It is one of my increasing, and sure to become abiding, concerns that in a discipline such as criminology, precisely criminology, where individuals’ liberties and freedoms – their inhibition and reduction – are the focus and purpose of much of the literature, that exactly in such areas the personal, the “I” and “you” and “we”, the voices that persist and resist, the poverties that spread so widely and embrace cruelly not kindly, currently do not dominate all our discourses.
It is my contention more and more that the senses need to be brought sharply and madly into our academic debate. If criminology and criminal justice systems aim primarily – always have done; maybe now (I wish it were otherwise) always will – to construct and instruct and control and limit human beings, who are judged to have failed societies’ minimums of behaviour, by the very same use of fear and aggression against the mind, of games that never end, of memories that never release, surely it is time we demonstrated through counter-fear, through counter-aggression – always politely couched, always constructively posed, even as inevitably painful for those who will find themselves on the receiving end – that defining the fundamental laws and regulatory processes of our societies on the basis of hurting particular human beings into becoming human beings who do not hurt is utterly, utterly, utterly ridiculous.
The post I am reblogging here comes from my current poetry and prose blog. It describes how a man who has been under close surveillance for more than a decade begins, once again, to feel when – once more – the denied shit goes down.
Last night, that man lay down and almost slept himself into oblivion. I think this piece will help explain clearly why.
I also hope it will help explain why the individual (the generic individual, I mean here; not the specific), alongside their personally felt and sensed pain, needs to be brought back into criminology and criminal justice.
And then, by extension, our societies themselves.
And so he did all he could to imagine a life better. The kind of life where kindness and gentility replaced manipulation and oddity. The kind of life which did not include events and occurrences such as the below:
[And so] last weekend I was approached in Caffè Nero in central Liverpool by a man who later self-identified as an Australian-resident Israeli-born 52-year-old South African. He said he was in property. Later, he showed me his Australian driving-licence/ID card (Queensland), and his cabin crew ID, for some airline I presume.
He also showed me his very primitive non-Internet connected mobile, excusing it by saying he couldn’t afford anything more expensive because he was always losing them. He did, however, carry around very visibly two tablets, one an iPad.
He was very friendly and we had a very interesting 2-hour conversation on many subjects, geo-political to a degree but others less…
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