ninja

fulldamage

Raised by Wolves

Gaki: writing myself Real


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spiderblood
fulldamage

No Saving Throw

After explaining my situation, the hell of DMV limbo, and the unavailability of any weekend public transport down the coast, I said, "If it please the court, I'd like to ask if I could serve my community service sentence in San Francisco. That way I can use public transport to get there whether or not I can drive."

The judge is wearing an expression that belongs to Officer Zero. You have met Officer Zero. Officer Zero sits across the counter from you if there is a counter present, in front of you if there is not, and knows that you are wrong and it is right. When next you see Officer Zero, you will recognize it for what it is. "You are always wrong, or you would not be here," thinks Officer Zero, a husk who's humanity has been momentarily been suppressed by the self-propagating entity of the State.

"I don't think we do that," she says.

I inform her that I had talked to the county clerk's office in San Francisco, who said community service sentences were certainly transferrable there. Santa Clara's policy didn't allow to sentences to be transferred IN, but there was nothing on the books forbidding them from being transferred out.

A judge, outside of the movies, cannot be debated with. The judge's role in things is to be undebateable. And Officer Zero has many things to do today.

"I think your best option is to serve in the weekend in-program, for your 19 day sentence. Friday evenings to Sunday noon. You'll be credited for three days per weekend."

The State is not there to help you. The State exists to propagate itself. Helping resolve your situation reasonably so that you can handle your life more productively and be happier about doing it does not generate money in an immediate sense (a virus cannot know that it would benefit by finding ways to make you stronger rather than weaker). Putting bodies in cells: that makes money. It generates immediate revenue. The State does not arrest people to keep you safe. They do it to generate revenue. Tickets are not there to keep fire lanes open. They generate revenue. Prostitutes and petty criminals are not assigned a whopping fine to rehabilitate them, and where are they supposed to get the money? It doesn't matter, because they will either come up with it, or they will commit a jailable offense in lieu of it, which is just as profitable to the State. Revenue is the blood of the State, and Officer Zero is its' bloodservant.

By presenting a weakness, I had hoped to show the State that I was willing to serve the moral and physical obligations for my misdemeanor if they could help me to accomplish that. What I did instead, was let a Hungry Thing smell blood.

I reviewed my options. I could roll the dice on acquiring my suspended license by my next sentencing date, but betting on DMV expediency is a fool's game. And I had seen the judge put a man into immediate custody for trying to reschedule too many times.

kingsnake offered to drive me every weekend morning, an hour's journey even by car, leaving at 6:30 am, for over two months. So did the pirate girl I work with. I deeply appreciated the offers. I will tough this one out, because it's my mess and needs to be over with by my hand.

But see. See truly. Don't miss this. I work as a contractor with no health insurance, no benefits, I pay my full share of taxes, there is no social security for me. I will be doing time on weekends for a first offense, to keep me out of trouble. I am the future. Every day penalties for nonviolent offenses get harsher; every day it gets easier to get sent up. They will raise fines again, for DUI offense, for example. But will they put the money into installing mandatory ignition-mounted breathalyzers on more vehicles? Into putting more traffic checkpoints on party nights, or increasing the quality of educational programs? It will never happen, not while there is room for another jail to be built. As education strangles, population rises, public services fail and military spending increases, this country, whose strength and heart comes from being proud, proud of itself and what it can do... those things are being eaten away. They are bringing the third world home.

Perhaps we deserve it. Perhaps we are Rome in the latter days, corpulent and bloated with our own monstrous success, staggering through the light cast by glories past, towards a fall we should have seen coming. You may be on your way to being reduced to an inconsequential algorithm on the Dow Jones. That may be an inevitability, but if you're reading this, then probably at least there's food in your tummy and a roof over your head, even a degree of privacy sometimes. For now.

