The emotional need for revenge is often at odd with social justice considerations.
Balancing the harm done by the criminal’s actions with the horror of the impact on individuals and their families along with the community and – in the case of white collar financial crime – the actual harm done to society by the loss of faith in financial institutions and the real financial losses faced by families and whole communities facing foreclosures, bankruptcy, loss of income and especially retirement or life savings….
That American prisons are operated by private companies for profit is highly concerning considering the systemic racism in their alleged Justice system.
Knowing that America represents only 10% of the world’s total population, yet is home to 25% of the world’s prison population and that America executes prisoners on par or more than China – who is hardly a human rights leader and who’s prison execution system appears connected with their growing medical organ transplant tourist industry – and in particular, members of the Falun Gong religion…..
Prison needs to be about reform and returning people back into the community in a manner that they do not repeat their offenses – this means that prisoners need to be both separated from the community – but restored to their humanity, reconnected to their families and educated so that they may become productive and contributing members of their community upon their eventual release.
Restorative justice is the goal – to heal both the victim or the victim’s surviving family and circle of friends – as well as bringing the offender into a a state by which they have served their sentence and earn a second chance to participate.
perhaps even their first chance – it is not untoward or liberal bleeding heart to consider the person’s circumstances during sentencing.
However, it is true to say that anyone who claims to have been abused as a child and that is why they became a pedophile or molester or rapist or murder or any kind of victimizer….
should automatically be given a double sentence to be served consecutively, since having been abused in such a way should teach you to never abuse or harm anyone else in that fashion and more often than not is merely a defense strategy to gain wrongful sympathy.
in addition, anyone who murders, tortures or abuses animals, should be removed from society as a future serial killer because that is almost always where serial killers begin their careers – the lack of ability to demonstrate empathy or compassion and inflict pain on vulnerable animals, children or people – should not be under estimated or lightly considered.
This post is certainly not as firmly worded or decisive as readers are used to me being.
but such is the case when one’s sense of humour and ethical self are at odds with one’s emotional need for satisfaction and resolution – rather than giving in to baser emotions like revenge, which frankly, are not substantially different than the victimer’s need to cause harm to satisfy something emotional or some psychological need of their own.
I’ve come to think about Elvis in a very new way – and I don’t think Elvis thought of himself as a rebel – he just wanted to belong, his dreams were middle class aspirations and a million light years from his sharecropper beginings.
His goals were to secure a home for his family, to take care of his parents. To eventually meet a special girl and have a family – he hoped to have children so his own offspring wouldn’t be an only child as he was.
When asked about his music, Elvis knew music didn’t turn teens into delinquents, but that rock n roll was safety value, a safe means to express emotions and to blow off pent up steam, sexual desire…
But he was a rebel because what was different about him – being colorblind and seeing only people – was amazingly radical and it continues to be at a time when yes, there’s a black man in the white house and some people are still refusing to accept that this is the case and why they obsess about the birth certificate.
Racism and other unreasonable and baseless hatred/fear knows no logic or boundary.
People who say that Elvis stole black music are ignoring the hillbilly/country contribution to rock n roll; not to mention the southern gospel delivery. Elvis sang blues as country and country as blues and delivered both with a gospel fervor rarely seen outside of tent revivals. His 50’s concerts were easily comparable to the emotional release of a revival camp, screaming in tongues, writhing and losing yourself in the emotional moment.
Rock n roll was largely a phenomenon for white audiences and allowed some black artists to cross over to these audiences; but Jazz, freeform, was the musical revolution for black artists and black audiences – it meant the rules didn’t apply and it allowed some white hipsters to cross over to black audiences.
But Jazz never became the mainstream powerhouse of rock n roll and pop music and perhaps, that’s at the core of the claims of Elvis stealing their music, it wasn’t the music, it was the cultural thunder that diverted to Elvis.
Elvis merged white and black into something new – and largely played to white audiences.
Perhaps it’s more a sense that any black artists who wanted to do rock n roll, had to play to white audiences, where they didn’t have the freedoms of Jazz and black audiences….
Elvis’ management, not being sure this rock n roll fad would last but seeing that Elvis could generate revenues that just couldn’t be ignored – Elvis was toned down and sanitized. Distracted from music with the movies, re-invented by the Army and then turned into a matinee idol and sanitized so as to never give offense to any possible portion of the potential audience.
“I wanna play house with you” giving way to “Sentimental Me.”
Rock n roll pioneers gave way to packaged pretty boys, non-sexually threatening and effeminate – a practice that continues today.
But talent has a way of expressing itself and when Elvis took command, such as in the 68 TV special and recording “If I Can Dream” and “In the Ghetto” were 2 songs that Parker didn’t want Elvis to do, because they were :”message” songs – and Parker knew that celebrity was best served by never taking a social stand and risking alienation of segments of the audience.
But Elvis did the songs anyway, because the message was something he believed in, he understood equality and overcoming economic and social barriers.
He had done it, despite the establishment’s efforts to tame and constrain him, Elvis had broken through social, economic and cultural barriers and changed everything.