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(Uproxx)   This week in "John Oliver makes you better at cocktail parties," Mr. Oliver explores the totally f--ked state of the prison system. Complete with a muppet sing-a-long   (uproxx.com) divider line 88
    More: Interesting, u.s. prisons, John Oliver  
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3840 clicks; posted to Main » on 21 Jul 2014 at 2:12 PM (22 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-07-21 03:55:57 PM  

bunner: wesmon: Hmm. Double quote, That's a new one.

Yeah, I've had that happen a couple times.  As far as your point, it's difficult to disagree with but that seems to be the base motivation for most of them.


This issue of using the police and the prisons to lock up the excess labor force to maintain our system of capitalism was at the heart of David Simon's show The Wire. I give him credit for being able to get that on to TV, yet the central point seemed to go right over the heads of most who watched it.
 
2014-07-21 03:57:56 PM  

wesmon: bunner: Print this out and tape it to your fridge.   It is the only extant large scale truth in America.

I mean, this.  Period

"NOTHING, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING MATTERS MORE IN AMERICA THAN MOVING MONEY AROUND AND IN THE DIRECTION OF THE PEOPLE WHO ALREADY HAVE MOST OF IT."

Period.  Not you, not your family, not your job, not your property, not the laws, not the constitution, not the people we elect to govern, nada.  Zilch.  Bupkiss. Money.  Period.  And that's what 90% of the threads on this site are about, Charlie Brown.

Right, and the prison population is a byproduct of this. We don't have the huge prison population because of the industries that have sprouted up to parasite off of it.

The actual reason we lock up so many is because they are superfluous labor. Maintaining that "natural rate of unemployment": and the wage insecurity that keeps wages low necessitates a percentage of the population without work and we have to put them somewhere.


Modern urban culture has a large share of blame. When you are on the 2nd generation of glorifying a criminal lifestyle over 'workin for the man', you are going to have high unemployment and crime rates. Thug life emulation has a large share of the responsibility for the current state of affairs.

I blame NWA. The world needs more Pharrel Williams "Happy" and less Dre "Natural Born Killaz".

But hey, it's the white man keepin ya'll down, encouraging you to murder each other, right?
 
2014-07-21 04:00:42 PM  

wesmon: bunner: wesmon: Hmm. Double quote, That's a new one.

Yeah, I've had that happen a couple times.  As far as your point, it's difficult to disagree with but that seems to be the base motivation for most of them.

This issue of using the police and the prisons to lock up the excess labor force to maintain our system of capitalism was at the heart of David Simon's show The Wire. I give him credit for being able to get that on to TV, yet the central point seemed to go right over the heads of most who watched it.


Capitalism works wonderfully.  So does socialism and to a degree, communism.

Here's the problem.

Nowhere on earth are any of these systems of societal management in practice as on the label, and B -

None of them are monothematic, one size fits all methods of anything, nor were they meant to be.  You use all three in concert, as required, and as application demands.  There IS no one band aid covers all booboos method of ANYTHING and the people blowing that smoke up your ass are eating out of your fridge.
 
2014-07-21 04:05:55 PM  

Cast: I blame NWA.


Really?  You blame a band that disbanded 25 years ago?  You're basically blaming Daddy Day Care.

2.bp.blogspot.com
 
2014-07-21 04:11:38 PM  
The problems are so institutionalized and wide spread there's really probably never going to be a meaningful change in our lifetimes, barring so economic/social disaster.

The politicians who make the laws are corrupt, the prosecutors who prosecute them are corrupt, the police who enforce them are corrupt, the jailers who jail people are corrupt...etc.

Shows like CSI do an awesome job of painting criminals as monsters who need to be jailed indefinitely when the reality is that most are extremely unfortunate people who are caught in the cycle of of poverty and crime.
 
2014-07-21 04:15:42 PM  

IRQ12: The politicians who make the laws are corrupt, the prosecutors who prosecute them are corrupt, the police who enforce them are corrupt, the jailers who jail people are corrupt...etc.


bunner: "As soon as something becomes primarily about money, whatever it is purported to be about is what it used to be about."


QED.
 
2014-07-21 04:16:48 PM  

Cynicism101: Jim_Callahan: twenty goddamned percent chance of being sent to jail/prison at some point.

Here are some numbers showing just how racist the whole system is: www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/Llgsfp.pdf

So, 28.5% chance for black men, 4.4% for white men. I'm definitely going to pull this stat out next time someone tells me systemic racism is dead.


Society is to blame.  We allowed progressive statists to destroy the African-American family through it's "war" on poverty, and now we are reaping the reward.
 
