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"A kind of forced autism"
October 14, 2010 9:55 AM   Subscribe

A man goes to prison for two years, then returns to a thread he started on 99chan to answer questions about it.
posted by nicolas léonard sadi carnot (155 comments total) 102 users marked this as a favorite

 
Incredible. Thanks for posting.
posted by Shepherd at 10:10 AM on October 14, 2010


A fascinating read, but also a warning: The language/casual bigotry on display here is pretty rough, not that anyone should expect less from an ex-con posting on a chan.
posted by SpiffyRob at 10:12 AM on October 14, 2010


Not much gets to me anymore, but that did. Thank you ... ? Thank you.
posted by krilli at 10:16 AM on October 14, 2010


I wonder if he was that racist and flung that sort of language around before he was in prison.
posted by elsietheeel at 10:20 AM on October 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wow. That was great. Not in the good sense, but he's pretty brutally honest and a decent writer and it's a depressing vision of what it's like "inside".
posted by GuyZero at 10:21 AM on October 14, 2010


That's pretty standard for the chans, I believe.
posted by proj at 10:21 AM on October 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Holy shit. Fascinating.

After a few stabs, he starts trying to get his fingers inside and he just pulls all this meat out. I thought he was going to pull out his intestines like you'd see in a horror movie, but instead, he just pulls out fist after fist of this yellow jelly shit, and then big hunks of meat like raw mince.

And Jesus Fucking Christ.
posted by Lutoslawski at 10:28 AM on October 14, 2010 [5 favorites]


Fucked up, top to bottom.
posted by MrBobaFett at 10:35 AM on October 14, 2010


I wonder if he was that racist and flung that sort of language around before he was in prison.

The language is the absolute last thing that upsets me about this story.
posted by mek at 10:38 AM on October 14, 2010 [57 favorites]


"You know, in my few sober moments, I wondered if maybe the screws weren't partly responsible for getting so much dope inside since it made us all pretty much zombies."

Could be something to that. Bless this guy's heart. Unbelievable.
posted by PuppyCat at 10:47 AM on October 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


He really should go on a speaking tour to scare kids/people into realizing that prison is no game nor like the movies. It sucks and choose better options.
posted by stormpooper at 10:52 AM on October 14, 2010


Thanks for posting this.
Also, I'm particularly proud that after reading it like twelve times, I finally figured out "band" is autoreplaced by "pedophile group"
posted by Greg Nog at 10:53 AM on October 14, 2010 [8 favorites]


I wonder if he was that racist and flung that sort of language around before he was in prison.

On the contrary, it sounds like he paid quite a price for his not being a racist:

"Apart from that, I was mostly getting the shit beat out of me by Aryans for consorting with niggers. Broke two ribs, my collar bone, my nose (twice), lost two teeth (they were weak as shit from a diet of candy and smack anyway) but blissfully, was raped only once"
posted by kid ichorous at 10:55 AM on October 14, 2010 [7 favorites]


Thanks for this. My brother was in prison for two years for a similar not-too-heinous-but-bad-enough crime and I've always kind of wondered what it was "like." Things being as they are, I'm not about to call him up and "chat," so it's interesting to see a small piece of what his world has been like.
posted by sonika at 10:58 AM on October 14, 2010


Yeah, I really need something to take my mind off the description of "digging a hole" that this guy witnessed, and that just from reading it. No wonder he used. *shudder*
posted by maryr at 11:02 AM on October 14, 2010


This is fascinating. Thanks for posting it. I've always had this morbid curiosity about prison life.

Feature request: Default profiles for new Metafilter members should list their occupation as "Baby fucker."
posted by bondcliff at 11:06 AM on October 14, 2010 [6 favorites]


Great find. This is riveting.

The digging the hole part... wow.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 11:08 AM on October 14, 2010


Pretty interesting stuff. I'd been ready to call bullshit over things like "pram," but the dude studied in Australia.

I realize it makes me a bad person on some level, but I was like, I'm gonna totally steal some of these slang terms the next time I write about a prison!
posted by klangklangston at 11:08 AM on October 14, 2010


is there some sourcing for this thing besides a starcraft bulletin board? "Found this interesting read" doesn't say much, or even that he didn't find it in his brother's creative-writing journal.
posted by fallacy of the beard at 11:11 AM on October 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


I remember reading on reddit that this guy admitted he made it all up and was actually Australian
posted by p3on at 11:12 AM on October 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Amazing. Thanks for posting.

The yellow smoking belly meat is an image I'm having trouble shaking.
posted by CunningLinguist at 11:15 AM on October 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


however for some actual, utterly horrifying stories about American prison along with interesting and outrageous statistics, I will point you to this archive of an SA thread mostly written by a prisoner rights activist (previously)
posted by p3on at 11:16 AM on October 14, 2010 [6 favorites]


i hope this real because it's fascinating.

not to derail but i'm utterly confused as to why girlfriend was replaced with sister and band (as in aBANDon or contraBAND) was replaced with pedophile group.

what on earth is that about? i know some sites block anything that could be offensive language with stars but this just weird.

back to reading...
posted by sio42 at 11:20 AM on October 14, 2010


Whoa. That was heavy. Really well written, fascinatingly self-revealing, interesting, intense, vivid, brutal, exhausting and moving. I wonder if the better part of his self will be able to connect with the world in a less jagged way, if he can emotionally adjust to being an ex-inmate living in the world. And I wonder how anyone can cross that bridge from being part of a living hell realm into the complexities of mainstream life. It must be an almost impossible journey.

His story now made me think about the end of Shawshank Redemption when Red goes down to Mexico to help Andy fix up that old boat, the sunlight, expanse of the ocean and the profound meaning of hope, the significance of doing something that is simple and meaningful as a way to heal deep wounds that come from relentless, unthinkable trauma. I want that for this ex-con, for him to find his way.
posted by nickyskye at 11:20 AM on October 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


This is not passing my sniff test. I've known some ex-cons, been inside a fair number of prisons on work-related tasks, and known some guards. So much of this sounds fabricated I don't even know where to start. I'll start with the smell: I have never been in a prison that smelled like anything other than cleaning fluid.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:22 AM on October 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


There must be some way to verify if any Michigan prisons had 12 deaths in the past two years.

Also wasn't it weird that he said "whoda thunk it" about Lady Gaga getting famous? As if he knew who she was before going in...
posted by morganannie at 11:29 AM on October 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


I remember reading on reddit that this guy admitted he made it all up and was actually Australian

Obviously, I can't speak directly to the guy's veracity, but some of the terminology used makes me suspect he at least had some experience with the US legal system, and also the University of Michigan.

The part where he talked about getting dumped in solitary because they need to store a "remand" in "gen pop" seems to refer to placing an arraigned suspect, who is remanded to custody (because he is a flight risk and/or couldn't make bail), in the general population area of the jail. Technically remanded suspects are innocent until proven guilty, and are supposed to be put in holding cells rather than mixed with actual prisoners. If the holding cells were full, I can imagine them clearing some space in some general population cells, possibly by dumping the occupants in solitary. It seems odd they would do this at a supermax facility, however.

Secondly, he casually refers to having spent some time bumming around "LSA" when he was at Michigan; the collect of "Literature, Sciences, and the Arts" is the main undergrad college at UMich and I've frequently heard it referred to as LSA or LS&A around campus. Obviously this is something an Australian dude could theoretically pick up, but it's rather obscure knowledge for a random university in another country.

