Breaking Bad.

Somehow I thought I’d reach this age and not be watching so much television. Of course, at the time I’d have made an observation like that, most TV sucked. It’s hard for me to watch any network television anymore. On the way out of town yesterday we passed a filthy Chevy Trailblazer, emblazoned Wayne County Medical Examiner. The driver was a fiftysomething doughball who bore no resemblance at all to David Caruso, William L. Petersen or Gary Sinise. Where’s your Hummer? Where’s your supermodel partner? In real life, sometimes a meat wagon is just a meat wagon.

I don’t know how many of you are watching “Breaking Bad,” on AMC, but you might want to give it a try. It’s imperfect, not as sure-footed as “Mad Men,” but part of the fun of discovering something pretty good is watching it become very good, and I have high hopes for “Breaking Bad.” (Just noticed something: This is the second made-for-AMC series; do they all have to have two-word, alliterative names? Maybe I can interest them in an autobiographical series based on me.)

B2 is about Walter White (MORE ALLITERATION! And the lead in “Mad Men” is DON DRAPER! I have found the key!)… OK, about Walter White, a high-school chemistry teacher in Albuquerque who’s just turned 50 and discovered he has late-stage lung cancer, the kind where the choices are die now or suffer now and die just a little later. He has a pregnant wife, a son with cerebral palsy and no money at all; in the pilot episode he’s moonlighting at a car wash, scrubbing the tires of his own students. He wants to die without telling anyone what he’s dying of, and he wants to leave his family enough of a grubstake that they have at least a fighting chance without him. The first desire is unrealistic, and once he lets his wife in on the secret, you see why he didn’t want to tell her: She becomes almost unbearably “supportive,” and she’s already the sort of Goodwife who looks good on paper, but doesn’t work so well in real life. (On his 50th birthday, she serves him bacon and eggs arranged into a 50 on his plate, but the bacon is the vegetarian kind.)

The second desire is more achievable, considering Walter has excellent chemistry skills and the down-and-outers around Albuquerque have a deep thirst for methamphetamine. He hooks up with a former student in the trade (nickname: Captain Cook) and the two commence on a comedy of errors designed to produce glass-grade crystal meth for the masses.

The comedy-of-errors stuff is what’s imperfect about the show. Hiding and disposing of dead bodies, deception of families, squeezing chemotherapy in around work and cook sessions — this we’ve seen before. But I watch the show for the stuff I haven’t seen before, or am seeing in a new way. It’s in the way Walter chafes under his unrewarding life, in his ugly house, with his idiot students and his pillow-plumping spouse. And in the depiction of Albuquerque thug life, with its Mexican gangbangers, laundromat-haunting tweakers and absurd, hip-hop patois (did you know that New Mexico city is known as “the ABQ”?). Walter’s partner, Jesse, dresses in the oversize pants and knit watch caps sported by rappers and other bad-boy style leaders, but he looks like a toddler playing dress-up in them. But Walter’s own wardrobe of Dockers and short-sleeve shirts hardly looks like something to aspire to. When the two fall out, split up and separately decide to go straight, the only job Jesse can find is dressed as a smiling dollar bill, passing out fliers on the sidewalk outside a bank. (This show has a way of demonstrating that for some people, daily life is so banal and stupid that staying stoned all day on crystal just…makes…sense.)

Walter comes clean about his cancer, submits to chemo, and in his physical misery finds himself attending the 50th birthday party of a college classmate who got a little luckier in the business world and lives like a pasha. No soy bacon for him — his birthday presents include one of Eric Clapton’s old guitars, personally signed by God. Later, the former classmate tries to give Walter a do-nothing job, as a cover to pay for his cancer treatment. There’s something about the moment when Walter seeks out Jesse after all this and greets him with a terse, “Wanna cook?” that encapsulates the whole show — the way people get left behind in life, the way being left behind means you can’t get the good cancer drugs, the way lawbreaking can make a man feel alive in a whole new way.

I hope it gets renewed. It’s taken me years to discover Bryan Cranston, who plays Walter. I don’t want to lose him just yet.

Do we have bloggage? No, we don’t. I was at a funeral all day! But feel free to post your own. It’s work work work today for me.

Posted at 9:35 am in Television |

40 responses to “Breaking Bad.”

  1. Danny said on March 26, 2008 at 9:55 am


    Nice post, Nance, now onto something that needs addressing. Just a little problem, I grant, but I think we should nip it in the bud.

