Five Links from a Criminal Justice System

These are fairly random, a grab-bag of the things that caught my attention from the huge heap of powerful writing on cops, prisons etc being done today. So I urge you all to follow PrisonCulture and the Marshall Project on twitter. After this post I'll only post links I'm pretty sure I didn't find through them. Okay, let's go. The theme for this post is, "Like love, original sin and structural racism will find a way," or, Things That Aren't Solutions."Chain Gang 2.0: If You Can't Afford This … [Read more...]

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What Was Going On Inside: I Watch “Goodnight Mommy”

for AmCon: An Austrian television personality comes home to her remote, eerie house to recuperate from extensive plastic surgery. Swathed in bandages, she confronts her twin sons—and they don’t recognize her. She can’t persuade the boys that she’s their real mother, and her inability to remember basic information about her own life doesn’t help. She seems to scapegoat one of the boys as the troublemaker; she sometimes refuses to talk to him or even set a place for him at the table. The boys deci … [Read more...]

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“Don’t Stop Kids from Playing Rough”: Virginia Postrel

writes: ...Some kids are indeed prone to hurt others. “If you’ve ever watched a group of 4- or 5-year-olds play Duck, Duck, Goose,” says Carlson, “there’s always one child who, when it’s his turn or her turn, will not tag. They’ll slap.” Socially and developmentally behind their peers, the offending children are those who most need the lessons big-body play can teach. Keeping them from playing tag, says Carlson, “is not the way they learn how to tag more gently. Continuing to tag is the way they … [Read more...]

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“Always Consider the Person”: Homosexuality at the World Meeting of Families–This Is Less Boring Than It Sounds

(sorry--ANYWAY this is the transcript of the presentation by Ron Belgau and his mom):...I don’t think my 17-year-old self could ever have imagined my dad being as passionate as he is about protecting kids from homophobia. But it’s a reminder everyone can grow and transform. Turning back the clock to my adolescence, it never really hit home to me just how big a burden I was carrying until I was telling the story to a friend in college. He looked at me incredulously and said, “I can’t imagine … [Read more...]

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“Why Transgender Kids Should Wait to Transition”: Pacific Standard

short essay:...But research has shown that most gender dysphoric children outgrow their dysphoria, and do so by adolescence: Most will grow up to be happy, gay adults, and some, like myself, to be happy, straight adults. There is a small proportion of trans kids whose dysphoria will persist and who would benefit from medical intervention, but the tricky part remains predicting whom these ideal candidates will be. For a young child whose gender dysphoria would have desisted without … [Read more...]

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“Summer of ’90: ‘The Witches'”: Slant Magazine

on the last great children's nightmare factory of the 1980s: Children's movies are traditionally designed to comfort. There's an unspoken contract between parent and filmmaker: "For the next 90 minutes, your child will be entertained, but not threatened. No need to worry about your little darlings waking up at three in the morning, bawling in terror. This movie is guaranteed not to trouble anyone's mind. Most people are inherently good. The bad guys don't win."Children's movies, for the … [Read more...]

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A Vindication of the Rites of Whores: Rumer Godden’s “Five for Sorrow, Ten for Joy”

When I asked people to recommend books about life in religious communities, this (as well as Godden's In This House of Brede) was one of the most frequent responses. It's a story set among the Dominican Sisters of Bethany, whose charism involves prison ministry--and so many of the sisters are themselves former criminals, what we'd call "ex-offenders" or "returning citizens." These are I think the same nuns you see in Robert Bresson's terrific nun-noir The Angels of Sin. (This is the Bresson for … [Read more...]

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