So, yeah. Obviously I don't know any better than you guys, but as an attorney and a Michigan native, it seemed plausible.
posted by rkent at 11:30 AM on October 14, 2010 [4 favorites]


i just got a part where he quotes Dune...


My first time in solitary was during a mass transfer, which is when our pen would be filled with extra inmates from another pen over night before being moved on. I was there for three days. The first day wasn't so bad. In the beginning, I thought 'this is interesting' at least. And I kind of enjoyed being alone. I jacked off a lot. The second day, I read the bible. Which is the only book allowed in ad seg. The third day... I began to imagine I'd been forgotten about, and I started to panic. Like Mau-dib says "Fear is the Mind Killer".


i'd really like to know if this is real or just creative writing exercise.
posted by sio42 at 11:31 AM on October 14, 2010


I remember reading on reddit that this guy admitted he made it all up and was actually Australian

Any chance of a link? This is all I could find in the corresponding Reddit thread.

I spent years in prison in California(Chino, Quentin, Old Folsom). and some of the stories are just too contrived.

The 33 murders seemed kinda high. I googled it and found this:
Homicide rates in 2002 were similar in local jails (3 per 100,000) and State prisons (4 per 100,000)

posted by kid ichorous at 11:32 AM on October 14, 2010


Point two: 33 murders in prison in two years. There were 69 murders in the entirety of Minnesota in 2009. I'm just not believing a word of this now.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:34 AM on October 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Much of it does indeed sound fabricated. The number of murders he claims to have occurred within the prison just isn't realistic. Murders do happen, but with the investigations, accountability, potential loss of employment, paperwork, and so forth they are the last thing prison officials want to happen. He makes it sound like prisoners are killed and the guards toss the bodies into a pile, mop the floors and carry on with business as usual.
posted by Beardsley Klamm at 11:34 AM on October 14, 2010


... the collect of...

College of, obviously. Wow.
posted by rkent at 11:35 AM on October 14, 2010


I found this to be incredibly moving:

"If you took a survey of what convicts keep in their jack bank, you'd be shocked to learn that mostly, it's women's faces. The single most sought after item in the common area was the TV guide. Because you'd get full page ads for movies and beautiful women."
posted by hermitosis at 11:35 AM on October 14, 2010


"Every convict has a jack bank. Scraps of magazines, smuggled porn, that kind of thing. I used to keep mine under the inner sole of my sneaker. If you took a survey of what convicts keep in their jack bank, you'd be shocked to learn that mostly, it's women's faces."


I was going to post about how remarkable this passage was. Now AZ has me suspicious. Dudes of mefi, does this sound plausible?
posted by CunningLinguist at 11:36 AM on October 14, 2010


it is interesting, but it also reminds me of an episode of charlie's angels in which kelly garrett showed up at this mansion pretending to be a long-lost heiress but then intentionally blows her cover so that sabrina duncan can step in and pretend to be the real long-lost heiress, whose identity is not questioned because, well, they just uncovered the fake one. the story weaves together the impressions we've gotten about prison from TV and movies (which themselves were based on reality) and then selectively debunks or adjusts some of them, enough to make you feel like now you're hearing the real thing. throw in references to gay sex and some new slang, and the world is ready to offer you a book deal.
posted by fallacy of the beard at 11:36 AM on October 14, 2010


Jinx! You owe me a tiny Dr Pepper
posted by CunningLinguist at 11:36 AM on October 14, 2010 [5 favorites]


If you took a survey of what convicts keep in their jack bank, you'd be shocked to learn that mostly, it's women's faces.

i liked that part, too. nothing charms a sucker more than the elegance of the counterintuitive.
posted by fallacy of the beard at 11:44 AM on October 14, 2010 [3 favorites]


The Michigan Dept of Correx lists a steady average of one homicide behind bars per year between 1995 and 2000.
posted by CunningLinguist at 11:50 AM on October 14, 2010


Oh. He said 12 murders on his block and 33 in the entire prison. I missed that.
posted by morganannie at 11:52 AM on October 14, 2010


Looks like he checked a lot of facts but missed out on that one.
posted by morganannie at 11:54 AM on October 14, 2010


Well, now I sort of regret my initial comment, above.

You'd think my time doing super-hard max in the cooler all strung out on "the junk" cut with crystals of Coca-Cola that the old-timers would dry out on the windowsill and then chop using a Brillo pad squeezed into the form of a very sharp knife (we called it "Brillin' it up") would have taught me to have a better ear for BS, seeing as how I had to deal with it from the Aryan Nation and the "screws" when I wasn't getting shivved or jacking it in solitary to hand cream ads.

By the way, if any of you have any questions about my hard time in what we insiders call "the clink," just fire away. I'm totally cool with that.
posted by Shepherd at 11:56 AM on October 14, 2010 [10 favorites]


rkent: Obviously, I can't speak directly to the guy's veracity, but some of the terminology used makes me suspect he at least had some experience with the US legal system, and also the University of Michigan.

The part where he talked about getting dumped in solitary because they need to store a "remand" in "gen pop" seems to refer to placing an arraigned suspect, who is remanded to custody (because he is a flight risk and/or couldn't make bail), in the general population area of the jail. Technically remanded suspects are innocent until proven guilty, and are supposed to be put in holding cells rather than mixed with actual prisoners. If the holding cells were full, I can imagine them clearing some space in some general population cells, possibly by dumping the occupants in solitary. It seems odd they would do this at a supermax facility, however.


Or he watched the TV series OZ, where not only did they cover the same ideas and use the same words, but more-or-less that same thing happened.

I'm certainly no apologist for the monstrous American prison-industrial complex or the police-state policies that fill it, but this guy's story isn't real.
posted by paisley henosis at 11:57 AM on October 14, 2010 [3 favorites]


On no preview: toldja so toldja so
posted by paisley henosis at 11:59 AM on October 14, 2010


He's going to Encyclopedia Dramatica to read up on memes and not knowyourmeme.com? Wow, he has been inside for awhile.
posted by Eideteker at 11:59 AM on October 14, 2010 [8 favorites]


Here's some statistics on the total number of prison deaths in the US. I'm not sure how to read the graph, though -- it says very few were homicides, which makes it unclear where the "non self-inflicted" deaths came from.
posted by spiderskull at 12:00 PM on October 14, 2010


The rusty needle causing tetanus bit tripped my doubt... It's a cliche that is more plausible sounding than actually plausible. But I only have wikipedia level knowledge here...
posted by Skwirl at 12:02 PM on October 14, 2010


Or he watched the TV series OZ, where not only did they cover the same ideas and use the same words, but more-or-less that same thing happened.

Ah ha, OK. Never seen OZ.
posted by rkent at 12:04 PM on October 14, 2010


The Michigan Dept of Correx lists a steady average of one homicide behind bars per year between 1995 and 2000.

