Yep, that’s right if Michael Vick has redeemed himself, where is his puppy? After all we are entitled to second chances. It’s in the ten commandments and repeated in the US Constitution.
Any Man Convicted of a Crime that serves out his punishment in full, should be given the opportunity to repeat his crime after his punishment is served as his debt to society is paid and he can only be fully redeemed once he is capable of demonstrating his own command of his person not to repeat his crime. This should be true in all cases whether they be murder, rape, incest, theft, graft, treason, assassination, adultery, or porcupine buggery.
Sounds like a load of horse shit doesn’t it? Well it is. Lately people have been trumping the redemption card, and the second chance is an American Right card like there was no tomorrow. I wouldn’t be surprised if they also believe that or forefathers believed in Santa Claus too.
I’m sure they didn’t think Santa Claus wore a red coat.
It almost makes you think that this whole redemption business must be a game.
People often refer to prison as a ‘system’ or ‘the system’. You have to work the system, you have to survive the system, don’t let the system eat you up, play the game (and you will survive the system).
I have long commented on the belief that Michael Vick or someone working for or with Michael Vick has been working the PR system very heavily. If we think about how that might be possible, we can look back over the last few years and see an evolution of events that include a Michael Vick who assured us that he was not guilty, promised us that he would be found innocent, before he promptly plead guilty in a plea bargain.
Was that a guilty person that did not want to admit they were guilty, or did Michael Vick just want to wait for the right time to fess up, put a few months of distance between the images of the dogs found on his property in April and the confession early the next fall?
Then he moves to bankrupt proof Florida, files for bankruptcy, by some accounts withdrew a lot of cash first, and the next thing you know he’s in prison, where he diligently begins to play the redemption game. Before long he’s out early on good behavior and promises to avoid the bad life. He works for a month or so doing the type of job that is typical for a parole and then BAM he wins the NFL lottery for the second time in his life and gets pulled back into the life. He gets a fat (for an ex-con) contract for about $7 million dollars
Guess what, he never gave up any names to the Feds. No convictions or investigations seemed to have been initiated or brought based on the information that Michael Vick provided as part of his plea agreement. Good job, keep your mouth shut. A couple years later, he’s back in the life with $2 million in teaser money to check and see if he can ‘play ball’ and then a follow up $5 million dollars if he does and can continue to play ball. (approximate amounts, the details are mentioned in this blog elsewhere).
The blitzkrieg of media starts right away after prison as well. He goes and delivers ‘god’ awful presentations and speeches to kids and teenagers. The type of talk that looks like lip service, sound like lip service at best and like a person the kids probably know doesn’t feel sorry for anything except getting caught. He’s speaking their language and they eat it up, because they can see he played the game well enough to walk away with an extra seven million. GO VICK!
He is then seen in his own TV series on BET where he both gives his side, but plays to the heart strings of his base about his path towards redemption, codeword for salvation in some circles. If he can only get his strength back, if he can only get his speed back, if he can only study the game and become smarter than he was before, if if if Rocky can just run faster than a car spinning its wheels in the snow…
About now you would expect a miracle if this were a movie. You would expect the star performer to suffer an injury and the lowly asshole trying to redeem himself would get his next last chance, and so Michael Vick fit the bill and did. He then continued to do what every person that needs to redeem must do(if you are thinking of Job and suffering, that’s old testament wrong story) he must win!
There is no redemption if Burt or Adam or Mike loses (unless they get to make the warden look stupid, ergo stick it to the system). No he simply has to win because in the real America the system is not about redemption, it has nothing to do with religion, it has everything to do with money.
The paths of redemption and the path of the system only cross, when the system of money needs to put more asses in seats with a good old fashioned redemption works, redemption is possible, our asshole is the worst person on Earth almost but our good old system could still redeem him.
The reality is that Michael Vick can’t be trusted. I read this HNN book review tonight by a college professor, named Jennifer Graber who teaches at Wooster College in Ohio (not Worcester of the same pronunciation but different spelling, it was probably Americanized) that teaches some interesting sounding classes on religion in the USA.
She has a blog at http://jennifergraber.net/
note the History News Network got the citation for her link wrong, but this is a book review and not an investigation into the facts of the past. ;0
Now the book isn’t out yet, so obviously I haven’t read it, but according to the book review it talks about America’s transformation from a country that harshly punished criminals to one that attempted to religiously reform and redeem criminals to our system today that just tries to reform, enter Michael Vick example of the fury over redemption.
The current absence of redemption in the system, must leave some sort of hole in our American psyche as evidenced by the plethora of
- diatribes and
- general gibberish about the idea that Michael Vick paid his time,
- paid for his crime,
- made things right,
- won the damned games,
- kept up his speed,
- played smarter,
- didn’t go to Mexico this time,
- didn’t flip off his fans,
- didn’t shoot that guy in the leg at his birthday party,
- didn’t get caught juicing,
- didn’t go off on a bender with a suit case of cocaine and a pack of strippers.
- yada yada yada
He played the redemption part just right (enough), and then shuffled off and got the hell out of the way with an ankle sprain or something.
Who the hell knows what or why or if it was real or if it was a Falconesque choke or what. Who really cares, which should be the new title for this blog anyway!
The point is that the system has a flaw. It might be possible to take a criminal and return them to society, reformed. It is possible that they may avoid all of the situations that led them to commit their crime in the first place. They might stop hanging out with the wrong people, taking the wrong drugs, or not taking the right drugs that keep them sane. They might not go broke and get desperate, or they might win more football games and not feel the urge to go pummel helpless dogs to death with their bare hands, but I digress.
