Orange Is The New Bestseller

You can choose your friends. You can choose your peers. You can even choose who you wear a blue dress for in your internship.

But family is an ongoing hostage situation. It’s beyond control.

We live in a country where families have an easier time calling their children drug addicts than gay. We live in a country where families have an easier time sending their children off to die in a war than down the aisle in a gay marriage.

We live in a country where a Private First Class can reveal the truth about torture only to be raised up as a traitor and rewarded with 35-years in prison.

We live in a country where a 4-Star General can lie to the UN about WMD’s only to be raised up as a hero and rewarded with his very own Ted Talk.

War isn’t Hell. Nationalism is Hell.

Of course Bradley Manning is transitioning to Chelsea Manning, only a woman would put heart ahead of rank. One matters. The other is a bullshit title.

On a recommendation from 8Andy, I skipped the series everyone is talking about on Netflix. Instead, I opted to read “Orange Is The New Black,” by Piper Kerman.

To love a book like this is impossible. It’s too heartbreaking to process what we do to curious kids. That’s all Piper Kerman was, a curious kid.

By the time she reached the end of her 20’s, she was done with the nonsense that lead to a 15-month stint at a federal correctional facility in Danbury, Connecticut.

Unfortunately, instead of building a society predicated on restorative justice, we’ve carved a society out of intolerance and political posturing where mandatory minimums have turned incarceration into an economic bubble.

Judges don’t care. Lawyers don’t care. Wardens don’t care. Prison Guards certainly don’t care. As for the rest of us, we’re too busy tuning-in to “Cops.”

Let me get this straight.

Piper Kerman is the problem? Bradley Manning is the problem? Edward Snowden is the problem?

Let me get this straight.

Trayvon Martin was the problem? Aaron Swartz was the problem? Matthew Shepard was the problem?

Sorry, I can’t straighten this out. I just don’t get it.

They’re kids (half of them are dead kids, if you bothered to notice which group was described in the past tense).

Where’s the win? Who’s winning? There was almost a school shooting in Georgia at an elementary school where a gunman walked into the school armed with 500 rounds. He literally had to be talked out of murdering children.

Where’s the win? Who’s winning? 2 teenagers in Oklahoma are charged with murdering a 22-year old baseball player from Australia, who was out jogging. Do you know the reason they gave for the shooting?

Fun. They were bored.

They literally did it for “the fun of it.”

Where’s the win? Who’s winning?


These kids don’t belong in jail. I get it. This is horrible. I get it. This is beyond horrible. But jail isn’t the answer. Not the way jails are currently set up.

They’re kids. Yes, they’re misguided. Yes, they treated a gun like a toy. Yes, they pulled the trigger like it was a video game. Yes, they need to be punished. But they’re kids. Jail isn’t the answer.

You want the answer. Here it is: “Orange Is The New Black.” Read it. We’ll talk.

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One Response to Orange Is The New Bestseller

  1. Claudia says:

    I saw the first two episodes on Netflix, I have it on hold at the library, I think I will learn more if I read it. Thanks for the recommendation.

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