His story smells fishy, but does it count as a homicide in the official statistics if the CO's do it, or is that categorized under the 5-10 suicides? Maybe the 25-30 "All Others", including 'accidents' hide a couple too?
posted by IanMorr at 12:07 PM on October 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


...it says very few were homicides, which makes it unclear where the "non self-inflicted" deaths came from.

obviously, it is prisoners literally dying from boredom...though, hilariously, even the most intense boredom isn't enough to make one so desperate as to read finnegan's wake
posted by fallacy of the beard at 12:09 PM on October 14, 2010 [3 favorites]


The story is fishy in multiple ways, too many ways to be real, though it won't stop people from looking for any reason to believe it because the prison system is so (un)believably bad.
posted by proj at 12:10 PM on October 14, 2010


Yeah, but that's still waaaaaay off from 16-ish iolent deaths per year in one single prison.
posted by CunningLinguist at 12:10 PM on October 14, 2010


violent.
posted by CunningLinguist at 12:12 PM on October 14, 2010


Add me to the "B.S." choir. Why would someone this engaging, this seemingly intelligent and societally fortunate (educated, white, middle class, financially supportive parents, etc.) commit armed robbery, which is possibly THE stupidest of all felonies, i.e. generally low payoff vs. very high legal (not to mention physical) risk. Are we to assume he did it for drugs? Well, I don't believe the drug parts, either.
posted by applemeat at 12:13 PM on October 14, 2010


not to derail but i'm utterly confused as to why girlfriend was replaced with sister and band (as in aBANDon or contraBAND) was replaced with pedophile group.

Whatever forum he originally posted it on probably did that as a way to troll its own members, for whatever reason.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 12:15 PM on October 14, 2010


Something Awful does that kind of auto-replace when non-members are viewing. They range from the innocuous (shit is replaced with poo poo) to the outright offensive (rape is replaced with surprise sex).
posted by proj at 12:18 PM on October 14, 2010


not to derail but i'm utterly confused as to why girlfriend was replaced with sister and band (as in aBANDon or contraBAND) was replaced with pedophile group.

Too keep members from "bragging" about having girlfriends and going on about/promoting their bands.
posted by sourwookie at 12:18 PM on October 14, 2010


I don't think you get enlightenment after something like that. I think all anyone really wants, if they're honest with themselves, is a quiet, easy life surrounded by people that love them. Anything else is a conceit.
.
posted by yeoz at 12:19 PM on October 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


More fishiness: He complains about not getting time off for good behavior, but that hasn't existed since 2000, when Michigan's "truth in sentencing laws" went into existence. Neither will you get more time as punishment. He complains about getting "jacked" by three parole hearings, but you don't go in front of a parole board until you have served your minimum sentence.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:19 PM on October 14, 2010 [3 favorites]


He says that shooting heroin made solitary more bearable. How was he able to bring not just heroin but a needle, spoon, and lighter with him?
posted by cowboy_sally at 12:21 PM on October 14, 2010


(And never mind why you'd stick crushed codeine in your leg instead of snorting it.)
posted by cowboy_sally at 12:22 PM on October 14, 2010


obviously he kept those things in his ass, next to his candy
posted by fallacy of the beard at 12:22 PM on October 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


By "THE stupidest of all felonies" I mean stupid...and also that armed robbery is a crime of last resort. Someone skilled with words and computers and the ways of ordinary middle class life would have far more lucrative criminal options.
posted by applemeat at 12:24 PM on October 14, 2010


Not to keep on the pile-on, but it's not clear how "a hit" of heroin would make a week in solitary pass by quickly. It may make the first few hours pass by quickly, followed by a week of intensely painful withdrawal. Fake fake fake.
posted by proj at 12:24 PM on October 14, 2010


How is the narrator necessarily "middle class"?
posted by KokuRyu at 12:28 PM on October 14, 2010


He says he's the son of academics.
posted by CunningLinguist at 12:29 PM on October 14, 2010


The Michigan Dept of Correx lists a steady average of one homicide behind bars per year between 1995 and 2000.
posted by CunningLinguist at 11:50 AM on October 14 [+] [!]


Is it possible that the Department of Corrections would be motivated to have deaths officially recorded as something other than homocides? I'm not saying the original post is true, but I don't know if we can necessarily be certain that every death related to an attack was ruled a murder.
posted by ben242 at 12:47 PM on October 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's pretty fake, but people, even really smart people, do stupid shit for all kinds of reasons. Assuming that smart, middle-class people "know better" than to commit certain crimes not only presumes that the efficacy of deterrents is absolute (because middle class people are absolutely rational -- what?), but that people who commit those crimes (the poor, the uneducated) are necessarily deficient, neither of which is true.
posted by klanawa at 12:57 PM on October 14, 2010 [4 favorites]


>>"I wonder if he was that racist and flung that sort of language around before he was in prison."

On the contrary, it sounds like he paid quite a price for his not being a racist: "Apart from that, I was mostly getting the shit beat out of me by Aryans for consorting with niggers. Broke two ribs, my collar bone, my nose (twice), lost two teeth (they were weak as shit from a diet of candy and smack anyway) but blissfully, was raped only once"
kid ichorous


Without even remotely criticizing you, kid ichorous, it was your instantly generous reaction to the quote you highlighted that got me suspicious we might have a James Frey II.

He's getting seriously -frequently - beaten for his principles here.
Yet he keeps provoking "the Aryans" by carrying on his "consorting" with the wrong inmates.
If true, that is heroic.
If fake, the bit you quoted is copybook manipulative & desiged to curry points.

And later on, he somewhat contradicts himself.

Saying the "most" of Ayrans "couldn't even fuck you up in my prison, they were weedy little shitbirds who got nasty nazi tats to look tough".


[full quote]
You really have to respect that. Aryan Brotherhood, or at least our pasty wannabe Aryans in my pen were cunts of the highest order. You didn't make eye contact with them. You didn't buy off them. Trade with them. Talk to them. Most of them couldn't even fuck you up in my prison, they were weedy little shitbirds who got nasty nazi tats to look tough. But... Just by virtue of getting the brands, they could make your life hell by fucking with you until you get a transfer... where their real brothers might be waiting.

posted by Jody Tresidder at 12:57 PM on October 14, 2010


"Add me to the "B.S." choir. Why would someone this engaging, this seemingly intelligent and societally fortunate (educated, white, middle class, financially supportive parents, etc.) commit armed robbery, which is possibly THE stupidest of all felonies, i.e. generally low payoff vs. very high legal (not to mention physical) risk. Are we to assume he did it for drugs? Well, I don't believe the drug parts, either."

Can't speak to the rest of it, but this part actually jibes with the experiences of at least a handful of people I know, including a (privileged, white) group of guys I went to high school with who spent a summer pulling armed robberies on ski equipment stores, then holding on to the skis and jackets and stuff, waiting to use it in the winter. It turned out that they were using paintball guns instead of real guns (which doesn't, in fact, mitigate the charges, come to find out). Everyone knew who they were, since they bragged about it, but it still took the cops longer to get them than you'd think (several months and five or so robberies).
posted by klangklangston at 1:00 PM on October 14, 2010


Whether or not "middle class" people commit these kinds of "stupid crimes" is at the bottom of the list of why this is fake. You can remove class consciousness and folk sociology completely from the equation and just count on factual inconsistencies in his story to see that.
posted by proj at 1:03 PM on October 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Hypodermic needles are made from stainless steel, which does not "rust." Using a dirty one repeatedly might give you tetanus, I guess, but not because it's rusty.
posted by mudpuppie at 1:10 PM on October 14, 2010 [3 favorites]


This is one of those times, I wish I'd read the comments before the article, which now after seeing "pram" and "favourite" makes me feel stupid.
posted by NoraCharles at 1:21 PM on October 14, 2010


Huh.