2014-07-21 04:18:14 PM  
Daily Show viewers are one of the of the most easily riled and most reflexively defensive subgroups of fandom I've ever seen on the internet.  That is of course outside of the most reflexively defensive group of fandom, which are Rush fans.

(Both the caterwauling capon-led Canadian crap-rock trio and the flabby radio derp-merchant apply equally.)
 
2014-07-21 04:24:53 PM  

Cast: I blame NWA.


You realize NWA was describing the conditions that lead to high crime in the inner city, not actually glorifying them right? You realize Bernie Madoff has a longer rap sheet than the entire membership of NWA?
 
2014-07-21 04:29:06 PM  

Cast: Modern urban culture has a large share of blame. When you are on the 2nd generation of glorifying a criminal lifestyle over 'workin for the man', you are going to have high unemployment and crime rates. Thug life emulation has a large share of the responsibility for the current state of affairs.

I blame NWA. The world needs more Pharrel Williams "Happy" and less Dre "Natural Born Killaz".

But hey, it's the white man keepin ya'll down, encouraging you to murder each other, right?


Lol, people actually believe this garbage.
 
2014-07-21 04:29:52 PM  
There is something to be said for a culture that glorifies violence and gangs as a means of respect and achievement being detrimental.  It's largely a bad idea.  The American "ghetto" subculture subscribed to by many who are of African descent needs an enema just as badly as Wall St. or any other greedy, corrupt clusterf*ck.  Short version - nobody has come up with anything resembling a good idea, lately.
 
2014-07-21 04:41:56 PM  

moothemagiccow: Serious Black: He hit the nail on the head when he noted that the reason nobody in power wants to fix this problem is nobody in power expects they or anyone they know will ever go to prison.

So what's the point of the show? Pretty much every big topic he's covered comes out like that. Oh, look at how farked up this thing is. Oh well, onto the next episode. It's about as useful as reading Fark.


Getting people informed is not "pointless."  Reading Fark or watching John Oliver isn't pointless (except when I read Fark when I'm supposed to be working I guess), since readers/viewers are exposed to new information on topics relevant to our society today.

In particular, the HBO crowd (who mostly are the people who expect that they or anyone they know will never go to prison) needs to hear this message.  Will it spark change?  Probably not, but maybe.  And there's  no harm in shining as bright a light as possible on some of society's nastiest problems.
 
2014-07-21 04:50:25 PM  

Potter82: A lot of childish but effective fear mongering will follow with such phrases as "soft on crime" being floated around. After this chips away at his or her poll numbers a bit, he or she will back pedal and overcompensate and the real problem will be left to fester. This same crap happens whenever someone proposes that maybe, just maybe, the US shouldn't be spending more on its military than the next 20 or so countries combined.


It didn't take long to get there from "We will not walk in fear, one of another, we will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason. If we dig deep into our history and our doctrine, we will remember we are not descended from fearful men," to an age of fear and unreason.
 
2014-07-21 04:50:47 PM  
I have a feeling that a whole lot of corporations and federal and state agencies surf this website for stories and comments that are pertinent to their interests.
 
2014-07-21 04:53:43 PM  

bunner: Print this out and tape it to your fridge.   It is the only extant large scale truth in America.

I mean, this.  Period

"NOTHING, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING MATTERS MORE IN AMERICA THAN MOVING MONEY AROUND AND IN THE DIRECTION OF THE PEOPLE WHO ALREADY HAVE MOST OF IT."


This.
 
2014-07-21 04:54:48 PM  

LegacyDL: Here's my problem with show's like Oliver's, Daily Show, Maher, etc: Peeking out from your Ivory Tower doesn't really help. Calling out the fact that the Emperor doesn't wear any clothes doesn't help. Shows like these simply serve as court jesters, where they can make fun of the establishment because they're clowns but any effort to be serious results in their own downfall (Maher and 9/11 for example).

If these hosts are serious in their endeavors they need to cut it with the dark humor. Life isn't a Monty Python sketch. If they're so concerned about the public welfare or pointing out wrongs they need to climb off their intellectual mountain and do something. Sitting around the campfire exchanging ideologies isn't cutting it anymore.


....says the person posting on Fark.
 
2014-07-21 04:57:47 PM  

HMS_Blinkin: moothemagiccow: Serious Black: He hit the nail on the head when he noted that the reason nobody in power wants to fix this problem is nobody in power expects they or anyone they know will ever go to prison.

So what's the point of the show? Pretty much every big topic he's covered comes out like that. Oh, look at how farked up this thing is. Oh well, onto the next episode. It's about as useful as reading Fark.

Getting people informed is not "pointless."  Reading Fark or watching John Oliver isn't pointless (except when I read Fark when I'm supposed to be working I guess), since readers/viewers are exposed to new information on topics relevant to our society today.