Nothing in the system redeems anyone.
For redemption, you have to play into the religious connotations that transformed our prison system a hundred years ago, probably the type of stuff that Assistant Professor Graber talks about in her book.
Did I mention the book review was written by Jennifer Graber? I guess it’s less a book review and more of an essay about how Michael Vick fits into the subject of her book, not that there is anything wrong with that or any connection to Michael Vick or the NFL that I am aware of.
We’ll assume (until or if she proves us wrong, goes to prison, comes out and has to redeem herself too) she’s on the up and up and just hounding for some of that Michael Vick media attention.
Speaking from experience, that and five bucks will get you a cup of expensive coffee.
So if the system doesn’t redeem, you where is your average no-good-shit fresh out of prison, can’t get their dog blood fix, nor fund their buddies to crank up an illegal dog fighting ring, supposed to go for the official seal of public approval?
The media, pure and simple.
This isn’t about the fans, it’s not about the sponsors until the media says that it is ok. You have to run the media gauntlet and show that you are a good story. Good story as defined by someone that went from rags to riches to rags (with accusations of cash hidden away) and back to official bankruptcy court cleared riches again. You have to be able to ‘perform’ not necessarily be a good athlete, but if you don’t perform then you will be kicked to the curb like all those NFL players sent off to die very, very early in their retirement years.
If Michael Vick is redeemed now, and I’m sure as hell not saying he is. But for the sake of argument, let’s say that since his stats were ok before the post season started, lets say that that was enough to redeem him. He’s not Jesus Christ and didn’t die for our sins, but he passed and ran for his own sins, so that’s got to be good enough, right?
As anyone know that has ever read this blog before, I am not religious. I believe in no religion. If you do, well your belief and five dollars will get you an expensive coffee.
So if he is redeemed, here is what I want to know…
Why doesn’t anyone trust Michael Vick with a dog anymore?
- Let the rapist out of jail, he’s served his time. Will you let him room with your sister, mother, daughter?
- If Bernie Madoff got out of prison next summer on good behavior, would you invest your life savings with him a month later? What if he had a reality show on BET that talked about how he was trying to redeem himself?
If Michael Vick is redeemed, how come the President of HSUS didn’t go to the courts and petition the judge to let Michael Vick get a puppy for his kids? For that matter why didn’t Roger Goodell or Tony Dungy ask the courts to lift the court requirement against Vick as dog owner? If President Obama, whom I voted for, thinks that Michael Vick is redeemed by his play on the field, why doesn’t he trot his dog Bo over to Vick’s place and have him dog sit this weekend during the Super Felon Bowl?
Go for it, I’ll take the hint and remove this site if the President trusts Vick enough to let him dog sit his own dog.
Assuming Bo survives.
After all, Michael Vick served his time, paid his debt to society. He’s not going to go electrocute, drown, or beat on that new puppy for fun is he? What type of man newly reformed and out of prison with a fat NFL contract would beat a dog anyway?
He’s OK enough to talk to at risk kids, but you can’t trust him with a puppy?
It’s not like Michael Vick doesn’t want a dog. He was talking about it not so long ago and how that would you know, be able to, show people. Show people what? That he can physically restrain himself from choking the puppy to death in front of his kids? Show people that he’s not a dog killing monster?
No, Michael Vick is NOT a monster. He’s just a man. He is one of us. The reality is that people in the best and worst of situations can do terrible things. Studies show that almost anyone is capable of doing some of the worst atrocities ever dreamed of.
America wants to see their redemption story, not because they really give a shit about Michael Vick. They just want to know that if the worst came to the worst and they completely screwed up themselves on any given Sunday and went to prison, they might have a hope at redeeming themselves Just Like Vick.
But that’s a farce too. Michael Vick is not redeemed. Most people that get out of prison never find redemption.
Most of them probably don’t even find a lot of trust from their fellow human beings. This is not a bad thing. There is nothing wrong with a person that fails to trust another person that has committed a violent crime. Some people might even call that wise.
Einstein had a famous quote paraphrased ‘doing the same thing and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity’.
You can seek out a redeemed child molester and hire them as a baby sitter if you are a God Damned fool, but you and the child molester, both, would probably be locked up afterwards. That type of thing shouldn’t happen for a good reason. The people that commit atrocities without any outside force compelling them to do that are a little more dangerous and unpredictable as compared to the rest of us. Society beware and not in a fearful ignorant way but in a self aware that dangerous people do dangerous things over and over again. University studies as well as an evaluation of actual events in most historical prison camps teach us that almost anyone can eventually and rapidly be turned into a brutal guard that will do just about anything.
The difference between Michael Vick and most of the rest of is that most of us don’t go out and do that on any given Monday – Saturday when we are not playing football. We don’t invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in furthering such an enterprise either.
So we can read books about reform and redemption from now until the cows come home, but the wise person will be a little more careful around the products of these reforms. You can send your money to the NFL, you can buy Michael Vick’s jersey if you like, you can support his new Nissan sponsor (regardless of the spanking), but we choose not to, because it was this funding and this type of encouragement from Michael Vick’s fans and sycophants that gave him the ability to do what he did for six years.
Emphasis on: gave him ‘the ability’ not forced him to do what he did)
Michael Vick is not redeemed and neither is the NFL nor his fans that fueled his blood letting fury. We all have blood on our hands for that past, but so far, Michael Vick and some of our readers may be the only ones that have not acted as a repeat offenders.
Now go and enjoy the Super Felon Bowl if you want to be part of the problem