While JP, Ant, Clarince T and AKen (who's currently being held captive by NAMBLA) enjoyed this blog quite a bit as bright-eyed, bushy-tailed 2Ls and even into 3L year a bit, I think I speak for all of us when I say that this blog's theme is too nice for anything we'd want to write about, well, anything these days.

So, while we're all making choices between spending 90 hours a week doing someone else's paperwork, spending 40 hours a week doing someone else's paperwork and living out of our cars, or trying to use our advocacy skills to get them to serve some better shit at the soup kitchen, I'm going to try to occasionally post over at Blawgering. This should both satiate my intense ego that needs to have people reading the inane cuckoldry that spouts out of my fingers and relieve those same fingers from the doldrums of Lawyering Skillz.

See, it's a win-win situation for me.



There haven't been any posts here forever because all of the sudden us law students became responsible for the information that previously seemed silly to bother to learn. Hopefully next semester we'll get off to another start.

Take it sleazy.


The Allure of Harry Potter and The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock: On Self-Execution

Magic. It’s what happens when we utter some words, think in a certain way, and “it” does what we want for us.

As everyone has experienced far too many times, it’s pretty hard to do everything we’d like to do. Social situations are often frought with the necessity of preserving several different rapports simultaneously; if offered the chance to talk to any of these four people individually, I’m sure I could construct a reasonable response to that question. Even when dealing with one person (most prominently, and the focus of the titular poem, the current subject of our more primal desires) it’s pretty tough to really say what you mean to say.

But it isn’t like your inability to immediately correctly deal with that question is a sign of a flaw in your conceptual scheme: You got flummoxed for hormonal and reptilian reasons, among others, totally independent of the validity of how you like to live your life. If only we could walk around as representations of our inner selves that people could see and understand without our having to execute them. A manifestation of our algorithm; our painting; the sculpture of what we can be.

At some level, that’s what the magic is in the Harry Potter books. Hermione is tragically undergifted, so, although she knows the precise methodology behind the execution, there’s an inherent power missing from what comes out. Longbottom’s magic emulates his being too: More times then not, the way he’s trying to represent himself comes out awkwardly and differently from what was intended. Harry, the golden boy, doesn’t necessarily grasp every concept at first coup, but, when he does, the results emanate the strength that can only be given. Because the “inner” is outwardly visible, the representations are capable of interpretive empirical evaluation themselves. The only defense to mistake is faulty effort.

Pondering magic led me, perhaps invariably, to Eliot, and his lamentations in The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock. One of the most popular poems of the 20th century (and, anecdotally, extremely popular among English majors at my undergraduate institution), Prufrock strums on our heartstrings by putting us in the eyes of a “paralyzed” protagonist. Al cannot do anything because it might be incorrect. It’s hard enough to be cool when you’re worried that the surrounding people might think you’re a stout short of a sixer, but Prufrock’s even worried that, as an awkward fellow, he’ll do things that not even he himself would approve of.

He just wants there to be something he can show: “It is impossible to say just what I mean! / But as if a magic lantern threw the nerves in patterns on a screen…” He’s done a lot of stuff, has a lot to tell, gathered up a lot of “butt-ends of my days and ways” that people want him to “spit out.” What more does he have to do to get the girl to stop being coy and like him?

He has to do it. Harry is like a Prufrock that gets his nerves in patterns on a screen whenever he casts a spell: Everyone’s always like “Holy shit Harry, you’re the bomb, I can’t believe the inner you was able to do such a thing!”

And thus the modern notion of confidence observed by Eliot and finessed by Rowling: People admire the way you do something because it tells them, well, that the people you’ve done this to before must have liked it well enough to respond in a way that encouraged you to do it again. And that’s generally true: We can all remember a few moments in our life where we got seriously called out for something to the point where it makes you nauseas to think about doing it again for fear of the same severe reprimand.

Instead of that being a flaw in execution, though, it could be an adorable dimple on the observable manifestation of yourself; A missing antler on Harry’s Patronus. Something on you, instead of something about you. How you’re showing yourself is only a part of it, of course, until you try to figure out what the hell is going on with the person next to you.

You should just cast a spell on them.

Second-to-last last day of skool

It's the Wednesday before reading week
and all through the school
not a prof makes any sense;
it's like it's a rule.

But, nonetheless, tis the season for the professorial post-class applause that's been pretty standard since I arrived. Why should you clap for a teacher at the end of a class? Is it a way to bridge the gap between the wide-eyed thoughts that your professor lives in the school of yesteryear and the very real idea of having to confront them in a courtroom in the future? Is it meant to make the prof feel complacent about the students' attitudes and scale back his/her final accordingly? Are we just monkeys that clap when anything ends?

Who knows. But, a warning to unrepentent instructors: Your right to congratulatory applause is, like a tip at a restaurant, dependent on you not being a total d-bag all semester. There are exceptions (my 15 person seminar class didn't clap, because the room wouldn't fit it) but, if you're waiting at the front of the room for questions/applause on the last day, and the room's empty, I'd suggest making your class (1) easier; (2) shorter; (3) easier; and (4) more fun.


You'll thank me later.

I'm not sure either

I'm a Carolyn Kizer fan: Except when she talks about her masturbatory traveling (which, to be fair, is pretty often) her stuff is to the point and not so esoteric that it takes a degree in English and rote memorization of Shakespeare to get all the allusions. For example:

"Election Day, 1984"

Did you ever see someone coldcock a blind nun?
Well, I did. Two helpful idiots
Steered her across the tarmac to her plane
And led her smack into the wing.
She deplaned with two black eyes & a crooked wimple,
Bruised proof that the distinction is not simple
Between ineptitude and evil.
Today, with the President's red button playing
Such a prominent role,
Though I can't vote for it, I wonder
If evil could be safer, on the whole.

--Carolyn Kizer

Quantum physics, meet scientific arrogance

From Australian news: We may have expedited the impending doom of the universe by trying to measure dark matter? "Incredible as it seems, our detection of the dark energy may have reduced the life expectancy of the universe," said Mr Krauss. We may have snatched away the possibility of long-term survival for our universe and made it more likely it will decay."

You know what, I really don't think so. I've seen the little experiment with the light going through the holes differently depending on whether it's being measured or not, but man, I'd be surprised if our universe was so fragile that we could screw something up just by trying to look at or measure it.

We're just so bad at saying we really have no idea.


Pot hits the spot

From the Brits via Breezy: "The California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute team are hopeful that cannabidiol or CBD could be a non-toxic alternative to chemotherapy."

Of course this'll never go anywhere because Americans are paranoid about dope, but what if cancer patients had a choice between hours and hours of radiation therapy or getting stoned? The chemotherapy business would be in trouble.


This shit's funny.