Thursday, November 30, 2006

I know what you're thinking...

is life worth living, in a world where the Celtics lose to the New Jersey Nets?

And the answer is no.

It's not.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Indentured Servitude (No easements)

Yeah, it's a law joke.

Yeah, it's in the headline.

Yeah...I suck.

Anyway. I'm reading this jackass article in the New York Times. "Lure of Great Wealth Affects Career Choices". The jist of it is that people are leaving law and medecine for careers in investiment banking and consulting, and becoming bajillionaires instead of millionaires. That doesn't bother me. Because I, myself, am an aspiring sell-out. What got me thining, though, is this passage:

Three decades ago, compensation among occupations differed far less than it does today. That growing difference is diverting people from some critical fields, experts say. The American Bar Foundation, a research group, has found in its surveys, for instance, that fewer law school graduates are going into public-interest law or government jobs and filling all the openings is becoming harder.

and this one

What Dr. Glassman represents, along with other very rich people interviewed for this article, is the growing number of Americans who acknowledge that they have accumulated, or soon will, more than enough money to live comfortably, even luxuriously, and also enough so that their children, as adults, will then be free to pursue careers “they have a hunger for,” as Dr. Glassman put it, “and not feel a need to do something just to pay the bills.”

So law school graduates are choosing money over public service. Is this at all surprising? I'll graduate with 200,000 dollars in student loans. Unless the Go-Gettum Abortion Rights Legal Brigade pays 100,000 a year in 2009, I bet I won't end up in public service.

Maybe, someday, I'll become a millionaire legal consultant so some chinese baby I buy in my post-menopausal years to amuse me in the face of encroaching boredom and senility will be able to become a public interest lawyer, or film-maker, or ethnic muralist. Because I certainly won't be able to be any of those things.

Because, essentially, I've sold myself into servitude. Like a drunk English bastard on his way to the new world in 1670, I've signed away my occupational freedom for a period of years, in order to get a chance at a better life. Once I signed for that first loan, I made a commitment to the law. Because there's no other way I'll ever pay it back.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Reasons I have not yet failed out of law school.

By H. Law Student.

  1. There have been no exams yet.
  2. My law school does not have grades.
  3. My boyfriend does not own an x-box 360, and the video game Dead Rising, and was not irresponsible enough to give me a key to his apartment, knowing that I have a car, he works nights, and I make bad decisions.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

No, really, law school ate my brain.

I was watching the Celtics play the Trailblazers on Friday. I was lying on my boyfriend's couch, belly full of onion rings, and suddenly, this thought came into my head (after a foul was called on Kendrick Perkins)

"I wish that there were some advisory committe notes to the rules in basketball, like there were to the federal rules of civil procedure, so that I could see what the intent of the drafter of that rule was...It couldn't possibly be meant to apply to this situation, surely"

Which is not actually the proper reaction to a bitchy little ticky-tack foul being called on such a soulful, attractive, well-meaning, skillfull player as Kendrick Perkins.

Hair Gel = Democracy.

In 1989, in Tienamen Square, a lone protester allowed himself to be mowed down by tanks in protest of the political repression that characterized the regime in the People's Republic of China.

Didn't he know that freedom from totalitarianism is much more easily arrived at by achieving a sassy hairstyle?

This commercial is so fucked up that people didn't believe me when I described it to them. It's people...escaping...communist gel.

Sure, the young people wear no communist logo as such, but the implication is clear. Asian teenagers wearing tan shirts and red bandannas = red guard as surely as universally blonde blue-eyed children burning books = hitler youth. No one is going to use escaping from Nazi indoctrination as a metaphor for the freedom from unwanted vaginal odor that comes from using new lightdays scented pantiliners.

No one...yet.

Monday, November 13, 2006

I hate the New York Times.

From a story on people who moved out of New York City in order to send their children to superior public schools, but were dissappointed.

"Susan Drews, 49, who lives in Yorktown Heights, in Westchester, said that art in the first grade at her son’s public school, for instance, involved “half-baked projects” like gold-sprayed macaroni glued to paper plates. “People went through the motions, they could claim there was an art program, but I didn’t feel it was very rich,” she said."

Macaroni Pictures? In first grade? Criminal! He should be learning to mix his own egg tempera for frescoes, preferably with historically appropriate yet completely secular contextual references to the cloistered Italian monks who developed the technique. He's six years old, after all.

"Diane Morash, 42, said she switched her three teenage daughters to the Pingry School, in northern New Jersey, after the oldest, Katie, a straight-A student who was not into clothes or makeup, became excluded from social cliques at her public school. Mrs. Morash said that complaining to officials there did not help."

