Summer of 2006


Two Tonys - A whacker of men and Mafia associate serving over one-hundred years for various murders and violent crimes. A Tarantino character whose philosophy and social criticism may upset the politically correct.

“I’m excited about this book,” Two Tonys said, waving a book I’d asked him to look at, The Great Thoughts by George Seldes.
“What are you learning from it?” I asked.
Two Tonys flipped to the introduction, and said, “It’s right here, Blaise Pascal: ‘Man’s greatness lies in the power of thought.’ And Marcus Aurelius Antonius: ‘Our life is what our thoughts make it.’”
“Marcus Aurelius was the philosopher emperor who wrote Meditations – a good book for prisoners to read to help them strengthen their minds and deal with any situation.”
“And here’s Emerson: ‘Great men are they who see that spiritual is stronger than any material force, that thoughts rule the world.’”
“Are these quotes helping you here in prison?”
“They’re makin’ me realize, I’m wastin’ my thoughts hatin’ on people. For me to lay up and hate is like havin’ a goiter on my neck. Sometimes I just lay on my bunk, lookin’ at the wall and ceilin’, thinkin’ about motherfuckers I hate. It’s a goiter on my fuckin’ neck that keeps growin’ and growin’, and I’ve gotta cut it off. I’d like to get it surgically removed, but there ain’t no surgeon in the world with a scalpel sharp enough to cut this fucker off.”
“So how are you going to fix it?”
“Aurelius is gonna be my surgeon! Pascal is gonna be my surgeon! Emerson is gonna be my surgeon! Life is nothin’ but thought, is it? I could go to a restaurant and order a rack of lamb with mint jelly, rice pilaf, French bread, a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon, and for desert, kahlua parfait, and yeah, I’d enjoy it at the time, but I’d also enjoy thinkin’ about it afterwards as well. Just like I can lay on my bunk and instead of hatin’ on motherfuckers and thinkin’ of ways to whack them, I can enjoy picturin’ when I was on the lam in Waikiki and Maui, livin’ in a house on the slopes of Mount Halakala, and how beautiful it was. It’s all about the thoughts. This is an epiphany for me. Look, my goiters shrinkin’. When I feel hate invadin my space, I’m gonna combat it by readin’ this book or whatever else I can get my hands on.”

What else should Two Tonys read that might shrink his goiter? If you want to help Two Tonys with his goiter by sending him a book at Buckeye prison then contact me at the email address below.

Email comments to or post them below

Copyright © 2007-2008 Shaun P. Attwood


Anonymous said...

OMG. This is brilliant and it really has nothing to do with prison. I've been trying to *believe* that I can decide to be happy. I do really think that our lives are not what happens to us, but how we react to what happens to us and how we reflect upon it later. It's easy to think that, but harder to live it. I need to get this book!!

Sue O. (aka Joannie, SS) said...

Seems like scripture or Christianity never went over hugely well, but the two things that came to my mind is out of the Proverbs I believe, "As a man thinks in his heart, so is he". The other one I thought of says this, "Whatever is pure, lovely, noble, of good report, think on these things". I would recommend a book by Donald Miller, "Blue Like Jazz" (Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality) and C.S. Lewis. Winning the battle of the mind is key to any positive life change.

Anonymous said...

Dale Carnegie books are awe inspiring for the mind and a good read to boot!

Anonymous said...

Mary - Yeah, it's how the principle of Cognitive Behavourable Therapy works.

Anonymous said...

The Art of War

Chris Phoenix said...

I knew there was a reason I liked Two Tonys!

Anonymous said...

Two Tonys,
I don't have any books to recommend right now but the first thoughts that come to mind are to stop thinking of ways to whack those you hate. It is assumed that you hate them for a good reason and likely because they have done or are doing something that you take exception to. A better course of thought (little steps are easier) is to think of ways to have the hated be caught (especially if they are doing illegal things) or ways to stop them (from doing things that you don't like). Remember that this is best for situations where it is a justified "hate" and where you did not initiate any negative action ("it's their fault").