Archive for May, 2010

Shooting yourself in the foot

Yesterday I went with my family to a restaurant that I have always generally liked, but yesterday it made me mad. The restaurant was Jonathan’s Sports Grill. Not only have they abolished the half-off pizzas after 10 p.m. deal (which is a whole ‘nother story), but now yesterday I saw a sign on the door prohibiting guns. What is it with these worthless hippies? KNOW YOUR PLACE. You are a restaurant in WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Tennessee. Get with the program, or get out of town!

This experience kinda made me want to create my own restaurant and establish some similar policy, except using the opposite of political correctness to make a point. In my restaurant, I would just absolutely cast political correctness out the window. Maybe I could create a restaurant with a sign in the door that said something like, “No Handicapped People Allowed.” Why? Absolutely no reason. Or maybe just, “No Red-Heads” (my sister’s idea). You know, just something that would needlessly and pointlessly infuriate a subset of my potential customers. Or I guess I could always just single out some random race or two — like the idiots businesses used to do during segregation.

“But Drew, you’re so mean!” Well it’s not much different from what these fools do. These business geniuses apparently love to exclude or antagonize their own customers, for no purpose whatsoever. And don’t give me this garbage about “Well it’s a sports bar so they don’t want guns.” I don’t care. There are already laws against getting intoxicated when you’re carrying a gun so that’s no excuse.

No, I probably will not stop going to Jonathan’s altogether. But little insults like that sign in the window just subtract from the utility I experience during the business transaction. Imagine if all the prices went up one dollar in a restaurant that you liked. That dollar increase alone might not stop you from coming altogether, but it would discourage you. In the end, a stupid and pointless policy like this anti-gun nonsense makes me less likely to frequent the establishment.

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Robin Hood politics

Preparing to watch the latest Russell Crowe version of Robin Hood this past weekend, I was a little worried that Hollywood might twist the nature of the tale to make Robin Hood seem like a leftist. In modern politics, after all, the term “Robin Hood” has been applied almost uniformly to socialists.  Barack Obama might be labeled “Robin Hood” politician, for example, because he robs the rich and redistributes their wealth to the poor. I have long considered this terminology blatantly erroneous.

Barack Obama is not Robin Hood. Leftists are not Robin Hoods. Robin Hood was a hero, whereas Barack Obama is no hero. While it is true that Robin Hood robbed the rich to feed the poor, one key distinction makes it relatively clear that Robin Hood was no leftist:  Specifically, Robin Hood robbed government officials to give money back to the People. Barack Obama, by contrast, robs the People. Barack Obama is therefore more like the Sheriff of Nottingham, or perhaps like the state-empowered clerics who robbed the people in the name of morality and “charity” while lending their moral support to the cause of tyrants. Which role is it easier to imagine Barack Obama filling — the role of the statist enforcer who hauls some hardworking man away for failure to pay taxes and for eating the king’s deer, or the role of the vigilante who assaults the tax collector and leaves the government troops fleeing in terror?

Moreover, Robin Hood only rebels against illegitimate authority. Like the conservative and unlike the leftist, Robin Hood is generally portrayed as somewhat patriotic, a supporter of legitimate rule. I therefore wish people would never again apply the erroneous “Robin Hood” terminology to leftist socialists. If anything, we should refer to leftists as modern-day Prince Johns.

Fortunately, my fears about the latest Hollywood production amounted to nothing. This latest Robin Hood did not endorse leftist politics whatsoever and was actually rather good — although the plot did seem a little unorthodox compared to traditional versions (in ways I will not spoil here). Overall, the film communicated a positive and appropriate message, that rejection of unjust laws is virtue, and that tyranny and taxation can ruin a country.

The end of school

I just finished my last exam today so I have finished my duties as a student. Specifically, I am done as a student…forever. Conceivably, I guess I might go back to school again some day, but I doubt it.

I never particularly liked school. In my mind, actual accomplishment in life is preferable to study. If you absolutely must study, practical study is the most ideal. Practical study is best because it at least helps you to accomplish things later. In school, not only do you basically fail to accomplish anything, but often you have to study subjects that are largely a waste of time. Obviously, law school suffers a bit less from this problem than lower forms of education — because law school aims to prepare the student for a particular profession. But even law school offers its fair share of boring, overly vague, and/or pointless classes.

