Revisiting Porter/Jameson: Thoughts and Questions

Note: This has been edited to include stuff not in this before. Scroll down to questions if you’ve already read this before.

In an earlier posting I had about JJ/Norman, I stated my four thoughts on his situation. They were:

  1. He had rehabilitated himself,
  2. He may not have repaid his debt to society,
  3. Who’s to say he didn’t turn himself in, and
  4. Some people are better off behind bars. He may be one of these people.

As for the first point, while I still stand by that viewpoint I’ve narrowed the scope of that to the killing part. The basic soul and spirit behind the man seems to have been stubbornly unchanged, while he himself kept a running total of how much of his old self was still alive, I would bet that remaining part (the portion of himself that he couldn’t destroy no matter how hard he tried) was the core of his being. In other words, destroy that and you got a nothing standing there, a body without a soul.

While the guy who wrote this article is, I believe, a bit nuts (as is the majority of the Chicago poetry and arts community, IMHO), the article is, I believe, an accurate reflection of Mr. Porter/Jameson. It seems the guy is loyal to his friends (to a fault?) and distrustful (if not hateful) to the rest. Maybe it’s because of his being an escapee, but there’s definitely a stain on this guy’s name.

As for the idea of paying off his debt to society, there’s still the ghost of the two killed men. Not only that, but it’s obvious that the American public has supported the idea that more should be paid for the crime; both in prison and afterwards. While the idea of the death penalty has yet to become a nationwide, active cause, there will eventually be a need for it if the trends continue. And not the version we have now, where we have 20 years of making sure we got the right guy, either; if it comes back in vogue there will be a strong drive for it to be immediate, unimpeded and active. Texas will only be the shadow of things to come.

As for him turning himself in, I don’t think it happened that way. I also doubt that he was found via the FBI; as all they would have done is melded the Porter and Jameson files into a single computer file with two identities in case either one came in. I think someone called the FBI (remember, he was Poet of the Month when he was arrested) and they matched up the fingerprints as a matter of making sure. Wouldn’t surprise me if someone, knowing he wrote poetry in jail, looked through various poetry websites and found what he was looking for.

Remember, we’re talking about Public Enemy Number one here, not a two-bit shoplifter. Two dead, twenty-two escapes from prison and two families who’ve built their whole world around making one man suffer for his crimes against them (Never mind their so-called claims at having lived their whole life; one of the ladies considers his “confession” as her most prized possession) makes for a lot of heat aimed at someone. It didn’t surprise me that the moment his face got nationwide exposure was the moment his freedom came to an end.

Not that I blame him for escaping. I still don’t. After all, we’re talking about a place no one should want to be in. I know a few nations that don’t consider escaping from prison as a crime for this reason alone. Besides, as Detective Lieutenant Kevin Horton said on Boston’s version of America’s Most Wanted, “He saw the handwriting on the wall. That the system was [becoming more punitive].” (yes, I did change the quote. Made it less PC, more accurate to what he wanted to say. And more to the way many in the US want it to be).

And finally, I have a couple questions. Not very king towards Porter/Jameson, but stuff he needs to answer to, IMHO:

  1. Would the families have wanted to persecute him so much if he had apologized to the families years before? The fact that it took him months to finally admit that he did do some murdering and apologize to the families AFTER HE WAS FOUND AGAIN AND TAKEN BACK TO PRISON leads me to ask that question. Plus there seemed to be nothing about him having apologized before his jailbreak (had he done so, the press would have brought it up. The press did this when I talked about the guy in Indiana). I have to wonder: if he apologized to them before he walked away from jail, would they still be out for his blood? Indeed, would he have needed to break away? Think of it: if there’s no family members demanding he stay behind bars, the guy would probably have gotten a job at a Boston University and have taught generations of poets how to write in his style.
  2. What other crimes may he have committed during his years away from prison? Let’s face it, this guy may be smart and strangely manipulative (remember, he held his friends close and everyone else in severe contempt), but it seems his basic personality was static throughout the years. There were four known arrests between 1989 and 1994 under the Jameson name. Were there more, and at other places? Are there people in the Chicago River with his fingerprints around their neck? Maybe the Chicago poet shot in 1997 was shot by him (I can hear the families of the murdered now, praying for this to have happened, and badgering God as to why more of the Chicago poets didn’t get this sort of “present” from him). Supposedly he WAS in Washington State at one time.<br /><br />Besides, who does petty crimes at the age of fifty? Only someone who hasn’t reformed; IMHO.

