I’ve always been critical of the prison-industrial complex and the many ways it has destroyed lives, and that is why we must end the prison system as we know it. But from a purely aesthetic standpoint, we absolutely must keep the prison from the classic movie musical, Chicago.
The American prison system has ruined generations of black and brown families, forming a vicious and profitable cycle that allows the private prison industry to thrive on other people’s suffering. However, the Chicago prison harkens back to a time when murdering your husband was a valid comedic premise, and the idea of a women’s prison was still a little bit fun and quirky. And the silhouettes? Just brilliant.
Please do not throw out the baby (Chicago) with the bathwater (an evil system used to subjugate people of color in order to maintain white supremacy and profit off of human exploitation).
If prison merely required you to learn a choreographed dance and sing little lines like, “He had it coming”, I might have had a different opinion on the whole enterprise. Instead of putting people away for 20 years for minor drug offenses, what if they had to work together to perform a beloved musical number instead? It wouldn’t absolve us of our nation’s greatest sins, but I think everyone would have a really fun time.
So, while I am deeply committed to doing everything I can to abolish prisons as we know it, I beg of you to hold onto one thing: Catherine Zeta-Jones dancing alongside feminine silhouettes behind bars yelling, “Cicero, Lipschitz, Uh Oh” while she does a Fosse toe-slide right into a full split. Because isn’t that what America is all about?