- Taschenbuch: 440 Seiten
- Verlag: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; Auflage: 1 (26. April 2017)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 1541024494
- ISBN-13: 978-1541024496
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 15,2 x 2,8 x 22,9 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: Schreiben Sie die erste Bewertung
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 1.445.053 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
Rebel Hell: Disabled Vegan Goes to Prison (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 26. April 2017
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Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende
Jan Smitowicz resides in California’s wondrous North Coast region with his wife/publicist Andria and their rescued companion animals. They are joyous childfree vegans. Smitowicz has published two novels, Orange Rain and Redwood Falls. He believes fiction and narrative nonfiction still have the power to change lives--and thereby change the world.
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I keep wondering, who is the audience here? It isn’t until after I read the final sentence that I realize - there is no intended audience. The making of this tome was his therapy, his medicine, the crux of his coping while he planned out the book as he lived it, and part of his post-release healing in writing it up. But instead of burying it in a secret spot to protect any vulnerabilities mainstreamers would ploy and pounce upon, Jan’s emotionally strong enough to share it with whomever in hopes that it might ripple into better humans and a better world. This memoir is a sword striking at structures of power affecting him and all. This leads me to ponder his vision, on which the foundation he might be building I rowdily bicker.
Anyone who reads Rebel Hell is no doubt going to bicker with Jan, each on our own preferred topics, which is a great exercise in critical thinking. See Socrates: The unexamined life is not worth living. As for my preferred topics, well let me first fess up my lens. I identify as a vegan anarcho-primitivist. Here’s a sampling of how I wrangled with Jan: You’re an anarchist who wants to smash the system and “build” something anew on top of its ashes. Yeah, it’d break too far from your focus, but I long for more on what you want humans to ‘build’? Oh, how I howled to know. For example, do you merely prefer a green lifeway with reduced human population, vegan agriculture, rescuing and loving ‘companion animals’, etc.? Do you believe humans have a rightful dominating place in the world to say, shuffle species (animal, plant, etc.) wherever we prefer, or breed them into what we crave, essentially attaching our affection and/or control at the center of landscaping Earth? Are you anti-agriculture? Is your vision a softer human supremacy (that slows to a gentler creep toward human-caused ecosystem collapse, imo), or a world of wildlife (including humans. human wildlife.) in thriving natural communities and habitats (wild human habitat range limits included)? As early Jensen elucidates on the definition of civilization, the moment a human clan has a lifeway other than self-sustaining, they become an exploiter, a dominator who invades Earth. Are you anti-civ, and how do you define it? Have you explored the depth of your wilderness awareness? Do you have an instinct to rewilding yourself, to manifest your animal self? Forage from plants and mushrooms?
I’m also a restoration ecologist forest steward who sees, deals with and cries over encroachments and impacts of not only humans, but their extensions, dogs and cats, on wild life and wild places. When a dog runs through the forest, do you see the impact of its sound, scent, presence and energy on wild animals and their habitat? Akin to antinatalism, we’re at the point where you’re either pro-pet or pro-wildlife, no squirming out of it. Hard choice for domesticated companion lovers, and hard to sell in a pet-mania culture. On & on my one-way dialogue went with Jan’s written words. No matter your answers to my wild questions, thanks Jan for inspiring me to remember where I came from, to remind me of why I do what I do, and that life fluctuates, be humble, embrace change. I sense Earth calling writers and all to signal a return and giving back to Earth.
The coolest thing about Rebel Hell is the scope of strata via shifts in style. Jan takes you from raw antics in sordid or sexual or asinine prison subsubculture (indeed, subsub), to higher forms of philosophical contemplation. This brings us back to the question of audience. Firstly, this is required reading for anyone involved in the prison-industrial-complex in any way, on every side of the power spectrum, and not just reformists, but abolitionists, and specially prisoners [sic]. Vegans of all stripes, especially those who question or support animal rights activism. People with disabilities, particularly unseen disabilities, will take solace in struggles to cope with operose plights. Anarchists and pre-anarchists (you know who you are - flirting with an identity is fun, but action takes you all the way). Speaking of flirting, all those who are flirting with hazy boundaries of today’s marijuana laws, who too often choose not to look too closely at exactly what you’re risking, heed this lesson from what they did to Jan, at least so you make your choices clearly knowing your risks, to get out while the getting’s good, or to clamp down on vigilance in your protection strategies.
