Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Fearless Music Video

Check out our live performance of Go Go Go on Fox's Fearless Music TV Show.


Btw, last friday Formika's bday party was amazing. Incredible performances and I was absolutely blissful at getting to meet Debbie Harry. She is so incredible ;) sigh

Friday, January 19, 2007

My experience with the NY "Justice" Department

Yes I spent the night in jail - for a suspended license... really - not kidding... 20 hours on a cold metal bench with stale cheese sandwiches - just me with my naughty invalid license and a bunch of crack dealers. Good things these cops are cracking down on all these "bad" people... Truly laughable (if you're not the one in jail).

Got pulled over for uturn without lights and i had a suspended license in NY from a ticket i got in high school, which i didn't even know about it... They could have easily told me to pay the old ticket the next day, but instead decided to cuff me and throw me in jail...

If you want to know what its like in a NY Jail cell - rent a video or read about it... really... i've always wondered what jail was like - well, there is nothing exciting about it. They stick you in a big cell with as many other people as they're holding. I guess I got lucky b/c there were only 7 people in my cell at a time. Apparently before i got there the cell was packed with people sleeping on the floor wall to wall. The room was freezing and the metal bench cold and hard. You would assume that you would be seen quicker or put in a less hostile situation if you were a first time offender or in for something stupid like i was... but it doesn't matter why you're there, they don't care.

Basically the way it works: it doesn't matter what you are in for: license or murder. If you jump a subway turnstyle, you could be locked in a cell for up to 72 hours with a murderer and there is NOTHING anyone can do to help you out. You don't get seen by the court until your paperwork is processed which generally takes 18-24 hours. and they love to take their time. (sarcasm): Fortunately for repeat offenders, anyone with a previous record is in the system already - so they get out quicker. I wasn't in the system so it took way longer to get me out b/c they had to find information on me. makes sense no?

My Day:

I got in there after breakfast was served - cornflakes and warm milk - which had been ravaged and scattered all over the room... Meals are served three times a day. breakfast at 430am. lunch at 10ish: stale bread with mayo and either a slice of velveeta cheese or the nastiest peanut butter you've ever seen. and warm milk. dinner at 6: same cheese/pb deal and of course, warm milk.

The bathroom was in the holding cell, so you literally had to use it with an audience. Not to mention there were roaches in the toilet... Luckily this holding cell had a phone in it so i could call my family and any other numbers i had memorized. if i wouldn't have had any numbers memorized i would have been screwed.

My cellmates: There was one other girl in there with me who was in for the same as me, a chinese massage parlor girl, a couple crack dealers, heroin and meth addicts. One woman was going through withdrawal pretty heavily. i felt so awful for her... She was in so much pain - she just layed there moaning and crying for xanax or anything to make the pain stop... They eventually gave her a xanax, which quieted her down for a short time.

my head was splitting and i was exhausted - add on top of that cell doors slamming, people yelling and this woman coming down for hours and hours. The first twelve hours i was so upset, exhausted and sick, so i pretty much kept to myself - attempted to sleep on the bench, tried to stay warm. My mind had plenty of time to go crazy...

Then something interesting happened: i got to this point where i realized, it was what it was... there was nothing I could do. i had no control and there was nothing anyone could do to get me out. for those of you that know anything about me: you know i am a control freak through and through. to not be in control is something that scares me more than anything. well... i had 20 hours to sit with the fact that I HAD NO CONTROL. those were my circumstances and those people in the room with me were all i had... So I started talking to them and a funny thing happened - it started feeling like a hellish, yet humorous slumber party. everybody was telling their life stories. how they got to where they got. they all had families that they loved. most of them had children. one woman had a four year old son - she got on a meth program to get off heroin, but now is hooked on meth. She desperately wanted to get off... We talked about this program (ACI i think?) where you can actually detox and take opiate blockers (which keeps you from getting high: check out the book "BUZZED" for more info - an amazing book i just finished) she seemed so hopeful when we mentioned this program... she talked about her dreams of getting clean so she could work and take care of her son.

another woman, 45, had been on heroin since she was 18, had 5 kids and lives in a shelter with her husband. what a sweet woman - so kind and caring to everyone in the room - she called herself the "cell mom". ;) her life story was fascinating... i asked her if she was at all curious about what it might be like to be clean after a lifetime of addiction and she said: yes and no.. she loves the way heroin makes her feel blissful and peaceful, but doesn't like the side effects of being unproductive, non-sexual, unhealthy and the hardest thing is that when she's high, she doesn't care about anyone or anything else. She said to me "I sometimes have this feeling that the dope is keeping me almost alienated from the people I love". It broke my heart. She was such a sweet woman.

The stories went on and on. We talked for hours and later that evening after "dinner", they brought in two male inmates to clean the cell. It was the strangest thing! We all became completely silent and watched as one of them swept the cell clean. I started laughing and everyone joined in - it was like this man swept out all of our fears for a moment. We all joked with him about how he had made our day and none of us wanted to let him leave - we were desperate for entertainment. So we kept finding new spots to sweep for him ;) lol. eventually he got shoo'd out and the guy with the mop came in. When they finished, we all took a deep breath and talked about how clean we all felt. At the moment, it was almost as good as taking a shower - brilliant. One of those moments of clarity that I'll never forget.

It was one of the saddest days of my life. To sit like that, face my fear of losing control, and to watch that madness reflected in the lives of these people. It didn't matter what we were there for, what our stories were, what our addictions were - we were all the same: trying to escape from ourselves. With none of life's usual distractions and lots of time to kill, I was definitely forced to sit with myself and my fears and it was interesting and not an easy thing to do.

I'm still working through my feelings with all of this. I don't know where I am at the moment. Still dealing with it. I'm so angry at the concept of the NY "JUSTICE" Department. It seems like our city is run by power hungry fools who care about nothing but numbers. The system is a SCAM - a fraud. It has nothing to do with justice and everything to do with money. They pick these "criminals" up off the streets, put them in a cell, fine them, take their money, and put them back out on the street so that they can do the same thing all over again the next day. There is no integrity in this system... This poor woman on Meth: they put her in jail, let her go through a painful withdrawal, fined her and then put her right back out. How does this help her!?!? They don't care. She's just another unfortunate, sick person that they use and take advantage of to make money for the city. Whatever that is, it not "Just".

After having this experience, it changed my perspective in many ways... As much as I don't wish the experience on anyone, I do think that it is the responsibility of our politicians and "representatives" to know what it is they are standing for. A day in NYC's "tombs" will give anyone a real taste of what the city is about from the ground up.

The way I see it - if you choose to stand for something, represent something - you better damn well have lived or experienced what you are representing, otherwise you are simply inauthentic, a fraud. People don't trust politicians b/c they rarely get their hands dirty (in public anyway;). A politicians job is to represent their city/state/country - to represent their People! So they should know what they represent by their own experience, not bullshit handshakes and evaluation charts.

They should know what it feels like to sit on a cold metal bench with murders and crack dealers for 24 hours - to have nothing but warm milk and indigestion sandwiches - to take a piss in a cockroach infested toilet with an audience of criminals. and most important, what it feels like to have no control: to just have to sit and wait it out for a full 24 hours. Again, I am not saying this because I wish them ill - only to be aware of the ground they stand on. It is their duty to know how ALL people are being treated. Politicians think they are aware because they have poked their heads into a jail cell, seen what it looks like. Wake up! Being a spectator never won any game. They only way to know where we stand is to experience the ground we stand on.