Flash: Alito Gets Nominated (Constitutional Option Week, Vol. 4

Alito Nominated for Supreme Court Seat

Darn. This is more like it.

A strong KNOWN conservative (especially on Abortion Limitations), he has spent his time as the dissenter in a liberal circuit court. Now he gets a chance to say how law is applied nationwide.

I still say this is how the Republicans ban the Democratic Party and set themselves up as sole legislators in this country. Remember, many are still itching to destroy the Filibuster rules in the Senate, and should certain Dems try to ban things you’ll see a vote on the floor allowing for majority rule in stopping debate. After that…

(Thing is, the Republican leadership has done a wonderful job in declawing and deteething the Democratic party. They’ve gone from fuming over how people could pick some actor over a man with experience (Reagan) to accepting that they’re going to be Ghettoized (“red states/blue states”) and cheated against (Florida, Ohio, possibly others) and sabotaged (Dean, post-Iowa). At some point it wouldn’t surprise me to find the Democratic Party withdraw from certain states (Tennessee, Texas, Montana, etc) because of money woes, leaving the Repubs as the only national party).

Intelligent Design — My Take

As everyone who’s paid attention to the “beginning of the world” wars, there has been a lot of talk about “Intelligent Design.”

A few thing you should understand about this:

  1. What we’re talking about is the “Watchmaker God” concept revived for a more scientific age. 

    Thing is, there’s nothing wrong with that. Sure, Genesis says “days,” but the word actually used refers to “times.” And besides, if a day can be a thousand years and a thousand years can be a day, why not a million? a billion? Two and a third billion years equal to a day? Remember, we’re talking about God.

    And besides, using a range of billions of years allows for God to exist in a world that develops in the time frame that we observe in the world around us. Otherwise, we make of God a liar (how else do you expect billions of years in the Cosmos when you only give God six days to make everything and six thousand years to bring you into the world?) — or a prankster at best — for giving the world and the cosmos a thick patina of lies and misleading information.

  2. A pair of lies is being used to make this theory sound scientific.
    • First, there is the mistake of assuming that “NonZero” is equal to “Zero.” 

      (To understand the term “NonZero,” consider the chance of me putting my fist through the table my computer is on. If you consider that both the table surface and the hand surface is not solid but a mass of negatively charged ions which repulses each other AND that the area underneath is not so much solid flesh but space with small dots of matter (electron microscope level of reality), then you will understand that, given the right circumstances, the hand can go through the table cleanly. Such a chance, however, is so remote that the term “Nonzero” would fit it. Not “Zero,” but Nonzero. The difference is miniscule, but important).

      Much of the case for Intelligent Design involves the extremely narrow confines of the relations that the various aspects of the universe much fit into to allow itself to exist as it is, never mind us. Stars, galaxies, the Earth, even Humans cannot exist without the forces, their relationships, or other items existing in such narrow margins of error that one must concede that it’s extremely unlikely (to state it mildly) for what we see to have come about randomly. The numbers have exponential levels high enough to implicate impossibility (one number is 10 to the power of 10 to the power of 400!!!).

      And we’re to jump to the conclusion that these extremely low chances equal zero chance. Sorry, but I don’t bite.