Jan, I’m profoundly moved that you shared your ordeal. How strong-minded and big-hearted to open your life this way. May your good intentions come to fruition, giving humans and all beings a better life. You’re such an avid reader, I’d like to offer you a customized list of entertaining book recommendations: Lee Hall’s On Their Own Terms: Animal Liberation for the 21st Century, Yi-Fu Tuan’s Dominance & Affection: The Making of Pets, Jim Mason’s An Unnatural Order: Uncovering the Roots of Our Domination of Nature and Each Other, John Livingston’s Rogue Primate: An Exploration of Human Domestication, John Zerzan’s Future Primitive, and Douglas W. Tallamy’s Bringing Nature Home: How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants. Now I’m adding Rebel Hell to my ‘highly recommend’ book list. Much gratitude for inviting us along on your bodily and cerebral escapade into the depths of hell… I mean civilization’s bureaucratic terrorism. It serves as inspiration to resist, rise & smash!
You are about to read [or so the book’s author hopes] an extraordinary memoir by an extraordinary man. First, I’d like to briefly relay how I came to know Jan Smitowicz.
In my role as Distinguished Professor and Chair of Psychology at Oakland University [Rochester, Michigan], I have for the past several years organized an international two-day conference that brings together smart people from around the world to talk about a broad and unsettled area of work within my own field of evolutionary psychology. These conferences have featured the brightest minds in the social, behavioral, and life sciences, but also some of the most gifted fiction and non-fiction writers, both within and outside of academia. Our past conferences include “The Evolution of Violence,” “The Evolution of Sexuality,” and “The Evolution of Morality.” Our most recent conference, held in the spring of 2016, addressed “The Evolution of Psychopathology.” By the fall of 2015 I had locked in most of our panelists, but had yet to find a novelist that fit well with the conference theme, a novelist whose work incorporated elements of psychopathology.
Over the past several years I have become deeply interested in anti-natalism. In 2010, I read David Benatar’s Better Never to Have Been: The Harm of Coming into Existence and, after some soul-searching, found his arguments deeply convincing and equally unsettling. Fast forward a few years to the fall of 2015. I stumbled upon a podcast featuring an interview with David Benatar. This particular episode featured three interviewees, each of whom was struggling in their own medium with issues of anti-natalism. David Benatar provided an academic philosopher’s perspective. The Norwegian rapper Mistro provided a musician’s perspective on how one might address issues of anti-natalism. And then there was Jan. The podcast hosts had invited him on to offer a novelist’s perspective—how might one incorporate social justice concerns, including anti-natalism, into the plot and characters of a novel?
Jan had recently published his debut novel Orange Rain. I understood from the interview that Jan incorporated anti-natalist ideas into the characters and plot in a book that sounded fascinating. I liked Jan’s brutally honest but deeply empathic responses to the interviewers’ questions. Within a few days I had purchased and read the novel. And what a novel! I knew Jan would be an ideal panelist for our upcoming conference—a novelist whose work incorporated themes of psychopathology into the plot and characters.
Plus, I liked his edginess. Academics need more edginess in their lives—especially academics that attend fancy conferences.
I reached out to Jan and extended an invite. He leapt at the chance to join us, and I am so grateful for it: Jan’s uniquely stylized perspective as a panelist helped make this one of our most enjoyable and stimulating conferences; moreover, his talk on anti-natalism and how he incorporates such important themes into his writing was a highlight of the conference!
When he visited Oakland University, Jan was adamant: If I liked Orange Rain, I’d really enjoy his prison memoir-in-progress. I was pleasantly surprised when he asked me to write the Foreword. Which you—Dear Reader, as Jan would say—are now [presumably] reading. After receiving the “Januscript,” I devoured it in just a couple days. Not out of obligation, either—I simply couldn’t put the book down!
It soon became clear that Rebel Hell: Disabled Vegan Goes to Prison is a stunning masterpiece. The content is certainly remarkable—a vegan, disabled young man’s harrowing experiences during a two-year imprisonment in Illinois for trafficking marijuana. Also remarkable—in fact, singularly unique among the memoirs I have read—is Jan’s unequaled stylistic panache; his beautifully crafted, outrageously candid, deeply empathic, and often uproariously funny narrative voice. He reveals the immense trauma of life in the “Prison Vortex” with incredible clarity. Even more substantial, however, is how he managed to engender the sense that I now know this man on a thorough and deeply personal level. I suffered when he suffered. Feared when he feared. And I was overjoyed when he triumphed.
Despite the dreadful circumstances, Jan somehow unearths humor in the very darkest places—and does so throughout. On many occasions, I found myself laughing right alongside him amid some of the most outrageously frustrating situations imaginable. His multifarious depictions of endless struggle against prison doctors hell-bent on decreasing or discontinuing his very necessary pain medications are equal parts hilarious and soul-withering. Oh—and then there are his disturbing, disgusting, but above all entertaining accounts of frequent physical-psychological degradation he was forced to endure with the . . . well, let’s just say the seedier aspects of prison life. Leaving the narration of those sordid details to the man who must forever live with them.
Rebel Hell: Disabled Vegan Goes to Prison is a memoir—a story—like no other.