Wonder if animal-abusing rapper DMX thinks he looks just as cool throwing up gang signs while he’s garbed in pink?

In case you haven’t heard, various prisons and jails across the nation have been employing the color pink to not only calm inmates during their stints, but also hopefully lower their area’s re-offense rate.

Sounds a bit oxymoronic to me (I mean, if the jail time is so soothing, what exactly is it that motivates a lower re-offense rate?), but, whatever. The Van Zandt County Criminal Justice Center in Texas, the Dallas County Detention Center in Missouri, and the Jackson County Jail in Iowa have all transitioned to pink in one form or another.

Some believers in color psychology think pink has a calming effect, but DMX (who is currently incarcerated in Arizona’s Maricopa County Jail, a facility that’s been dressing cons in pink for 10 years) feels it’s “ridiculous” and “disrespectful.”

Yeah, it’s better than beating dogs, dude. Deal with it.

Of course, maybe we shouldn’t be so hard on X. He wants to start a TV show and begin preaching, both of which he hopes will help him reach out to others who need help. Could be prison talk, but, let’s hope he’s straightening up.

On to the weekend psychings!

On the big screen, over at the Los Angeles Times, Steve Lopez shares an email chat he had with Robert Downey, Jr. regarding his portrayal of Lopez in the upcoming movie The Soloist. The 2009 Sundance Film Festival kicked off yesterday, and in the lineup is Boy Interrupted, which sounds a lot like Girl Interrupted, only this movie – which also involves a look at the subject’s battles with mental illness – seems to end on a much sadder note than the girl version that kind of shares its name.

And on the small screen, while the dated Wonderland is hitting the tube again courtesy of DirecTV, Showtime is premiering the new United States of Tara series about a mother with multiple personalities tomorrow night (Steven Spielberg has some good things to say about it). ZOS, a new Canadian series, is not getting high praises thanks to being “filled with tragedy, mental illness, stress and violence, to the point of extinguishing any sense [the reviewers] had that [they] were being ‘entertained.'” Eek. Oh, and in other Canadian TV news, documentary filmmaker Pierre T├ętrault has a new documentary coming out on OMNI Television called The ‘R’ Word. No word on when, but it sounds pretty good.

As for books, Carolyn See has reviewed Norah Vincent’s Voluntary Madness: My Year Lost and Found in the Loony Bin for the Washington Post (See’s speculations about whether Vincent even has/had a mental illness or is/was faking it definitely helps make this review an interesting read, whether or not you plan to check out the book). At the Telegraph, Justine Picardie has a fascinating article up about The Yellow Wallpaper and its author Charlotte Perkins Gilman (thank God Tom Cruise wasn’t around back then).

Finally, in tune news, I Was A Teenage Dirty Old Man, a song cycle by Eric Kuhlmann focusing on the psychosis, drug abuse, and sex with strangers of his teenage years is getting some interesting press. I don’t exactly know what Kuhlmann’s point is with the song cycle (if there is a point, aside from entertainment), but he promises it’s filled with “all the most fascinating, funny, and amusing topics.” Hmm.

Enjoy your weekends!