    • Then there’s the idea that “if there is not enough evidence to point towards one answer, then it must be the other.”Probably the best thing about the scientific method is that it allows the answer “I don’t know” to be uttered honestly and as a sign of proper knowledge. While saying “I don’t know if Carbon has the ability to bond to four different atoms” is stupid, “I don’t know” makes sense for areas where doubt exists — i.e. how our universe came about, what will happen tomorrow, etc.

     

  3. Intelligent Design is a decent belief. It makes sense at Sunday School, in Humanities, in Philosophy, in Religion. 

    BUT IT’S NOT A SCIENTIFIC THEORY, AND IT NEVER WILL BE IF STUPIDITY DOESN’T FUCK US OVER

    The fact is, Intelligent Design invokes the concept of “God.” “God” is, logically, immeasurable and therefore outside science.

    Consider:

    1. If God can be proven to exist, it means He can be measured
    2. if He can be measured, He can be controlled (or reacted consciously to)
    3. if he can be controlled, he is no longer “God,” but a “god.” (We become gods ourselves under such a logical outcome, but that’s another ball of heretical wax)

    Scientific theory, on the other hand, needs a cause and effect to decipher what’s happening. It may be strict almost to the point of the word “alwaysL (acidic items burn through other items) or weak and subject to ready change (Sociology), but there’s a cause and an effect invoked. Plus that cause cannot be some “Deus Ex Machina” (something brought in to fix things up) like a “God” (Pure wave universe plus “God” equals a Galaxy-filled universe made specifically for us), but somthing that was the effect of another cause.

    And, again, the term “I Don’t Know” is acceptable, as it does not imply ignorance but lack of knowledge. If the knowledge is easily gotten, there remains the responsibility to find it — not knowing is not a fault, NOT CARING TO KNOW is.

  4. Does anyone remember the “Creation Science” movement? That’s where a bunch of scientists tried to fit scientific knowledge into a six-day creation event. “Creation Science” failed because the idea that billions of years of observation was in actually 6,000 years (give or take a few) and six days was too stupid for anyone to accept as anything but a belief.So…now there’s this new, shiny (and acceptable as a belief AND AS A BELIEF ONLY) theory which allows for scientific observation to stand “unchallenged.” It’s called “Intelligent Design,” and while you need a god to believe it, you don’t have the baggage of six days of work making the world, faking the past and making fools of the intelligent.

    Is it me, or does this sound like a Trojan Horse brought in to destroy science:

    1. Belief in Intelligent Design implies the existence of God (or of the Gods).
    2. Belief in God (or Gods) implies a special creation of Man (by dint of consciousness). Thus Evolution goes by the wayside, since one case of special creation implies the rest of the world made FOR man. Same for the social sciences, as it becomes impossible to study humans through animal behavior.
    3. Special creation implies a young earth built quickly, since it makes more sense for a God (or the Gods) to make the world quickly rather than spend their time making things “JUST SO.” After all, why waste billions of years for a being you can make NOW? A whole slew of scientific disciplines (both hard and social) goes out the window, as time becomes suspect and impossible to trust.

    The biggest thing? Simply put, the above lineup is logical. Each step makes sense from the last. But you get to the end, and nothing makes sense.

Sox Win!/Miers Backs Off

  1. Socks Win! 88 Years of Frustration Vanquished! I don’t mind this year, as we’re talking about a victory long in the making. However, I’ll get a bit peeved if this happens again in the next few years (and it’s a possibility).After all, I’m a fan of the Baseball Puddy-Tats (not to be confused with the Football Puddy-Tats, although they come from the same city). Been over fifteen years since I’ve had a team worth cheering about. Not only that, but the team seems to have gone out of the way to mess things up (building an oversized stadium in the age of smaller spaces, steroid kings after their magic potions have been banned, etc.).

    At least there’s Hockey and BasketBall

  2. Miers Withdraws Nomination Now don’t get me wrong, I do think the next nomination will force the court more over to the right (and they ought to congratulate themselves on this). However, I have to support this withdrawal simply because we’re talking about qualifications — and I don’t think she’s quite that qualified. Especially after Roberts, who was probably one of the best nominations as an associate judge.At least we’ll still have O’Conner around for another year or so.

