Thursday, April 22, 2010

Building Up And Tearing Down

Let me lay a little background for this here story. Back in 1976 (remember then?) the stellar team of Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle wrote a book titled "Inferno", a more modern day versions of Dante Alighieri's classic novel in which a sci-fi writer falls out of a window, dies and gets sent to hell.

The hero of the story realizes that the only way back out is to follow the same path Dante did. All the way down through hell and out through the middle.

I won't tell you how it ends. You should run right out and buy a copy or order one from Amazon if you don't own one already.

Go ahead...... I'll wait here.

Just kidding.

The story has some modern twists on the classic. After all, the world has changed quite a bit since Dante was loose in the world. Some things that were considered cardinal sins back then, like Simony (whatever that was) have almost completely disappeared. While we do some awful things now that they would have probably gotten a good chuckle over back then.

At any rate, in the fourth circle of hell (reserved for hoarders and wasters) is a large chasm. And over this chasm is being constructed a bridge. There are teams or workers and builders and architects and engineers feverishly building this bridge across the chasm.

Simple enough, right? It's not an endless chasm. They should be done in a few years at the most. It's just a bridge.

The problem is that on the other end, there are rabid groups of anti-development types and earth-firsters and environmentalists and Luddites who despise the bridge and are tearing it back down as fast as it is being built. And there are not enough tools and materials to go around so the groups are constantly fighting and stealing from each other.

Someone's version of hell, I imagine. Me, I would just sit back on the bank and watch the show.

It reminds me for all the world of what we do almost every night in the Hive.

Since third shift is not allowed to do room moves without approval (even the necessary ones) we try very hard never to move anybody. It doesn't always work, but we do try. Instead, we leave shuffling people around to the other shifts. It seems they have carte blanche to do whatever moves they deem necessary.

I'm just saying......

This afternoon, day shift shuffled a whole slew of inmates around to try and clear out our camera cells in C-wing. We often need those in a hurry and it's a real bitch to have to hustle somebody along to get them moving sometimes.

They did good. They emptied six of our eight camera cells.

Problem is, we filled three of them back up before they had been gone very long. They moved one guy from C-wing to B-wing and an hour later we had to move him right back. And right before we got there they sent the inmate from C-5 back to the wobblehead house and right before we left we put him right back in there.

We can just never gain any ground at all.

If Dante were alive today and visited the Hive, he would ignore the inmates and look at us and say "What did you do to get put down here? It must have been bad."

1 comment:

  1. we suffer from and are being punished for the sin of hubris. Somewhere in the bowels of our twisted psyches we think that we can actually make a difference and that we are actually supposed to make a difference.

    I recently had an epiphany. We are the good guys, they are the bad guys. We need the bad guys. Were it not for the bad guys we couldn't be the good guys. We would just be "the guys". Some of us could never be "the guys". We would have to invent the badguys just to make us look good. That is why we need second shift.

    I think my tongue is stuck in my cheek. I am going to need help getting these dentures out of the way.