"pram" and "favourite" made we wonder. Also there are inconsistencies--parents haven't seen me since I got out vs. parents let me stay with them the first night but were worried about drug use.

Also (I say this as someone with substance abuse problems), anyone as stoned as he claims to have been would not have such lucid memories. I don't think.

Interesting read, though.
posted by torticat at 1:22 PM on October 14, 2010


Maybe this is all made up. My suspicions got raised when he started using some non-American English ("second series of the Wire" instead of "second season"), and then throwing in a plausible but pretty thin story about studying in Australia.

But I think picking apart things like rust on a needle or the smell of a jail isn't very fair. If it's true, this is a guy spitting out stories on a fucking chan board of the top of his head after two years inside. Certainly some inconsistencies or outright fabrications don't necessarily mean the whole thing is made up. I thought it was a really interesting read and I'm going to give it the benefit of the doubt until I have reason to believe otherwise.
posted by auto-correct at 1:22 PM on October 14, 2010 [4 favorites]


Besides, a needle, even a rusty one, doesn't spontaneously develop tetanus. It's a bacterium that exists as a spore in soil or in the gastrointestinal tract of animals. If he's be hoarding his needle, and not dipping it in, say, the dirt outside or somebody's toilet, it's unlikely he's catch it. If he did it get it, and it was bad enough to spend a month in the infirmary, they would probably have to trach him -- anything milder can be treated on an outpatient basis, with him stopping by the infirmary regularly for metronidazole IV and diazepam. You'd think he'd mention getting a tracheostomy and three weeks of mechanical ventilation.

Oh, but maybe this is all fiction, and poorly researched fiction at that.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:24 PM on October 14, 2010 [4 favorites]


Yet, you just listed several reasons to believe otherwise. When many parts are inconsistent or are outright fabricated, you have no metric by which to judge which parts are true, other than those parts that conform to an already-held notion of what prison is or isn't like.
posted by proj at 1:24 PM on October 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Trigger alert: real or not, that description of his panicked experience in solitary induced a full-blown panic attack in me. After a couple of hours, my crazy pills have finally kicked in enough for me to come back to this thread and post this.
posted by treepour at 1:36 PM on October 14, 2010


Proj: No, I know. I'm certainly not going to defend it as TRUTH. And if you put a gun to my head, I'd agree that it's probably made up.

My only point was just that if it really is a guy who just spent two years drugged up in jail talking about it on a sketchy internet forum, I'd expect some things to not add up, through some combination of hazy memory and outright exaggeration.
posted by auto-correct at 1:37 PM on October 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


Is it possible that the Department of Corrections would be motivated to have deaths officially recorded as something other than homocides?

Oh sure. My point in quoting the official stats is that Michigan recorded roughly 100 deaths of inmates per year over all its prisons, mostly HIV, cancer and heart disease-related. This guy claims to have seen 33 homicides in prison over two years in one prison. The numbers are way out of whack, even if lots of violent deaths were hidden as cancer or what have you.
posted by CunningLinguist at 1:38 PM on October 14, 2010


When people call him out on the weird spellings, etc., he responds:
If anons want to pick holes in things that's fine. I'm not going to get in arguments, because that's not why I wanted to post. I was really desperate to share this with anyone, under the guise of anonymity, and I thought [sic], more than anywhere else I frequently go, would be interested.

I instinctively add a u to a few words from having written a lot with a UK English spell checker and I never suffix '-iser' with a 'z'.

Of course there are holes in some things. I won't answer everything. I probably exagerate things a little to - but if you want factual and unbiased reporting you should try CNN and not [sic].
(Yes, it's that year spent at "uni" in Sydney that makes him employ British punctuation too; never mind all of the American English reading and writing he's done in the ensuing years.)

That explanation stinks of fakery, of dancing as fast as you can. The trick is to respond in a way that evokes, Oh, I completely understand your objections, and I'll give you a reasoned and humble answer.

Also:
Since getting out, I've been writing constantly. Just everything that pops into my head. I considered, briefly, getting a blog or something - but at the moment, I don't want any chance of being identified.
Instead you've posted it on 4chan?
posted by cowboy_sally at 1:48 PM on October 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


I've seen no definitive proof that it's fabricated, but do a little Occam's razoring with me. What's more likely: a child is born to two academics, his family moves to Michigan so that he can attend the University of Michigan, he flunks out, his academic parents finance their child traveling for a prolonged period in Europe and Australia, he enrolls in the University of Australia for three years (forever altering his dialect and spelling), he returns to Michigan and squats in Detroit where he befriends bartenders and copy-editors, he performs a "stick-up job", is sentenced to two years in prison, enters said prison with the books Finnegan's Wake and Harlot's Ghost but "scored a copy of William Gibson's Mona Lisa Overdrive from another con when he left" and found a copy of Bret Easton Ellis' Glamorama in the prison library, left prison, returned to his home which is still his two years later, hopped on the free wi-fi and began describing his experience in prison on a message board OR an Australian guy watched a bunch of OZ and The Wire and decided to troll a message board?
posted by ND¢ at 1:55 PM on October 14, 2010 [28 favorites]


Actually he posted it on 99chan cowboy_sally which is a much smaller community.
posted by Allan Gordon at 2:02 PM on October 14, 2010


Fair point, Allan Gordon, but it's still an online forum, where (given that he was a member prior to going to prison, right?) he must have had posts/comments that would allow someone to weave together at least a simplistic idea of who he is IRL.

On the other hand, the moderators could have seen his IP address. If something was hinky there, wouldn't one of them have said so?
posted by cowboy_sally at 2:08 PM on October 14, 2010


But I think picking apart things like rust on a needle or the smell of a jail isn't very fair.

At this moment, I suspect I could pick apart every single fact presented in the story and discover that it can't be true, or there is no external support for the claims being made.

Hey, what the hell. I'll tackle five, in the order they come.

1. "It's pinned on an imageboard I frequent, this is his story"

Red flag there. This story is posted all over the web now, but basically seems sourceless. I have looked at 17 different iterations, and none of them are the original, or cite the original. This has the earmarks of an urban legend.

I'm going to ignore his intro about not recognizing shemales on some online board, although it's a odd confession from someone who later says that while he had gay sex in prison once, it's something he wouldn't do outside.

2. "Would have been middle of 2008 what I was still pretty gung ho about it, before I stupidly tried to skip bail and ended up spending a month inside before trial."

Well, perhaps. But skipping bail is also a class 3 felony. Somehow, that doesn't factor in when mentioning his plea, or what he plead down to. It's like a cartoon of how the justice system works, inspired by watching episodes of Law & Order. In fact, the degree to which it is circumspect with the facts is suspicious.

3. I won't rehash the "time off for good behavior" or the "three parole hearings," but they do not jibe with current Michigan law.

4. The smell: I suppose it depends on the prison. Here's a guard, however, talking about how the prison he works in smells like sweat, and that you get used to it.

