Hello Dad, I'm in Jail

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/11/18/hello-dad-im-in-jail.html


How did they go from, “Dad, I’m in Jail”, to this:



Well, it can’t have taken long, as both were released in 1987.

An acquaintance of mine was very fond of this song, and was especially pleased to be able to quote it when phoning his dad from jail.


How could one artist work in two genres? Could it be… Chariots of the Gods?


Clicked through for the humorous flashback. Leaving depressed with a sense of dread.


So this really was a song and not just an LSD flashback? Huh…go figure.




Greatest album that ever lived.


It also was (not was) included in one of those festival of animation movies, where I first saw it.

Thought the “song” was effin’ brilliant.


I have very fond memories of Liquid Television (showing my age). It also had the original Aeon Flux series by Peter Chung, which was much edgier than the series, which in its turn was so much better than the movie.


This short lead to a conversation with my parents that likely changed how I thought about incarceration.

I think I first saw this during a Spike and Mike’s show. It stuck with me for years. It had a very visceral hook and I found it funny. One mother’s day, I called my mother and paraphrased the rant. She replied, “I still love you. You’re innocent. I know it. Can I send you a cake?” My father was on the line, and it went from funny, to a serious conversation and incarceration.

It is so easy to make a poor decision and end up being incarcerated, something my parents feared for me. My father was big on pointing out to us that smart kids make stupid mistakes, and dumb kids can do the same. They raised us to see the terrible situation that incarceration and an overly litigious society has lead to. How does one get a job and become self-sufficient post incarceration? How does one teach impulse control and critical thinking?

Oddly, this vignette indirectly lead me to fight to use volunteers from the court system when the not-for-profit I once worked for decided that they were too dangerous. The organization’s point was focused on worries that felons were not inherently trustworthy. I pointed out that with thousands of volunteers, a fair number were likely felons, and we wouldn’t know it. From the start of the local program, we didn’t accept violent criminals or sexual offenders. After a few bad experiences with working forgers, I decided that that crime also made somebody ineligible to work for us. Beyond that, I think it provided a good service for the community. The program eventually ended, mostly due to a work about lawsuits, fear of hidden predators, and bad press.

In my experience, I noted the following about people doing court ordered community service:

  • Medical professionals sent to us almost always put in double the amount of time that they were required to. They came to us mostly due to use and abuse issues, sometimes coupled with theft of drugs.

  • Professionals that performed unnecessary procedures were weasels and did everything they could to do as little as possible, including attempting to make donations in lieu of time served.

  • Those found guilty of hit and run, succeeded to finish the required hours on time half of the time. Those that succeeded almost always returned to the crime after leaving, and remorseful. If somebody explained that they were caught by the police or refused to explain what happened almost never finished the required hours with us.

  • DUIs and BUIs, generally finished their community service if they were honest about what they did. Those that explained that it was a “wet reckless” or were pissed off about the punishment, or told me that they were going to AA or found a religion excessively during the interview, almost always failed to finish their community service.

  • Two separate forgers submitted falsified or incorrect hours reporting to the courts. Given the sample size, I can’t say this is representative of those that commit the crime, but it was troubling to me. Both these people also caused the court to call me, and once a judge called me to ream me out and threaten me, as though I was working for him and it was my fault. (I think he was just angry at being hoodwinked.)

  • Court appointed volunteers that were fired from the program made outrageous claims to the court, and sometimes would contact the home office making my life miserable for a time. One came back and applied for a job and for some reason still thinks I am a friend when ever she sees me.

  • Volunteers working with us as part of a mental health vocational remediation really tried hard, but almost universally failed to show up down the line. This lead to their release from the program. This almost always happened after a reduction in supervision from whatever service they were working with to get help and become self sufficient.

I digress. If I hadn’t seen this short, called my mother on mother’s day with a paraphrased version of this song, I don’t think I would have had as many thoughts about incarceration and the effect it has on society.


All he ever wanted was a Pepsi.


I was always under the impression they were “eclectic”, so the leap didn’t seem so strange to me.


This song led to my answering the question “where are you?” from my parents, on the phone, with “I’m in Jail!!!” for over a decade.


Boy howdy, that takes me back! Mike and Spike’s Animation and all that…


I have similar questions about how Technohead went from this:

to this:

It’s not like they hadn’t released different stuff under different names before.


I’m just as lost as you are with those two pieces.

I got my copy by going down to Tower and buying the cassingle for “Spy In The House Of Love,” “Dad, I’m In Jail” was the B-side.

The song was also featured in the movie “Pump Up The Volume,” I think it was during the part where they take the pirate radio transmitter onto the jeep. It didn’t make it onto the officially released (and great) soundtrack album, though.


That movie was my introduction to Leonard Cohen as well…


It’s where I discovered the Cowboy Junkies, Soundgarden, Rollins Band, the Pixies…