the war on drugs

Smoking Youth 2

No, this post is not about America’s failed policy of prohibition, but about a band I have just discovered while putting off writing you a post about my latest experiment in parricide support, underway for some time now, here in Texas.

Yes, Texas.

I know I have been reluctant, until meeting Austin Eversole, to take on any Texas cases because I had wanted the extra insulation from lawsuits and physical threats this “rule” would provide. But I have discovered a cluster of parricides serving time in a prison, Clemens Unit, in the greater Houston area, and my interest in the possibilities of such a situation overcame any feelings of queasiness I previously felt about taking on Texas cases.

Besides Austin Eversole (aged 21 and serving a 40-year sentence), are: David Childress (aged 24 and serving a 40-year sentence), Travis Tyler (aged 35 and serving a 99-year sentence), and David McCullough (aged 32 and serving a 40-year sentence). All in one place. All parricides. Each one with a different story. But all thrown away by society.

In most cases, we are the first to express an interest in helping them in any way since their sentences began.

Texas, at any rate, is experiencing some changes which may well affect the rest of America, and I want us to be a part of those changes.

First of all, Texas is changing from a “Red” state to a “Purple” state in its politics. Second, it is experiencing an apparent economic “boom” in its growth. Third, its burgeoning minority population is questioning the “cowboy justice” mentality which has dominated Texas culture up until now.

Hell yes, I want us involved in that action.

We have not been invited into the prison by the state, but by the inmates. The inmates have agreed to our basic plan of action, if not the particulars. They are still trying to get their heads around the enormity of our commitment to them; they do not yet know what they should be asking for. There is no “grand plan” or “program.” It is an inductive process that unfolds gradually, opportunistically, the future lying hidden around the next curve.

The only things we know for sure is that we will help them to win shorter sentences at the parole board, that we will offer a place to live and work after prison (a permanent anchor in their lives), that we will support each of these young men in their goal of tapping their innate talents and abilities in forging worthwhile, rewarding lives for themselves. We will publicize their stories in the media as a means for building public support for them. What happens to them in the prison will brought to the attention of the public. If there are legal reasons for the appeals of their sentences, we will pursue those.

But we don’t know how these objectives will be achieved, only what they are. We are aware that making progress towards these objectives will depend on getting along with the state authorities every step of the way.

It’s hard to write about such prospective activity without blowing smoke up your ass (to put it crudely). This is more a matter of adopting a realistic position than selling a vision. Our first site visit to Clemens won’t happen for 60 days as part of a filming project being undertaken by an international news network. We are still working out the permissions of state and facility officials, so there is a lot that can still fall out of bed. So far, everything looks good, but experience shows that it pays to be skeptical.

But I digress. This post is about a band which is new to me. A sound I’m pretty excited about.

The War on Drugs is an American indie rock band from Philadelphia PA, formed in 2005. The band consists of Adam Granduciel (vocals, guitar), David Hartley (bass, guitar), Robbie Bennett (keyboards, guitar), and Patrick Berkery (drums). Founded by close collaborators Granduciel and Kurt Vile, The War on Drugs released their debut studio album, Wagonwheel Blues, in 2008. Vile departed shortly after its release to focus on his solo career. The band’s second studio album Slave Ambient was released in 2011 to critical acclaim and extensive touring. A third album, Lost in the Dream, was released in March 2014.

I like the following selection because of its energy level. Having enough energy to meet the growing expectations of me has recently been quite a challenge. Lately I have been turning into a grumpy old man, and find myself easily aggravated by any contacts with people on the outside. I think it is because I find it so difficult to deal with people and things outside the predictable norms of my daily routine.

Maybe if I keep listening to music like this, I will be motivated to write more about my Clemens Initiative.


Groove of the Day

Listen to The War On Drugs performing “Red Eyes”




1 Response to “the war on drugs”

  1. January 7, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    Right away I am going to do my breakfast, once having my
    breakfast coming again to read more news.

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