By conservative estimates, there are currently enough wrongfully convicted people in prison in the United States to fill a football stadium.
Subscribe and Save up to 55%
Karl Grossman is a journalist from Sag Harbor, New York. He is the author of Cover-Up, a book about the nuclear power industry, available from The Permanent Press, Sagaponack, N.Y. 11962.
I’ve known Karl Grossman for 15 years. We were reporters together at The Long Island Press in the late 60’s, and he’s continued to personify for me crusading journalism at its best.
It was all blamed on the “Arab oil embargo” but who really believed that? There were the tankers, filled to the brim with oil, being kept waiting off-shore. The figures that would authenticate a “shortage” just didn’t add up. Arab oil is just a fraction of U.S. supply and is mainly controlled and pooled internationally by the U.S.-dominated world oil industry.
I’d have to assume that you’re going to get a disastrous accident within the next 20 years, 30 years, right around there . . . I may be wrong . . . We’re liable to have one next week.
I, Arthur Milstein, have had a shitty life. I have found difficulty finding gainful employment. I most recently had a position carving names on gravestones, but I was dismissed owing to poor spelling. I usually spell well but not under intense pressure. My boss had the four gravestones I made mistakes on placed in the trunk of my car, and I am not strong enough to take them out.
“Anything,” I say. “Anything but that.” They were trying to make me eat chicken. As an intelligence agent I had been through the wringer many times — torture, torture, forever torture. But I hate chicken. I detest chicken. I would tell them anything if I had to eat chicken.
The monster that Seabrook was to fuel lined both sides of Route 128 rounding Boston — shopping centers and Holiday Inns and Howard Johnsons and big, grey anonymous industry. And cars, cars all over. Interstate Culture. On the road in America, 1977.
Fletcher E. Driscoll felt the day getting warmer. He was in the back seat of a Land Rover, blindfolded. It must be noon, he thought, bouncing along what seemed to be a crude jungle road. Every so often he felt the vehicle dig into soft ground, and heard the splashing of water. Streams were being crossed, thought Driscoll. He began counting them, but lost his place between 17 and 18. Driscoll felt hungry and took several fresh donuts he had brought with him for the journey out of the pocket of his J. Press tropical seersucker. The intense heat had melted one chocolate donut. Driscoll felt the chocolate in his pocket. He saved what he could with his fingers.
“Technology,” exclaimed Dr. Elliot S. Bluefinger with considerable gusto, “is here to stay.”
I was compiling a list of what I would take with me in the coffin when along came a dog wearing a hat.
Every time Arthur Wazu got sexually excited his ear lobes turned lavender. This had just happened in the central power station, so he roller-skated back to his captain’s quarters to rest. Wazu, breathless, lay back on the floating seat affixed to a plastic chain next to a large window. A brilliant red star shone through the window. Wazu began a meditation. Visualizing a cantelope, he let all the air out of his upper body. The ship’s mental hygienist, Dr. Dick, interrupted Wazu. Wazu liked Dr. Dick. But he feared him somewhat. Under fleet rules in that century, mental hygienists were given veto rights over what the Book of Instructions described as “critical and less than critical” decisions of spaceship commanders. (The following century it was back to Tarot Card readers to provide the check.) Wazu was a man of firm, independent action. Indeed, he often compared himself to Montezuma. He considered Montezuma the best emperor ever.
“My aunt passed away as a result of athlete’s foot,” I was telling the man in a dayglo toga at the urinal next to mine. The person they called The Wizard and I were standing in the grimy men’s room of the Greyhound Bus Station in Ishpeming, Michigan. This is where The Wizard met visitors.
Commander Arthur Wazu, a broken man, sat disconsolately on the spaceship veranda, gazing at Shlerpy, one of the nine moons of planet 4-b.