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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
    More: Interesting, u.s. prisons, John Oliver  
•       •       •

3933 clicks; posted to Main » on 21 Jul 2014 at 2:12 PM (2 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



Voting Results (Smartest)
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

2014-07-21 02:14:13 PM  
8 votes:
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.
2014-07-21 03:28:02 PM  
5 votes:

WhyteRaven74: LegacyDL: Shows like these simply serve as court jesters,

What stops a man who can laugh from speaking the truth? - Horace


The king didn't keep a fool at court just to amuse his guests.  He kept a fool at court because a fool can get away with telling the truth.  He's a fool, nothing more.  And sharp as a razor when the king asked him for honesty.  Most of the truths in our society are told by jesters.
2014-07-21 03:12:33 PM  
5 votes:
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.
2014-07-21 02:38:15 PM  
5 votes:
The main reason nothing will get down is because as soon as some politician finally get the guts to propose a major reform to the criminal justice system, his opponent is going to do this:
sfcitizen.com

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.
2014-07-21 02:17:29 PM  
5 votes:

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.


That and the big sacks of cash they collect to look the other way.
2014-07-21 02:45:53 PM  
4 votes:

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.


Here's my problem with posts like yours in the comments section of Fark. It's not really helping anything. All you are doing is commenting about something anonymously. No one knows you or cares what you think and you aren't changing anything. Life isn't a bulletin board. Something something, life is pointless, etc.

amirite?
2014-07-21 02:18:12 PM  
4 votes:
When we have prisons that are for-profit, and we have the largest percentage per capita of people behind bars, you think it would be farking obvious that our entire goddamn system is farked up. The system is weighed against people to land them in prison because it makes money. People are literally treated like a commodity, seen as "how much money can this person earn me", and not as an employer-employee relationship. The fact that no one in either party is doing anything about this is another reason why America isn't, nor will ever be, #1*.


*except in the huge amount of ignorance and cognitive dissonance the people and ruling classes have
2014-07-21 12:21:09 PM  
4 votes:
I wish they'd expand the show to an hour. There's too much win there for just half an hour.
2014-07-21 03:01:58 PM  
3 votes:
"The left loves to blame for profit prisons"

Yes, Trolly McThreadjacker, we do:

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kids_for_cash_scandal
2014-07-21 02:57:36 PM  
3 votes:

MyRandomName: RoxtarRyan: When we have prisons that are for-profit, and we have the largest percentage per capita of people behind bars, you think it would be farking obvious that our entire goddamn system is farked up. The system is weighed against people to land them in prison because it makes money. People are literally treated like a commodity, seen as "how much money can this person earn me", and not as an employer-employee relationship. The fact that no one in either party is doing anything about this is another reason why America isn't, nor will ever be, #1*.


*except in the huge amount of ignorance and cognitive dissonance the people and ruling classes have

The left loves to blame for profit prisons which is a fraction of the actual prison populace. Yet you applaud and adore the prison guard union in California due to the advantage it gives for democrats politically.

I dont think you are being sincere.


Your entire intellectual life seems to consist of what you imagine the so-called "left" thinks, says, and does.
Do you have any actual views of your own with the merit to be worth discussing?
2014-07-21 02:57:01 PM  
3 votes:

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.


Which is the weirdest part of the whole thing, frankly, since we've got such a massive prison population that you've got almost a 1% chance of being in prison  right now, and if you're a legal citizen it's still something like half a percent.  Or go the other way and thrown in parole and that's 1.5-2 percent.

Your chance of being convicted and sent to prison at some point in your life are harder to find, but we know that the average sentence length in the US is 29 years (http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/stats/Crime/Sentence-Length ), so in a given year, 1/29th of that 1% is new people (recidivism is a thing, but it's a small minority of prisoners).  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.

Anyone that's ever bought a lottery or raffle ticket, or applied for a job with more than five applicants, or tried speed dating, etc, but doesn't think they could have a personal stake in how farked our prison system is should probably feel ashamed of themselves, because they're  stupid.  Even if you're female, and white, and middle class, and that number's significantly lower, it's also still non-trivial.

// Obviously if you're  wealthy  you're immune to the above.
2014-07-21 02:29:41 PM  
3 votes:

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.


What do you really want him to do? Pass a bill? That's not really in his job description. He's bringing awareness to subjects that go overlooked, or are utterly farked up...just like Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert do.

We, as a society, are the ones that are expected to change the things we don't like about these topics. Whether or not we can or do is a whole different argument.

Do you also get angry when the local weatherman doesn't make the Sun shine?
2014-07-21 04:58:02 PM  
2 votes:

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 04:57:47 PM  
2 votes:

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 04:41:56 PM  
2 votes:

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 04:29:06 PM  
2 votes:

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 03:34:10 PM  
2 votes:

wesmon: 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.