    I want to bring everyone’s attention to exhibit A:

    Jen said yesterday: Dave, I always liked the way grandma spelled her name – “Jayne.” For years I thought that was the only way to spell it.

    Ah, young lady, don’t you mean Uncle Dave? What is next, calling Dad, “Joe?”

    This is a slippery slope you are on. Don’t make us tell Dorothy or she will give you a good talkin’ to.

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  2. Danny said on March 26, 2008 at 9:59 am

    Just kiddin’ you, Jen. But it reminded me of when I was a kid and my younger, 6-year old cousin started calling her dad by his first name, Joe. My jaw about dropped. I think my aunt and uncle were trying to be all avant garde in the suburbs and wanted to feel younger too.

    That reminds me, she now has a 4-year old girl, I’ll have to ask her if she’ll be on a first name basis with her kid. Heheh.

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  3. Jen said on March 26, 2008 at 10:08 am

    I go back and forth with calling all my aunts and uncles by their first names only and with the “Aunt” and “Uncle” before it. I think it’s because when I was a kid my parents called them all “Aunt” and “Uncle,” but now they just call them by their first names. It sort of depends on the situation.

    And, on here, I always call my dad “Joe” so people know who I’m talking to/about! But everywhere else it’s “Dad.”

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  4. Harl Delos said on March 26, 2008 at 10:24 am

    Just noticed something: This is the second made-for-AMC series; do they all have to have two-word, alliterative names?

    The other one, HU$TLE, has a two-word alliterative name?

    I would never have started watching Breaking Bad if I had known they were going to chop up a body and dissolve it in acid, or they were going to use a bike lock around someone’s neck in order to imprison him in the basement.

    Walter, however, seems like such a decent sort, and he sidles into impossible situations an inch at a time. I can identify with him. I’ve had home improvement projects, where I start doing something minor, and things go wrong, one after another, until it seems like I’m having to rebuild every building in a 7-state region.

    And there are some scenes that just don’t make sense. Mercury fulminate? You make it by dissolving mercury in nitric acid, then adding alcohol, and filtering the precipitate. You get a gray powder, not colorless crystals the size of walnuts.

    And you don’t want to try it. And if you put that much mercury fulminate in a ziplog bag, and set it on the floor of your car, it’d explode the first time you hit a pothole. You can blow off your hand with a quantity as small as a match head; I can’t imagine what two quarts would do. High school chemistry teachers aren’t geniuses, but they’re smarter than that.

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  5. del said on March 26, 2008 at 10:43 am

    Breaking Bad, the show, could never live up to Nancy’s eloquent description: a wife who’s “almost unbearably ‘supportive’?”
    That’s rich.

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  6. alex said on March 26, 2008 at 11:09 am

    Wow. Sounds like “Weeds” hepped up on meth. Sucks not having premium cable. But at least I don’t spend any time in front of the TV.

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  7. nancy said on March 26, 2008 at 11:21 am

    And there are some scenes that just don’t make sense. Mercury fulminate? You make it by dissolving mercury in nitric acid, then adding alcohol, and filtering the precipitate. You get a gray powder, not colorless crystals the size of walnuts.

    But wasn’t that scene a bluff? He used the first mercury fulminate bomb to get everyone’s attention, then held them at bay with what was, I understand, just a ziploc bag full of crystal meth. Could be wrong.

    Apparently there are no new episodes this season — it was only an eight-hour arc. But they’re available on demand if you have it, and AMC is generous with the reruns.

    I didn’t know about “Hustle,” Harl. I guess my theory falls apart.

    Also: A lot of people have compared B2 to “Weeds,” and it’s valid. But it strikes me as important how the lead in “Weeds,” whatever her name is, rationalizes her drug trade as “it’s just pot.” You know, a nice natural plant that doesn’t really hurt anyone, etc. Whereas, in “Breaking Bad,” there’s never any doubt that meth is poison. The cooking process is mad-scientist stuff, the smell is vile, everyone has to wear respirators. And the people who deal it, and those who use it, are just as poisonous — it’s one ugly tattoo after another. I think the show’s creator chose this drug for a very specific reason. It really suggests a certain miasma in everyone’s life.

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  8. Halloween Jack said on March 26, 2008 at 11:25 am

    I don’t have cable, so I’ll have to wait until it comes out on DVD, but that interim period seems to be decreasing more and more anyway. I’ve only known Cranston from his turns on Malcolm in the Middle (pretty good for the first few seasons, not so much after that) and bit parts in movies like Little Miss Sunshine, but he always struck me as a character actor who probably had more in his bag of tricks than what I’d seen.

