Sunday, May 08, 2005

that's me!




kRYo in galvestonn

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Giving Birth and The Fertility Vase of the Undabelli Tribe: Metahpors for Completing 1L Year

Just this very minute I printed out the last page of my last final, and as soon as I finish this posting I'll be turning it, officially ending my 1L year. It's a weird sensation, and one that I'm having some difficulty processing. Aside from losing 50 pounds when I came out of the closet, this has been the hardest thing I've ever done, the thing I'm most proud of finishing, and the thing that will probably make me the most financially successful (Tall Sicillian Stud's career, as a future doctor, will hopefully let me lead a life of leisure after we pay off his loans, so I don't have to do the lawyer thing for too long--and losing the 50 was an integral part of meeting him).

To help me process this challenging feeling, I've come up with a series of metaphors (or similies..who knows?) that illustrate the complex experience of being a law stud-ent. Susan Sontag, this post is dedicated to you!

Giving Birth:
For 9 months, we've had this legal creature growing inside of us, this monster of a child just waiting to plop out. Much as a parent-to-be would rejoice when they hear they're going to have a child, so too did we when we got the thick envelope or phone call from Hottie Admissions Dean. During the first twenty weeks of the pregnancy, there were a few miscarriages and a few abortions as familiar faces stopped showing up, but the rest of us kept our babies and plodded through. Last December during exams, we all thought we'd be giving birth to a premie, and had two awful weeks of labor. It was all for naught, though, and now we are in April, having gone through another hellish labor, and either enjoying the post-birthing glow or anxiously waiting for the ungrateful wretch to come out. When the writing competition comes this weekend, I expect it to be as slimy as a placental afterbirth, but instead of having my results frozen for the stem cells, I'd just assume sell them to a shampoo company.

Teenage Movie Star Bitch
If the birth metaphor doesn't do it for you, I can also see this experience as parallel to Lindsay Lohan's transformation in Mean Girls. The movie is a rich text that is instructive in understanding our communal experience as 1Ls.

To lay the foundation though, let's provide some similarities to law school and North Shore High. First, there are Mean Girls a-plenty in law school. You know who are you: pretty, peppy, and with 8 pairs of Uggs. Second, the social breakdown of school is similar to that of the cafeteria in the movie: we have Mean Black Hotties, Asian Hotties, Asian Nerds, Sexually Active Law Revue (Band) Geeks, and Attractive Wealthy Kids.

Second, our transformation from civillians to full fledged-almost 2Ls parallels that of Cady. Much as her, when we began, we were confused by the strange rituals of the new school: the socratic method, hanging out at the library, reading outlines, etc. As we progressed through and became adept at navigating the complex world of 1L-land, we lost our prior selves in the whirlwind that is law school. Much as Cady's mom, after finding the fertility vase of the Undabelli tride underneath the sink after her big party, yells, "Who are you?" I think we have all wondered who we are during this experience. Finally, as we prepare to finish this first year of law school, we have hopefully realized the sheer absurdity of being a 1L and will all learn Korean, play Lacrosse, date Indian math-letes that also MC and love each other next fall.

"Drowning in the Bathtub of Cum," or "Law as Cum: A Critical Analysis"
My final metaphor is also the simplest to explain the 1L year. Picture it: we're in an enormous jacuzzi tub full of cum, drowning, struggling to get enough air. The cum is overwhelming us and we can feel ourselves slowly slipping into the abyss. Then, right when we think we're about to go down, we realize that deep down we're all cumsluts, and we love swimming in this bathtub. It's not so scary anymore--it's actually kind of fun--and instead of stressing out, we just doggie paddle around. Law school is like the bath tub of cum.


Thursday, April 21, 2005

How to Free Six Murderesses

Yesterday one of our professors discussed a criminal law practice exam which was taken directly from the story of Hanzel and Grettel. That got me thinking...how would I defend the murderers in the musical Chicago? This is my best effort. Forgive my stupid mistakes. Mancandee and Gretchen, what do you think?

FROM "CELL BLOCK TANGO"

“So, I said to him,
I said, "You pop that
gum one more time..."
and he did. So I took the shotgun off the wall
and I fired two warning shots...
...into his head.”

