28th Sept 04

The Biblio Files

Some of you have asked what I am reading.

From the library I received a book by Seumas MacManus titled The Story of the Irish Race.
I also read Stan Goff's Full Spectrum Disorder, a hard-hitting polemic about war and geopolitics. He fused his Special Ops experiences into a powerful read. I strongly recommend it. I purchased it from http://www.akpress.org/, an outfit that stocks books you will not find in your average bookstore. The staff at the Madison Street jail mail officer would not allow their books inside the jail. Fortunately, the state prisons do not censure reading material. I’ve been scouring the akpress catalogue, which contains such unwholesome titles as A Hand in the Bush: The Fine Art of Vaginal Fisting, definitely not a book to be read around Frankie!

My brain seems to work better in the mornings, so I’ve been commencing each day with little assaults on Joseph Schumpeter’s History of Economic Analysis (thanks Surrah). This
1200-page book details the progression of economics since the Greeks. It was a good choice for my study needs.

After being worn down by Schumpeter, I usually study some of Yong Ho’s Intermediate Chinese (thanks Dad). I am slowly trying to learn the most spoken language in the world, with almost one billion Mandarin Chinese users according to Mr. Ho.

As the day progresses, I switch to lighter reading. I have just completed Thomas Malthus’s An Essay on the Principle of Population. I recently received Sigmund Freud by Richard Wollheim and Extreme Yoga by Jessie Chapman (thanks Mum). I have also recently ordered some books by Friedrich Nietzsche, Jean Jacques Rouseau, and the Marquis de Sade. After digesting those, Jeremy Bentham and Edmund Burke are next on my list.

Whilst reading Malthus’s book, I came across a quote that reminded me of a question I was recently asked: has incarceration broke you? Here's the quote:

That the difficulties of life contribute to generate talents; every day’s experience must convince us. The exertions that men find it necessary to make…frequently awaken faculties that might otherwise have lain forever dormant, and it has been commonly remarked that new and extraordinary situations generally create minds adequate to grapple with the difficulties in which they
are involved.


Anonymous said...

Instead of feeling resentful and wasting your time, you have used the time usefully, reading, writing and improving yourself. I'm sure one day you'll be a great author. You are an inspiration to anyone in difficult circumstances.
Keep strong and stay positive...Jon

John Williams said...

You are living proof of the adage, 'What doesn't kill us makes us stronger'. I hope you can get hold of some writing materials soon. Hang in old son.

Anonymous said...

Will you have access to a computer when you are moved to prison or at least be given a decent pen? Could we send you some pens? I think its disgraceful that you have to write with a pen refill and run the risk of permanent damamge to your hand. Your writing is obviously keeping your spirits up. Its very readable, I'm quite an addict and read your blog every week. I hope you keep writing and don't get discouraged by the lack of writing materials.

Jen said...

Mmmm...that's a great quote. :-)

Anonymous said...

Don't let them ever break you, Jon.


Prophet said...

Dear Jon,
I am curious if your Journals and other writings are going to be published... I would love to read them in there entirety. Your suffering does not fall upon deaf ears... if there is any way I might help with your
campaign against the injustices in the ADC or with your daily struggle to maintain please don't hesitate to ask. I am taken a back by your resume and would like to commend you on all you have achieved especially in such
a dismal place.I could not help but notice the numerous biblical/spiritual/religious activities you partake in... your spirituality is a ray of light in your dark circumstance you use it wisely... and faith my friend used wisely can make the Blind-man see. Your faith is what has and always will guide you...


Mark 10:46-52
Blind Bartimaeus Receives His Sight

46 Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (that is, the
Son of Timaeus), was sitting by the roadside begging.
47 When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!"
48 Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, "Son of David, have mercy on me!"
49 Jesus stopped and said, "Call him." So they called to the blind man, "Cheer up! On your feet! He's calling you."
50 Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus.
51 "What do you want me to do for you?" Jesus asked him.
The blind man said, "Rabbi, I want to see."
52 "Go," said Jesus, "your faith has healed you." Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.

Anonymous said...

Amen to that, Jon.

Anonymous said...

Maybe it's when the difficulties of life propose themselves to us in a way, that we look into ourselves and our resources, and our inner strength is laid bare, and we are stronger for it.
One day at a time helps build up those resources, and lays the foundation for the next day.
Terry Bates