Comic Talk and General Discussion

A Rant, about Family Obligations
El Cid at 11:42AM, Aug. 23, 2010
posts: 1,077
joined: 5-4-2009
Umm, okay, not sure how to start this topic, but basically I'm sort of venting, I guess. I don't expect any good advice to come of it but whatever. This is like an AA meeting for me or something like that. Okay, so my younger brother's been in and out of prison for the past several years, since he was fifteen. Over that period of time, he's graduated from petty shoplifting to auto theft to abducting people and forcing them to empty out their bank accounts at ATMs. Bad stuff, I know. Hey, this isn't a “feel good” thread. Anyway, he's locked up right now with a parole date coming soon and I got a phone call from Mom. I'm the only person in the family who regularly has money, and they needed a few thousand dollars for an attorney to help get him ready for his parole hearing. And therein lies the dilemma. If this were anyone else but my brother, or I were watching someone else contemplate the same decision, I'd tell them “of course you don't want to get him an attorney! Keep that animal locked up! Next time he gets out he's gonna kill somebody!” But he's my brother, so of course I wrote Mom a check. But now I'm wondering whether I did the right thing. I mean, if he does get out, and he does hurt somebody, that's sort of my fault now isn't it? Ugh.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:20PM
Dark Pascual at 12:27PM, Aug. 23, 2010
posts: 498
joined: 1-5-2009
Well, I think YOU did the right thing. Maybe not as much as for your brother, but rather for your mom's peace of mind.

If your brother manages to get out of jail and (pardon my language) fucks it up again, well, is YOUR BROTHER'S fault, not yours. At all.

I know that it's what I would do if any of my brothers or my sister gets into trouble.

You are doing what you can, everything else is up to your brother.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:07PM
rokulily at 1:02PM, Aug. 23, 2010
posts: 1,109
joined: 2-26-2008
the thing is prison isn't just punishment; its society anwser to violent deviants. your brother it sounds like in unable to coexist in the society he's stuck in and lashes out, each time in a more violent and dramatic way. and he clearly doesn't respect other people at all. he isn't going to change- he doesn't want to. he lacks compassion for others and will only pretend to get along because it suits his desires not to back to prison- but say if he had a clouded judgement brought on by an annoying person moment, drugs, achocal, etc. he'd jump back to his old ways no problem.

you didn't do the right thing, you did the nice thing. your brother need a servere amount of help- help he probably doesn't even want so he'll probably not take it. it's nice that you did this for your mom- but what has your brother done to convince himself and others that he's willing to get help and actually change? your mom might just be disillisoned because he's one of her babies and she needs to ‘save him’ so sorry if this is harsh but she can't save him.

if he hurts someone it is his fault, he is his own person capible of his own choices. but that doesn't mean that you were right. you aren't responible for others actions you are responible for your own and this action you know isn't right even if it collides with your sense of ‘family duty’.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:09PM
I Am The 1337 Master at 1:27PM, Aug. 23, 2010
posts: 3,785
joined: 1-16-2009
I agree with it wasn't the right thing.

I mean yes it was right to help your family but if he continues to do this to you and your mom I'm pretty sure you should tell him to screw it next time.

I mean if he can't stop himself, you're not going to able to change him.

Professional help, not governmental is advised.

Does he have an authority problem or something?

I just don't know.

I'm a teenager for Pete's sake.

Well I trust you'll do what you think is neccessarry.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:54PM
alwinbot at 2:34PM, Aug. 23, 2010
posts: 884
joined: 1-12-2010
Won't the government get him his own attorney even if you didn't pay?

Unless you're not from America.
Read this comic. It is the greatest journal comic ever written and drawn. Trust me.
last edited on July 14, 2011 10:50AM
Chernobog at 2:52PM, Aug. 23, 2010
posts: 926
joined: 11-3-2007
I think Rokulily nailed this, or at least how I see it.
I'm an advocate of two things of thought here:

Don't throw good money after poor value.

Manipulation and obligation is not love.

