Tuesday, March 04, 2008

The Vile Virtues Of Hatred

It must be very comforting, to not only believe in God but convince yourself he’s consumed with hatred for the very same people you despise. That way, your hatred is not a moral failing to overcome, but a virtue to embrace and share with the world.

Of course this applies to atheists as well, only it’s not “God hates my enemies” but “any decent person does.” Maybe it’s my imagination, but I seem to see more virtuous hatred these days than ever before. Much of it’s addressed to either smokers or fatties, those disgusting people who foul our air and drive up our health-insurance costs and set a bad example for The Children. But there’s also the hatred of illegal immigrants (without them driving wages down, we’d all have rewarding, fulfilling, high-paying jobs and could afford to retire at 40). How dare they have the gall to want to make a better life for themselves rather than starve quietly and respectfully in their third-world hellhole of a home? How DARE anyone apply for a job with an American company if his mother’s legs weren’t in the United States when he emerged from between them?

But the hardest virtuous hatred to overcome has got to be that directed toward criminals. Not that I have much sympathy for those whose actions harm another, but it’s one thing to say “This man deserves to be locked away from society” and another thing altogether to say “And he deserves to be raped and beaten in prison, too. If an overzealous guard kills him, good riddance.”

And even that’s not enough. Connecticut’s among the growing number of states which says that if you’ve committed a crime, merely losing your liberty isn’t punishment enough; in some cases, they want you to reimburse the state for the cost of your punishment.

But this is virtuous in a fiscal-responsibility sort of way, and in no way meant to say “Fuck you, we’ve got the power and we’ll damned well use it, too.”

I expect to get some interesting hate mail over this piece.


Anonymous NoStar said...

If You Can't Pay Pay For Doing The Time, Don't Do The Crime.

9:15 AM  
Blogger Anj said...

I like the tent city concept. I'm all for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and nothing but manual labor to keep you busy for the duration of your stay. The pink underwear might be a little over the top; but, hey...at least they provide underwear.

It would be cool if the inmates had to learn spinning, weaving and sewing in order to even have the priveledge of wearing cloths. Make them live off the land in every way! What a pioneering idea:)

11:05 AM  
Anonymous iamagoldengod said...

I think they should only have to pay the cable bill for the duration of their sentence.
Oh, and the maintenance of the gym equipment. but thats all.
Wait, and the medical care that they get. But nothing else.
Well, maybe they could reimburse the taxpayers for the rental price of any DVD's they watch. Anything would just be the state flexing it's muscle. Computers, at least they should pay for the upkeep of the computers that are provided.
And maybe the internet bill (only if its not a cable modem, we wouldn't want to double charge them, that would be unfair.)

12:03 PM  
Anonymous Claude said...

Excellent piece, Jen. Regarding the crime/punishment aspect, i would prefer they be educated, taught some social skills, and have the root of the problem identified and dealt with. I like to think of it in terms of "When they get out, they will be moving next door to me". That way of looking at it makes the choice of how they should be treated in prison/jail easy to make. Get rid of that self-defeating drug war as well. Its useless.

7:39 PM  
Anonymous iamgoldenandodd said...

I have nothing of value to add to any particular conversation.

5:58 AM  
Anonymous iamagoldengod said...

I didn't post that last message.

6:51 AM  
Anonymous A Moose said...

I didn't post that last message.

Obviously, as it's not posted under your name. Then again, being a god and all, I'm sure you already know this.

My $0.02 on the article: It would seem that if one had a choice whether or not to stay in prison, then charging them for costs might have merit. If they have no choice in the matter, it should be in the sentence or not.

7:48 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Get rid of that self-defeating drug war as well. Its useless.


11:10 AM  

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