You’ll have to excuse old Lightning Rod if he gets a little misty when he sees poor, poor LiLo being marched into the Los Angeles Woman’s Facility which sounds like a spa, I know, but is in reality filled with desperate and dangerous lesbian Amazons waiting like predators for their chance at reality TV.
The commentator’s voice is quavering as he describes her walk down the concrete carpet, lined as usual with the paparazzi. Part of her plea arrangement was that she wouldn’t be handcuffed for the perp-walk into the jail. “Lindsay is showing much courage,” he says, as if she were Antoinette shorn in her cart waiting to meet the guillotine or Joan about to be burned for her devotion. My God, she might have to actually stay in there for two whole weeks. Fortunately she will be housed in the Paris Hilton Wing of the institution.
I’m sorry if I mock you, Lindsay. Nostalgia clouds both reason and decorum. It’s just that my memories of going to jail are considerably less dignified and ceremonious. There was no cable coverage and they made me wear chains. The morning they took me to the prison I was three days deep into narcotic withdrawal and looked like a very nervous, saucer-eyed rhesus monkey so they manacled me and the manacles only allowed very short, halting steps as they marched me hobbled to the clinic across the street for an injection of Thorazine big enough to stop a charging elephant. I knew that I was drooling, I just didn’t care that I was drooling. They figured they had me in the proper mood and I felt like Moses in chains about to be punished for the future sins of his people. I don’t remember any cameras.
I just remember a very noisy bus and more chains and the overwhelming desire to sleep but the benches were made of steel and the rural roads were bumpy and then what seemed like miles of chain-link fence topped by a gleaming slinky of razor wire and I wondered why they had built two fences running along together, was one fence preventing the other fence from running across the cotton field? It was all a dreamy haze until I saw the building which looked to me much as a slaughter house must look to a cow, like a factory of doom with sterile bricks and pipes where you are stripped naked and prodded in a line of lumbering meat while you hear the bovine moans and grunts like jews waiting for their tattoos. They didn’t look like such tough guys.
So, Lindsay, you’ll have to pardon me if I don’t take your little forced retreat as high tragedy. I know that the experience will mark you for life and you’ll probably need years of very expensive therapy to overcome the nightmares of being deprived of all texting for two whole weeks. But look at it this way, not only can you wear the Drew Barrymore medal for bad girls scared straight, you can name a rehab center after yourself some day, one where pampered young women can go to overcome the post traumatic stress of being in rehab. Rehab rehab. And you can do Public Service Announcements about how the justice system works the same for the rich and famous as it does for everybody else (gag!). It’s a net career plus.
When I got locked up, I was staring at Thirty-Five Years otherwise known as the rest of my natural life. That’s hardly the same as going in knowing that you’ll be getting out in two weeks. Any brat worth her bacon can hold her breath that long. My crime was not so different from Lindsay’s infractions, foolishness with drugs and parties and like Lindsay I benefitted by how hopelessly overcrowded our prisons are. She will serve two weeks of her three months and I served four years of a thirty-five year sentence. As I write they are granting early release to thousands of prisoners in California because they can’t afford to keep them. Our penal system is slow and stupid but economics are forcing them to realize simple things like the fact that you can give a man a college education much cheaper than you can keep him in prison. The American criminal justice system is sick and flawed and the fact that we can’t build prisons fast enough to incarcerate our deviants is sad testimony to the health of our society. We lock up more of our citizens than the Communist Chinese. Of course when they get too many, they don’t let the extras go, they just shoot them.
Lindsay, if you really want to turn your prison ordeal into a positive force for mankind, you will join Lightning Rod in the battle for penal reform. Johnny Cash is dead. Somebody has to pick up the torch. I couldn’t get Martha Stewart to be the pin-up girl for the movement even though she would have been a natural to lead the reforms in prison cuisine and decor. I think you would be a better representative of rebellious youth caught up in the fast life and the indifference of the penal system and besides your nudie shots would look better stuck to cell walls with toothpaste. So, if you don’t want the bondage freaks to steal your brand by putting up web sites called Lindsay In Chains or Bimbo Behind Bars etc. jump on the bandwagon and help end the barbarity of the American Gulag. We need you, LiLo.
I see my light come shinin’
From the West down to the East
Any day now
Any day now
I shall be released–Dylan