lunedì, gennaio 01, 2007

The Red Dragon Resolves to Be Red Dragonly

Isn't this a lovely fish? I like it.
This is my 400th post on the first day of 2007. How odd. 2006 was one of the least predictable years of my life, despite things like job and apartment and whatnot not changing and only one trip abroad . . . but what a trip that was . . . and you know what I think will happen in 2007? I have no fucking idea, none at all. Which is fine. Besides a timid hope of using this morning's hangover as a high water mark for the year ahead (headache, case of stupids, and ardent need for homefries - pleasant actually) I have no resolutions. Except to be stroppier about the things I believe. Lucky rest of the world. Today it turns out I don't believe at all in the death penalty and its existence sickens me.

The penal system as such, retributive justice, there's something about it that makes me profoundly uncomfortable. Maybe no one has ever hurt me badly enough for me to want them to pay with their time or their life for what they've done, or else I'd get it better. But living in the neighborhood where I do and understanding the amount of time people spend incarcerated for bad things only to do more bad things on their release . . . seems a low-budget and ineffective way of sweeping problems under the carpet, the state saying 'look, we're fixing things' while continuing to allow an under-educated, under-funded social environment inside and outside of prisons that makes violence pay. Not to mention allowing a legal system where money can buy you a lawyer/champion whose expertise can let obviously guilty people walk. Positively fucking medieval. Fudging the post-Enlightenment social contract, in short.

And then the death penalty seems like a cynical extension of that 'look, look, we're doing something' social contract fudging. Nothing is particularly fixed besides the hunger of the revenge instinct, and the state has made itself into a murderer into the bargain.

On my mind both because of pictures of Saddam Hussein's death being everywhere, even the fucking Guardian, and look; it's a state murderer getting murdered by a new state, not some breaking story about a massacre in Darfur and you've got to get the public whipped up by showing them dead babies. It doesn't need to be in the fucking Guardian. Fuck you, Guardian. Also on my mind because of the Christmas present I got Figaro by promising to write a review of it, a Robert Hughes book about Goya. It's a lovely book but there aren't enough illustrations. Enough, though, to drive home visually the point that state murder, murder en famille and thuggery murder are all equally murderous. Except there are more people to point your finger at with state murder.

2 commenti:

Melbine ha detto...

Don't even get me started on the whole death penalty, stringing Hussein up deal. You're right that maybe we've never been hurt badly by someone else, but even then...I think it's much better to make someone live their lives out NOT the way they wanted to.

One thing that came out of Hussein's hanging was me realizing that I am truly, 100% against the death penalty. Because if anyone could change my mind about it, it might have been him. But I felt sick to my stomach and horrified when I heard the news...

Mistress La Spliffe ha detto...

I don't even want to think about how victims or their families feel, I can't imagine and I can't imagine what could help them. Who knows. But I really think for society as a whole functionally rehabilitative incarceration makes sense and killing people doesn't.