Posts Tagged ‘prison’

Orange Is the New Black (book)

Tuesday, June 26th, 2018 | Books

I recently wrote about the TV show Orange Is the New Black. It’s based on a book by Piper Kerman, Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison, which is a memoir of the time she served at Danbury prison camp.

Her memoir is way less exciting than the TV series. There is no starving out, no trips to the SHU and no riots. That’s no surprise, of course, as the show is a drama and not a documentary. However, many of the shows features are easy to connect back to the book.

You don’t get long detailed descriptions of what happened. You do get character development though, as Kerman comes to terms with the harm caused to so many communities by the drug trade. Overall, its an okay read. It maintained my interest throughout, but I wasn’t desperate to read the next chapter so I wouldn’t recommend it as a “must read”.

Orange Is the New Black

Thursday, June 14th, 2018 | Distractions

Occasionally, the number and quality of recommendations for a TV show reach a threshold and I temporarily expand my TV watching to include something other than shows about people baking in tents. Orange Is the New Black recently achieved this.

It has Captain Janeway in for a start. This wasn’t quite true. It has the actor, Kate Mulgrew. So, the character Captain Janeway isn’t in it which was a little disappointing. Luckily, Mulgrew is a wonderful actor outside of Star Trek, too, so it still worked.

If you’re not familiar with the show, it tells the story of a well-off white woman who gets busted for a ten-year-old drug offence and gets sentenced to 15 months in a minimum security prison. Like anyone who finds themselves in the slammer, she is out of her depth.

It has won critical acclaim for dealing with many of the issues of the prison system including budget cuts, corruption, privatisation and inmate abuse. The characters look real. This isn’t a bunch of women walking around a prison with perfect makeup. My guess is that the “no makeup” look is a form of makeup behind the scenes, but it is done very effectively.

I’ve found the later episodes a little less gripping, probably because of my own extensive white privilege. At first, you’re following Piper as she plays out the “rich white girl in an alien world” struggle, learning to deal with her situation and trying to hold her relationship together.

As the show goes on, the focus moves to other characters. But I can’t identify with growing up in a house where drug use is normal, or in foster care, or with gang violence. It’s elucidating as to how many prisoners are victims of circumstance and upbringing but then, as a leftie, I already believed that.

It will be interesting to see where they take the show next. It returns with a new series later this month.

The Norden

Friday, January 2nd, 2015 | Religion & Politics, Video

The Norden is a documentary series where they take someone from the United States to visit Finland, Norway and Sweden and compare the way they do things. With predictable results.

Prisons

Police

Guns are a terrible idea; go Norway.

Religion

I think the paster here does really well. He is down with the Heavy Metal Mass, and it feels like with the room 666 they are just teasing him. Plus the Bible does hate gays. I do not agree with that, but it is in there.