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orange is the new black normalizes prison life“Wow, and I do mean wow. Have you seen [Orange is the New Black] beyond the trailer? It doesn’t glorify prison at all, if anything it highlights the problems also seen in real prisons in the US, while being enjoyable enough to watch. I think you are jumping to conclusions due to some wish for conflict, even when none exists. Make some popcorn and watch the show. If you still don’t like it watch something else, the cool thing about netflix is the inherent ability to watch or not watch whatever you choose. Don’t try to ruin it for the rest of us who enjoy it, simply click the I’m not interested button and be done with it.” — a comment on Dear Netflix: Thanks for Making Prison Cool

A TV show about being in prison that is “enjoyable enough to watch”? The idea makes my skin crawl. “That’s entertainment!” Imagine how popular public executions will be? Or maybe just floggings to start… I guess we don’t have to jump to the extreme. Let’s work our way up to it.

Whatever happened to tap dancing? Clearly, we are so numb to violence, we don’t consider caging humans a violent act. It can actually be entertaining!

What I mean by “glorifying” prison life is NOT that this show makes prison life seem fun and fantastic, a goal to which every young girl should aspire. Although with today’s overly medicated youth, it’s not out of the question.

I mean that it normalizes prison life. By the end of the first season, watchers will no longer be horrified by seeing a friend’s daughter go to prison for a year for smoking pot: “It won’t be so bad. I watched a reality show about this very thing. I’m now educated on what real prison is like. She’ll survive it.” Then everyone will set their alarms so as not to miss the next exciting episode and no longer worry about the real young woman in jail. She’ll be fine and everyone who watched the show knows this. Heck, it could do her some good.

two fat people watch tvResearch the effects of TV watching. It’s a hypnotic device, hence a training device. Even if you are smarter than the show, human’s are so easily hypnotize-able. This is what marketing is all about: hypnotizing us, changing how we think about things.

I used to LOVE cop shows but I can’t enjoy them anymore for the same reason: they glorify cops who, with rare exception, are always moral. They normalize the idea that cops who break the law to get the bad guy are somehow still law-abiding. They are forced to work outside an imperfect system to protect us. Uh, baloney.

And the bad guys just kept getting badder and badder! By the time I stopped watching, the bad guys were such monsters, they made Hannibal look sane.

We start to “know” that horribly scary bad guys are right around the next corner, and that cops are so brave to continue to do what they do. More baloney.

Lawyer shows do the same thing: normalize the court system, make lawyers out to be noble, and the court system, except in very rare instances, the last bastion for the free man. Sit in on your local courthouse proceedings one day and you’ll see that nothing could be further from the truth. It’s all about revenue generation and the poorest among us are its victims.

The last lawyer show I watched was a Harry’s Law episode. I am a huge Kathy Bates’ fan and watched the show just to see her. During that show, they put a pot dealer away for 10 years and were patting themselves on the back for it! This sends a message that the drug war is good, pot dealers are bad and a decade in prison is a suitable punishment. It disgusted me.

I do watch The Good Wife online. In a recent show, the son recorded a cop, a real bigshot, while he pulled them over, verbally harassed them, then performed an illegal search.

The lawyer’s kid DISOBEYED THE OFFICER’S ORDER to delete the video. Then the kid posted it on youtube. It got hundreds of 1000s of views and the cop had to eat crow. Although the ending was not real life — cops get away with murder in real life — this was a good training.

Imprisoning people has become a money-making business. The U.S. imprisons a larger portion of its population than any other country in the world. And not by just a little bit. It has twice as many people in prison per capita than places we have always considered communist hellholes, like Russia and China.

The prison industry no longer has anything to do with justice. It is all about money for prison corporations. Do you know what the largest most powerful lobby is in CA, home of the entertainment industry? The prison guard union. The more prisoners and the longer the jail terms, the better for them. This is what they lobby for!!! Sick.

I love profit, I’m all for the free market. Today’s prisons are not free market. They are government-sponsored monopolies and they make money by putting human beings in cages for victimless crimes. This is insane, it is tyrannical. The normalization of prison life for the financial benefit of the state and the prison industrial complex is not entertainment.

UPDATE: I’ve done a 165 on the show (although not on the politics). Please read my comment here. Thank you.