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Okay, so this is a little glimpse into the 21 year old Marcus. My roommate in the dorm, Ben, and our other bud, Tim, all shared some weird fascination with the Charles Manson murders. Why? Dunno. I remember watching Geraldo Rivera interview Charlie back in the mid-80s. As a 10 year old kid, seeing a crazy man with crazy eyes and a swastika carved in between those eyes is a pretty scary sight when you’re home alone for the first time.

But, I’m not the only one…

Charles Manson, even now some three(almost four) decades later, still holds such a weird fascination for Americans. He’s around 70 years old now, but still as nutty as ever. Tonight, I caught some interview done with Charlie in the 80s, maybe for the Today show. Either way, the new bit was a couple of psychiatrists analyzing him on the video. Much of what he said was pure gibberish, just the loco ramblings of a whack job.

Still, something he said kinda struck me. He was referring to his time in L.A. after he’d been released from prison. He looked around at the fancy cars, the huge houses, the identities linked with jobs and realized those aspects were possibly as imprisoning as the bars he’d just come from(bars like prison bars, not pubs).

Prison is in your mind,” he said, pointing at his melon.

He’s right. Having a prison of the mind is far, far worse than truly being locked up. Granted, I say this without ever having been locked up. But listen to ex-cons who survived and potentially thrived while incarcerated and they’re likely to discuss the mental aspect of prison life-you can’t look at the walls as seclusion. You have to go inside your own mind, use the tool you were born with between your ears, and think of your situation as something besides oppressive. Charlie did it. Granted, he was just a petty theif and never did a lot of time until affter the Helter Skelter murders, but he certainly knew how to play the prison game.

And you don’t have to be incarcerated to suffer from prison mentality. It’s a “disease” that strikes anyone who continually looks at his/her limitations. Frankly, if you choose to always view your limitations, you’re as good as locked down. Get out of that manner of thinking…take it from a mass murderer.

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