What Warren Farrell Doesn’t Understand

In his book “Why Men Earn More,” Mr. Farrell expects that, in light of the many areas where women earn more than men, many couples will decide to have the man be the householder and let the woman be the breadwinner. This suggestion is wrong on two counts:

  1. The areas where women earn more than men tend to be the lower-earning jobs. While it is true that the more dangerous jobs tend to earn more, there’s still the differential in where women work and where men work.
  2. When it comes time to start bearing children, many women will want to take on the job of full-time mother. And with the more liberal divorce laws around now, there’s the definite possibility that a woman, faced with a man who wants to do the mothering (which she will read as “sit down on his lazy ass and let me bring home the bacon) will bear the child, divorce the father, and stick him with the Alimony. He’ll be stuck in a job he hates, and while she may be working, it won’t be at the full forty-plus hour week up the corporate ladder (or if so, he’ll be salting away her retirement from the Divorced Men’s Alimony).
  3. Remember, we’re talking about women. By definition, a being that has worth by dint of her existence. Otherwise, you wouldn’t see the differential in earnings (in a woman’s favor) in places where women and men compete directly. I call that “The Childbearer’s Premium.”

How much does this “Childbearer’s Premium” add? In some cases, it leads many women to jump directly out of the workplace and into the role of mother. Many of the woman who could climb the corporate ladder have decided to take the truly radical step and step out of the working world, pissing off the militant feminists (who too many people would mislabel “Radical Feminists”) who believe that a woman’s place is in the boardroom and ONLY in the boardroom.

That’s where Mr. Farrell’s view falls short. It misreads the “Childbearer’s Premium” in purely economic terms, forgetting to include calculations in time and in the ability to get others to earn for you.

Something VERY Odd…

Friday I was in a severe funk. For some reason I wanted to make a phone call to someone apologizing for my existence, and further apologizing for not having offed myself. A dark few hours, but not the worst I have felt (the fact that it lifted proves it wasn’t quite as bad).

So I finished work and made it home, and my housemate (who had broken her hip the week before and just started therapy) was complaining of pain so severe that she was wishing he had had a heart attack that killed her instead.

So had I gotten to the point that I now shared her emotions?

Surely I had no idea that she had had the hip break when it happened. I found out about it when she called a half hour later, saying she fell but things would be okay. And then, I figured it had been a ministroke (she had the real thing seven years ago, enough to force an early retirement from her job as a legal secretary). And besides, I’ve known depression for so long I just slog through it nowadays, getting a few extra hours of sleep in the night (trust me, sleep helps).

But still, it bugs me. Maybe she didn’t know anything happened and thus didn’t know to tell me telepathically. And besides, I had called her a few times earlier that week, for some strange reason.

Stuff to think about….

No Respect Given — No Respect Deserved

Northwestern Destroys Michigan State, 49-14

Sad. Very Sad. Actual score: 49-7, with MSU scoring 7 garbage points near the end.

Here it is, a team that beats Notre Dame (Yes, they lost to USC, but unlike your average team it was ONLY by three points) and pushes Michigan to overtime bending over for a deep penetration by Northwestern.

Which was the farce? I’m thinking the victory over ND was a farce, and should be revoked.

Once again, as with Michigan, Ohio State, Notre Dame and others, they come out well in the first half (although miscues tended to obscure that fact) only to turn around and bend over the second half. Almost as if they figure out some gimmick to come out ahead but can’t correct when the other team figures out the gimmick.

And they wonder why no one takes them seriously.

Fact is, no one should. They haven’t proved that they can sustain a whole game for two years when it matters. Fact is, even if they had scored on the drives they turned over the ball in the first half, they would have lost to Northwestern — that’s how badly they played in the second half.

Understand this: until they can give a full game’s play week after week, they won’t be playing in any bowl worth playing in soon. Already we’ve been passed by by Wisconsin and Northwestern. Who’s next — Indiana and Illinois?

