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“It will rattle your windows…and shake all your walls…for the times…they are a – changing.”

-Bob Dylan-1964

In a matter of months 50 years will have passed since Bobby Zimmerman croaked out those notes of heed. The movement of the clock has proven that time changes everything. And everything, or anything, can turn downright… embarrassing… if given enough time.

Countless aspects of doing time here within our artificial world have changed dramatically over the passage of time. Ye ole Hotel Kalifornia. When I first fell and caught my “c” number 30 years ago, Cali only had 11 state facilities. Today the legislative vampires have driven that number up to 34 facilities. And that is not even counting all the out-of-state exiles who California Governor Brown has used to play a human shell game with. Ol Governor Moonbean and his homies all learned long ago how to squeeze the blood outta us turnips! The number of prisoners and the number of prisons have tripled here on the west coast yet the scam is so complex and vast that most can’t get a straight answer about what the hell is going on. The spin has caused mass confusion here. Lost is our ability to think.

In the game of numbers, like the number of changes here in the Hotel Kalifornia over the past three years, the conversions seem endless. As we peep outward in out attempts to “recognize” (or in my case, to red-neck-o-nize) all the many ways our lives here inside have either very much changed or plumb gone away. I have to admit that if only we could reverse our peepers and keep it real… we would realize that the most profound change has been within our own selves.

Just look around my convict brothers-n-sisters, and be honest when you evaluate what it is that you actually see. Buncha lames we’ve become. Collectively we’ve watered down our prospective to the point that our program has become as weak as rainwater. We’ve failed in teaching the youngsters what it means to be a convict, while at the same time we have allowed todays crop of coppers to assume because we’ve chosen to look away from the pathetic reality of what “this thing we do” has degenerated into.

We have done this to our own selves and every time my buttons get pushed and my social inadequacies tip me toward railing at the screws and calling em idiots – I have to check my damn self and remember that it’s me… and you… and us who are the true suckerfish. We’re the ones who chose to look the other way while our lil slice of the world change into… this.

Yesterday I peeped out two weirdoes on the yard who got ready to box over which nut was going to get to be the first one to dig threw a trash can! Yeah. It really happened… for real. These two knacks were gonna scuffle over who got the garbage! My brother Big John noticed my agitation as I watched the dehumanizing spectacle and defused my reaction by calmly asking me if I’d ever hear of those underground videos that were called “bumfights.” My flash of anger at two weird dudes squabbling over trash went away, and I and John moved away as well.

But the fact that two grown men on a prison yard would actually contest ownership of trash won’t ever go away. Like the garbage itself… the whole scene stinks and it shows us just how far we’ve sunk. Not too long ago here in the joint, it used to be a serious violation of convict protocol for a guy to even pick up a cigarette butt. Snipe hunters would get a hole put in them. Kats used to have a little game. A self-respecting miscreant could get by. But in today’s weak-spirited world, it looks like weirdoes and never-gonna-be guys can bluster up over a trash bag, while other pseudo tuff guys who get leaned on run to the cops at the first sign of trouble and cry to the man that “they gotta go.” Just tap out of the mainline housing with not a qualm or second thought.

This dire straits is our own fault. When we set the revise that makes us look away from the ugly part of our lives, for the sake of convenience, we get this diminished quality of life. When we stop looking at what is right in front of us, we can never see where we’re headed. Half of us don’t even know where the hell we are, much less where we’ve been. I’m an old man whose half looped so certainly I’m a cranky old convict. All I’ve got to say is “You lil bastards… turn the music down and pull your damned breaches up. Put your hat on straight and wake the F up!” we are participating in our own demise and the big joke is on us when we forget who the hell we are.

These times… they really are a – changing and it’s a regretful thing. Ain’t it ironic what the 21st century has brought? What the hell, I wanted to share these reflections because it’s my wistful way of harkening back to days gone by. A Badfish’s way of California Dreamin’ if you will. But, then again, times are tuff all over… ain’t they?

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