Saturday, January 20, 2018

Tasmania in two days

A funny thing about planning for Australia trip was reading the TripAdvisor forums? People would say things like, how long should I spend in Tasmania, and the response would be like 4-6 weeks is necessary to see everything. Ok, I understand that Tasmanians have a lot of pride about their homeland. And Australians apparently love to be sarcastic? And they also like to have a laugh at others' expense? I have a hard time picking up on sarcasm, but these forums would also just be filled with what I imagined to just be pure misinformation. It made me wonder, who is writing this stuff? I have never visited a place whose TripAdvisor forums were so full of essentially trolls. What is up with that, Tasmanians.

The first couple days I spent at a private residence with my new friend A and her friends. Things I learned are that for some reason it's very easy to get sunburned in Tasmania. Also, we eat freshly slaughtered pigs. Also, eggs always go on toast and get eaten with a knife and fork. Also, the local legal system and local governments seem super corrupt?

There are legitimately road signs warning you to not run over Tasmanian devils, and apparently they are getting close to critically endangered because they're all dying of a contagious mouth cancer that they spread because they're always locking lips and exchanging saliva when they fight. The tumors get so big that the devil actually starves to death.

After hanging out with locals a couple days chatting and getting to know each other, I spent most of my time in Hobart staying in the Argyle Accommodation house, which is patterned after an old boarding house and itself is in a historic building. It's super cheap, nice, and I liked the boarding house vibe, especially since I was up to history on this leg of the trip. The first day in town I went to the Museum of Old and New Art, which is essentially carved three stories into the rock and features extensive collections related to sex and death and sex/death. I recommend taking the ferry, which is a lovely trip up the river.

I also really recommend the Pennicott tours of the Tasman Peninsula, especially if sea cliffs are your jam, like they are with me. You can add on a tour of the Port Arthur prison site. Maybe some of you are more familiar with Australian/UK history than I am, and you can correct any falsehoods I make in the comments or skip what I'm about to say. Australia was a prison colony, I think that's pretty common knowledge. The Industrial Revolution upended the British economy and people who were able to make a decent living in agriculture suddenly found themselves without a marketable skillset. The prisons started swelling and the British first started putting the overflow in beached old ships called "hulks", which apparently were fetid rotting masses of humanity piled on top of each other. But this is how society treats its undesirables. Think Les Miserables and hard labor for stealing food to feed your family. After a few scandals, the British needed somewhere else to send their unwashed masses, so they started forcibly "transporting" them to Australia. If you are familiar with the story of Sweeny Todd, you know that he was fortunate enough to escape and get back to England, although most people who were transported spent the rest of their life away from their homeland and friends and family. Men had it rough, ok, but women prisoners were like forcibly raped the whole time and blamed for being sluts and getting extended prison sentences because of it.

But where do you send the truly badees? They chose the island of Tasmania as a prison within a prison for the hard cases, specifically the isolated end of the Tasman Peninsula at Port Arthur. At its heyday, they guarded against escape by literally setting up a string of angry dogs about every five feet across the most narrow stretch of land connecting the Peninsula.

At various points in the history of the prison, prison conditions were ok and not so ok. The worst was when prison reformers decided that physical punishments only made criminals more hardened, so the key was to go after them psychologically. I'm not 100% sure how he is involved, but utilitarian wunderkind Jeremy Bentham is credited as the origins of these ideas (also invented the prison design the Panopticon.)

What they got up to, then, is the "separate system" or model prison in which all prisoners are kept in isolation of each other. When they go anywhere outside their cell, they wear masks. They exercise in little individual one person yards for a short period, all alone (see photo below). Everything they do is done alone. Even when they go to church, there are walls separating each little seat so they cannot see their fellow man. One thing I read suggested that this came in part from I believe Calvinist beliefs that when bad men associated with other bad men, they got worse, so the key to their rehabilitation was making sure that they were kept apart. The result was a huge spike in the number of insane convicts, such that they had to build an actual asylum right next to the separate prison.  You can see the separate prison and the asylum has been converted into a little cafe.