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  9. MichaelG said on March 26, 2008 at 11:33 am

    Any relation to Lamont Cranston?

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  10. John said on March 26, 2008 at 11:38 am

    Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows!

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  11. Jeff said on March 26, 2008 at 12:02 pm

    Harl, that description of a b-vest as “a string around your finger” is spot on. Dorothy, is your son a juvenile probation officer or wid da grow’d-ups? Either is fraught with peril — but the real danger is coming to have contempt for your clients. Really. You can’t see what’s coming if you see them all as hairballs, but the situational temptation (and a short-term timesaver) is to put them all in one of three categories and routine your way through them.

    As for personal, physical safety, i’d worry a lot more if he were a wildlife conservation officer or law enforcement ranger at a state/national park . . . or doing traffic stops. Probation officers don’t get shot unless they do it to themselves.

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  12. Kath said on March 26, 2008 at 12:04 pm

    Nancy’s theory remains intact. “Hustle” was produced by the BBC. It is not an AMC original series.

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  13. Danny said on March 26, 2008 at 12:26 pm

    Kudos, Kath.

    (Alliterative allegience above all)

    And because of Kath’s good find, Nance’s alliterative allegation absolved.

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  14. Dorothy said on March 26, 2008 at 12:34 pm

    The adult variety, Jeff. He’s barely an adult himself – he turns 23 next month! But he’s smart and savvy and funny, so he’ll take everything with a grain of salt. He was only at his first job after college from July until last week. He was a Child Support Enforcement Officer. All of his co-workers felt it necessary to tell him he’ll be dealing with even more scummy people in the next job, but he said ‘bring it on!’

    And Danny – when did I become the Deaconness of Discipline in this group?!?!

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  15. Danny said on March 26, 2008 at 12:41 pm

    Dorothy the Deaconess of Discipline Designated by Danny

    Edit: I must stop before someone alliterates “dumbass” and “Danny”

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  16. garmoore said on March 26, 2008 at 1:09 pm

    Wasn’t there a series several years ago on AMC, “Remember WENN”? Again, a two-word title, but no alliteration. It was a fairly sweet comedy/drama about a radio station in Pittsburgh in the 1930s and 1940s.

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  17. John said on March 26, 2008 at 1:09 pm

    Hmmmm…Dorothy do you have a leather get-up with that title and do you charge Eliot Spitzer rates?

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  18. Mike Berry said on March 26, 2008 at 1:24 pm

    Full-length videos of “Breaking Bad” Eps. 1 & 2 used to be available at the AMC site, for those who wanted a sample. I’m not finding them quickly right now, but they may still exist.

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  19. Dorothy said on March 26, 2008 at 1:40 pm

    I don’t even own a real leather purse, John. All imitation, all the time on my budget!

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  20. LAMary said on March 26, 2008 at 1:51 pm

    I used to have a next door neighbor who was a genuine professional dominatrix. Her name was Edith Speed. She had clients all over the world.

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  21. nancy said on March 26, 2008 at 1:53 pm

    Did you ever read that Paul Theroux profile of the dominatrix, Mary? Really fascinating. She said she liked to arrive late and leave notes for them to pick up her dry-cleaning, etc. If I had that job, I’d never have to clean my house.

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  22. Jonathan Arnold said on March 26, 2008 at 2:43 pm

    Yeah, I’ve been enjoying BB. Oddly enough, my cable company doesn’t have AMC in hi-def, but BB is available OnDemand in hi-def – and looks great. Some parts just crack me up. So far, so good (we’re through 4 episodes).

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  23. Connie said on March 26, 2008 at 2:48 pm

    Sorry I missed the name discussion yesterday, I had lots of aunts etc. with good Dutch names like Hermoine. I thought my grandma was named Agnes, but when she died I found out her legal name was Akka. And then there was my father in law Claude and his brothers Cecil and Merle. And my mother in law Irma. I could go on but won’t.

    While you were having fun talking names I was driving from Elkhart to Minneapolis, with a 3 hour stop at the Schaumburg Ikea. Driving through Illinois with an I-zoom/I-pass is a great improvement over all such previous trips. Thank you
    rfid technology.

