The Prophets are Weird

The kids that get seriously bullied, if they survive it, don’t have anything to lose. They aren’t in it for the nookie. They no longer care what you think. They are the prophets. They are the ones who will say what no one else dares to say, because they believe it is true, and for no other reason. They don’t always get it right, but when they do, it’s spectacular, and unforgettable.


Justice is, most often, a synonym for revenge. When people cry for justice, what they really want is for the perpetrator to suffer, at a minimum, to the degree the victims of that person’s crimes have suffered. This is, of course, hugely problematic. What is being demanded is that the government that represents the victims become the chief torturer and executioner.

People with strongly held religious beliefs are often those that cry the loudest for this kind of justice. It would appear that they do not believe that the God, or gods, that they worship can be trusted. Perhaps a merciful deity will forgive the criminal and allow them access to eternal bliss, what then?

The idea that convicted criminals should expect to endure all kinds of assault, including sexual assault, while incarcerated, is a common subtext for all kinds of comedy and drama on the subject of justice. So if the government is not willing to engage in the practice of torture, they are expected to place their convicted criminals in a context where the torture will be by proxy.

One of the most serious, and obvious problems with this idea of justice is what happens when an individual is wrongfully convicted. Wrongful convictions are, unfortunately, inevitable. Humanity has yet to devise a justice system that ensures that no one is wrongfully convicted.

Another serious problem with this approach to justice is how it applies to criminal acts which are not deemed serious enough to warrant permanent incarceration. The science is pretty clear, “hurt people, hurt people”. If you create a system of incarceration that traumatizes inmates, there is a very good chance that at least some of those inmates are going to be far more damaged, and as a result far more dangerous, when they leave, than when they entered the system.