A Virgin In The Supreme Court? (Yet More Constitutional Option Week, vol. 3)

Harriet Meiers Promoted As A Virgin

I don’t know about you, but I have further doubts about her.

Sixty years old, no sexual experience (ever, it seems)…and actually quite attractive for a woman her age. Actually looks like someone I wouldn’t mind jumping on (or being jumped on by, for that matter…;). No puritanical vows of chastity, either, so it seems.

So my mind starts working overtime (watch out…) and I come to this point in the road:

DO I WANT A VIRGIN IN THE SUPREME COURT?

There are certain issues and aspects of life that celibate people have have been unwilling or unable to experience. As a man single for too long, I’m not exactly ready to identify singlehood as a gift, but instead tag it more as a curse to be endured, if not avoided. I’d almost rather have someone with too much experience than someone with none, right?

NOT SO FAST.

Admittedly her time was BEFORE the “Trophy Husband” concept became hip (Trophy Husband: the man a powerful woman grabs up during the years between when she can attract a man with her body and when she can attract a man with her mind. Also known as Mediocre Marks, since that’s what they tend to be: Mediocre.). So it was likely that a Career Woman in the most Redneck of States would find herself unmarried until it was too late. A pseudo-boyfriend to go along would also be helpful, as that gives the image of someone committed. Protestant Churches tend to be a bit more tolerant towards situations slightly different than what would be considered “biblical” (twenty-year courtings, oldsters living together but not marrying due to legal issues, etc.), so her “relationship” would be an acceptable analoge for a sexualized marriage she may not have wanted.

So I can set this issue aside. Besides, I can better oppose her for her absolute lack of judging experience and dependence on Bush Jr. for her career. At least Roberts had direct experience in the Supreme Court and an abiding respect in the institution (which made him an easy pill to swallow). Also, if I see another photo with Miers in soft focus in the background gazing enrapturedly at the male in the foreground, I’m going to GAG. It’s almost like she is a coattail candidate. At least James Danforth Quayle was more qualified for his office than she seems to be.

USSR: United Smurf Socialist Republic?

FOLLOW ME ON THIS:

Remember that cartoon too many of you loved in the early eighties? The little blue stains on your TV that grew so popular they were given AN HOUR AND A HALF at their height?

Wellwould you believe The Smurfs Were Communists?

Not in the Stalinist or neo-capitalist Chinese versions, but in many ways the original, utopian way of communism can be found in The Smurfs cartoons; both in print and on TV.

Obviously Papa Smurf as Marx makes sense, but he can also be considered a Socrates- style philosopher-king. Brainy Smurf looks very much like Trotsky (look at the pictures side-by-side), but you also have the theme of haughty, inflexible intelligence versus humble, easygoing wisdom in that dichotomy. And Smurfett resists all kinds of comparisons, in part because Smurfette is…well, Smurfette, and that’s all she needs to be.

But Gargamel? There the comparisons click, with no way out.

At first, Gargamel wanted to boil the Smurfs down and extract the gold from them. It wouldn’t surprise me if at first he made a fortune from melting down Smurfs into Gold and by the time the Smurfs shrank down to a group of a hundred there was nothing else he could do.

Later on it turns out that Gargamel wants to EAT the Smurfs, not kill them for gold. That can be seen as a metaphor for profiting off their labor, as whatever wealth they produce but don’t keep becomes the bosses to keep.

One also must keep in mnd that such a switch makes sense for a brand name that had begun to slip. The idea of a man who lived to boil the Smurfs for the gold in their bones is an odd idea that survived because the cartoon makers wanted it to be such or the TV cartoonists were a bit afraid to change things as long as the show was steadily growing in success.

Thing is, not does this idea have its own Wikipedia entry, but that entry is surviving/has survived a deletion attempt. After all, there’s at least five different pages up on the subject (see above links) and the subject has been raised on College Campuses.