Maybe that's harsh, but I'm no Saint Jude either.
“You tell yourself to just
enjoy the process,” he added. “That whether you succeed or fail, win or
lose, it will be fine. You pretend to be Zen. You adopt detachment, and
ironic humor, while secretly praying for a miracle.”
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:41AM
El Cid at 4:22PM, Aug. 23, 2010
posts: 1,077
joined: 5-4-2009
Won't the government get him his own attorney even if you didn't pay?

Unless you're not from America.

I'm not from America. I'm from Texas. And yeah, I'm sure he can get some kind of crappy public legal counsel for his parole hearing, but the attorney we hired is supposedly some kind of hot shot parole specialist with a ninety-something percent success rate when it comes to getting people out on their first hearing. Something like that. I don't know; I just hear what people tell me. My brother was up to some pretty heinous stuff but from what I understand he only plead guilty to a few minor offenses so he seems to have a pretty good shot at being paroled.

Thanks for the opinions you guys. I pretty much agree with all of you. I don't think I'm helping him by, well, helping him, but then I don't see not helping as an option. Nothing good will come of it but whatever.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:20PM
Walrus at 5:02PM, Aug. 23, 2010
posts: 1,159
joined: 2-18-2007
I wouldn't have wrote him a check. There could have been a chance he actually learned a lesson. I honestly don't know if this would have helped or not. But I think you're right on the point that he'll kill someone next, so its good that you wrote the check so he won't have a reason to come after you.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:45PM
kyupol at 9:13PM, Aug. 23, 2010
posts: 3,723
joined: 1-12-2006
I probably would have wrote him a check with half or 75% of the required amount. Then I'd make up all sorts of excuses as to why I cannot make the remainder.

That way, I can balance two things namely:
- Teaching him a lesson to finally GROW UP and learn the error of his ways.

- Being a nice brother and helping him out. At least you wouldn't look bad in his eyes and in the eyes of your other family members.

last edited on July 14, 2011 1:27PM
Genejoke at 1:35PM, Aug. 24, 2010
posts: 3,612
joined: 4-9-2010
without knowing more about it and your brother it is hard to say, but you don't paint a good picture so I guess I am agreeing with the others.

That said is there anything else you can do for him? he IS your brother, I have no idea how close you are but my sister went off the rails, nothing like your brother but bad enough and she got her shit straight in the end with help from family.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:33PM
Randal at 3:14PM, Aug. 24, 2010
posts: 378
joined: 1-4-2006
All I know is that if I gave my relative money to enable their freedom & they took that opportunity to kill someone, I would feel partially responsible for that death. With that over my head, I don't think I could do it. I'd tell him I love him too much to help him dig the hole he's in any deeper.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:01PM
HippieVan at 3:28PM, Aug. 24, 2010
posts: 3,002
joined: 3-15-2008
I probably would have wrote him a check with half or 75% of the required amount. Then I'd make up all sorts of excuses as to why I cannot make the remainder.

That way, I can balance two things namely:
- Teaching him a lesson to finally GROW UP and learn the error of his ways.

- Being a nice brother and helping him out. At least you wouldn't look bad in his eyes and in the eyes of your other family members.

This actually makes a lot of sense.
Duchess of Friday Newsposts and the holy Top Ten
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:49PM
ozoneocean at 8:48PM, Aug. 24, 2010
posts: 26,497
joined: 1-2-2004
The other side is that he might be a better person now…. Like Walrus said.

But if he is or not, prison is no cure either way. Unless he kills someone he's going to get out of there anyway, they don't keep people indefinitely and when they're in there they don't FIX people- they tend to make them worse.

You and your family's TRUE obligation isn't to pay for lawyers- it's to take that wayward bastard in hand and try and set him on a better path. And failing that- to try and get others to do it, those more qualified.
Neither prison, nor lawyers are doing anything for anyone here. They're just facilitating him in f**king himself up and making your life worse at the same time.