This was my second prison tour on my little travels (the first, Alcatraz, I'll come back around to that), but this one I took more personally. I was astounded by the hubris of the people handling the welfare of these people. I was a little disgusted with how callously society treated them. These men and women were allegedly wrongdoers, but what was done to them seemed in every case so much worse than what they did. In the prisons were little stories of the prisoners. One was Leonard Hand, sentenced to 15 years after attempted sodomy. He was later punished inside for using pages from a bible to communicate with another prisoner named James White in a way that was characterized as being "of an abominable and disgusting character". After he was sent to the separate prison, his mind deteriorated until he became "childish and silly". He died aged 24, socially undesirable.

There were many other prisoners whose seemed clear victims of circumstance. And then there were others whose personality traits I recognized as being sociopathic, even in the brief descriptions. For instance, Henry Laing, a skilled surveyer who caught the eye of the Governer's wife, Lady Jane Franklin. Lady Franklin described Laing as "a very handsome man . . . who has the disease of picking and stealing and seems to labour under (an) absolute ability to do otherwise". But as I was reading this and other descriptions of my sociopathic brothers and sisters I wondered, aren't they also victims of circumstances?

When you ask the question of who was this prison meant to serve, the answer if clear in its histories -- it was meant to isolate people whom society would rather ignore away from the normal people that did not want to have to deal with them in person or even think of them anymore. 

26 comments:

  1. Aren´t almost all ordinary sociopaths awareness of what they are the result of some sort of "trigger"? Some negative event in their life that woke the hateful & cynic sleeper inside?

    ReplyDelete
  2. um that's why prisoners have rights now, a lot the advocacy work comming from those loser empaths

    ReplyDelete
  3. that's so weird about the Tasmanian devils, do they have any idea of why that is? Some sort of inbreeding or environmental factor?

    i wonder about the sociological makeup of ppl in a small isolated island all descendant from prisoners and whatnot, definitely sociopathy but also i imagine greater self reliance, courage generally, and nonconformism

    recently saw an article that we had already become the panopticon thanks to social media, surveillance, etc. Wish i'd bookmarked it because it was rather interesting

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hello all,

    I have a question and am keen to hear your views.

    What’s more important to you: self-determination of having an advantage?

    Might having an advantage be a means to the end of self-determination?

    Thanks heaps

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, if you are determined to have an advantage and you have one than that is the end. But how do you determine you have an advantage out of each situation or ensure to have one? I think its impossible. You cannot possibly have an advantage from every single situation. You could very well be a genius but there will always arise a situation where you could be at less of an advantage.

      Delete
    2. Cool, thanks. So having an advantage would be a never-ending goal, basically. Sounds exhausting.

      Delete
  5. Posting this here ‘cause I find it hilarious but a bit too mean for my style. I’ll hold it in reserve.

    Also... monster? Did someone really call you that? With all the “oh, my phone”, “oh, it’s a catastrophe”, “oh, my work”, “oh, it’s difficult”, I’m seeing more of a whiny mouse. With cheese. In a tiny hole.

    Who would be afraid of a whiny mouse? I feel sorry for that person. They must be an ant or something.

    Anyway, I need a man. I don’t want any whiny mouse fucking me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What's mean in that? Girl knows what she wants is all, and ain't afraid to tell some douche he's a douche.
      Or mouse.
      With cheese.
      Would you let a mouse on you? No.
      Not even with cheese I'll wager.

      And I'd take an advantage every time. But I am extremely lazy.

      Delete
    2. I like cheese but I don't fuck mice. ;)

      Delete
    3. Thanks Swop. It was nice to read that actually.

      Yeah, I didn't go foot-on-throat at that point, but it worked out okay. Usually if I give him an opportunity to respond, he takes it in his own time. Not on my schedule, but he gets there eventually. Fair enough.

      @Bella exactly ;)

      Delete
  6. Hello.
    I've read all your disgusting books.

