Our penal system and more
Many years ago when I took criminal psychology at MSU, the professor talked about how the American penal system pendulumed back and forth between two philosophies: rehabilitation and punishment .. In other psychology classes, the stories about our 'mental health system' reminded me of the Spanish Inquisition and resembled medieval torture chambers more than anything else: shock therapy, lobotomy, and chemical shock (extreme doses of 'medications') .. Unfortunately, Jack Nicholson's character in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is closer to reality than we'd be comfortable with.
Twin studies indicate a remarkable preponderance of human preferences and dispositions. Even our preference for a particular flavor of icecream can be genetically determined. So.. Following this logic, schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive patterns, and any number of psychological ailments can be genetically 'predisposed'. Likely, there are neurochemical imbalances and neuron firing patterns associated with every brain ailment. It has been stated our brains have remarkable plasticity (adaptability). Combining our plasticity with neurochemical imbalances and neuron firing patterns creates a recipe for a segment of our global population always bent toward mental illness. More colloquially, there are some people that are virtually guaranteed to display mental illnesses.
In this sense, I don't believe in fate because the genetic markers associated with mental illness are discoverable, the neurochemical imbalances and neuron firing patterns are detectable, and therefore, all mental illnesses are feasibly treatable. The 'trick' is not the technology; the trick is getting people to care .. This brings us back to the American penal and mental health systems .. In the current public media, there is a teenage 'boy' who is being tried as an adult for an act of violence, four men associated with a teen-prostitution ring, and a girl that was abducted by a man posing as a teen .. The media has a tendency (as do we all) to blame the perpetrators for the crimes. It's too easy to 'point the finger' of blame on the perpetrators. But, our penal and mental health systems, our culture of mistrust, and most of all – our uncaring attitudes – are equally guilty. We cannot simply blame the pimps of the prostitution ring nor the teenage hookers who willingly participated. We cannot call a teenage boy a 'man' simply for the convenience of convicting him. It's either one way or the other; older 'kids' are adults or they are not; we cannot have it both ways .. Yes, I'm mixing theses in this essay so if you wonder 'where that came from', read some of my previous articles.
I propose we can solve most of our problems with a twofold change in attitude: change what we call 'adult' from 18 to 12 and implement a vigorous mental health research program outlined above complemented by an equally vigorous clinical side applying those discoveries to the mentally ill. We MUST change our attitudes about 'criminal behavior' – most of it is rooted in mental illness.. DNA and our twisted society create the theater for all violence, exploitation, and mental illnesses. We cannot blame the perpetrators anymore than we can blame the victims of exploitation/violence; we MUST blame society and our ill-founded structures of 'rehabilitation'. We need to totally revise our penal and mental health systems to accommodate the discoveries in research proposed above.
Blaming and locking up perpetrators solves nothing. Treating a particular minor as an adult is duplicitous. 'Sweeping things under the rug' solves nothing .. Americans are all-too-eager to label and condemn/dismiss because it's the easiest thing to do next to simply ignoring .. Some might be curious why I proposed 12 and not 16 or even 8. Why not? ..As discussed in previous essays, in the history of human civilization, we've declared 'adult' as the time when young people could reproduce.. Our twisted preference of juvenilizing youth is a modern oddity.. The baby-boomers seem to never want their kids to grow up. Perhaps they missed something in their own youth – it's difficult to explain.. The generations that follow seem to be using the boomers twisted views 'as a guide' :( ..The violence we see on TV.. (I'm now talking about war, the MIC, and all the guilt floating around the net associated with warmongering – two examples – a story about a dog who lost his master in one of the recent wars and a man who lost his legs in another conflict being praised in the special olympics). The media is specifically geared to: implicitly defend the MIC, lay guilt on us who don't believe in war, and generally try to coerce us toward some stance (or set of stances). The violence we do with our military is 'okay' as long as it's done in some 'far away land'. But four men creating a teen-prostitution ring are 'very bad criminals' and therefore should be locked away in a prison (state sponsored room and board for as long as they want). This is not punishment. And it's not rehabilitation. It's America isolating men to become gay and die in a cesspool of HIV/AIDS and then ignoring them.
As I keep reminding you dear reader: American media is specifically engineered/tailored to 'tow the line of the status quo': the MIC, our warmongering, our bullying attitude, our tendency (now a glaring preponderance) to label and condemn/dismiss,.. Heaven forbid you look at an underage girl 'the wrong way'.. Heaven forbid you text her something innocent on facebook .. We now use facebook and Google products/services as the equivalent of Big Brother. Why? Because the elites of our society want to micromanage our emotions and attitudes.. Anyone who uses facebook or Google products has all of their conversations, texts, and emails accessible to 'authorities'. Make sure you fully understand that anything you type into a facebook conversation or Google-chat is accessible by someone else. And you may not like what they do with that.