While she will probably be convicted of murder in the second degree, as her attorney I would argue the following:

  1. The bubble gum popping was unusually loud and would provoke any reasonable person to take extreme measures. She warned him of the fact that his bubble gum popping would provoke a negative reaction and it did. It is reasonable provocation and therefore she should be convicted of voluntary manslaughter.
  2. She fired two warning shots into the air which somehow hit him in the head. The act of firing a gun into the air is not reckless behavior (shooting into a crowd would be). It is, perhaps, negligent. The bullet must have bounced off of several household items then hit him in the head which was not a foreseaable event. She should be convicted of involuntary manslaughter or negligent homicide for her negligent behavior but clearly did not murder him.

“So that
night, when he came home, I fixed him
his drink as usual.
You know, some guys just can't hold
their arsenic.”

He really liked arsenic in his drink and asked for it nightly (note: “I fixed him his drink as usual”). He did not die from the arsenic before and she had absolutely no knowledge of the fact that continued consumption of arsenic would lead to his death. All she did was fix his drink as requested. She is innocent.

“He'd go out every night
looking for himself
and on the way
he found Ruth,
Gladys,
Rosemary and Irving.
I guess you can say we broke
up because of artistic differences.
He saw himself as alive
and I saw him dead.”

This death occurred in the heat of passion and was provoked by information revealing that her husband had cheated on her with several women and one man. She had little control over her behavior when this information was revealed. She should be convicted of voluntary manslaughter, not murder.

“Now, I'm standing in the kitchen
carvin' up the chicken for dinner,
minding my own business,
and in storms my husband Wilbur,
in a jealous rage.
"You been screwin' the milkman,"
he says. He was crazy
and he kept screamin',
"you been screwin the milkman."
And then he ran into my knife.
He ran into my knife ten times!”

She knew with absolute certainty that her husband would beat her to death (or at least close to it) when he found out that she cheated on him. When he last suspected that he cheated on her, he beat her severely. He was in a violent rage and it was clear that he was going to committ battery. It is clear that he was lunging toward her ("he ran into my knife"). This time she acted in self-defense to an imminent threat of deadly force. She is innocent.

“Well, I was in such a state of shock,
I completely blacked out. I can't remember a thing.
It wasn't until later,
when I was washing the blood off my hands
I even knew they were dead.”

This level of shock can render someone unconscious and actions committed while unconscious are involuntary and therefore do not meet the actus reus requirement. (See People v. Newton). Velma Kelly is innocent.

<>AND FINALLY…
<>“We both reached for the gun.”

A clear case of self-defense. Go free, my dear girl.

<>

” And they abused us
[ALL]
How could you tell us that we were wrong?”

You’re not, honey, you’re not.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Papa

What we have to look forward to ...


http://www.ewtn.com/library/CURIA/CDfhomun.HTM

"CONSIDERATIONS REGARDING PROPOSALS TO GIVE
LEGAL RECOGNITION TO UNIONS BETWEEN
HOMOSEXUAL PERSONS"

Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
VATICAN CITY 2003

June 3, 2003,

Joseph Card. Ratzinger, Prefect
Angelo Amato, S.D.B. Titular Archbishop of Sila,
Secretary

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Hermes

Some of our readers assume that there is only one way to read the Constitution. While I do not want to get in a discussion about hermenuetics I would like to suggest a few readings for these students of the law.

Here is your brief lesson in jurisprudence:

1. Marbury v. Madison

2. H.L.A. Hart's The Concept of Law

3. Lon Fuller The Morality of Law

4. Any Critical Legal Studies article on jurisprudence

After reading these pieces please let me know if you think a text such as the Constitution has one "correct" reading. Then please tell me the correct interpretation of the following terms:

1. Liberty

2. Cruel and Unusual

3. Due Process

Me No Want Less Cookies

I remember growing up watching Sesame Street and hoping that someday the chracters on the show would finally realize that Mr. Snuffolopocus (what a great Greek name) was not Big Bird’s imaginary friend but that he was real! (That sure shows my age!) As an adult I am amazed at how progressive Sesame Street really was and continues to be. Seasame Street appears to be located in a lower middle-class neighborhood somewhere in the greater New York area. As expected, the people there are of many different cultural and ethnic backgrounds. There are grouches, people with big noses, and even (yikes!) gay people. Sure, Bert and Ernie are not yet out of the closet but they are two grown men that live together and share fun and exciting experiences together and that’s great.