For example, this morning I took an exam for one class. The main purpose of this class was to look at millions of situations where the one debtor borrowed money from two different banks, and then determine which bank got to keep the collateral when the debtor when the debtor could not pay back the money. That was seriously, like, most of the class.

Other classes were less pointless but tended to be too general for my taste. Give me substantive and non-pointless law! It is the air I breathe!

My Innocence Clinic class this year turned out to be probably my favorite class at the law school because it involved practical work. Not only was it entertaining and not only did I gain experience acting as a lawyer, but I actually learned a good bit more in terms of substantive law than I did in many of my classes. I wish more classes were more like it. (And I actually only took it because I needed another class at the last minute and my friend Kristi recommended I take it with her.)

But anyway, the exams and tedium are over now. Graduation:  Friday

I do still have to study for the Bar over the next two months. Hopefully this upcoming studying will be more fun than ordinary study because it is mostly practical and substantive. That is, now I finally get to learn ALL the laws in Tennessee. At last, my power will be complete!

University of Tennessee College of Witchcraft and Wizardry

After years at the law school, I have decided that law is like magic. Lawyers are like wizards. Moreover, the UT College of Law has reminded me a great deal of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

Specifically, Lawyers set themselves apart from the general populace to study esoteric knowledge — knowledge which they themselves contributing to and hope to expand. Lawyers keep or maintain access to expansive libraries for this purpose, filled with confusing and sometimes ancient books. Both lawyers and wizards often wear fancy and rather identifiable clothing. (The identifiable clothing is intended to provoke fear among lay observers and admiration from colleagues.) Both groups tend to inspire the varying emotions of fear, respect, disdain among the general populace.

  

As with wizardry, lawyering means not only studying ancient and convoluted principles, but also applying these principles in appropriate situations. Proper application involves the quick and correct recitation of concise formulas. Intellect, strategic cunning, and practice are all key. Bad nerves can throw a practitioner off guard. Expelliarmus! Often the legal formulas use Latin. Moreover, speaking the correct words with the right passion, enunciation, and projection tends becomes vital. In the end, we see skillful wizards dueling before a judge and jury, manipulating reality to their advantage.

As with sorcerers, would-be lawyers must study at a special school dedicated to that purpose. Students are divided into sections at the beginning of first year. Students compete against each other, sometimes ruthlessly. Meanwhile, actually putting the art into practice is prohibited for students outside the supervision of the school. Ultimately, the profession polices itself through measures such as Rule 11 sanctions, ethics complaints, contempt orders, and such. Like Azkaban, these penalties can be harsh, but as with wizard discipline, these measures seem to be invoked too infrequently and haphazardly. Both lawyers and wizards get away with murder.

Although lawyers do not craft potions, they instead learn how to cook up contracts. These conconctions may alter the natural order for specific situations. As with potions class, studying contract drafting tends to be rather dull.

In my Defense Against the Dark Arts class — err, I mean Trial Practice — the teacher even specifically advised us to hold a pen when we were arguing to keep from moving our hands in a distracting manner. Of course, just as with well-trained wizards, we eventually lose the need for these magic wands once we gain the proper skills. I remember one time near the end of my Advanced Trial Practice class when the wise old Professor Jolley gave us a masterful example of a closing argument for our pretend case. In amazement, I just leaned over to the classmate on my right and whispered, “Dumbledore!”

Not all change is good

One thing that kinda bothers me is in the wintertime, when people complain about the cold. For example, sometimes it will actually snow a few days to the point where it sticks to the ground (which is somewhat rare in Tennessee). Then someone will make the comment that, “Oh, I just can’t wait for the weather to warm up. This is so horrible.”

Then around, say, the start of May, you start to hear (the same) people saying, “Oh, it’s too hot. It’s like burning up outside” when in reality the temperature is only about 80 degrees and far less hot than the 100+ degrees it will eventually reach in another month and a half. Well guess what, people — YOU GOT WHAT YOU WANTED.

As for me, I always demonstrate consistency. Even when I’m freezing to death, even though the cold may slay me, I will nonetheless praise the cold!

When the summer comes around, of course, I will obviously agree that it’s too hot. My dream has always been to move to Alaska. I think one time in high school I even wrote a poem about that dream. So anyway, I’ll definitely agree that Tennessee can have crummy whether (as illustrated by the recent flooding in Middle Tennessee). But come on…a little consistency, please! Not all change is good.


ANALYSIS
YOU WON'T
FIND ANYWHERE ELSE

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