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Our collective lockdown mentality, lest a siren call lure us to freedom

LOCKDOWN. The term has become ubiquitous, though lifted easily out of context, being self-explanatory. Its predecessor "batten down the hatches" used to be too. Before the advent of recreational sailing it came from a work environment synonymous with incarceration, in the days of debtors prison for penury, before which were slave galleys. As an idiom, batten the hatches still means to fasten things down, brace for difficult weather. "Lockdown" was used this week to describe the city of Boston, as its neighborhood of Watertown was swarmed by militarized police, the residents commanded to "shelter in place", officers barking at them to stay in your houses, under penalty of being shot, by accident we like to suppose, for their own safety is the implication, or be arrested for obstructing justice. We've come to know what lock-down means. It's a prison term for everyone stuck in their cell, until further notice, sometimes indefinitely. Colorado's Supermax prison operates in a permanent state of lock-down. Of course in this age of school shootings --another self-defining expression, like "going postal"-- lock-downs have become an educational tradition, and isn't likening schools to prisons forcing an interesting slip into Freudian reality? 39028

Louisiana Lockdown – What is Angola Prison doing on Animal Planet TV?

Good ol' boys probably think it's mighty funny parading Angola's black prisoners across the teevee, at the whim of an all-white Reality TV corrections officer caste. Inmates are portrayed like the channel's animal kingdom predators, dangerous and unpredictable, but what misconduct is feared, the program doesn't dare tell. For being menacing recidivists, Angola's felons lead the life of choirboys apparently, no mention of the sexual slavery reported in a notorious memoir. What's the HIV transmission rate in Angola? No one's talking about racism. Was "Angola" named for its African population? We've already learned "The Farm" is an immense rural labor camp with a famous gladiatorial rodeo. Hopefully "Louisiana Lockdown" will disclose the reality side of its genre. Until then, the watchdog group most familiar with the mistreatment of Angola's inmates is the humane society.

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