Now Seasme Street is changing. In their effort to curb the problem of obesity in children the producers of Seasame Street have decided to put Cookie Monster on a diet. Yes, cookies are now “a sometimes food” and we will begin to see the blue puppet scarf down veggies and fruit. A sometimes food? I cannot imagine that any child (even on that was a pudgy as I was as a kid) would think that we could survive on cookies. What made Cookie Monster such a great character is that he reminded us of a part of the human psyche that is difficult to laugh at. All of us have difficulties controling our most basic desires for fatty sugary foods or for sex. I remember that when people would take away a cookie from Cookie Monster he would go absolutely crazy and once he got his hands on that desert he’d scarf it down like it was the last cookie on earth. If anything that showed the problems with denying yourself what your love: the inevitable overindulgence.

While I mourn the loss of the “real” Cookie Monster, I do appreciate Seasame Street’s efforts to keep him a little crazy. During the “Cookie is a Sometimes Food” song the monster asks, “Is sometimes now?” What Cookie Monster needs is not some owl telling him the virtues of a healthy diet. He needs a lifestyle change ala Oprah Winfrey. I was an overweight child as were Gretchen and Mancandee. I cannot explain why we had to shop for the hefty sized jeans at Sears but I can assure you that Cookie Monster had little to do with it. I think Seasame Street is doing a good job focusing on “health” but we must be careful to push children to deny foods like cookies altogether and end up with either really overweight children or nine year olds with an eating diorder.

I love Seasame Street but I do hope that they don’t change what makes their show great – having muppet characters make us laugh my protraying many different kinds of people and ways of life. If Oscar becomes nice I will be outraged. And, please, do not make Bert and Ernie move in with female counterparts. We like them just the way they are.


Friday, April 15, 2005

Clarifications

Some of the comments on the last post have misunderstood my point. I take the blame for that and would like to clarify my position.

First, Scalia deserved to be asked about sodomy not because of his holding in Lawrence but rather the way that he has repeatedly equates homosexuality with incest, polygamy, and bestiality. These words more idiotic and immature as Eric's. Why? Because Scalia's words have national implications even if they were not part of the majority opinion.

I don't want to be gay bashed anymore. When people equate homosexuality with other moral evils they feed the fire of violent homophobic actions. Scalia feeds these attitudes despite (probably) engaging in sodomy himself. Eric made a good point.

Second, we here endorse Eric's right to ask a probing question in a forum at NYU. I doubt there would be any other forum in which he could ask such a question. We do not, however, know of nor do we endorse all of his actions.

As a public official Scalia is used to such comments and it is a small price to pay to be part of the most powerful court in our nation. I respect Scalia and think his decisions are quite logical (even if they often rest on faulty assumptions). I also respect the ability of an ordinary law student to question Scalia's words in Lawrence.

WHY THE NYU DEAN IS WRONG

The Dean at NYU Law School wrote a letter in response to the recent Scalia incident. I respond to the part of his letter dealing directly with Eric:

“First, during the student question-and-answer session, one student posed an extraordinarily rude, immature, and inappropriate question.”

I'm sorry, Mr. Dean, you are wrong. Immature? He asked Scalia a question about sodomy. This question would not have been asked if Scalia had not already opened the door on the issue in Lawrence v. Texas. Is Eric's question any worse than Scalia’s own words on the issue:


“The Texas statute undeniably seeks to further the belief of its citizens that certain forms of sexual behavior are “immoral and unacceptable,” Bowers, supra, at 196–the same interest furthered by criminal laws against fornication, bigamy, adultery, adult incest, bestiality, and obscenity. Bowers held that this was a legitimate state interest. The Court today reaches the opposite conclusion. The Texas statute, it says, “furthers no legitimate state interest which can justify its intrusion into the personal and private life of the individual,” ante, at 18 (emphasis addded). The Court embraces instead Justice Stevens’ declaration in his Bowers dissent, that “the fact that the governing majority in a State has traditionally viewed a particular practice as immoral is not a sufficient reason for upholding a law prohibiting the practice,” ante, at 17. This effectively decrees the end of all morals legislation.”

Is sodomy akin to bigamy, adultry, incest, and bestiality? If so, should the state demand that heterosexuals to refrain from oral sex? I firmly believe that Eric was not any more immature than Scalia and his question was both appropriate and an important one. Scalia is probably calling the kettle black.


The letter from the Dean continues:

“Such a show of incivility to any individual invited to be a guest of the Law School, let alone to a Supreme Court Justice, has no place in our intellectual community. It is insulting not only to our guest but also to the law school community as a whole, and impedes the robust debate that events such as these are designed to promote.”

