Fetchez la Vache

Here is an interesting item from the 1010 WINS website. The headline reads:

Jogging Song Offends Relatives of Inmates

According to the story,

More than 50 recruits and their trainers jogged in formation past the jail last week singing: “Jailbirds, jailbirds, look and see. You’re locked up and we’re free.”

Relatives, who were in the jail parking lot, say they were shocked.

I agree that the doggerel in question scans poorly, but I hardly consider myself shocked. After all, if these recruits had the lyrical skill to be successful poets, they wouldn’t have to be out there jogging in the first place.

The only other thing I can think of is that the visitors might be vexed that passersby were jeering at their incarcerated kinfolk, but if that’s what’s bothering them, I think they should pause to reflect. In the “good old” days of yore, taunting the wicked was a matter not just of sound ethical principle, but of public policy. Miscreants were pilloried in the public square, and there they had to endure not just ill-metered verse, but were also pelted with rotting vegetables, dead animals, offal, and worse. There were no bathroom breaks.

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Fig. 1

It is interesting that nowadays incarceration, perhaps for years on end, is apparently met with resigned acceptance by the aggrieved relatives, but a little childish ridicule seems beyond the pale. Maybe we should rethink our penal code. This thing might have real deterrent value.

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