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Monday, June 29, 2009

Advice For Bernie Madoff In The Pokey



First and foremost we must recommend that Bernie Madoff acquire -- whether by legal or extralegal means -- Jim Hogshire's superlative underground classic "You Are Going to go to Prison." The book has sound practical advice as to how one can serve one's time in the pokey with minimal friction -- judicial, anal or otherwise (Exaggerated cough suggesting feigned detachment). This insightful, hard-boiled tome helps the newly-incarcerated to more fully understand the moist, Oz-like scenario which the inmate now inhabits.

This book is not tender. It comes off as a frigid, early morning prison-shower gangbang. Chapter Six ("Don't Drop the Soap - Sex in the Slammer"), and Chapter Nine ("Blood In and Blood Out - Prison Gangs and Violence") contain particularly poignant passages, cautionary tales. Incarceration is a grotty, unfortunate business where -- to paraphrase Anderson Cooper -- snitches get stitches. Being "fresh meat," or -- worse -- someone's "fresh fish," means being unintentionally popular in an arena where anonymity is infinitely more preferable (Averted Gaze). In order to smooth out the readers' heads about the realities of this musky, highly racialized situation in which the inmate finds himself, a boot must be metaphorically applied to the solar plexus of the naive. The wind must be taken out from one's proverbial sails. Prison is the gladiatorial fundament, an arena of Will, athleticism, ethnic balkanization and gratuitous tossed salads prevail. Abandon all idealism ye who enter cell block D. And yet, despite that grimmness, the book is not without its charms. Like Tolstoy's Anna Kerenina which had a workable recipe for jam, Hogshire leaves his readers a recipe for prison wine made from fermented fruit cocktail cups. And speaking of preserves, this book also offers advice on maintaining the integrity of one's bodily orifices in the hurlyburly of prison life.

Don't take our word for it. S. L. Simmons, a self-described "Inmates wife" from North Carolina reviewed the book on Amazon.com, saying: "I have a husband in prison who I talked every step of this book out with (him). He has been in prison for over ten years from MAX security to Medium and soon to minimum and I can tell you this book is right on the money .Its so helpful for folks headed into prison or for there families to give them some insight to what life inside is really like . I highly recommend this book to wives ...inmates ...families ... " 5 out of 5 people, we cannot fail to note, found that heartfelt review as helpful. Charmed, I'm sure.

"Cigarettes are the credit default swaps of the pokey," said Andy Borowitz of The Borowitz Report on WNYC's Leonard Lopate show this afternoon. "The first piece of advice," said Ron Kuby on his syndicated program months ago is that "prison is designed to be arbitrary...you have to live with the arbitrary system of the penal code. Period." Kuby continued: "Whatever you were before...changes...most of your reputation [depends on] how you handle yourself in prison." Kuby, who has defended some highly controversial people and seen them as an attorney after some time behind bars, does allow that Madoff could conceivably buy a crew for protection. "I think that he may [be able to buy respect]," Kuby said later. Kuby went further, "You gotta remember: respect." Respect in prison is key, said Kuby, illustrating that concept with an analogy about how getting up from table and having another man's tush at eye-level -- in civilized society -- might be dismissed with an apology, but could be a far more serious matter in the pokey.

Madoff, we cannot fail to add, should studdiously avoid accepting an offered burger prepared on a hot plate/radiator, or, by way of beverage, a commisary cup of prison wine. Leaving aside entirely the possibilities of blindness resulting from messing with an ill-prepared batch of Prison Pruno, those favors will almost certainly be collected upon at unfortunate moments with rather extreme interest rates ("break me off a piece of ass") attached, no pun intended. Outstanding prison debts must paid in jailhouse romance. "Mice trying to become rats," is how Alan Ellis, a criminal defense atty on Bloomberg, described inmates wanting to make their bones on Madofr. "(Medium security inmates will) want to make their bones by going after people like Madoff."

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