18 August, 2017

On Ten Years of Blogging from Prison

I hate this blog. I hate its title, its subtitle, its content. I hate writing posts for it, month after month, year after year, and checking its stats to see that visitors still aren't crashing the servers with their sheer numbers. I hate the rarity of comments on posts, even though I recognize this as more of a reflection of Internet culture than of my readership's engagement.

I hate paying for this ostensibly free service — for the pariahblog.com domain, for paper, for envelopes, for postage, for ribbon, and for the wear and tear on the typewriter I have to use because personae non grata like myself aren't trusted with even the most rudimentary Internet access.

I hate the delay that snail mail imposes between my writing of a post and that post's appearance online. I hate how slow this makes the process of correcting the typos that sometimes pop up. I hate that this slowness hinders me in addressing timely topical issues.

I hate the prevalence of this one enormous overarching issue in my life — being wrongfully convicted — which affects no one outside my immediate circle, and how hard it is to get strangers meaningfully engaged with an idea as abstract as "some innocent guy in prison for the rest of his life." I hate feeling like a demanding toddler or prima donna because I'm constantly vying for a place in the spotlight.

I hate the economics of empathy, the signal-to-noise ratio among the world's causes. I hate resenting every abused animal, sick kid, and unfunded filmmaker for whom public attention comes more easily.

I hate slacktivism. I hate false promises. I hate that others' good intentions don't make for viable currency in the justice-campaign marketplace. I hate that signing an electronic petition for a governor's pardon represents a significant inconvenience, given today's rapid-clickthrough habits.

I hate that a human life is weighed against political gain and, more often than not, found lacking.

I hate the endless task of figuring out new ways not to talk about my case with the idly curious who surround me. I hate other prisoners asking, when they haven't seen me in a while, why I haven't gone home yet. I hate going to bed at 10:10 every night, wondering when this will end, then waking up at 4:55 AM and wishing that it would, because, fuuuuuuuuuuuuck, this is no way to live.

I hate anyone saying that prison has "preserved" me, when I am terrifyingly aware of every iota of stress and anxiety that I endure every day, plus the countless hairline cracks from having aged sixteen years here.

I hate that my mother has to see me this way, and that I have to see her troubled by it. I hate being an inconvenient friend to the people I love. I hate not being able to do more for them all, and for myself.

I hate being in no position to decline anyone's generosity. I hate having my hands tied when it comes to supporting myself or doing good deeds. I hate this prison's lack of activities and programs — almost as much as I resent the hostility it levels on individual efforts to better oneself or one's surroundings through educational, creative, enriching, vocational, or philanthropic endeavors. I hate that Crossroads doesn't even have a consistently open law library in which to do the research that might change one's circumstances.

I hate having strayed so far from my topic. I hate that there are so many ways in which I could've written a tenth-anniversary post for this blog, which all would've said the same thing — that I have no desire to go on blogging, because this outlet for my observations and memories and laments and celebrations hasn't quite succeeded as my supporters and I hoped, and because there are so many other, more enduring ends that I could be working toward, but that I'm still going to release these dispatches from my cell indefinitely. I hate my sense of commitment. I also hate to admit this, but some irrational part of me believes that The Pariah's Syntax is actually an important part of my quest to retake my stolen freedom.

1 comment:

  1. I love the effort you put in to each blog entry. I love seeing the Pariah's Syntax email notification about a new blog post. I love and appreciate that we can hear first-hand accounts of what you're really going through. I even love YOU. I hate the situation.


Byron does not have Internet access. Pariahblog.com posts are sent from his cell by way of a secure service especially for prisoners' use. We do read him your comments, however, and he enjoys hearing your thoughts very much.