This prison piece has a prisoner saying that "There really isn't anything to smell at all. Everything smells the same to an inmate because we've been here so long that we grew accustomed to the once-obvious smells." Most of the people interviewed did not comment on the smell, although some who shared two-person cells with a bathroom mentioned a smell of sewage.
This prison shrink identifies the primary smell as being one of sweat. But apparently this guy was in a prison where prisoners rolled themselves in feces for fun, so it makes sense that this would be the primary smell -- it is, after all, his explanation for the smell. This strikes me as unlikely, and even more unlikely that the guards, who, after all, must deal with the smell, wouldn't make the prisoners clean themselves off, especially as it's a health hazard. But I can't rule on this, except that it is inconsistent with every other description I have located, and my own experience.

5. He mentions The Aryan Brotherhood in the next complaint. while there probably are members of that group in Michigan jails, it really seems like an Oz reference to me, as that was the primary white gang in the show. The primary white gang in Michigan prisons is The United Brotherhood Kindred Alliance. And it's just so off that somebody who spent two-plus years in a Michigan prison wouldn't discuss the Kindred, but would reference the bad guys of a popular teevee show instead.

Again and again, details are ringing untrue in this. They're either incomplete, or don't evidence any intimate knowledge of Michigan prisons, or are inconsistent with other prison descriptions. That's why I'm calling bullshit.
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:10 PM on October 14, 2010 [14 favorites]


Actually he posted it on 99chan cowboy_sally which is a much smaller community.

Do we have a link to the original post? I'd be very curious to see that.
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:13 PM on October 14, 2010


No, an anonymous imageboard isn't really like a forum.

I can't really describe it better than this link.

http://tanasinn.info/wiki/A_Guide_to_Anonymous_Boards
posted by Allan Gordon at 2:15 PM on October 14, 2010


cowboy_sally, chan-style boards are anonymous. Mods might have checked the IP was in the US and not Australia while the thread was up, but nothing more.
posted by Tobu at 2:19 PM on October 14, 2010


The thread has been deleted astro. Seems it was from July, so not really sure why it's turning up now.
posted by Allan Gordon at 2:20 PM on October 14, 2010


Since when have the mods of anonymous boards taken fact checking as their duty?
posted by proj at 2:21 PM on October 14, 2010


Seems it was from July, so not really sure why it's turning up now.

It's crawling across the Web on its way to going viral.

So it's a now-deleted post on an anonymous board where absolutely nothing can be confirmed by the moderators, who don't consider it their business anyway? Well, at least the story has that going for it.
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:22 PM on October 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


I have looked at 17 different iterations, and none of them are the original, or cite the original.

You're right; it's posted on a number of message boards, some of which mention 99chan as the source, but none link directly to the original. It's like the equivalent of "a friend of a friend."
posted by cowboy_sally at 2:28 PM on October 14, 2010


http://www.99chan.org/b/res/527368-100.html

That's the thread. I mean obviously the story is probably false, but I don't really doubt it was posted on 99chan. The word filters match and generally has the tone of such a board.

/b/ seems to be their fastest board and the oldest thread around is from 4 days ago, so it's not surprising it isn't around anymore.
posted by Allan Gordon at 2:30 PM on October 14, 2010


Astro Zombie: Thanks for that post. I don't know anything about prisons and don't pretend to. As I said above, I agree that there's a good chance that this is faked. I just wasn't as ready as everyone else seemed to be to write it off completely -- just because the circumstances are unlikely doesn't necessarily mean it's fake. If you're right about all the details though, then that would probably settle it. Using the wrong name for the Aryan gang can't be explained away very easily.

I'd be really interested to see someone who's actually spent time in a Michigan max-security prison's reaction to the story.
posted by auto-correct at 2:33 PM on October 14, 2010


I read the word "favourite" then "mould" then stopped reading. I very much wanted it to be real. Reading Astro Zombie's and other people in this thread poke holes in the story solidified that it's bullshit.

But, like James Frey's novel, still a decently good read.
posted by jabberjaw at 2:43 PM on October 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


This commenter claims that it's a true story because it was his friend (who's now dead) and posted links to a report of his death, his myspace page and offender lookup record.

But none of it remotely resembles the story told by the guy who wrote the 99chan post in the first place...most notably, he would've been dead in July.

posted by cowboy_sally at 2:51 PM on October 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


As an aside, one of the most surreal moments inside was the Superbowl, all these convicts crowded around this caged screen watching a repeat of Blue's Clues - muttering about how the Superbowl was really on. It was like even though they couldn't watch it, they wanted to be a part of a national, communal activity. Two days later they replayed the Superbowl, with the ads and half time show taken out - no one watched it. How fucking weird is that?

Was this a scene in Oz or something? That is just ridiculous. And why would they not show it live but show it recorded?
posted by AceRock at 2:54 PM on October 14, 2010


For anyone who is still wondering if this is legit:

Motherfucker straight up said, "pram." I don't care if your goddamn Ph.D thesis is on that one scene from the Battleship Potemkin, you are not going to relearn that word in three years of college.

Q.E.D.
posted by Eideteker at 2:55 PM on October 14, 2010 [10 favorites]


Hypodermic needles are made from stainless steel, which does not "rust."

Not sure if your quotes are meant to indicate that you are referring to something I'm not thinking of, but depending on the type of steel (specifically; the chromium content) stainless steel will most certainly rust.

Even the very best stainless, put into the right conditions will eventually discolor, start showing surface rust, and eventually begin to break down. The term "stainless" being a bit of a misnomer, it's stainless when compared to high-carbon steel which has very little chromium and, while considered to have better edge holding capabilities, tends to develop surface rust and discolorations very easily. Stainless steel sacrifices some of that edge holding ability for a much tougher resistance to the elements.

But at the end of the day both are made of something like 98-99% iron, and will rust, just at different rates.

That said, it doesn't change the fact that this guy's story sounds to be bullshit.

posted by quin at 3:09 PM on October 14, 2010


This puts my everyday freedoms, that I take for granted, in perspective. thanks for posting this.
posted by tsagis at 3:12 PM on October 14, 2010


Unbelievable. I'm trying to figure out if I can post this on my facebook profile and simultaneously make sure no one in my family or extended family reads it.

I wrote my dissertation on how rising incarceration has affected families, and in all my reading, I have never read anything or felt anything like I felt reading this essay. I'm not even done reading it. I had to stop. This is the most dehumanizing description I've ever read. The casual descriptions of his rape is something I may not be able to think about for a long time. But it's the description of the young boy's murder, and the method of it, that'll probably have me crying in the car on the way home.
posted by scunning at 3:14 PM on October 14, 2010


Someone's not reading the comments...
posted by proj at 3:20 PM on October 14, 2010 [10 favorites]


Motherfucker straight up said, "pram." I don't care if your goddamn Ph.D thesis is on that one scene from the Battleship Potemkin, you are not going to relearn that word in three years of college.

