Stifled Applause

Recreating (and advancing) pk’s censored domains: / Teaching / Society / Order / Hierarchy versus Conviviality Stories / Jail /

Gun Club Road Jail, Palm Beach

2007 February, my poor old bones are being mercilessly refrigerated in one of the temporary dorms. Could I have gotten back to South8C I could have hoped to find a sweat shirt I’d left behind with Bob Heartsong, knowing I’d be coming again. But the jail charges the state for each inmate they process, so it’s the jail’s practice never to recognize repeat guests. They take your fingerprints each time, never remember your medicine …
One evening I’m freezing in the day room and the guard calls me for some reason. The moment the business with the guard is done someone comes up to my table:
“Knatz, Knatz, did I hear the name Knatz?”
“That’s me,” I said.
“Have you ever heard of, do you happen to know a Paul Knatz?” he asked.
“That’s me,” I said. “Why do you ask?”
“Because I’m a fan of,” he said.

A moment later he added, “These guys,” sweeping with his arm to indicate the day room, the dorm pods … “should be applauding you. If everyone read your writing there wouldn’t be any jails!”
Wow. Don’t I wish.

The fellow introduced himself as Bill Peterson, owner of the Sunny Italy restaurant in West Palm Beach, Southern at 441. He told me he’d first heard of by visiting a web site that named ten writers to avoid reading at all costs. He said that Paul Knatz was number two on their hate list.
Wow. I hope that’s the exact truth.
Bill said that that is what sparked him to try reading me. Thank you so much, Bill.
The half-way house I was sent to was in West Palm Beach. Sunny Italy’s phone was disconnected. hell, I’d met Bill in jail. Maybe the state fucked him up the way the fed tried to, and mostly succeeded in fucking me up. I could have used a friend in West Palm. As it is, I hope I can reach him again sometime just to say Hi.

I told a slightly different version of this story: I’ll read it in here, merge, edit later.

In jail, Jesup fed satellite low, Georgia, there was a volunteer librarian, Hispanic guy. He’d see me coming: with a big smile he’d go, “!” and applaud! Every time!

You know, it’s not nice when critics, saviors … whistle blowers … artists, geniuses … are treated like criminals. At the same time, from the cross, Jesus had a privileged view of Homo sap.

The refrigerated jails were extra torturous to this old freedom fighter; yet many of the details of my experiences were irreplaceable, precious.

That reminds me of another one I’ll tell right here:

If everyone read,
there would be no jails!
William Peterson

Every time the federal marshals moved me during the first half year in prison they parked me for a day or a week in the Palm Beach Country Jail, Gun Club Road. The state paid the county per new prisoner, so each time a prisoner is taken away, to be brought back six hours later, the jail would pretend it had never seen them before! One could pretend that the system’s dishonesty need have nothing to do with this or that slave-offal-chattel, but the stiff has to endure the same fingerprinting routine, the same assignation of a number, the same rude physical examination, the same fat nurse …

Then the pseudo-newbie is shoved into a general dorm, where one is stripped, again, and extra-frozen.

Well, I was shivering in a general dorm for the Nth time. For the Nth time I wrapped myself in the wretched prison blanket and was told to remake the bunk, no blankets allowed. Then the guard called me by name again for some reason. After the guard was done with me a guy sitting in the general social area grabbed me by the arm, looked me in the eye. “Knatz,” he said. “By any chance do you know Paul Knatz?” “That’s me,” I said.

The guy smote his brow. “Paul Knatz!,” he said. “! I’m a big fan of yours!” He added a bit later, “These guys,” he swept the general area, “should be applauding you. If everyone read, there would be no jails!”

“William Peterson” he told me his name was. Said he owned a restaurant on 441 and Military Trail, Viva Italia, or something. I’ll check both the name and the location another time. When I next passed through Palm Beach it was through a halfway house. I tried to give William Peterson a call. The phone number of the restaurant had been disconnected. The court destroyed my business as it destroyed my domains, censored my writing, tried to destroy me. I fear that Peterson’s disconnected phone might have a similar etiology.

Why do humans stand still for such things? Didn’t the Germans realize that if the Jews could be snatched, even a Nazi could get snatched next?
But Germans have stood still for compulsory schooling since the 1860s: just as Americans have stood still for the same thing since 1870!

Just as we all stood still for Jesus.

2013 03 30 I see I didn’t complete my William Peterson story when I first blurted it. William Peterson also told me how he first discovered He said he came upon a list on line of evil web sites to avoid at all costs. How bad can they be, he wondered, and browsed a couple. was high up on the list, number two or so. Evil, to be shunned. He read around in it, though, Hey, this is great! Read some more.
I only wish it could have done us some good. But, you never know: time is still going on. We sort of know some parts of what’s happened, but we have only ideas about what is yet to happen.

I hope God bails us out after all, but only long enough to damn us for sure. Judgment may take a long time.

And I wish I knew the www list Bill was talking about. Anybody else ever see it? Clue me in, please.

Further PS, referred to Nazis above: Jan and I just read Erik Larson’s In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin aloud to each other, wonderful book. He details something I’ve actually said since I was a teen, but he’s reporting, I was spinning: under the Nazis it was dangerous to be a Jew, or a homosexual, or a gypsy, or a Communist … or a Nazi ! The Nazis murdered each other left and right. Hitler murdered Rohm, others were plotting to murder Hitler.
Maybe the earth would be better off if the Nazis had won! Maybe we’d all the quicker be back to hitting each other with clubs, no ammo available, industrial society falling flat on its nose.

Hierarchy vs. Conviviality Stories Jail Stories

About pk

Seems to me that some modicum of honesty is requisite to intelligence. If we look in the mirror and see not kleptocrats but Christians, we’re still in the same old trouble.
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