That said, you have your OWN life to lead and can't always be taking responsibility for someone else and their stupid decisions, but family obligations don't just involve money.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:36PM
Randal at 5:16AM, Aug. 25, 2010
posts: 378
joined: 1-4-2006
I had wanted to add stuff along the lines of what Ozone said, but there's only so much texting my thumbs can do on my tiny phone before they start to cramp up.

Essentially, the only way your brother is going to change is if your whole family takes the time to get involved in his life and work through getting him on the right path, be it with only family help or, it seems inevitable in this case, with the help of social programs.

something coherent that made sense

I know this is just a fluke for me to agree with kyupol on anything, but I'll give him his due here.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:01PM
therealtj at 6:19PM, Aug. 25, 2010
posts: 3,282
joined: 3-15-2007
It's impossible for you to have made a “wrong decision” here because there was no “right decision.” Both choices could have helped and harmed your brother in different ways. If he went to jail, he would receive a well deserved lesson as to the consequences of his actions but there is also the likelihood he could have been attack by fellow inmates. Now, you are protecting him from the latter (and removing a large amount of stress for your family) but also kept him from the help he needed.

My point is, you made a decision, neither choices were perfect, you did what you saw fit. Don't beat yourself up about it.

That being said, you can attempt to improve the conditions. Perhaps you can try and convince him to settle down? Maybe think of some way to keep your brother under closer surveillance so he won't act up again? I don't know.

“The only moral it is possible to draw from this story is that one should never throw the letter Q into a privet bush, but unfortunately there are times when it is unavoidable.”
-Douglas Adams, The Restaurant At the End of the Universe
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:28PM
Faliat at 7:16PM, Aug. 25, 2010
posts: 584
joined: 10-17-2006
Personally, I'm not surprised by your brother's escalating crimes. By the sounds of it he's probably trying to get back in since it's almost impossible to fit back into society when you've been in prison from such a young age.

I think a better thing would've been to have avoided the parole thing and saved up the cash to help him out later on when he is eventually released or if another parole hearing happens. If he gets out and has no help breaking the cycle of re-offending he will go back in based on what you mentioned in the first post. Prison obviously hasn't worked for him so something else needs to be done.

Call that jumped up metal rod a knife?
Watch mine go straight through a kevlar table, and if it dunt do the same to a certain gaixan's skull in my immediate vicinity after, I GET A F*****G REFUND! BUKKO, AH?!

- Rekkiy (NerveWire)
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:25PM
Genejoke at 8:10AM, Aug. 26, 2010
posts: 3,612
joined: 4-9-2010
In response to the prison comments, who else thinks prison should be more like the old tower of london stuff, a cold dark room, bread and water and a bucket? no playstations, gym and minimal human rights.

Or at least for serious offenders anyway,
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:33PM
ayesinback at 8:35AM, Aug. 26, 2010
posts: 2,113
joined: 8-23-2010
I'm brand-new to DD, and entering a discussion like this one may not be the best way to introduce myself, but here goes: Loving your brother is a good thing; honoring your mom is one of the commandments, but facilitating a violent criminal is wrong. I think that's what it boils down to.

Yeah, prison is not much more that a graduate school for deviants. Too bad that there aren't more vocational training / work programs (even chain gangs) something so that the prisoners could make a positive contribution to society, whether they want to or not, while we pay for their room and board. But prison is not a deterrent, and I don't believe in the death penalty, and I think some criminals are way too big a nightmare to be sent by society back to their families with a mandate of “you fix them”.

The only effective punishment I can think of historically has been shunning; that and banishment. (re-energize the space program?)

I agree with the earlier sentiment: in a wrong situation it's practically impossible to do right. Your heart was in the right place, but this called for a tougher love, in my opinion.
And the people in the houses
All went to the university,
Where they were put in boxes
And they came out all the same
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:14AM
Genejoke at 9:37AM, Aug. 26, 2010
posts: 3,612
joined: 4-9-2010

Joining in, in any capacity is a good way to get started. Welcome aboard the good ship DD.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:33PM

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