I don't know, myself, how to get out of the box we've painted ourselves into. I will be thinking on it, during my time served, and I think so should you. Because if we're going to have a future that is not a bloody nightmare, it will not come from the State, nor the current Administration. The System is diametrically opposed to the kind of change we need. We're going to have to build it ourselves. Start by valuing your heart, the thing they cannot take, and your mind, the thing you must not let them take. Then value your time, the time that belongs to you outside of the 9 to 5. Sometimes it's all you've got.

"Talk to the bailiff, to receive your sentencing paperwork," says Officer Zero, moving along to the next file of the day. "Yes, your Honor," I reply. My stomach has crumbled into a ball of ash. But my head is held high. It will remain that way, for as long as it can.

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Your Irony For The Day

America is comperable to Rome, I bet they'll unearth, someday, records from the Roman DoCaW, Department of Chariots and Wagons, among other things.

If anyone thought this government woudl last forever, they were sorely mistaken. Nothing here is eternal.

Meanwhile, good luck on toughing it out. Too bad there's no appeals process.


Re: Your Irony For The Day

Nothing here is eternal.

It is true. That's what makes the here and now so important, to be valued so highly. Because it'll never come again.

Meanwhile, good luck on toughing it out. Too bad there's no appeals process.

Thanks. My sentence may be disproportionate to most people who are in my offense category, but I don't think it's entirely unfair, for what is after all a potentially lethal action. I just think it's an inkling of the problems with our system. That it's deterrent-based, and not education-based, results for offenders in a cycle of difficulty in which their penalties make it increasingly harder for them to get stable jobs, make vital appointments, and elevate themselves from their situations, leading to a greater probability of committing future offenses rather than lesser. In other words, the cumulative effect seems to bring us all down rather than up in life.

My worry is that it's too easy for people who are not directly faced by these circumstances to ignore them, and that when in future the inherent flaws in this system become omnipresent, it will be too late to do anything to change direction.

Education vs Rehabilitation

Frankly, neither of these work.

Not unless the person who is being rehab'd or educated chooses to use what they've been given, namely their brains and free will.

The system is inherently flawed being created by flawed beings. You'll find that, my friend, to be universal. ;)

Re: Pink-wearing Double-D sister-comment.

If she's in the class I take it she passed out from drinking or drugs? Or was this passing out from unexplained circumstances? Maybe her swollen mammaries are the result of the subsequent accident from when the airbag deployed? ::evil grin:: Just so oyu know, everyone does not get the same results from judges. <y husband was involved in shooting a gun in a public park (Fourth of July drunken stupid thing) and he had a different judge than the other three involved...they got diddly squat for sentancing and he got sent up the river. Still never knew why he had a different judge than the other three. Wasn't even his gun.::shrugs:: Maybe you should have requested additional community service for having it transferred?

Re: Education vs Rehabilitation

See, here again I say, don't miss my point. There's no use in pointing at things and saying, "This doesn't work, that doesn't work, none of it works." We have to make changes, that's the only way anything will work. Perfection is unattainable, but improvement is nothing less than a responsibility on each and every one of us. And improvement starts by identifying precisely WHAT is wrong, so we can take steps to make it right.

Re: The sister, yes she was drunk, and I have no hate for her, she is like a nice big quiet curvey mouse. Or something. I only even mentioned her in response to the preceding comment, because if you could have seen the rest of the room's expressions when she said she was scott-free, you'd have seen some people trying so hard not to be angry that I think their angel-wings grew a few extra feathers in that second. ~_^


Re: Education vs Rehabilitation

See, here again I say, don't miss my point. There's no use in pointing at things and saying, "This doesn't work, that doesn't work, none of it works." We have to make changes, that's the only way anything will work. Perfection is unattainable, but improvement is nothing less than a responsibility on each and every one of us. And improvement starts by identifying precisely WHAT is wrong, so we can take steps to make it right.

Didn't miss your point, dove. Both WILL work, in some instances, but it's always a game of "find the marble under the cups" to figure out which folk need rehab and which need re-educating. As soon as someone finds something that does "work" for a select group of folk, they find yet another group that slips through the cracks. I'm not saying we shouldn't strive to find solutions for everyone, I'm applying a more realistic-long-sighted approach to my pessimism. ;)

As I've discovered in my own personal life and in research of ancient cultures...the more they tried to fix things...the worse it would get. Sometimes, the best plans were the original ones.

P.S. I'll let this be my last response to this, I don't like circular arguments where all I do is agree with you and then have you keep telling me how I should be agreeing with you. :)

yo dude, what. the fuck.

every time i think i'm being too cynical or angry, it turns out i'm not being cynical or angry enough. bet on it.

on the other hand, i wish i was more suprised. you speak truth. officer zero has only one job, and it ain't got shit to do with helping you, or with justice, or with law.

damn.

See my above response to litmus.

I'm not really bemoaning my fate here. Well, maybe a little. There's this one girl in class, always wearing pink, with a huge rack and a quiet little voice. She passed out cold at the wheel of her car at an intersection, and all she got was a warning to take a class. No fine, no time, nothing. I mean, WTF is that? But I digress.

Like all bad experiences in my life, I look to this one for the lessons it has to teach me. It's easy to say the System works, if you never been harassed or mauled by the cops. It's easy to ignore the ghetto, if no one's ever tried to mug you. It's easy to say the homeless should get a job, when you've always had a home. It's easy to feel invincible, if you've never had your ass kicked. And it's too easy to think you're good, because no one's ever caught you doing something bad. There are darker days ahead by far, homie. I will greet them with eyes open.

I am certain this will only increase your internal strength, especially because you know you have been wronged.

I am sorry about the chick who fell asleep at the wheel getting off, but we must recall that boobies are wonderful, and she was blessed.

I have some friends I want to introduce you too, they too have mad styles. Are you up for a weekday gaming night of tabletop RPG on Wednesdays? I got the wheels, don't concern yourself about that.

Boobies are indeed wonderful, and I am no man to deny the world a blessing. ^_^

Dude, I haven't played a tabletop RPG in years, it sounds fun! Currently, though, I will have to put that off by a couple months, as Wednesday evenings are when my first offender class takes place. Actually weeknights in general are going to be a pain until I can drive back from San Jose instead of CalTrain. But I appreciate the invite, and if it remains open, I'll take a raincheck on that.

Insert smartass Comment Here

Let us please take this moment to remember that while breasts are surely, verily, and forsooth, wonderful and a boon to the world, they are often felt to be less than Eden to those that carry the burden of actually baring them. In that regard, please always remember to enjoy their varied and myriad blessings with discrection and with attention to a certain level of politesse, that in so doing all may be abundantly...blessed. Amen.

~_^

Re: Insert smartass Comment Here

they are often felt to be less than Eden to those that carry the burden of actually baring them.

I think you probably meant bearing them... but bless those who carry the burden of baring them as well. ^_^

I'm about to get my ass kicked, aren't I?

Re: Insert smartass Comment Here

You don't have the corner market on being a smartass.

If the double-entendre was intentional or not I will leave for you to surmize. It just might save you an ass-kicking.

^_^

Well my brothers and sisters, in reading this I have to smile. Not at the circumstances or the injustice, but the process of awakening that is shared. That there is a dialogue about a problem that is otherwised silenced; this is seen in subtle ways, as in what Ken said about "if you've never..." Often times the lense of our direct experience filters out all other pespectives and relegates them into The Other catagory. When instead our direct experiences should open our eyes into the perspective of others, in doing so we often find there is no me and you, but we. Us.

Alright, to keep from waxing too idealogically here, let me hone the point. I appreciated your story Ken not because it made me angry (though it is often a catalyst over inertia) but because it make me think and it made others respond and react. The dialogue. Which is PRECISELY what is lacking in virus entities. When the goal is strictly self-propogation in and of itself everyone gets fucked.

I read your tale not as a rant nor as a woe but as a 'ware. Not beware. But Be Aware.

Thanks Ninja.

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