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  24. Dexter said on March 26, 2008 at 2:53 pm

    The production is not up to HBO’s standards, but AMC has to run commercials, so we have to live with it.
    Aaron Paul is excellent as Jesse Pinkman, Walter’s dead-end former student, while Anna Gunn as Skyler White is at least a bit less of the robotic wife she played as Martha Bullock on HBO’s fabuous “Deadwood”. She didn’t make the transition to “John fron Cincinnati ” as did almost all the other ” Deadwood ” cast members, and jumped the HBO mothership, I guess. Still, she is not much of an actress.
    Mr. Cranston finally got a role away from the long running series “Malcom in the Middle”…indeed, Walter White is totally opposite Malcolm’s daddy.
    I caught all episodes first-run, and I loved it. I never thought Walter would actually kill the dude with the bike-lock, but, by god, he surprised me!
    Since this isn’t really a “Mr. Wizard” show, I say the poetic license, or whatever it was that allowed the dissolved corpse to drip through the ceiling was OK.
    I heard a long interview with Mr. Cranston just before E1.
    His on-air personality is much more like Walter than Malcolm’s dad.
    Unlike my fave “John from Cincinnati”, which only was well received by a minority of HBO subscribers, I believe BB will be showing new episodes in the future.
    Since I brought it up, a friend just emailed me that “John from Cincinnati” was released on dvd just today, I think he wrote.
    A worthy investment, in my humble opinion.

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  25. MichaelG said on March 26, 2008 at 3:06 pm

    Chron TV Critic has an issue with Simon:

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  26. Julie Robinson said on March 26, 2008 at 4:33 pm

    We bless the I-pass. Not only do you pay half the tolls, but you drive straight through the tolling plazas. If you pay cash you routinely wait 15-20 minutes at each one. On the way to Mom’s there are five plazas, so it makes a major difference.

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  27. del said on March 26, 2008 at 4:54 pm

    Toll road freeways; there’s an oxymoron. Glad we’ve none in MI.

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  28. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 26, 2008 at 5:19 pm

    Dorothy (and any who are interested) — did a review of our juvvy probation crew, and most of the adult proby officers as they swung through.

    The most senior i talked to has been doing this 22 years, and she said she’s been bitten once by a juvenile; everyone told me about an adult proby who was bitten on the job, but only got second hand. I observed to the head of diversion (my boss, the 22 yr.) that in 23 years of parish ministry i’d been met at the door by a person holding an entirely unnecessary firearm, and she looked quizzically at me: “Really? As a pastor? I’ve never had a gun waved at me once.”

    In Ohio, i learned (and did not know, thanks Dorothy!) that our law does not allow a probation officer to visit a home on their own, but two-by is the firm rule. You see and hear disturbing stuff, but the “threatening” behavior seems to happen here at the office, when folks are off their own turf, getting fed up with the system, often stressed about work/rent/whathaveyou, and come in the door looking for someone to blame.

    No one had stats, but everyone agreed they’d rather do this than traffic stops — when you knock on a door, or greet a new casefile coming in your office, you pretty much know the lay of the land. Not so the trooper yanking a taillight offense over, but you find you’re walking up to a heavily armed parole-jumper with a trunk full of violations and a nose full of junk.

    I bet if i asked the same number of experienced urban school teachers, i’d get more “bitten” responses than i did from probation staff. And clearly, keep him out of the ministry.

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  29. Harl Delos said on March 26, 2008 at 5:35 pm

    Wasn’t there a series several years ago on AMC, “Remember WENN”?

    IMDB says it was a TV series 1996-1998. It must have been good; it was nominated for 5 Emmies (Emmys?) and won one. The name is familiar to me, but I never saw any episodes.

    IMDB lists AMC, BBC and “Kudos Film and Television”, whoever they are, as the production companies for Hu$tle. (It’s set, and obviously filmed, in the UKGBNI, so I checked IMDB before I posted before, even though AMC’s ads described it as their original series, as I remember.)

    Strangely, they don’t list *any* production companies for Remember Wenn. Rupert Holmes was the producer. AMC is listed as the distributor for episode 2.11 (Year 2, episode 11, I suppose) “The First Mrs. Bloom”, but none others.

    So anyhow, what’s the second alliterative one supposed to be? I can’t see anything in their production credits.

    Nobody’s responded to LAMary’s provocative comment, so I’ll wave hello at her.

