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It’s been over ten years since you’ve touched a bomb. I plan on contacting your warden. I’d like to get you a weekend furlough. My mom wants to trim your beard. I need help with my math homework. There’s an extra mattress in the basement. Just two house rules: 1) You can’t go anywhere near the mailbox; 2) You have to wear a straitjacket.

I think you’d have quite a reaction to my neighborhood. Everyone here has a monstrous satellite dish. There’s about a dozen or so family rooms within binocular range of my house. I’ve peeped a number of times, with no perverse motives mind you, just pure neurotic curiosity. Weekend or weeknight, the neighbors’ televisions are on, and families sit there like turnips, soaking in the artificial light. Only once can I recall catching someone in the act of reading, and even at that I suspect it was a TV Guide. I can picture you surveying this scene with eyebrows furrowed in contempt, as mind after mind sags into inertia before the “idiot box” – that great bastard of modern technology.

There was no TV in your rural Montana cabin – you found amusement in other ways. I heard that your place was home to an extensive collection of reading material. However, very little has been said of your library. I sometimes wonder what was on those mysterious shelves, yet any such conjecture only leads me to frustration. With its nature-worship and grim outlook at an increasingly modern society, Walden Pond is a logical guess, almost too logical a guess for such a puzzling character as yourself. How ’bout some obscure math books – works coherent to only one in a million, involving such topics as speculative fractal boundary functions? Or am I holding you in too high a regard? Perhaps your shelves were simply stuffed with smut mags like a common backwoods misfit. But I doubt that. Rather, I fancy there was some true literature occupying those shelves – reasons being: 1) Your intellect demanded sustenance*; 2) You quite possibly had the most amount of free time of anyone in the history of the world – even prison inmates, by comparison, have more to do, be it watching their backs or planning the next appeal. With no burdensome jobs, women, or friends to hold you back, the world was your pissing ground.

I, myself, have quite a bit of free time, which is why I’m thinking of you – at least it’s a step up from gazing at television all day. My buddy, Drew, watches everything from arena football reruns to World Series Fly Fishing. He can tolerate most any program except the news, which he dismisses as “worthless.” Although I hesitate to credit him with wisdom, there may be a sad bit of truth to what he says. You always maintained that too much technology devalues human life. As my friend sits before another episode of Prime Time Poker, I nod in grim understanding.

I don’t want to give the impression that my friend is wasting his entire life – he shows occasional signs of ambition. This past week he was on the internet six hours a day, conducting in-depth research on mail-order brides. He showed me one potential wife who in particular caught his fancy – I’ll admit she had a lot to offer: barely 19, 5’4″, 110, cute babysitter face, spoke hardly any English. I almost felt like sabotaging his matrimonial endeavors out of sheer envy. But such emotion proved unneeded, for we soon learned that these mail-order bride deals are often criminal enterprises and, far worse, that the product delivered (if delivered at all) is likely not up to snuff with the advertisement. Although my friend’s efforts were ultimately in vain, I consider them a moral victory. They show that he has not been completely drained of motivation to better himself. Also, I cautiously point out to you that the technology of the internet facilitated this recent noble pursuit.

Can technology really be all that bad? I’m engaged to a girl I met through an internet-dating site. And though my uncontrollable obsession with you is a constant strain on our romance, she’s got a first-rate ass, and we never would’ve met if it weren’t for modern technology. In fact, if not for the internet, I wouldn’t have had a girlfriend in my life, except for Jessica, who practically castrated me with her buckteeth. So, in a way, I’m kind of glad your anti-technology crusade is done, and that you’re in jail forever.

I hope you rot.

_Ray Cavanaugh

*I heard your IQ is 179.