Advanced Recidivism Conditioning by Danny Cherry
I had been torn from my sleep again by the continuous music that had blared from multiple offender's tablets, since they had been introduced into the Indiana State Reformatory - I was exhausted and sleep deprived. I would not have cared too much if the surrounding offenders had elected to blast symphonies, but they had chosen to broadcast toxic rap songs that promoted illegal drug distribution, illegal drug use, violence and sexual promiscuity. I wondered whether or not those African American offenders realized that they had become Realtime authentic Black Face performers; they were Modern Day Minstrels. What was more troublesome, however, was the fact that custody staffers were allowing offenders to violate policy without disciplinary action. Speakers were always removed from televisions which meant that offenders had altered their headphones in order to play their music at maximum loudness. I purchased foam earplugs which only suppressed, but did not completely eliminate the noise. Eventually, my body adjusted to its new chaotic environment - about one month - and I did not even require earplugs anymore - the constant distractions did not hinder my creativity; they fed it.
I had tried many times over the course of one week to access the Indiana Department of Correction's education app on my tablet, but availed nothing. Every time I selected "Learn Now" I received a message - after a brief search by the device - that said, "Unable to connect to education server." The IDOC education app could be downloaded for free every seven days. Khan Academy had a multitude of videos, lectures and tutorials in academia that ranged from rudimentary to advanced subjects. I had assimilated the majority of those in the Arts and Humanities section, but also wanted to absorb the others on Biodiversity, Epistemology and the Theory of Everything. The less important apps - music, games - were connecting without any problems. The fact that the most significant app - education - was inaccessible was abundant evidence of the Indiana Department of Correction's true objective - to breed recidivists.
I was appalled by what I saw when I turned to the offender information channel. The Indiana Department of Correction's chief communication officer - Ike Randolph - wanted offenders to submit essays about Buster and Sebastian - cats living in Pendleton's honor dorm. Those essays would be featured on IDOC's Facebook page dedicated to Buster and Sebastian and would reveal "prison life through the eyes of [cats]" by describing "how [Buster and Sebastian] survive in prison." The project was seeking to "bring to life compassion for feral cats..." but above all "[IDOC hoped] to make [Buster and Sebastian] famous." I chuckled - the IDOC's employees were such amateurs - even a blind person could see the IDOC's pathetic attempt to deter, or rather, distract offenders from pursuing more profitable rehabilitative practices while it simultaneously established a delusional conduit that the IDOC intended to use to request more funds from the state.
"They're ready for their close-ups Mr. Deville," I shouted boisterously; I had never laughed so hard in my life.
I woke up swinging and kicking for dear life. I should have known better than to sleep after having seen those gruesomely merciless killings in one of the Pendleton's weekend movies - Loving Pablo. The prison was showing a total of eight films including Crazy Rich Asians - I loved Michele Yeoh - which meant that I had to switch periodically to Pendleton's movie channel in order to catch Crazy Rich Asians from the beginning. During that process I stumbled upon a movie where young latino men were being kidnapped at gunpoint - Immediately the movie jumped to a scene where they were lined up on their knees at the top of a hill being shot one by one in the back of their heads. One image had been implanted deep within my subconscious - a young kid was quaking with fear in anticipation of his inevitable execution; I had to flush that poison out of my mind.
I spent the entire morning and afternoon watching My Fair Lady on my tablet. That evening I listened to specific pieces of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker because I knew that they would enrapture me to the most glorious moment in my childhood - the instant I realized that I was a fabulously strange and delicate creature that loved rough boys. Later that night, I indulged in everything that I could find by Beyonce then topped off with Madonna's La Isla Bonita. That night I dreamt that I was in Buckingham Palace having high tea and scones with Queen Elizabeth the Second, Princess Margaret and Duchess Kate - they were all complimenting me on my exquisitely tailor-made Burberry suit; the Queen especially loved my royal blue ascot.
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