    How’d you find out what she does? That seems like an odd bit to just fall out in conversation. “Oh, my goodness, we’ve had a lot of rain lately. Good for the radishes, I suppose. And oh, by the way, I’m a professional dominatrix. Did you see that the price of gas just went up another dime?”

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  30. joodyb said on March 26, 2008 at 5:41 pm

    The Making of Breaking Bad is definitely worth seeing; it’s available on iTunes. it’s also good for the prod/dir perspectives on the story line (the morals of meth as subject matter etc). bryan cranston is a gem with an extensive show-biz history; this guy has paid his dues right down to his start in soaps. many people who couldn’t place him on malcolm realized he was the wacky dentist who wanted to be a jew on seinfeld.

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  31. Deborah said on March 26, 2008 at 8:19 pm

    Regarding the “Juvvy” posts: I’m a graphic designer and one time while working for a large corporate architecture firm that did a lot of work on prisons, I had the occasion to do graphic design for a Juvenile detention facility. The first meeting I attended for the project I was fascinated by how much time they took up discussing the windows in the doors for views into the “cells” (no one called them that). They went on and on about the views in and my first reaction was, of course they want to be able to see in to make sure the kids are not up to trouble. Little did I know, the biggest problem they have is suicide, and they have to be able to see in to save lives. Total paradigm shift for me, that one was. I will never think about juvenile “offenders” the same, ever.

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  32. del said on March 26, 2008 at 8:22 pm

    My friend works at the Macomb County youth home and has had it happen on his shift. Sad, it is.

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  33. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 26, 2008 at 9:34 pm

    Yep. They’re in denial, denial, denial, denial . . . then it hits them, and being juveniles, their imaginations (don’t try to tell them this) are limited, and they just can’t see anything ahead of them. So then they will do whatever they can to end the humiliation of being in lock-up, which means their youthful energy and ingenuity to try to end their own lives is to be feared. Just when we think we’ve figured out every way they can off themselves and wall those possibilities all off, they find one we’ve never thought of.

    Vigiliance, and compassion. That’s all we’ve got most days. And an adult imagination, and the ability to share it productively.

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  34. del said on March 26, 2008 at 9:52 pm

    That’s interesting. Adult imagination. Not thought of it that way before. Have been thinking about the wisdom that comes with aging; reconciling it with the U2 lyric (that seems to ring true to me): “The more you see, the less you know, the less you find out as you go. I knew much more then, than I do now.” City of Blinding Lights is the song.

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  35. del said on March 26, 2008 at 9:56 pm

    On reflection concerning the youthful detainees: Mom always quoted Emily Dickinson as writing — the hearts of the young are brittle as glass.
    A notion put to the test by a friend who became a widower with several kids in mid life. Getting back into the dating scene in mid-life has the potential to open wounds that typically happen only to the young.

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  36. Harl Delos said on March 26, 2008 at 9:59 pm

    Yep. They’re in denial, denial, denial, denial . . . then it hits them, and being juveniles, their imaginations (don’t try to tell them this) are limited, and they just can’t see anything ahead of them. So then they will do whatever they can to end the humiliation of being in lock-up, which means their youthful energy and ingenuity to try to end their own lives is to be feared.

    I don’t think so, Jeff. Kids are in confinement, and under strict supervision all the time. They don’t call it humiliation; they call it school.

    Some adult prisoners are psychopaths, and some are people who made bad decisions, but a majority of all adults in prison are mentally or emotionally ill. If you drink or use recreational drugs once in a while, it’s to have fun, but these folks are often self-medicating for clinical depression or other mental disorders. (People hear “depression” and they think sadness, but clinical depression involves sleep disorders, digestive disorders, aches and pains, lack of concentration, memory problems, anhedonia (inability to enjoy anything), and inability to think, much more than sadness.) And the same is true of kids.

    It’s not that being locked up makes someone want to commit suicide. They commit suicide for the same reason they ended in the lockup – because they have problems between the ears.

    Those who have family members or friends commit suicide often torture themselves, wondering if he committed suicide because of something they said or did, or if they could have said something or done something to have prevented that death. They shouldn’t feel guilty. Suicide is a pain-killer – and if someone is in enough pain to kill himself, anything you could possibly say or do is going to be pretty inconsequential in comparison.

    Of those who are hospitalized for depression, 60% will end up being hospitalized a second time. Of those hospitalized twice, 80% will end up being hospitalized a third time. And a third of all who are hospitalized at least once for depression end up succeeding in killing themselves. (While 83% of all statistics are made up on the spot, those particular statistics came from DSM-III.)