I had the exact same thought about the use of the word "mince" in reference to what an American would probably call "ground beef" or "hamburger". I read the quote here in the comments before reading the link, and was kind of surprised that the guy claimed to be American. There are just too many shibboleths in that story.
posted by padraigin at 3:22 PM on October 14, 2010 [7 favorites]


Yay! Just read the comments. Now I feel about the world.
posted by scunning at 3:31 PM on October 14, 2010


Feel good I should've said.
posted by scunning at 3:34 PM on October 14, 2010


And leave us not forget the Anglo use of "cunts," which no American - even the ex cons I know - ever use that way.
posted by CunningLinguist at 3:38 PM on October 14, 2010 [3 favorites]


FWIW, according to michigan.gov there are only 3 "Level V" prisons in Michigan: Baraga, Ionia and Marquette.
posted by morganannie at 3:43 PM on October 14, 2010


So there are two possible scenarios here, right? (A) This is voyeuristic bullshit or (B) It is highly embellished bullshit. Either way, fuck this guy for now giving everyone who encounters this story reasons to shrug their shoulders and say, Well I thought prison reform was at least a plausibly important concern but since this particular story is fake, well then, where was I ... and dismiss it altogether.

Grar.
posted by joe lisboa at 3:54 PM on October 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


... because that's clearly what's happened here.
posted by proj at 4:02 PM on October 14, 2010


... because that's clearly what's happened here.

As if Metafilter is typical in any sense of the term. Also, no need to be a jerk about it. Maybe it is because I read the whole damn thing and now feel had, but this leaves a bad taste in my mouth all around. Whatever.
posted by joe lisboa at 4:15 PM on October 14, 2010


Well I thought prison reform was at least a plausibly important concern but since this particular story is fake, well then, where was I ... and dismiss it altogether.

Anyone whose mind is changed so easily was not capable of meaningfully helping or caring in the first place.
posted by hermitosis at 4:16 PM on October 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


Anyone whose mind is changed so easily was not capable of meaningfully helping or caring in the first place.

Well put, I overstated my case. I guess I meant that (presuming this is either entirely or heavily fabricated and passed off as real struck me as somehow insulting to actual inmates of the American prison system. I should have phrased it differently above.
posted by joe lisboa at 4:33 PM on October 14, 2010


lol!
posted by markkraft at 4:45 PM on October 14, 2010


LOL at state-sanctioned rape and violence. Stay classy.
posted by joe lisboa at 4:49 PM on October 14, 2010


Privatized state-sanctioned rape. My bad.
posted by joe lisboa at 4:49 PM on October 14, 2010


I don't actually have an opinion on whether or not this is real, but I am certain that if I wrote an 100% truthful essay about my life and posted it to an internet forum, it would have gone exactly like this thread. Initial acceptance, a few doubters that eventually reach critical mass and then towards the end massive disbelief that anyone would take any word of it seriously.

And I live a very normal, mundane life. But I'm sure there would be several dozen inconsistencies pointed out about what I had for breakfast this morning, and lots of internet experts who would claim the most of the things I said were outright impossible according to the laws of physics as we know them.
posted by danny the boy at 5:06 PM on October 14, 2010 [6 favorites]


Awwww come on guys. No points for convincing fiction? No respect for a really clever troll?
posted by keratacon at 5:17 PM on October 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is one of those times, I wish I'd read the comments before the article, which now after seeing "pram" and "favourite" makes me feel stupid.

Srsly. In other news: someone told me today that they're removing "gullible" from the dictionary!
posted by sonika at 5:35 PM on October 14, 2010


I can't figure out how you dead-lift your roommate as an exercise. Let's say you straddle his body laying on the floor. What do you grab onto to lift him? You can't grab his belt because he doesn't have one. He only has a few change of clothes, so you can't risk tearing them by grabbing them. It seems to me the only other option is to use a sharpened tooth brush to rapidly stab two holes in his back and use the holes as handles.
posted by digsrus at 5:40 PM on October 14, 2010 [9 favorites]


This screamed FAKE! at me when I read it this morning. I'm glad to see it not being bought here, and how hard would it really be to fool a bunch of 15 year old /b/ members? It's funny how those guys pride themselves on their superpowers when it comes to exposing (and punishing) Big Bad Frauds in the cyberworld, and yet this obvious piece of fiction slips right through their lotion-covered keyboards.
And what a work of fiction it is: never have I seen such careful-but-totally-wrong detailing poured into a piece. The bit about the food, for example - there's a decent amount of convincing detail there when he's describing the spread and the nachos and the powdered milk and whatnot. It's almost convincing, and dare I say that with a good editor & fact-checker, this guy could make a decent living churning out hackwork crime novels and screenplays. Somebody show this to Ben Afflick, STAT!
What raised my bullshit flags: the use of UK English (codine 'tablets'? prams? mould?) pointed out above; his return to his house, a boarded up time capsule untouched save for some missing DVDs; and the drug stuff.

The drug stuff: fellow got it wrong wrong wrong. I'm pretty sure the idea for cramming a crushed up pill into a cut is lifted from a semi-recent UK drug novel, something with a title like Smack or Horse or Doper, but I can't remember where I saw it. Oh, and eww. Why the *fuck* would someone do that? Just swallow the damn thing - even snorting's not gonna intensify anything other than the closing up of your nasal pathways. You would waste what little codine is actually in a pill (sorry, 'tablet') doing the cut-your-led-with-a-fingernail method, and the infection would be definite and it would be nasty.

His descriptions of the nature of a habit are damn far off the mark, too, looking like they were cobbled together from various pieces of Heroin Lit written over the last couple of decades. The part about receiving MDMA instead of heroin was funny, if you think fiction posing as fact is funny. What dealer would substitute a more expensive drug for a cheaper one? Weight for weight, the same amount of MDMA as heroin would be quite a bit pricier - maybe 2x.

There is no prison in the universe where a bag of Reeses Pieces will get you an eightball (three and a half grams of dope - $200 - $300 on the 'outside'). I don't care if your supplier is none other than E.T. the Extra-fucking-Terrestrial and he's hard, hard up for some of that sweet, sweet candy. It's bullshit.

But hey, now the author's out of the joint he's able to leave the dope behind so everything's ok, right? The habit got locked in when the bars slammed shut behind him.

...and there's plenty more to be picked apart there, but a) I don't feel like reading it again and b) I'm on a tiny little computing device with a tiny little keyboard that I use with my thumbs and I just realized I could've typed this into a word processing app, making it readable & spelled right. Oh well.
posted by item at 6:30 PM on October 14, 2010 [7 favorites]


I don't actually have an opinion on whether or not this is real, but I am certain that if I wrote an 100% truthful essay about my life and posted it to an internet forum, it would have gone exactly like this thread

Yes. That happens in every single thread ever posted on MetaFilter.

For Christ's sake. If you have an argument contradicting mine, by all means, post it, but don't behave like my reasonable -- and supported -- doubts are some sort of endemic problem with MeFites universally thinking everything in the world is horseshit.
posted by Astro Zombie at 6:44 PM on October 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Now I'm curious...what can I read which is a factual account of life "inside" for a typical "newbie" felon?
posted by maxwelton at 6:59 PM on October 14, 2010 [3 favorites]


I think Astro Zombie fabricated his countering arguments. Dude just coincidentally knows all that stuff about Michigan, state laws, prison, white supremacy? As well as all the previous threads he's contributed to here in the past? No way, too smart.
/hamburger
posted by hypersloth at 7:08 PM on October 14, 2010


You know Astro Zombie, I'm not sure why you personally feel so defensive about this, especially since I was being sincere when I said I don't actually have an opinion on whether this is real or not. I also didn't mention you, or Metafilter in my comment, as I was talking about internet forums in general, and the chans in particular. I don't think you can understand this story outside of that context actually.

