Filler by Proxy: Journey to the Centre of a Mattress

Sunday 29 August 2004

Well, I celebrated the blog’s one week anniversary by going on a three-day bender, which kind of took the edge off the momentum I had going there for a while. I shan’t wallow in the sordid details but I’ve had a killer hangover since waking up this morning all cold and dewy on the verandah of the house my ex-wife used to live in, clutching an empty bottle of Kirov in one hand and a fistful of lipstick-stained cigarette butts in the other.
Because I can’t bothered writing anything I’m just going to do what most blogs do and link to some other web page. With all the attention in Australia focussed on a bunch of spoiled kids in Greece pumping us up with illusions of achievement and self-worth, the story about chess grandmaster Bobby Fischer finally getting arrested hasn’t been discussed all that much. For years he’s been laying low in Japan, passing the time by phoning up talkback radio shows in the Philippines to spout anti-Semitic diatribes, and avoiding deportation to the U.S. where he faces a federal indictment of breaking international trade sanctions, when he took a $3M paycheck for playing a chess match in Yugoslavia in 1992.
One aspect of the story that doesn’t get mentioned is that this isn’t Fischer’s first brush with the law. In 1981 he was detained by police when he refused to identify himself (at the time he was insisting on being called Robert D. James), and later chronicled his ordeal in a pamphlet titled I WAS TORTURED IN THE PASADENA JAILHOUSE! Described as “a bestseller in chess bookshops”, the booklet’s brief chapters include headings such as “Brutally Handcuffed”, “False Arrest”, “Horror Cell”, “Isolation & Torture”, “Sick Cop”, “Police Crimes”, “Sham” and is filled with chilling statements:
This simple statement spilled the beans on the entire police operation and clearly revealed it to be the filthy stinking set up it was.
To say the whole thing stinks and is a frame up and set up is to put it mildly.
I would add that in order to save my life from the freezing cold I would have been fully justified in destroying one or even a thousand of those mattresses, or even destroying the entirety of the prison. If one is allowed to kill in self-defense, how much more should he be allowed to destroy a cheap prison mattress to save his life. Although I reiterate I did not destroy said mattress or anything else in the jailhouse.
And, most tellingly:

At some point the police said, if I wasn’t such an asshole they wouldn’t have arrested me.

No wonder the guy’s reluctant to help police with their inquiries.