Thursday, 22 November 2012

(Day 125) Seoul Nambu Correctional Facility-day 30 D-126

sit-ups jogging chair-lifts
100 15 min 100
Breakfast, lunch & dinner = November 1


I wonder what the fallout will be. Our basic prison uniform consists of a pair of socks, underwear, tank top, a pair of pants and a jacket designating out cell and block number and our inmate number. During the roll call, and whenever we step foot outside of our cell, we are supposed to wear the jacket so we are easily identifiable. 

While at rest, I take the jacket off because:
a)      I'm alone in my cell. I don't need to tell myself who I am.
b)      It’s a quilted jacket. It's hot.
c)      I only have one. The more I wear it, the dirtier and smellier it gets.

So anyway, last night after final roll call and dinner, I was quietly drawing. The TV was on, but the volume was practically turned off, it was down so low. I wasn't really watching it. I was drawing and the guard comes by and tells me I must wear my jacket from the time I wake up until the time we go to bed 6:30 am to 9:00 pm. Even if I'm alone in my cell. In less than an hour it would have been 9:00 pm, so I asked him why.

He says, “It’s the rules.”

 I say “Okay, show me the rules and I'll follow them.”

He, of course, can do no such thing because it's one of those unwritten rules that power-tripping assholes pull out of their asses when they want to abuse their authority. Now, never having been questioned in such a way, he goes and gets his supervisor, who doesn't speak any English, but yells at me in Korean anyway.

When I keep repeating “I don't understand,” he keeps repeating whatever it was he was saying in Korean and visibly getting angrier and angrier.

The other guy started taking pictures as proof of my insubordination. I thought it was a simple request. He said it was a rule-- I got no problem following the rules, as long as it’s an actual rule. In writing. On a list, with all the other rules. If it isn't written down, then it’s a request, not a rule and you can't go around making shit up just to make yourself feel better.

This morning when the workers were delivering breakfast, neither one of them were wearing the jacket... And they're outside of their cells. So the rules only apply when it suits their whims? Bullshit. One more check-mark against my respect for authority. I respect the warden because he was respectful to me, but these two guards last night were complete fucking morons. If I don't hear anything about it today...

And I never even got to finish that sentence without hearing about it. This time however they showed me the rule in a book so I agreed to follow it. Then they spent 30 minutes trying to get me to apologize to the guard for not doing what he said, which I refused because I never said I wouldn't do what he asked-- I only requested that the show me the rule that says I'm required to wear a jacket the entire time I'm awake. He never showed or attempted to show me any such rule, so I ignored it. I guess that makes me the asshole, but I don't care.

Any rule that starts with “you must do whatever the guard tells you, no matter how unreasonable the order” is an abusive rule. That's the same as “you must do what I ask because I have a badge.” What if the person with the badge is breaking the rules? It's actually more likely.

 Think about all that the governments in the world and how many are corrupt vs. uncorrupted. There are barely a handful considered non-corrupt and even those have plenty of corruption. Look at the police in Kenya or any African country. Military dictatorships are corrupt by their very nature and there are quite a few of those in the world.

So, I'm sorry that I have nothing but contempt for such authority and don't trust anyone with a badge. That's the only thing I apologize for. That and the fact they dragged poor Mr. K into it to translate. It’s not his fight. He doesn't need the stress and for that, I truly am sorry. But the guards? They can kiss my ass. In 4 months, I'll be gone. They'll still be stuck here in prison as long as they are guards working here. Sure, they go home, but they spend at least 12 hours a day here amongst all us criminals. Besides, a little drama and controversy makes the day go faster and gives me something to write about.