Obviously this is not true. Eric’s question has prompted debate over the question of state sanctions against sodomy, the role of the courts, and Scalia’s own troubling opinions. The Dean wants Eric to be silent. If a racist politician visited campus would he demand that they not ask probing questions about race relations, even personal ones? When Phyllis Shafely visited my undergraduate college and discussed the evil of homosexuality we asked her about her gay son. Her response, “He’s one out of seven. My batting average isn’t too bad.” Now that IS troubling. These questions are important for they make the evils of bigotry personal. Part of the reason we come out of the closet is to show people that lesbians and gays are not evil demons. It is a problem when someone who is gay or who is closely related to someone who is gay cannot see that. Similarly Eric wanted Scalia to question how he may be implicated by his own words.

“Questions can be asked--and should be asked--that are challenging, critical, and demanding. But part of becoming a professional and an adult is learning to ask these questions, even of those we disagree with strongly on certain issues, in a serious and mature way that does not involve offensive and insulting language.”


How was this not serious? This challenging question could not have been asked in any other way.

The Dean needs to answer questions of his own about why he aims to shield a homophobic leader from lively debate. How would he have framed the question? Is there a way to make the political personal without being insulting? How can we get leaders like Scalia to realize that “sodomites” are not the only ones that are hurt by homophobia?

Gay Republicans?

"Did Clinton play the gay card?"

From Salon.com:

Clinton's attack on Finkelstein occurred Monday at a Harlem press conference to announce his initiative to deliver AIDS drugs to children in Africa. Clinton was asked what he made of Finkelstein's plan to launch a multimillion-dollar, Swift Boat-style ad campaign to derail Hillary Clinton's 2006 Senate reelection campaign, and stop her likely run for the White House in 2008. Clinton answered by referring to another bit of recent Finkelstein news -- reports that Finkelstein, who is gay, had legally married his partner.

"I was sad," Clinton told reporters. "I mean, there were two stories. One is that he went to Massachusetts and married his longtime male partner, and then he comes back here and announces this [anti-Hillary campaign]. I thought one of two things: Either this guy believes his party is not serious and is totally Machiavellian in its position [on gay rights], or you know, as David Brock said in his great book 'Blinded by the Right,' there's some sort of self-loathing or something. I was more sad for him."
[...]

Still, Clinton's comments -- especially his claim to feel "sad" for the "self-loathing" Finkelstein -- were not meant to be philosophical. Clearly, they were personal.

"You can't call someone 'self-loathing' and not have it be an out-of-bounds personal attack," says Kieran Mahoney, a consultant who has worked closely with Finkelstein in New York state politics. "How he can do that and masquerade as tolerant is beyond belief." Clinton, of all people, Mahoney points out, ought to be careful about comparing what someone does on the public stage to what he does in his bedroom (or, as it happens, the bathroom outside his Oval Office). "I think this guy, for the sake of political expediency, would cast aside any belief he's got in a heartbeat. To his credit, he has absolutely no shame."

See the rest of the article here--

http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2005/04/15/finkelstein/index.html

The Verdict Is In: Law School Is One Big Circle Jerk

This general idea has been brewing in my head for some time, and this last week of class has confirmed it. Here is the evidence:

  1. Con Law Class: Supreme Court Justices make a decision, and hundreds of professors sit around arguing that the decision fits closest into their theory of Equal Protection jurisprudence, or something like that. In fact, the Supreme Court doesn't care about theory, and is instead a big practical joke that the Founding Fathers put on the snobby academics of their time.
  2. Theories on the Underclass, Class: Let's spend four months talking about how judicial decisions are made, and what effect they have, and where the decisions come from. We conclude with "the decisions come from nowhere, and we don't know anything." Oh. Now it's clear.
  3. Theory on Theory, Class: Lots of people write articles trying to explain how another person's article misinterpret their article's interpretation on a third article. What's the point? As noted above, the theory doesn't do anything, except give people a chance to talk about them more.
  4. Study Group Dialogue:
    • Z Says:"Well, X, you're smart and you said the answer is Y."
    • Y Says: "Well, Z, you're also smart and you said the answer is A"
    • Z Reponds: "Wow. When we're all so smart it is hard to know what is actually the case."
    • Y Agrees: "Yes. We all are smart. So, is it Y or A?"
Having established that law school is one big circle jerk, here are my suggestions for improving the experience:
  • Get cuter participants! If we're gonna have a big wank-fest, we might as well make sure that everyone is cute. I mean--we're all here to get off, right? Make sure that everyone sends a pic/stats with their application
  • Two words: better lube. There's a lot of friction in these classes, and the water based stuff isn't gonna cut it. We should get a gallon jug Millenium Platinum in every class
  • Shut up and do your business! At a proper circle jerk, such as those in locker rooms, bathhouses and truck stuck restrooms, people know to keep quiet, get in, do your business, and then get out. Talking just makes awkward, because they all realize how ridiculous this whole endeavor is.
  • Learn Tenderness. If you pull too hard, you're gonna hurt someone. Relax. Take a deep breath. As ManCandee said, "just calm the fuck down." I mean, it's not like we're becoming surgeons. Be chill, and love each other.
  • Tissues. Just like a circle jerk, law school is a messy experience. Make sure to have a rag or towel handy to deal with emissions.
Hopefully with these few tips, the law school experience will be a lot more satisfying for everyone involved.