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  37. Kafkaz said on March 27, 2008 at 2:13 am

    For those interested in depression, I suggest reading The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression by Andrew Solomon. Kay Redfield Jamison is another worth reading–she writes about depression, suicide, and manic-depression, and she explores the possible connections between artistic temperaments and various mental illnesses. Not lighthearted reading, but enlightening.

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  38. Kafkaz said on March 27, 2008 at 2:13 am

    Oh, and my mom’s name was Lois. Sheesh.

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  39. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 27, 2008 at 7:14 am

    Harl, i agree with you on adult prison mental illness, but with juveniles, whole ‘nother story. The risk is with first-timers, and that’s among a population that, if we help ’em survive that first time in lock-up, rarely come back to enjoy our hospitality. The biggest hazard isn’t the ones who did something vastly felonious, but the low-level kids who just did not believe they could end up in cuffs and ankle shackles and an orange jump suit for breaking windows, cursing at cops, and having drugs in their pocket. Suicide attempts almost vanish on second and subsequent visits to incarceration.

    The problem is lack of imagination, not lack of mental health care, at least in Ohio juvenile detention. Actual longer-term lock-up-ees, i suspect we slide into the demographics you describe for prison, but i don’t work that side of the block.

    On the other hand, on this side of the block, a preponderance of my kids are angry and acting out because of untreated, self-medicated, poorly managed mental health on the part of their parents/guardians. We screen and refer for depression when we can identify it, but they’re angry that their parents aren’t parenting and that they can’t be kids . . . my words, of course, not theirs. The biggest frustration of working juvenile justice is the limited degree to which we can use kids’ offenses to push the responsible adults to look at treatment or counseling or rehab, even when all of us up to the judge can tell the dad’s (likely) drug use is the trigger for the kid’s antisocial behavior (school truancy, vandalism, fighting on the bus, shoplifting).

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  40. Harl Delos said on March 27, 2008 at 9:40 am

    There’s a fairly high suicide rate for teenagers not locked up, Jeff. Is there any evidence that locking teenagers up increases the suicide rate, over equally-troubled kids who aren’t locked up?

    The problem is lack of imagination, not lack of mental health care, at least in Ohio juvenile detention.

    Perhaps in the facility you work in. That’s not the rule across the board. VBH, for instance, is pretty nasty, and most of their clients are sent there by juvenile courts.

    I don’t mean to suggest that the kids they deal with are angels. These are some pretty nasty kids, ones that probably will spend the rest of their lives in prison – but with the proper treatment, they could do well in prison. With improper treatment, they end up raging animals.

    You know what happens when a kid gets mad and holds his breath until he turns blue? He passes out, reflexes take over, and he starts breathing again. In Columbus, a 13-year-old boy who wasn’t supposed to be left alone was found dead, supposedly a suicide by drowning in 8 inches of water in a bathtub.

    Apparently in Cincinnati, a resident started choking on her own vomit, an hour after eating. They ignored her for about an hour before calling for an ambulance, and she died.

    A teenaged girl in Ohio, not to be left alone, was allowed an unsupervised smoke break. She picked up glass from a broken window and cut her wrists in a suicide attempt. It was the next day before they bothered to take her to the emergency room. Why were they allowing a teenager to smoke? Why was there broken glass lying around? That’s outrageous.

    Here in Ephrata, a boy was restrained because he was “unruly”. It was cold, and he wanted to wear his hoody. Nope, that wasn’t allowed. They put him on the floor, face down, held his arms back, and two, count ’em, two workers climbed on his back. Get off me, I can’t breathe, he cried. They didn’t get off, and he died. The coroner said he had an enlarged heart and that’s why he died – but he had an EKG just a week earlier that showed no problems at all. The DA said it was accidental death. But the local newspaper got someone to hack into the coroner’s computer, the state started investigating the coroner, the DA went in and confiscated hard drives at the newspaper. The coroner lost his primary, the DA decided against running….

    That was the second death in about 3 months at Ephrata, but I don’t know anyone who worked there when the first one occurred. They tell me that the administration retaliated against staffers filing incident reports of staff beating, raping, or ignoring legitimate needs of residents, or ignoring residents raping each other.

    I’m sorry if this post upset some readers. It upsets me, and I don’t know the kids, I just hear story after story, second-hand. Maybe if enough people get upset, though, we can do something. This isn’t something that oughta happen in America.

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