Americans, by and large, are terrible at math. We hate it. Anything to do with numbers is tedious and a little bit intimidating, so we normally avoid numbers and the disciplines that are based on them.
Likewise, we don’t like politics. For a nation forged by violent revolution, we ironically have little stomach for politics and for the nonsense that typically comes with it. We’re generally an apolitical people, tending toward “moderate” and toward “independent,” which means we are generally in the middle of the road, which means most of us have no strong opinion one way or another… and we are suspicious of those kinds of people who have strong opinions one way or another.
In Ohio prisons, pretty much everyone is in a gang whether they’re in a gang or not. If you’re an Ohio prisoner and you’re not in a gang, prison administrators will put you in one. And if there’s no gang for you, they’ll just create a new one.
The reason is, it’s a federal bloc grant swindle. Here’s how it works:
The U.S. Department of Justice keeps a kind of database on what it calls “Security Threat Groups,” or STGs, not to be confused with STDs, or “sexually transmitted diseases.” The Department of Justice does not monitor chlamydia or gonorrhea. Yet. At least, as far as I know.
We are through the looking glass. Down the rabbit hole.
In 2012, prison fascists and the Federal Bozos of Intimidation decided that I was Monkey #4 of the Army of the 12 Monkeys. They didn’t consult me. Didn’t get my consent for turning me into a monkey. They just did it. And it was pretty painful.
Since then, prison fascists have repeatedly attributed “gang activity” to me, making it clear that I’ll be Monkey #4 for the rest of my life. No matter what I do, they’ll never let me out of this “gang.” My every effort to extricate myself, prison fascists dragged me back into it, kicking and screaming.
In case you missed the several years of my ramblings, I’m in the custody of an agency that calls itself the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction. Of course, anyone with any sense who has seen this shit-show in action knows that it’s really the Oppressive Department of Retribution and Corruption. That is, the folks who run this program are not really interested in rehabilitating or correcting anyone. In fact, they have no motive to benefit anyone in custody whatsoever. At best, corrections staff are apathetic. At their worst, they’re deliberately malicious toward their captives.
Great news: Last Act of the Circus Animals is now available for sale by Little Black Cart publishers, wherever good books are stolen. And since I like cheese puffs, and I’d like to be able to afford to buy cheese puffs, I have to convince all of you ski-mask-clad machete-wielding molotov-throwing savage-cannibal maniacs to buy copies of Last Act of the Circus Animals. So, I figured I’d share with you how Last Act got written. You know, the story behind the story.
Everything I’m about to tell you is absolutely true, except for the parts I made up.
According to the Associated Press, Lebanon, Ohio– the area surrounding this prison –is dealing with a serious monkey problem. Folks in the local area have taken pictures of monkeys that appear to be flourishing in the forests and wild spaces surrounding the town. Officials claim the monkeys were probably pets that were released.
The monkey infestation in Lebanon, Ohio, made national news. I would suggest to you, however, that officials have it wrong and that these monkeys are not merely released pets. These monkeys are really trained operatives in a ground-breaking, earth-shattering clandestine program to destroy swivelization.
I have an important announcement. You may want to sit down for this. On second thought, it’s really exciting, so you may want to stand up. I don’t know. If you’re sitting down, feel fre to stay seated, and if you’re standing, that’s cool too. Or laying down.
Wow. I didn’t know it was going to be this complicated. So many options.
On 18 July, Hamilton County, Ohio, Prosecutor Joe Deters announced that his office would not pursue a third trial of former University of Cincinnati police officer Ray Tensing. Tensing had pulled over Sam DuBose in what has been characterized as a routine traffic stop. Tensing is white. Sam DuBose was black. Tensing, a white officer, shot DuBose, a black man, in the head during this routine traffic stop.
By the way, the t-shirt that Tensing wore that day when he shot Sam DuBose in the head had a confederate flag on it.
Matthew Salser is an oil-war-era army combat veteran. He’s been diagnosed with some pretty serious psychological disorders. In fact, a decent argument could be made that Salser ended up in prison as an indirect result ofnhis mental health struggles and his inability to function.
So, Salser entered the custody of the Ohio Department of Retribution and Corruption with a mental health file as thick as a phone book with multiple shrinks having all drawn the same conclusions, independent of one another. These shrinks had, additionally, prescribed Salser medications they all say he needs in order to function.
So when he got to prison, the prison shrinks deferred to the professionals who trated Salser for years and years and continued his medications, right? Well, no. The prison shrinks dismissed all of the prior diagnoses and took Salser off of all of his meds.
I think this would be the perfect time to re-visit the topic of “convergences.” I’ve advocated this as a strategy before but I think now, more than ever, with gas prices being what they are, and the mass availability of electronic communications, “convergences” are the wave of the future.
The theory is a synthesis of some really good ideas that worked– from the WTO protest in Seattle to the Invisible Committee’s ideas about establishing communes; from the Occupy movement to proposals to “block everything,” creating choke-points. Here’s how I see it working: