Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Letter From Barrett Brown

Here is a letter from one of America's political prisoners:

Not long ago I was lying in my bunk in the hole, just minding my own business as always and thinking about some of the video games I have known and loved over the years, when suddenly one of the guards shouted through the door grill that his fascist Bureau of Prisons overlords had just decreed that my custody level had been raised and that I was thus to be transferred to a medium security prison two days hence, all to the greater glory of the American Pig Empire, though I’m paraphrasing a little.

The transfer itself wasn’t terribly surprising, as the prison administration had good reason to want me gone. And the increase in my custody level is actually warranted, at least on paper. Federal prisons are divided into minimum, low, medium, and maximum security facilities, among which inmates are perpetually reshuffled as they either stay out of trouble, in which case their custody level is eventually reduced and they get to go somewhere less dangerous - or, like me, they get caught with hooch, go to the hole for two months, get out, fail a drug test a week later when it comes up positive for opiates, and go back to the hole, in which case one’s security designation is increased and he’s sent somewhere more dangerous, in this case on the grounds that the fact that I like to snort morphine and write epic poetry about Tamerlane makes me some kind of security risk, rather than simply an Orientalist.

You can read the rest @

Yes, I acknowledge that he was duly tried and sentenced for his nefarious crimes ... but that's always the way it starts, isn't it?

According to some accounts, Ralph Waldo Emerson visited Henry David Thoreau in jail and asked, “Henry, what are you doing in there?” Thoreau replied, “Waldo, the question is what are you doing out there?” Emerson was “out there” because he believed it was shortsighted to protest an isolated evil; society required an entire rebirth of spirituality.

Source -

Barrett Brown is "in there" for much the same reason as Thoreau. The question for us "out here" is "what are we doing to do to promote the entire rebirth of spirituality demanded by our society?"

For many of us, I fear the answer is "not a damn thing".

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