Quite recently, I'm treated by some in my neighborhood as something of a 'pariah'.. Not everyone; just some.. In my interactions with everyone, I'm pretty carefree and innocent (naïve). I do have a lot of opinions (as you can see by my essays/articles) and I freely express them to anyone I meet.. I never try to dominate another with my views.. I simply assert my views and right to have an opinion. Some take my views the wrong way and again, because it's easier to label/dismiss/condemn, take the easy way and label me (behind my back) a: pedophile, pervert,.. My memories of when I was seven seem like yesterday.. I haven't changed much since then.. In some ways, I haven't changed at all. I'm still insanely curious about everything, love life, love sharing love, loyal to family and friends, and have a reasonably clean heart ;) ^^ I recently joked with a friend on facebook how I'm 'a seven year old boy trapped in a 49 year old body' ;) The conversation was moving in a negative direction so I tried my best to guide it away toward a more positive direction.. In the end, we agreed to disagree but she was obviously disturbed by my stances. 'In protest' (to Big Brother and our bent toward labeling etc), I deactivated my account .. Over the last few days, I have unfriended everyone on facebook, deleted all conversations, deleted all my photos, changed my password to something I'd easily forget, and permanently deactivated my account.
Of course, I still love my friends.. Unfriending them on facebook only means I don't like that system .. Google is not much better but.. ^^ What else do we have? Skype? Msn? Yahoo? ^^ ..Gone are the days when we could simply call our friends up and have a truly private heart-to-heart.. 8| ..We're trapped in little boxes we've allowed ourselves to be placed in.. Almost everything we type into our computers can be monitored, every website we visit,.. What's the point? ^^ ..The news anchors reporting about the abducted girl encouraged all parents to monitor their kids' conversations.. As if this attitude will 'fix' anything.. It only encourages our culture of mistrust, labeling/dismissing/condemning,.. ~ ..Like anyone, I simply want to love and be loved, I consider it one of my 'missions in life' to inspire others,.. Yet all some people want to do about me is: gossip, back-stab, denigrate, label, dismiss, exclude,.. Again, what are my 'crimes'? To care? To love? To believe in others? This American tendency to pigeonhole others, label, condemn/dismiss,.. To put a box around them using internet communications.. Is unforgivable and deplorable.
I started to type a brief article called: 1000 years hence? And went something like this.. Should I come back in a 1000 years when we don't:
automatically label/condemn/dismiss people who don't share our values?
use them as our new whipping-boy?
blame all problems on them?
project all the evils of our past onto them?
..The list was longer but.. I forget them.. My high-IQ friend Rita suggests they're 'stupid' but I feel that label of them is unfair.. Likely the elite of our society would label them 'trailer trash'.. Or perhaps 'white trash'.. Both of those labels are also unfair.. People are people; we all need love, respect, and trust.. Even me :P So.. My points? Competing for friendship is not friendship. A recently estranged friend 'won' those other facebook friends from me (we met them at the same time at the pool).. She had an expression difficult to describe on her face last time I saw her.. Contempt? Smugness? Perhaps a combination of those.. (Some years ago, I took an evaluation to determine whether or not I could accurately perceive emotions – it was a very interesting exercise – I 'failed' miserably – lesson? Don't always think you know what other people are feeling from their expressions or body-language.) ^^ But their behavior at the pool and on facebook indicate to me – they're unwilling to continue our friendship: they ignored me and corralled their kids away from me (normally, I'd play with their kids as 'uncle Sam').. ^^ Why? Because they gossiped behind my back and determined I'm a 'bad man'? The bottom line is: they don't trust me; they mistrust me; they don't want to associate with me..
I know I cannot equate their immature attitude with the immaturity of our society but.. It's a fair indicator of the 'mood of the times' (German: zeitzeichen). 8| Lame lame lame. If the zeitzeichen currently is: mistrust, label/condemn/dismiss, lock-up and throw away the key, punish over rehabilitate, and not develop the required technology/understanding of mental illness and 'criminal behavior', not care,.., is it worth 'hanging around'? Is this planet really for me? ..Many years ago, I invented the humorous perspective that we're all tourists here; visitors on this planet.. ^^ I joked in my writings at that time (back in the 80s – no internet sorry): “I want my money back.” Which 'coincidentally' is a line from a recent Lenka song WOW! Talk about 'coincidence'! Talking about coincidences.. During that time, I developed a Three Way chess game [big eyes] .. and.. Guess what I saw recently on a Big Bang Theory episode? [big eyes] Wow .. Back to the pool-drama.. The estranged friend mentioned above stopped talking to me in facebook and phone-text.. She and her new friends absolutely 'love' facebook [puke .. he .. big eyes] Facebook, gossip, hypocrisy, judgmentalness,.. You can have 'em. Frak it.
If the current generation can so easily be side-tracked/deluded/led-astray by boomers and their version of insanity (the LHC, American domination, micromanagement of our thots and feelings, and their inane superficial/materialistic 'morality'), I NEVER want to be associated with them. My brother and some website said up to '64 is considered part of the boomers but.. I refuse to be associated with them. Boomers are fowl of sheet. :( Especially if they're represented by the current zeitzeichen.. I'd rather just 'move on' (take my turn on the Indigo Planet). [big eyes .. he]
Don't get me wrong; I love humanity but.. When the primary emotion becomes pity – between you and other human beings.. You gotta wonder if it's really 'worth it' hanging around such a silly place.. ;)~ Instead of Gug Adams “mostly harmless”, perhaps we should go with Monty Python's “It's a silly place.” ^^ :P “We're knights of the round table..” :P
love and hugs, sam