14 June 2011

GABOS - Game Ain't Based on Sympathy 

(google images)
Recently I've taken to watching a lot of TV shows online because I have nothing to do since my exams have finished. Latest show I've watched was a documentary, Louis Theroux's Miami Mega Jail. You can watch it on youtube in parts, as it's no longer on the BBC website. It's a two series documentary.

I thought the documentary was interesting, the second part more than the first. It gives you the basic insight that allows you to get interested and think more about these sorts of things. I've never been one for showing any interests in shows about the American Jail System because quite frankly I dislike anything to do with jail. The main thing I learnt was that 'jail' and 'prison' are two different things. Jail is for those who are pre-trial.

I found the term "gunning" (used in the the first part) interesting, mostly quite disgusting and if I was a guy I'd be ashamed of myself. Gunning refers to men masturbating in front of the female officers. The one guy near the end McCray or something laughs at the whole situation which I can see why he does, two years with no sex so far and I'm sure he's not any closer to getting out.  He blabs on about how they should be entitled to porn magazine. Entitled is the wrong word, but I do think they should just throw some in their for the men. But overall I think it's your own fault that you got sent to prison, so if you're going to wank don't openly make the female guards be your source of desire. Honestly I would feel so devalued.

(screen capped)

The bootcamp in the second part just annoyed me, I've never been a fan of any of them that I've seen on TV. I obviously get that these kids have done horrific crimes but I do not understand how they think the techniques they use work. It's famously known that prison/jail doesn't rehabilitate, it just teaches "don't get caught" and I think the same stands for bootcamp. I'll admit it, the main thing about bootcamp that irritates me is, it's nothing like the real world and it never should be. Then again I do fully understand that maybe that is just punishment for the terrible crimes they have committed. Once again the power and control thing was evident by the trainers. It always strikes me in these situations, what kind of person do you have to be to do this job? Are your power hungry and this is on the only way you can gain that? Or do you genuinely care about the people in your bootcamp? The guys in this one didn't seem too bad.

(google images)
GMASH - Get Money and Stop Hatin'

I found Robert Shaw (on the right) in the second part to be really like-able. Maybe because he writes. Maybe because I know people like him. But more because he's not about putting on an image. You always find that with some of those who've done time, some do realise that the actions of others towards you is not a personal insult or an actual reflection of yourself. Whether he should be let out or not is another debate, but he seems to be tired of the life he use to lead and genuinely sounds like he's learnt something from his time in jail.

I found Louis Theroux's interview techniques perfect for this situation, by this I mean they were perfectly standard questions and approaches but he's quite a neutral person so I think they found it very easy to talk to him. He doesn't look intimidating and the questions he asked didn't seem bias or judgmental. I've never seen any other documentary of his so I can't do any comparisons, but I felt his attitude was able to produce insightful results. 

I think one of the most powerful shots was during the first part, after the guy explains GABOS and Louis asks him how old he is and he says "27" and then there's this shot:
(screen capped myself)
I think everyone can get at what they are trying to conclude with this shot.

I'm not writing this with any sort of reflection as to human rights etc (as this would go on for a while), I'm not sure if I'm even shocked at what I've watched. I think what gets me the most is the contentment that resonates among the inmates, they are neither overly proud or ashamed of what they have done/do and I think that's really important. Even if it's a lifestyle I do not agree with I admire the stand they take in their subculture and how they have established rules and "friendships" in order to survive. Some inmates go out for an hour twice a week. Two hours out of one hundred and sixty eight. Jail must be exceptionally tough, of course these guys have mostly committed violent crimes and/are from a similar lifestyle, so for them jail probably isn't that different, but it's still an entire shift and a limitation (imitation even) of life. I feel that most of these people don't understand the ultimate sacrifice they are making, trading their life to be inside for the death of another. In one case, 40 years for what ultimately results in $20, I do not see how the human mind could comprehend that this is okay. 

I cannot fathom a life in which I am forced into a combined space. 

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