In particular, the HBO crowd (who mostly are the people who expect that they or anyone they know will never go to prison) needs to hear this message.  Will it spark change?  Probably not, but maybe.  And there's  no harm in shining as bright a light as possible on some of society's nastiest problems.


I'm the most cynical person you will ever meet and I would agree with this.

The importance of shows like John Oliver's is that they can potentially rally opinion and start to build a consensus. That is the kind of thing that makes a difference over time.

Not too long ago, homosexuality and marijuana were demons for the majority of the population. That changed over time. not because everyone now is a gay pot smoker but because of a shift in the consensus of opinion.

I think some of the things that Oliver is touching on are gonna be much harder to change because they are rooted in our economic system, but by bringing these issues to the forefront every week he can hopefully begin a shift in opinion on them and erode some deep seated beliefs,
 
2014-07-21 04:58:02 PM  

LegacyDL: Here's my problem with show's like Oliver's, Daily Show, Maher, etc: Peeking out from your Ivory Tower doesn't really help. Calling out the fact that the Emperor doesn't wear any clothes doesn't help. Shows like these simply serve as court jesters, where they can make fun of the establishment because they're clowns but any effort to be serious results in their own downfall (Maher and 9/11 for example).

If these hosts are serious in their endeavors they need to cut it with the dark humor. Life isn't a Monty Python sketch. If they're so concerned about the public welfare or pointing out wrongs they need to climb off their intellectual mountain and do something. Sitting around the campfire exchanging ideologies isn't cutting it anymore.


You may already be tired of hearing about concerns that never seem to get addressed, but there's always younger people just getting to the age where they need to be made aware of those things. The more entertainers talk about these things, the higher the percentage of the next generation who are made aware of it during the crucial years of their youth when they form their world view. Eventually we get to a point where enough people consider something to be fundamentally wrong that something gets done. With subjects like prison population, most of today's voting age population likely never even thought about it in their teens... today they see it as a concern, but to them it will never be that deep a concern.

That's how stable democracy works; gradual change over many years. It doesn't just go from "What's the point, nothing ever gets done." to "Overthrow the establishment!"
 
2014-07-21 05:22:16 PM  

falconne: That's how stable democracy works; gradual change over many years. It doesn't just go from "What's the point, nothing ever gets done." to "Overthrow the establishment!"


And we don't have one.  We have a feudal oligarchy and there is no august board of wise and mind learned men at the rudder out of their wisdom and beneficence.
 
2014-07-21 05:29:18 PM  

bunner: nobody has come up with anything resembling a good idea, lately.


Lots of people have actually. Just that some suffer from the worst ad hominem attacks in human history and others get brushed off or ignored for a whole host of other reasons.
 
2014-07-21 05:32:16 PM  

LegacyDL: Courtney Love's Genital Warts: Have you watched John Oliver's show?

Yes I have, and yes he does touch on topics that are indeed issues that I do not question. My problem is that at the end of the day speaking on these topics and bringing them to people's attention is nice, but what then? I don't see people in the streets demanding action (with the exception of that lesbian from Uganda to my knowledge), people simply laugh and go "Oh my goodness, that is so true."

Last week he spoke on income inequality, and a few weeks prior it was the corruption within FIFA. I mean watching his show is like reading The New Yorker combined with The Economist. I just don't like intellectual circle jerking.


That isn't a problem with John Oliver, it's a problem with "people". And the way to fix that problem is by constantly prodding them (like with a TV show that they watch because it entertains). Are you not aware that satire/comedy/entertainment has historically been one of the most effective means of influencing large groups of people?

What exactly would you like him to do? Grab a sign and take a one-man march through the streets? That's not effective, this is.

You, by the way, are a perfect example of the people who sit on their duff and do nothing while agreeing "that is so true". Your complaint has nothing to do with distaste for "intellectual circle jerking", you just don't like being reminded that you live in a horrible world and are too lazy to participate in fixing it.
 
2014-07-21 05:40:02 PM  
Jim_Callahan:, but we know that the average sentence length in the US is 29 years

Cant possible be right. I would cross check that statement with a credible source.


Average human life-span's about 70 years, so 0.3% per year over 70 years gives you a  twenty goddamned percent chance of being sent to jail/prison at some point.

Prison and jail are two very different things. Probably shouldn't lump them together.
 
2014-07-21 05:51:56 PM  

WhyteRaven74: bunner: nobody has come up with anything resembling a good idea, lately.

Lots of people have actually. Just that some suffer from the worst ad hominem attacks in human history and others get brushed off or ignored for a whole host of other reasons.