So she complained to the administration because her daughter didn't have any friends (or enough friends, or the right friends...) and they didn't do anything about it. Tragic. I wonder what her reaction would be if her daughter were confronted by an authority figure over her choice of friends.

This quote seems to be a more rational complaint:

'“He didn’t learn anything — I was a neurotic mess,” she said. “He was developing all sorts of bad habits. He thought school was playtime. He didn’t want to apply himself.”'

Until you realize that the student in question is a kindergartener. For a five year old, the best possible result is to think that school is playtime. I'd be terrified if he did want to apply himself. I wonder how this mother came to realize that her son was failing to work hard and press his little nose to the grindstone; did she interrogate him when he got home? Parse crayon drawings for meaning and progress?

Parents "complained about what they considered rigid curriculums, excessive standardized testing", which ought to be no surprise when they chose the school systems they did because it was a "relatively well-off district whose students consistently outscore their peers on state tests."

Jesus christ.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Cemetery Man

See it.

It may be your only chance to see an Italian/French zombie movie, dubbed into english, with an english actor in the lead role, produced in part by both the BBC and the prime minister of Italy.

Who am I kidding. No, it isn't. But it's a fantastic picture anyway. Rupert Everett. Necrophilia. Terrible special effects. Terrible. Visible wires on flies, and lumps of glue holding on parts of zombies. Bad continuity. Here, the device of putting all exposition into voice-over narration that nearly drove me to violence while watching "New World" (fuck you, Terry Malick. Fuck you with a rotten imperialist cock. With syphilis.) is actually done deftly and appeallingly.

Even though the tone, dialogue, and cinematography mirror the style of late sixties and early seventies italian film, and the film does seem to be set at sometime in the sixties, the extras seem to wear whatever they happened to show up in. There is no real consistency to the time period, or to geography. This film is many things- well thought out, well written, well acted- but not expensive. And that's ok. That's great, actually.

This movie is the Target of zombie movies. Target makes all their money from the realization that compared to all other components of a product, design is cheap. And design can be enough. A cute red plastic breadbox brings them into the stores; a cheap t-shirt with some jackass design on it works as well. Cemetary Man is all thought and no wallet. Because if there's anything cheaper than design, it's good writing.

Watch this movie. Even if you don't like zombie movies. It may be better if you don't. These zombies may be slow, but they sometimes...well, they talk.

Zombie nun.
Zombie boyscouts.
Fat guy vomiting.
Nicest tits I've ever seen on a zombie.
Things on strings as special effects.
Sexual use of the word "ossuary".
A zombie on a motorcycle.
Bus accident (with decapitation)

I'll tell you a secret,'s not really a zombie movie. See it.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Man Convicted in Female Circumcision

Here's the story

A man allegedly cut his daughter's clitoris off when she was two years old. His wife, the girl's mother, testified that she didn't notice the injury until a year later. His defense claimed that the circumcision was actually done by the girl's mother's family.

I find it very unlikely that a mother wouldn't notice that her daughter had been (circumcised/mutilated) until a year later. I don't know anything about babies and diapers and all that, but I would assume that if a two year old is toilet trained (are they? I don't know), she still needs help in the toileting process (buttons and zippers and doors and handwashing). I also doubt two year olds bathe alone. Further, if the father is enough of a staunch traditionalist to actually circumcise his daughter, I doubt that he was the primary caregiver during that post-circumcision year. I'm not sure of the laws in Georgia, but that claim of delayed discovery may have been introduced to push back the statute of limitations.

I also don't buy that the mother was completely ignorant of any intent or plans on her husbands (or anyone else's) part to circumcise her daughter. I would buy that the mother, during her marriage (The parents have since divorced) could have been scared or intimidated into allowing a circumcision, and not reporting it. I don't buy; because it's just not likely, and just not the way that it's done- that the father could have circumcised the girl without the mother's knowledge or assistance. And I also think that it's far more likely that a mother would circumcise than a father.

Why do I think that?

Because, actually, female circumcision is by and large a woman-on-woman (practice, crime, operation, abuse). In areas that have been successful at eradicating F.G.M- they've been successful only when education and incentives were offered to women not to cut/ have their daughters cut. It's hard to reconcile the impression of F.G.M. as a mechanism of controlling women, protecting their chastity, enforcing the values of the (oh-so-rhetorically popular) patriarchy, with the well-meaning grandmothers and aunts and midwives who actually perform and arrange these operations.

All that said. I wasn't there. I don't know what this father did, or what that mother knew, or what that mother's family knew; which is a very important thing to keep in mind when reading news stories of this nature.