MSNBC has been delighting me with its seemingly endless documentary series about prison life, called Lock Up. Last night, I watched the episode about two crazy guys who had each killed a parent and then eaten the parent’s brain. I wasn’t really offended; I guess if one of my kids killed me, I’d like them to at least eat my brain!
The night before, I met Bobby Gilbert, a guy who’s spent 19 years in solitary confinement and wants to be moved to a prison closer to his Mama. He throws a fit when he doesn’t get his transfer. Then he goes to anger management classes and gets a haircut from a prison buddy who is older and wiser and less insane.
Another inmate, Alex Bennett, has an amazing gray mullet, and scares the shit out of the series producer, a fat young white guy. Alex seems to relish being a hardened convict, and he shows us his favorite place to stand out in the yard.
God, I love this series. How can anyone not love it? The tattoos, the personality disorders, the bad grammar, it’s a dream come true for the armchair sociologist. If you like the idea of hearing ‘Death Row’ pronounced to rhyme with Jethro, this is must-see television.