It was only a matter of time...

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...before the articles lamenting the untimely death of Enron founder and recent convict Ken Lay appeared.

Apparently death and divine judgment wasn't good enough for him.

But now that he's died of a heart attack in the luxury of his Colorado getaway while awaiting sentencing for his crimes, none of his victims will be able to contemplate that he's locked away in a place that makes the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel look like Hawaii; that he might be spending long nights locked in a cell with a panting tattooed monster named Sumo, a man of strange and constant demands; and long days in the prison laundry or jute mill or license plate factory, gibbering with anguish as fire-eyed psychopaths stare at him for unblinking hours while they sharpen spoons into jailhouse stilettos.

He will not be ground into gray jailhouse paste by listening to the eardrum-scarring symphony of 131-decibel despair that is the Muzak of penitentiaries, by gagging on the dead prison air, by choking on the deader food, by watching the blue sky taunt him with freedom over the exercise yard, and by feeling his nervous system rent by the cruel grenades of memories -- explosions of nostalgia for the days when he knew he'd be swanning forever through the comfy laps and cool lawns of luxury and infinite possibility. Sweet Gulfstreams through sweet skies, the pools, the jewels, the Maybach limousines, a life in which he didn't just pimp his ride, he pimped the entire world as he knew it.

You can read the rest of the story in the Washington Post. The author makes the point that human "savagery" makes us want to see Lay suffer in prison.

Which would be typical, if one doesn't believe in God, judgment, and the afterlife.

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If Allen's point is that some people seem to want prison rape and other in-house crimes to be done to convicts, then he's right. There are plenty of people around who seem to like the idea of torture applied to the right people.

On the other hand, all his talk about prison savagery is downright stupid, as Lay would have been sent to a minimum-security facility and would not have been rubbing elbows with violent psychopaths.

I suppose this piece therefore tells us nothing about what Lay's victims want, but do lay out Allen's stereotypes of those terrible people who had the flaming nerve to be offended.

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On life and living in communion with the Catholic Church.

John Schultz

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This page contains a single entry by John Schultz published on July 6, 2006 7:17 AM.

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