Wednesday, August 10, 2011

My Guiltiest Pleasure

I like puns. That's not my guiltiest pleasure, but I do really like a well-crafted pun. My favorite is from the movie Cars, when Lightning McQueen finds out Doc is the Hudson Hornet, so he goes to Flo's to tell everybody and he's like, "He's won three Piston Cups!" and Mater goes, "He did what in his cup?"

That gets me. Every time. But no, not my guiltiest pleasure. 

My guiltiest pleasure is prison. Any show having anything to do with prison or jail or correction officers or...anything. Life on the Chain GangBeyond Scared Straight...there was one, I can't remember what it was called, but it was women in prison discussing their crimes. I like jail, too, don't misunderstand. Jail has been showing on Spike TV and it's pretty fabulous. It's got the hilarious (though sad) drunks, junkies, and nutbars (I say this affectionately) of COPS with some really incredible and emotional stories-- like the young girl getting picked up with her shoplifting drug-addict mother or the anorexic altering medical records in order to go back on a drug that worked better for her. 

Especially anything taking place in Maricopa County, Arizona, like Life on the Chain Gang, Police Women of Maricopa County, and any specials about prisoner life and the Tent City. But maybe I shouldn't say "especially" since most of the shows are from Maricopa anyway because their sheriff, Joe Arpaio...I don't know, supports them, I guess. 

Arpaio's a controversial figure in corrections-- there's been claims his practices have been unconstitutional and inhumane, like limiting inmate food to two meals a day and the fact that temperatures in Tent City are extreme, it being Arizona and all. He's extremely strict. Which makes for good TV, but isn't doing anything about the recidivism rate which matches the national average. 

Which is a shame. I'd be all for it if it did something about the insane number of incarcerated we have (almost 2.5 million in 2008), but it isn't. 

I think my fascination is something like rubbernecking a car accident. It's not that I get some kind of sick pleasure in watching people suffer, it's just that in those moments I want so badly to have their point of view. That's why I look at car accidents, anyway, I wonder what those involved are thinking-- what they saw, what they heard. I've got the same draw to school shootings: any movie or TV show or book about them and I'm sucked in. Hostage situations, too. I'm so curious about the terror, what goes through people's minds and how they handle it. I'd love to know what was going through O.J. Simpson's mind while he was running from the police. 

I don't think that's so different from everybody else if they really thought about it. We've all got that dark side...I guess it's just how we choose to indulge it that makes the difference. 

Oooh, DEA's on! 

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