Monday, October 15, 2012

Baton Rouge, and nearby Angola Prison

Don't worry, Jon and I are running out of prisons.  But this was so close we couldn't resist. If nothing else, at least as a thematic through-line.

Unbeknownst to us, Angola Prison --on top of being famous for decades as a place of human torment unabated: humid, hideous, and unrelieved-- apparently does a big business as the epicenter of that huge and somewhat bizarre prison industry: Rodeo.  Yes, it was Prison Rodeo Day and we got caught in Prison Rodeo Traffic and barely escaped having to drive into the actual Prison Itself.  Fortunately, we found a lovely prison museum to stop at just shy of the gates and we bode our time within, waiting for traffic to subside so we could escape.

Inside, we saw marvelous prison displays, including yet another electric chair that has fried any number of actual humans: Gruesome Gertie.

It also had another cell for me to be in

 -- I'm getting quite a collection of these-- and another example of the greatest thing to ever happen to Cheeseball Americana Schlock Art: Patriotic 911 Renderings.  Prisoners being forcibly detained by the state somehow have an even greater need to be patriotic. And very little is more patriotic than this:

Good Lord. I'm practically pissing Red, White, and Blue just looking at this. Well, red at least. I must see a urologist.  I would also point out that out of the prisons we have visited recently (how often does one get to say that?) Angola wins as far as oppressive and soul-crushing displays of barbed-and-razor wire. The place is positively festooned with dangerous accoutrements.

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