And that is what my comment was really about, the culture of knee-jerk skepticism that internet people have developed, as a defense mechanism against trolling, particularly of the *chan kind--which itself is derided with the "I can tell by the pixels" meme. It's brilliant. There's no way to win!

Skepticism is useful. But so is the luxury of not having to reflexively be suspicious of every interesting thing that comes by your desk... because you know what? It's not that I don't have an opinion on whether this is true or not; I don't actually care if this is true or not. Just like I don't care if every memoir I read is 100% factual. I care if it was worth reading.

I don't doubt middle class college graduates have committed armed robbery and have been sent to prison. I don't doubt prison is a pretty terrible place, and that prisoners escape their physical and psychological torment in drugs. I don't doubt that the issue of prison reform is a real issue that deserves attention. I choose not to invalidate those things I know to be true, because this particular telling might not be.

I think I'm going to name my new philosophy "regretful skepticism". Because what do you win when you're right about something being bullshit? On the internet? Feeling smug because everyone else is a fool but you saw it coming THE. WHOLE. TIME! I'd rather be wrong, and amazed more often.
posted by danny the boy at 7:38 PM on October 14, 2010 [9 favorites]


Behind Bars: Surviving Prison is not exactly what you are looking for maxwelton but you might find it an interesting read. I really liked Newjack: Guarding Sing Sing.
posted by mlis at 7:38 PM on October 14, 2010


You know Astro Zombie, I'm not sure why you personally feel so defensive about this, especially since I was being sincere when I said I don't actually have an opinion on whether this is real or not.

You need clarification? Because the thing you described dismissively happened in this thread.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:42 PM on October 14, 2010


Skepticism is useful. But so is the luxury of not having to reflexively be suspicious of every interesting thing that comes by your desk... because you know what? It's not that I don't have an opinion on whether this is true or not; I don't actually care if this is true or not. Just like I don't care if every memoir I read is 100% factual. I care if it was worth reading.

Critical thinking is useful. Skepticism is a component of that. And suspicion is a sub-component of that. It will save your life some day. And it will save you from looking stupid some day. It is not mutually exclusive from being amazed and inspired; that is a false dichotomy.

How is a writing that only has value because it is supposed to be True have any value when it is revealed to not be True? Without the Truth, this is ultimately just shit fiction. I happen to like reading shit fiction, but I have to be in the mood for it.

I don't doubt middle class college graduates have committed armed robbery and have been sent to prison. I don't doubt prison is a pretty terrible place, and that prisoners escape their physical and psychological torment in drugs. I don't doubt that the issue of prison reform is a real issue that deserves attention. I choose not to invalidate those things I know to be true, because this particular telling might not be.

Nobody here is doing that. We just hate hoaxsters here.
posted by jabberjaw at 8:14 PM on October 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


I have no doubt whatsoever that prison sucks, and that American prisons are incredibly brutal as compared to the image we want to project to ourselves and the outside world.

I just don't like True! Life! Stories! that are made up, and even less so when the invention is fairly obvious. Write a novel, or funnel your energy into solving the problem for real. People get really hurt by these sucker fake life stories.
posted by padraigin at 8:24 PM on October 14, 2010


Because what do you win when you're right about something being bullshit? On the internet? Feeling smug because everyone else is a fool but you saw it coming THE. WHOLE. TIME!

i don't think anyone is particularly foolish in buying the story; i think it's a fabrication, but it's well constructed; it's like a lesson in audience manipulation, the way it does it on several levels and gets the reader engaged. i bought it up to the point of realizing that it has no source, no authentication, no verification. the original posts don't seem available, so we wouldn't even know if it were embellished by any number of re-bloggers along the way.

i was kind of surprised that so many people on that board and particularly here assumed it was true. i thought more people online were careful about at least glancing at the sourcing to assess the value of what they are reading.
posted by fallacy of the beard at 8:29 PM on October 14, 2010


Why the *fuck* would someone do that? Just swallow the damn thing - even snorting's not gonna intensify anything other than the closing up of your nasal pathways. You would waste what little codine is actually in a pill (sorry, 'tablet') doing the cut-your-led-with-a-fingernail method, and the infection would be definite and it would be nasty.

I had the same reaction, and I'm sure you're right, but then I remembered that the only ex-junkie I know was a big fan of inserting opiate pills rectally, which always seemed like a waste to me. And the amount of things stupid college kids will crush and snort is incredible, but I've seen them do it.
posted by threeturtles at 8:47 PM on October 14, 2010


So, when is the favourite count going to start going down?

Sorry, that should have been favorite. But I studied at Sydney Uni and now I can't get my spellings straight.
posted by vidur at 9:03 PM on October 14, 2010


The story really drew me in, fake or not. Thanks for posting.
posted by archagon at 9:30 PM on October 14, 2010


Critical thinking is useful.

Fortunately there are many kinds of thinking and they are all useful in different ways.

It will save your life some day.

Not reliably, and not ultimately.

It is not mutually exclusive from being amazed and inspired; that is a false dichotomy.

But the people who are saying they are not amazed or inspired by this if it's not true are the ones reinforcing that false dichotomy.

Without the Truth, this is ultimately just shit fiction. I happen to like reading shit fiction, but I have to be in the mood for it.

So just come back later. We'll still be here.
posted by hermitosis at 10:35 PM on October 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Very interesting read, even if the mince thing set off my Hinkometer. Ex-pat adopts host country's spelling is one thing, but I don't see how 'mince' would easily become a default descriptor. The chronology on the Lady Gaga thing is a little problematic too, unless he's the clubby sort.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:10 PM on October 14, 2010


Rape, dispite [sic] the rumours, is not a big deal inside. It doesn't happen that often. But everytime it happened on my block it was a white guy."
...

For lols, I was originally going to talk about prison rape. But really? It's a small part of doing time. On any given block, you might only have a dozen or so convicts who are likely to rape someone. And they go after the same kind of convicts every time too. Because if you try to rape the wrong guy... you might end up with your guts pulled out.

...
I was mostly getting the shit beat out of me by Aryans ... but blissfully, was raped only once - by a homiegot [chan word replacement for "faggot"?] with the tiniest cock you've ever seen. I'm a fat fuck, and I swear that thing barely reached my asshole through my enourmous ass cheeks. It was all I could do to not laugh.

I was particularly upset at the author's indifferent and amused treatment of his own rape, compounded by his dismissive attitude towards prison rape more generally.

It's unusual to see someone shrugging that they were "only" raped once and then putting weight gain and B.O. on their 'worst of' list, but not forced sodomy. Despite his alleged experiences, he still treats the topic as if it is inherently funny and not worthy of concern.

If this story is as fake as it looks, then his counter-productive description of a sickening social problem is actually incredibly pernicious.
posted by dgaicun at 11:31 PM on October 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


What was the deal with the MDMA? He said he and his cellmate had sex after they took some. Does MDMA just destroy all inhibitions or boundaries so straight men are having sex with one another and gay men are having sex with women?
posted by mlis at 12:02 AM on October 15, 2010


Yeah I realize it was a troll, but wondering if there was any truth to the MDMA bit.
posted by mlis at 12:19 AM on October 15, 2010


In a typical setting, a completely straight guy is not going to have sex with another dude just because he took some MDMA. I have no idea how enforced sexual segregation would affect matters. Yeah, MDMA does a real number on your inhibitions so lots of people who take MDMA do things they are normally too inhibited to do... but straight people aren't straight because they are inhibited any more than gay people are gay because they are uninhibited.