"Why should I bust my ass here, 6 days a week, for 7.20 an hour?"

"Because it's better than prison."

"So my choices are 'indentured servitude with or without beatings, maggoty food and anal rape?' "

"You're not as stupid as you look."
2014-07-21 03:30:42 PM  
2 votes:

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.
2014-07-21 03:30:22 PM  
2 votes:

Jim_Callahan: Ah, I missed a decimal with my math, it's more like 5% chance to be incarcerated or on probation at some point.  The overall point still stands, though.  You are nontrivially likely to be on the wrong end of this shiat at some point.


The reason that you should be concerned, even if you don't give two shiats about the prisoners, is that most get out of prison.  If they are more farked up then when they went into prison then you are more likely to come in contact with or be victimized by one of these ex-prisoners.
2014-07-21 03:24:09 PM  
2 votes:

LegacyDL: Shows like these simply serve as court jesters,


What stops a man who can laugh from speaking the truth? - Horace
2014-07-21 03:04:08 PM  
2 votes:

MyRandomName: Yet you applaud and adore the prison guard union in California due to the advantage it gives for democrats politically.


Please, show me where I've done so. I'll buy you TF for a year showing me where I've said anything that can even resemble that statement.

Of course, you can't, because you're delusional.
2014-07-21 02:53:10 PM  
2 votes:

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.


Sounds like you might be misdirecting your anger.
2014-07-21 02:29:02 PM  
2 votes:
+ the racism/classism that just wants those people removed from society using any excuse, and then turn them into the animals everybody knows that they are at heart.
2014-07-21 02:26:58 PM  
2 votes:

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.


It's news commentary. He alerts people to things, makes some jokes, and encourages them to get involved (see: FCC network neutrality episode). What you do you want him to do, personally come to your door, pick up the phone and call your representative and hold the phone to your ear for you? Get off your ass and act for yourself.

If you don't like Fark so much, you keep on coming here for one reason or another. Is the group home that lonely?
2014-07-21 06:13:05 PM  
1 vote:

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 05:32:16 PM  
1 vote:

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 05:29:18 PM  
1 vote:

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 04:50:25 PM  
1 vote:

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 04:24:53 PM  
1 vote:

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 04:16:48 PM  
1 vote:

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 04:11:38 PM  
1 vote:
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 03:29:39 PM  
1 vote:

shirtsbyeric: Do we still "hope" that this will "change"?


Yes.  We do.  Good men always try and leave things better than they found them.  Partisan shilling is largely useless.  And so are most presidents.
2014-07-21 03:13:49 PM  
1 vote:

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

2014-07-21 03:12:54 PM  
1 vote:

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 mean, like, Al Franken?
2014-07-21 03:10:59 PM  
1 vote:

bingo the psych-o: SilentStrider: I wish they'd expand the show to an hour. There's too much win there for just half an hour.

I like it as it is, otherwise it could turn into an awesome half hour show with an extra half hour of unnecessary padding.


Which my local news already is - hours and hours of padding, very little "news."
2014-07-21 02:49:42 PM  
1 vote:
"As soon as something becomes primarily about money, whatever it is purported to be about is what it used to be about."
2014-07-21 02:38:17 PM  
1 vote:

AnotherBluesStringer: 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.

What do you really want him to do? Pass a bill? That's not really in his job description. He's bringing awareness to subjects that go overlooked, or are utterly farked up...just like Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert do.

We, as a society, are the ones that are expected to change the things we don't like about these topics. Whether or not we can or do is a whole different argument.

Do you also get angry when the local weatherman doesn't make the Sun shine?


And to do that, we need enough knowledge of the topic.  Which, strangely, comes more from for-profit comedy shows than from networks that are allowed to broadcast through the air because they're supposedly providing news for the public good.

/we found new evidence that officials are "very hopeful" will lead to the recovery of the plane.
//Benghazi
2014-07-21 02:37:08 PM  
1 vote:

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.


Have you watched John Oliver's show?
2014-07-21 02:35:29 PM  
1 vote:
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.
2014-07-21 02:31:04 PM  
1 vote:
The Internet is not for John Oliver and his muppets.
img1.wikia.nocookie.net
2014-07-21 02:30:18 PM  
1 vote:
We are a christian based society, our penal system is based not on rehabilitation, but on punishment, pain and suffering, just as the bible says it should be.
2014-07-21 02:23:29 PM  
1 vote:

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.


You seem to spend a great deal of time watching a show you don't like.  A word of advice for you? The Kardashians are on Sunday nights, too.  You may find you prefer that instead.
2014-07-21 02:20:57 PM  
1 vote:
"for an utterly known reason"

Heh.
 
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