned out that I was wrong. My own intuition told me that it was wrong and I should never have believed anybody else. I couldn't repress my feelings. I couldn't force myself to do something I had no interest in and didn't even believe in. It wasn't right for me and it wasn't even fair to the other soldiers, who needed somebody that could keep his head in the game.
After a while I didn't care about college anymore. I had no clue what I wanted to do with my life. I didn't even care whether I lived or died. It pushed me to the edge of insanity. I had to get out. I had to start living my own life. I had to give Uncle Sam the finger. It was the only way I could get my soul back.
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