I was thinking more as a culture at large.
 
2014-07-21 05:56:44 PM  

Pumpernickel bread: Jim_Callahan:, but we know that the average sentence length in the US is 29 years

Cant possible be right. I would cross check that statement with a credible source.


Average human life-span's about 70 years, so 0.3% per year over 70 years gives you a  twenty goddamned percent chance of being sent to jail/prison at some point.

Prison and jail are two very different things. Probably shouldn't lump them together.


Both contain prisoners.
 
2014-07-21 05:59:10 PM  
John Oliver is simply amazing. His piece last week on Warren G. Harding's love letters to his mistress still males me giggle when I think about it.
 
2014-07-21 06:01:38 PM  

thisispete: still males* me giggle


Makes. I meant makes.
 
2014-07-21 06:03:52 PM  
So far, when it comes to a tidy society of more than three people, the whole of humanity couldn't run a dry cleaners without arsing it up.  I think we should do a study on this.  My money is on "hubris, vanity and greed".
 
2014-07-21 06:13:05 PM  

bunner: So far, when it comes to a tidy society of more than three people, the whole of humanity couldn't run a dry cleaners MAKE A HAM SAMMICH without arsing it up.  I think we should do a study on this.  My money is on "hubris, vanity and greed".


ftfm.
 
2014-07-21 06:18:21 PM  

mama2tnt: couldn't run a dry cleaners MAKE A HAM SAMMICH without arsing it up.


heh   :  )
 
2014-07-21 08:00:20 PM  
I don't see people in the streets demanding action (with the exception of that lesbian from Uganda to my knowledge), people simply laugh and go "Oh my goodness, that is so true."

Well then, that's the "peoples" problem. He's done his job; he's shed light on a subject that everyone would prefer be swept, and kept, under the rug, out sight so we don't have to face the ugly truths that there are a lot of farked up things in this country that we, as a "people", condone, as we go on with our lives. See, if people have to face the truth that America, while a great nation and something of a beacon of hope, has monstrous internal flaws that are persistently ignored by both politicians and the "people", they can't handle it. They prefer to cling to the Reagan era City on the Hill BS, and that everything just honky-dory.
 
2014-07-21 08:47:07 PM  

moothemagiccow: Serious Black: He hit the nail on the head when he noted that the reason nobody in power wants to fix this problem is nobody in power expects they or anyone they know will ever go to prison.

So what's the point of the show? Pretty much every big topic he's covered comes out like that. Oh, look at how farked up this thing is. Oh well, onto the next episode. It's about as useful as reading Fark.


theimpactnews.com
 
2014-07-22 12:31:53 AM  
Okay, the bit itself is great, but as a physician I do have to take some umbrage with the hammering on the sugar in the wound thing.  There is a growing body of literature out there about using granulated sugar in wound healing.  I've never personally used it (although we have discussed it on a few patients with more complex wounds) and I wouldn't argue it is the standard of care, but to put it on par with giving heroin to children for a cough is just plain wrong.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=granulated+sugar++wound
 
2014-07-22 04:53:38 AM  
So John Oliver is just a musical Ric Romero?
 
2014-07-22 07:50:25 AM  
" Never build a jail that you would not like to be locked up in yourself. " - Lord Havelock Vetinari (paraphrased)
 
2014-07-22 09:11:23 AM  
He's kinda funny but beginning to head into Olberman territory
 
2014-07-22 09:28:26 AM  

doubled99: He's kinda funny but beginning to head into Olberman territory


Isolating himself, saying things that get him kicked off of station after station, making his shows and his network ratings tank, alienating his coworkers and leaving a trail of failure and angry people in his professional wake?

As far as I can tell, he's done none of these.  He's appreciated by a wide and growing audience, he's fun and easy to work with, is a moneymaker for his network, his skills are in high demand, and he does a good job of putting an intelligent and direct finger on problems the public tends to gloss over and have become numb to.
 
2014-07-22 08:47:56 PM  

HMS_Blinkin: And there's no harm in shining as bright a light as possible on some of society's nastiest problems.


I like your metaphor. Shining bright lights on problems doesn't do anything. Maybe it's Step 1. Step 2 is still question marks.

wesmon: Not too long ago, homosexuality and marijuana were demons for the majority of the population. That changed over time. not because everyone now is a gay pot smoker but because of a shift in the consensus of opinion.


This one I like even more. This is the only victory progressives have had over the past ten years. Weed and gay marriage, and the latter has largely been the effort of the courts and the ACLU. Is this really enough for you?
 
2014-07-23 12:43:36 AM  

moothemagiccow: the only victory progressives have had over the past ten years


c1.staticflickr.com
 
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