This is huge.
I suspect that since the prison population has been getting whiter and whiter this last year, the conditions will improve significantly.
Sadly, this is not a New Concept. It’s been going on for centuries and it doesn’t just happen in the United States.
When I lived in Japan I heard from more than one source that it’s a common occurrence for people to pay their children’s way into prestigious schools, and even pay to push through their graduation when they technically should have failed. No one rich fails. It would be the most humiliating turn of events and cannot happen.
That is a chilling thought when you consider that people the world over are placed in high security and authority positions which actually require some knowledge, experience, and skill.
This recurred to me when the 2011 tsunami and earthquake hit Japan. The authorities in charge completely dropped the ball, exacerbating a radioactive disaster and did not follow through with proper aid to their citizens. Part of the reason is because a lot of them are incompetent from the beginning. It is a distinct tragedy.
There are people who have scraped through life and worked very hard to get where they are, who graduate with honors, and are still not considered for ivy league or executive positions because they don’t have the right connections. We’ve all pretty much known this, but now there is glaring confirmation.
Workin my hustle.
I didn’t think I would get offered a job so quickly, having just set foot out of school, nor did I think it would land me at City Hall.
Here today, enjoying the elegant marble floors and constructive meetings with supervisors’ legislative aides about conflict resolution in our city.
It all goes back to 2016. The wedding of my closest theatre friend and co-conspirator was happening and I was a crucial figure, in that I was carrying her dress. Rushing to the East Coast, spending a short time in New York before heading to the island that, much like Dali, pops back randomly into my conversations throughout life again and again. The island off Massachusetts, known as Martha’s Vineyard.
It was September, humid and heavy, the late summer not-quite-ready-for-fall mist hung over the streets. The smells of Manhattan were familiar and strangely exhilarating: rubber, urine, and hotdogs. Ah, my old city, how I love you, even though I am sweating like a pig right now and don’t know if I will sleep at all.
I touched upon favorite haunts and connected with family not seen for a decade before picking up a car in White Plains and driving the 95 through 4 states.
I love to drive, especially in strange places. Freedom and adventure is intoxicating. When the company that I performed with used to drive to Los Angeles for gigs, the director would hand me the keys to the car and say “Do not let those idiots touch these. You are driving and that is it.” It gave me a huge sense of pride to be the one manning the wheel, that I could be trusted as the others talked shit and drank for 7 hours. We always stopped for pie and pics, it was fun like that.
Cruising the coast of New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and arriving on the outskirts of Massachusetts in record time is no problem for me. “More Than a Feeling” by Boston actually came on the radio while making the turnoff from Boston and it felt like a strange, delightful blessing – a capper to this wonderful day. Yeah, the lyrics are sad, but who can resist such a solid rock ensemble and dynamic east coast vibe?
I stopped in an unfamiliar town and had the best mac and cheese of my life. Still talking about it, it was that amazing. Then, jetted down all the way to tiny Falmouth. The rental car lady was so tan and relaxed, it was clear that she had been spending the summer just outside, soaking in life, and I was ready to receive this solid earth energy.
After the ferry ride and a hasty trek across the island I found myself being offered blueberry wine by an old school friend of my host, and here I was shivering by a fire, hoping the wine would do its work. Happily listening to inane musings of good friends merged with loving strangers and family members, whose lore had only been shared with me by my friend (whom they were related to). To think, just that morning, I was still in New York and now here beside the continent, completely surrounded by water in a 400 year old farmhouse seemingly surrounded by ghosts and sudden sharp breezes. I felt a completeness here by the fire, having bonded with the relatives. It just felt right when the cousin from Long Island came bounding over and announced “I ran through the woods completely naked with him!” and pointed to our theatre friend from the city, who had also just made the acquaintance of the family shortly before. Yes, this lady was definitely related to our friend and we were all destined to be wonderful, wild friends with them.
The other cousin, he made “googly eyes” at me when I walked over to him. He sat by the hearth in a thick New England sweater and had one of those charming distinguished birthmarks where the hair in his short beard had a solid streak of white. “I’ve heard so much about you, now we finally meet”. We couldn’t stop laughing for some reason, the celebratory yet peaceful feeling in the air was palpable, as he proceeded to tell me stories of this strange, enchanting place and who was here before.