Prisoners are persons whom most of us would rather not think about. Banished from everyday sight, they exist in a shadow world that only dimly enters our awareness. They are members of a "total institution" that controls their daily existence in a way that few of us can imagine. "[P]rison is a complex of physical arrangements and of measures, all wholly governmental, all wholly performed by agents of government, which determine the total existence of certain human beings (except perhaps in the realm of the spirit, and inevitably there as well) from sundown to sundown, sleeping, walking, speaking, silent, working, playing, viewing, eating, voiding, reading, alone, with others. . . ." It is thus easy to think of prisoners as members of a separate netherworld, driven by its own demands, ordered by its own customs, ruled by those whose claim to power rests on raw necessity. -- Justice William Brennan, dissenting in O’Lone v. Estate of Shabazz, 482 U.S. 342, 354-55 (1987).

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Prison Break Revisited

In an earlier post , I wondered whether I would be able to watch Prison Break (as well as 24 and American Idol) in prison. Well, I have the answer.

Not only can you watch Prison Break and 24 in prison, they are the only two shows that are shown in the theatre. Yes, you read that right; we have a movie theatre here.

My dorm floor has 2 TV rooms with a total of 7 TVs. There are also several other TV rooms on the campus. I wouldn't be surprised if there are a total of 50 TVs here.

Anyone can watch TV, but you have to buy a radio headset from the commissary to listen to them. It is the only way many people can watch multiple TVs in the same room.

Apparently, Prison Break and 24 are so popular that they are both broadcast in the theatre which of course means you don't need a headset there.

Normally movies are shown on Friday and Saturday night. I missed Happy Feet Friday night. Yea, that's right. I'm sorry, but I find the idea of federal inmates watching those dancing penguins to be irresistibly hilarious.

Last night (Sat 3/31), I decided to attend Pursuit of Happyness. Half the camp must have been there -- over 300 people.

As hilarious as it may be picturing imates watching Happy Feet, Pursuit of Happyness is an entirely different movie.

At home, I doubt anyone in the theatre could personally identify with Mr. Gardner's struggles (played by Will Smith); it would be just an inspiring movie. In prison though, I bet half the inmates knew exactly what he was going through.

In the first half of the movie, The Rubik's Cube appeared to symbolize the frustration and apparent impossibility of the challenges he faced. They guy next to me said, "Why doesn't he just peel off the stickers and reapply them?" I said, "That kind of thinking is what gets you in prison."


Mumu said...

Hi Bill!

Very interesting blog you have here, a click on Adsense brought here, to be honest I'm lazy to read all the posts but I liked the things I managed to notice, I still dunno why you're in prison, hope I'm not talking to a really dengerous criminal LoL!

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Paul Eilers said...

I find it interesting that real prisoners watch TV shows about prison. (What, no "Cool Hand Luke"?)

Also, I have both read the book and seen the movie, "The Pursuit of Happyness". The movie absolutely cannot touch the book. In fact, having read the book first, I was sorely disappointed in the movie.

I highly recommend the book.


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