Beach Walk 256 OTR – Alcatraz – Escape from Reality

It’s a foggy day as we venture out to Alcatraz Island in the San Francisco Bay.

A few of my videopbogging friends are making an improv movie and I wanted to see this place. It was a federal prison for many years, then claimed by American Indians to publicize their sovereignty claims. It’s now part of the Golden Gate National Park. Only three were known to have escaped. Their bodies were never found and “presumed drowned.” The currents are very strong and the water is very cold. Check local wind and water temperatures.

Please visit my fellow videobloggers’ sites:
Paul Knight, PJK Productions
Phil Campbell, R3wind
Bonnie Pierzina, Noodlescar
Lan Bui, Video of the Moment

Update: Here’s the movie my fellow video bloggers produced:
Vloggies the Movie


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Hawaiian words
Hale paʻahao: prison

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  1. Very nice show, Rox. Certainly got a sense of the quiet and “remote-ness” of the place.

    Will be interesting to see what stories the other vloggers tell of their trip to “The Rock.”

  2. Very interesting place. It’s been awhile since I was there but I do remember the “quietness” of the place … people contemplating what it was like back in the day for the prisoners. Imagine having a “view” of SF from your cell and never being able to go there … great show!

  3. Normally love your stuff, and you had me until the end. That’s when you should probably have stopped to think a little about what you’re saying. Do you honestly believe that people want to live that way? Honestly?

    If you really do have any intellectual curiosity about WHY people are in prison, and the types of issues surrounding the high incarceration rate (versus just trying to fill a vlog with deep sounding but ultimately empty thoughts), you could easily do a Google search and enlighten yourself just a little bit about it.

    Sorry, but it just gets to me when an otherwise intelligent person says something… that isn’t.

  4. I agree it was very quiet there, noone was being loud and everyone seemed very interested in learning about its history.

    I wish we could have hung out more!!!

  5. Hi Eric – thank you for your comment. I did indeed slip from normal reality to soul reality without warning. I hope to explain this more in upcoming episodes so I hope you will stay tuned.

    I agree with you, at its face the stats on prisons are horrendous. Most people don’t seem to “learn their lessons” (whether it is in their nature or there is a near absence or reall attempt to treat underlying problems) , too many people are in jail for personal pot use which I disagree with, and far more black men are incarcerated for lesser crimes than their white male counterparts, and on and on.

    I also know there are people who are just plain pushing against the rest of us, and as a collective, we have agreed (at least in prinicple) on certain rules of the game. “You kill people, you have a good chance of going to jail.”

    I do not want to live in a place like Alcatraz, nor do most of the people I know. But I just read the other day about a prisoner who was approved for release, but his term was not up and he asked if he could stay in. It was easier than living on the outside, he said.

    When I observe life, and see some things I don’t understand/support continuing to happen, I think there must be some souls who are curious about pushing that particular edge. Knowing that when the final push comes to shove, we are safe.

    Larry Dossey, a physician, once said something like, “Everyone worries about dying as if it’s the worst thing. To be sure, do what you can to stay alive, but if you die? You end up in the lap of God. What’s so bad about that?”

  6. I may have been a little harsh, Rox. I apologize for the tone, and appreciate your well thought response. Again, I was expressing a little disappointment at the casual train of thought about what I think is a profound issue facing our society. Surely there are those, many in fact, who have earned their place behind bars. No argument there! But there is also great inequity in the system as well.

    As the beacon of justice and democracy that we try to be for the world, it is troubling that among our societal counterparts in the world, ours has by far the highest incarceration rate of it’s citizens. Sadly, this is not because (on a general basis) someone finds it easier to live behind bars, but rather because it is easier to put them there.

  7. I’ve been to San Francisco three times and after watching your video – I’m very bummed I’ve never visited Alcatraz. It seems like a very strange experience.

    Also – to add in the conversation – I find it very disturbing that many of our prison systems in this country are become for-profit prisons. When a prison begins to hold more financial power the more prisoners it holds – then the idea of rehabilitation kinda’ goes out the window.

    There is a lot of terrifying facts and stories revolving around for-profit prisons… I highly recommend trying to dig some up.