    I am also one of those socially respected patrollers.
    Whether you're a man, a woman, or a loner,
    I don't know, but your article was your excuse from beginning to end. Especially, in the last part of the book, Socio Pass was not just a harmful object to society, but a way to adapt itself to it with training.

    birth, survival strategies are determined by genetics. Just as a man or woman is determined by gender, so is the survival strategy in the brain.
    Be born.
    But how do you think that he's got a sociopath
    Can it be changed?
    It is not something that is changed but something that is latent.

    I hate little passes like you.
    Because you enjoy watching others suffer.Conscience, morality and loyalty are always used as tools to use them.
    Like the theory of natural selection of genes, the sacchio pass may someday die out.
    Because the genes of normal people who adapt to sociophobia, like i am, survive.

    Of course, they can not live only with each other.
    If they get a chance, they can feel each other like animals and eat each other ...
    You will commit betrayal, murder, when your best friend, family, or children around you lose interest. That's who you are.
    Normal way of saying it's a monster.
    forever bye, Monster!



    And to add to that,
    I have observed the Socio Pass group.
    Their actions were designed to create a frenzy of petty profit.
    I felt like a worthless fellow. It's like today bug
    Acting or not, I felt ugly and dirty.
    I guess the more I see them, the more I want to step down and kill bug.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "a frenzy of petty profit."

      Sounds nice.

      Who are the bugs you are thinking of killing?

      Delete
  7. Do you think anyone on this website cares about your opinion? You sound angry, are you ok?

    ReplyDelete
  8. Anonymous...have you had a stroke?

    Tap 1 and we'll call help.
    Try and focus on a bright light...breathe damn you BREATHE!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  9. To treat prisoners worse than animals seems pretty sociopathic to me, maybe your so-called sociopathic brothers and sisters were actually the ones running the prisons.

    I think the death penalty would have been a more humane end for most of these prisoners, to rot away slowly in a cage and to potentially go mad in the process is worse than death imo.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's silly to jump to every bad action being done is done by sociopaths. Normal humans are much more capable of acting maliciously.

      Delete
    2. Thanks for your opinion, you autistic fuck.

      A normal person who does sociopathic things is no longer a normal person, this is just common sense.

      If you're going to reply to my post at least try to seem somewhat reasonable.

      Delete
    3. Anon,

      It seems you hate sociopaths and are pretty angry. It also seems like you’re trying to understand.

      What happened? Maybe if you can explain and ask the questions you have in a clear way you can find the answers.

      These guys here are usually pretty cool and good at answering if you don’t take your anger out on them. They didn’t do anything to you.

      There’s a way through this.

      Delete
    4. North, go and look for attention somewhere else.

      Also, you're in no position to be giving out any sort of advice, so go fuck yourself.

      Delete
    5. I was here first. You go away :p

      Delete
  10. Most psychopaths seem to think they are better than other people, almost like if they are an elite of some kind? Do some of them see that this is the narcissism that comes included with the condition, and try to push those ideas away to be realistic? Or are socios super-humans?

    ReplyDelete
  11. Why do so many movies have socio-duos in them: Scream, Funny Games, Knock Knock & the diner robbery scene in A History of Violence? Usually there is one active (leader) sociopath and the other is more passive (follower) in movie fiction. How realistic is that..?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So...so you attack anyone who dares to post an opinion on stuff that's fuck all to do with you, then, then pose two completely shit and pointless fucktard questions and ask for people's opinions?
      Excuse the mob mentality that'll probably be brung up, but take Norths advice and fuck off.

      Delete
    2. Swop and I sadly agree. You can go fuck off if you aren't going to be entertaining.

      Ask questions if you want thoughts. Otherwise why waste your time?

      Delete
    3. Ffs Anonymous, now look what you've gone and fucking done.
      You see Alci...when you're not slugging around in 'secret' trying to play me with your little Bella toy...you'll find me quite, uh, agreeable.
      You're still a twat though.
      Does that need a smiley wink? I don't really do grammar faces you know. Urgh, ffs fine...;)
      How was that? It felt rushed.

      Delete
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    ReplyDelete

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