The Barrett Brown Review of Arts and Letters and Jail: If Anyone Needs Me, I’ll Be in Prison

Five years and three months. That's all.

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Although I am grateful to my longtime friend and editor Tim Rogers for his typically funny and insightful article on my sentencing hearing last week, I do feel the need to provide clarification on a couple of points:

1) Tim has seen fit to characterize the particular shade of yellow in which we Kaufman County inmates are clad as an especially gaudy one. I think he has done his readers a real disservice by failing to disclose that he, himself, is entirely color-blind, as evidenced by his own outfit which included, seriously, a neon pink T-shirt. (I can’t remember if it was neon pink or hot pink or what — when he was called to the podium, I was, like him, still distracted by the prosecutor’s accusation that I “took possession of the accessibility” of something or other and by the question of whether or not such a phrase could perhaps be retooled into the centerpiece of a $400-a-head motivational seminar for middle-management types called “Take Back Your Accessibility!”) I mean, I realize that he hadn’t expected to have to speak before the court, but surely he realized he would be leaving the house that day, or that time didn’t stop flowing in 1991. As long as that feral U.S. Marshal saw fit to fuck with Russia Today’s Andrew Blake over his own controversial t-shirt, why couldn’t he stop over where Tim was sitting and tell him, “Excuse me, sir, but the Menendez Brothers’ trial is down the hall and several decades ago”? Look, I just feel that I went to a lot of trouble to keep the proceedings dignified, insomuch as I refrained from shouting out random Rage Against the Machine lyrics, or addressing the judge as Lord Vader, and then suddenly here comes Vanilla Ice striding up to the podium to assure the court that I am “legit.” There was a time just a few years ago when Tim and I were considered the best-dressed writers in Dallas — Rolling Stone itself once described me as “the nattiest anarchist around,” which I plan to put on my business cards when I get out, if Stratfor allows me to buy some. What’s happened to us, Tim? WHAT HAS HAPPENED?

2) Tim notes, correctly, that, in addition to improvising a few extra lines in the course of my allocution that were not present in the written version, I didn’t deliver the line “I think your Honor can walk and chew bubble gum at the same time.” I took that out because, by the time I delivered the allocution, it had become painfully obvious that he could do no such thing. Frankly, I am not going to lie in court unless I am getting paid whatever these FBI agents are getting paid.

3) There was something else I wanted to comment on, but I don’t remember what it is, as I don’t have a written copy of Tim’s piece or any other copies of the media coverage. The Kaufman County jail is run by some sort of paranoid schizophrenic sheriff who doesn’t allow us to receive anything in the mail that is typed or printed or photocopied, and so when I want to know what the press is saying about my case, I have to have my mommy read it out loud to me over the phone. This is actually kind of pleasant, because whenever she gets to a quote, she does a unique voice to signify that particular speaker. It’s kind of like being a child again, being read a bedtime story, except that it’s an increasingly surreal and frightening bedtime story about the collapse of the rule of law.

4) In all seriousness, I want extend appreciation to Tim, who has been advocating for me over the past two years, in addition to having served as one of my literary heroes when I was still in high school; to D Magazine publisher Wick Allison for donating much-appreciated funds into my jail commissary accounts, as well as writing a letter to the judge on my behalf; to the crackhead who let Tim borrow his clothes on the day of my hearing; and to Judge Sam Lindsay, for giving so much to discredit the federal justice system in the eyes of the national press. Well done, comrade!

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Poem of the Day:

The State wants to eat me
And I guess that’s fine.
But they just might find
I’m a little porcupine.

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Editor’s note: Barrett Brown has been incarcerated since September 2012. On January 22, he was sentenced to a total of 63 months in prison and ordered to pay $890,000 in restitution. Go here to read earlier installments of “The Barrett Brown Review of Arts and Letters and Jail.” If you’d like to send him something, he is currently being held in the Kaufman County jail, though in coming weeks he will eventually be transferred to a federal facility. As he mentioned, don’t send him anything typed or printed or photocopied, because he won’t get it.

Barrett Brown, No. 45047-177
Kaufman Law Enforcement Center
P.O. Box 849
Kaufman, TX 75142

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