A straight guy on MDMA may well have sex with a woman he normally would think it a really bad idea to have sex with, but he wouldn't have sex with a close relative or anything.
posted by Justinian at 1:53 AM on October 15, 2010


Wait didn't he say he smoked MDMA on accident and then blew his cellmate?? Does that even work? I mean we got bored and smoked a lot of acid once, but not because we expected anything from it. Did get a nasty taste in our throats; nobody blew anyone else..
posted by hypersloth at 3:01 AM on October 15, 2010


oh wow on preview, a lot of people were questioning the same MDMA bit at the time I was..

I'll add this: no, MDMA will not make you do something you don't want to do. I've NEVER heard of smoking it, doubt it would work, but even if you mainlined it, it could only ever just let you do something you maybe already wanted to do.

Also, really though, I doubt it's possible to smoke. I could've been sheltered, but I've never heard of doing that unless you wanted to waste a lot of money.
posted by hypersloth at 3:05 AM on October 15, 2010


Also, really though, I doubt it's possible to smoke.

Sure it's possible to smoke MDMA. People smoke methamphetamine all the damn time and it's a very similar chemical. Of course the problem is that almost everybody gets MDMA in pill form so you'd be smoking all the binders and fillers too, and who knows what that would do.

So, yeah, it's quite possible and would likely result in a stronger, faster high. If the fillers didn't fuck you up.
posted by Justinian at 3:11 AM on October 15, 2010


by "on preview" I meant I had the tab open for hours without refreshing, but coincidentally that's where the conversation was when I jumped in again.. should've said "didn't preview"
posted by hypersloth at 3:11 AM on October 15, 2010


Sure it's possible to smoke MDMA. People smoke methamphetamine all the damn time and it's a very similar chemical. Of course the problem is that almost everybody gets MDMA in pill form so you'd be smoking all the binders and fillers too, and who knows what that would do.

People generally don't get meth in pill form though. They snort, smoke, or mainline.
I'd think Ecstasy was too conveniently packaged in a pill form to do more than ingest or crumble up and snort (along with the glue). Smoking seems odd, like you'd waste a lot with the actual smoke going into the air. Maybe I'm just greedy.
posted by hypersloth at 3:15 AM on October 15, 2010


Wait, I feel like I just fed a troll some Reese's Pieces:

Sure it's possible to smoke MDMA.
if you want a headache

People smoke methamphetamine all the damn time and it's a very similar chemical

So is Ritalin. They're all very different chemicals but they're all amphetamines of sorts.
posted by hypersloth at 3:31 AM on October 15, 2010


I asked my father about some of the details. He's a minister and has done a LOT of prison ministry in many different states and at many different levels of prison. He said the smell of general population is usually mostly institutional like a large, urban high school. They mop with a lot of industrial, institutional cleaners, so you don't smell that much feces. Ward rooms, where they have rows of bunks smell pretty bad. The inmates can smell pretty bad, but that is due to their own poor hygene and lack of shower access, but mostly they are just a little ripe. It's worse where smoking is still allowed. Special cell blocks with the mentally ill prisoners (called the "bug house" in Florida because the constant thorazine and other antipsychotic injections make the inmates eyes get weird and their shoulders hunch giving them a Kafkaesque appearance) smell horrible because they are constantly shitting themselves and "showers" for the worst off consist of hosing down the prisoner and his cell. His exact words regarding the smell: "Not as bad as you'd think."

What is universally the most annoying thing about prison according to my father's outsider perspective: the constant noise. Day, night, constantly there is noise; sombody yelling, doors slamming, people shuffling around, industrial heating/kitchen/machine shop equipment, walkie talkies, alarms, the tv turned to full volume so guys in the cells can hear, all of which is echoing off concrete and metal walls.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 5:47 AM on October 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


Straight male cellmates may participate in consensual sexual acts even without the aid of drugs. It happens. I don't know why anyone would find this shocking. The only unusual thing would be talking about it afterward instead of pretending THAT NEVER HAPPENED.
posted by hermitosis at 6:16 AM on October 15, 2010


Hell, straight men in fraternities will sometimes hook up.
posted by Astro Zombie at 6:32 AM on October 15, 2010


For what it's worth, people really do make cuts in themselves and put drugs in there. My friend, who worked at the county hospital, used to see that fairly frequently... horrifying!
posted by ph00dz at 7:21 AM on October 15, 2010


I don't find it shocking I just don't have a reference point for drugs like MDMA and was wondering if it put you in some kind of wild alterted state where you thought you were one with the universe or something.
posted by mlis at 7:31 AM on October 15, 2010


Not really. It does get you pretty high, but like most drugs known for lowering inhibition, people tend to still be themselves. Except really high. And kind of annoying if you're sober. Mostly it makes physical sensations extremely pleasurable, and feelings of euphoria that ebb and flow, neither of which are necessarily sexual but can be if that's what you want out of it. No different from alcohol in that regard, really.

To buy the claim being made, you'd have to subscribe to the notion that the only reason heterosexuals avoid gay sex is inhibition (rather than simple lack of interest), which is closer to fundamentalist Christian thought than any reality I have experienced.
posted by cj_ at 7:51 AM on October 15, 2010


I mean that said, yeah, nominally straight people do occasionally get fucked up and dip into the other side of the pool, probably more often than anyone admits. It's not a wild claim or anything. But there's nothing special about MDMA as far as that goes.
posted by cj_ at 7:54 AM on October 15, 2010


cj_, I think the straight/gay line is not nearly clean enough to make the statement that "heterosexuals avoid gay sex [due to] inhibition". I would posit that a great deal of heterosexual men are lightly bi-curious and, given the circumstances where gay sex is currently socially acceptable (such as a prison) would participate somewhat willingly. It probably is much less about overcoming person inhibitions, and more about being in an environment with different norms.
posted by haykinson at 9:45 AM on October 15, 2010


They're all very different chemicals

Well, this seems like a bit of an aside, but I'd say they're all very similar chemicals. I mean Adderall is a mixture of 4 different amphetamine salts... but all four of those salts are extremely similar chemically to methamphetamine. The difference is one methyl group stuck on the end; C10H15N vs C9H13N.
posted by Justinian at 10:45 AM on October 15, 2010


This is hilarious. I'd been seeing this article linked all over today but never bothered to click to link. Finally, Kottke actually posted an excerpt, so I read that. In the one paragraph excerpted, the author claims that GFC, an abbreviation of Global Financial Crisis, had become prison slang. "Wow, that sounds really fake," I said to myself, "like something that would happen if a slightly fanciful university student was making it up."

Then, at the bottom of the entry, Jason says "Some over at MetaFilter think this is fake..." and I was like I knew I could count on my dawgs.
posted by Ian A.T. at 1:17 PM on October 15, 2010 [10 favorites]


Add "perspex" to the shibboleth list, too.
posted by rolandcrosby at 1:19 PM on October 15, 2010


GFC, an abbreviation of Global Financial Crisis, had become prison slang

Yet they are also denied access to any news except TV Guide and are mostly all illiterate.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 1:23 PM on October 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


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