Gay Finals

What would it be like to be the subject of the final exam? That is what gay students around the country are dealing in recent years with court decisions such as Romer and Lawerence. Are we a suspect class? Will be given the right to marry? How about adoption? These answers are not easy which is why professors love to test us on it. Is this fair?

Last semester's property exam hypo included many gay characters including "Lucy Lipstick" and her partner "Betty Birkenstock." But wait! There are even more gay characters including Bert and Ernie and flaming "Quentin Queer." I kid you not. Our professor had us discuss housing discrimination using gay chracters that said things like "My those are great curtains. Are they Martha Stewart?" If the professor was not a lesbian I would have revolted.

But what does this do for our grades? All I can remember is laughing throughout the entire property exam. It was odd having flaming gay characters in a final class exam and, to be honest, it was a bit distracting but also entertaining.

This semester I am sure that homos will be on the Con Law exam. They have been there in years past and they will be there again. We queer students will be asked to be "objective" in our analysis of queer rights. Sure. This will be fun.

It's finals week. Get ready, kids, it is going to be a gay old time.

The Library Musical

While my collegues are stuck in their finals-induced intensive haze I shall encourage them to relax a bit, breathe, and consider what life in the library would be like if we could break out in song.

Like this I would imagine:



http://www.prangstgrup.com/librarymusical/quicktime.php

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Love to my Bi-sexual Brothers and Sisters

It has come to my attention that my last post may have been seen as anti-bi-sexual. I assure you that was not my intention. I have dated three self-identified bi-sexuals and they were by far some of the best men I've dated. One, in fact, remains #2 on my list of best sex partners. Women must teach those men something because bi-sexuals are wild in bed.

So, in conclusion, I love bi-sexuals and promise to date two or three more just to make up for my previous post.

How (not) to flirt

Good reading on that article, Mancadee. This heterosexual male flirting is an interesting ritual, something one might call a “rich text.” I was in a fraternity once (don’t laugh!) and experienced a little bit of hazing. One morning all of us pledges had to take a shower together and sing frat songs. Talk about homoerotic! If one can fake being a heterosexual you can do such fun things as heterosexual wrestling, chatting while naked, and play heterosexual twister. Now that I am out I do not get such pleasures.

I have always said that the process of flirting with someone is very close to the dance one does when one wants to be close friends. Saying, “I would love to hang out with you” or even “let’s have dinner sometime” can be read in multipe ways.

That’s why it is hard to become friends with another gay man unless it is somehow explicit that there is no chance of sex – friend “flirting” may be misconstrued with real “flirting.”

Here is how to tell your gay male friend that you JUST want to be friends without being an asshole:

  1. “My type is X” (the opposite of your friend)
  2. “I love my boyfriend” (even if he does not exist)
  3. “Don’t you think that guy over there is cute? He’d be great for you.” (pick a really cute guy!)
  4. “Oh really? I’m a top(/bottom) too!”
  5. “I’m bisexual.”

If those lines don’t work, it is time to be blunt, “Look, I like you ONLY as a friend…not a friends-with-benefits kind of friend but a no sex kind of friend. No sex.”

In other news, the heterosexual boy in my sextion…oops I mean section that I have a crush on talked in class today. For some reason I try to look for sexual innuendos in every comment he makes. I was quite excited when he said “we should let them get off” when talking about insane people that commit crimes. It is true, I did not hear all of what he said. Most of the time I was imagining what it would be like to be his tight boxer briefs.

Another Celebrity Cumslut

Letter to Britney Spears:

Dear Ms. Spears-Federline

Congratulations! Your coming out of the cumslut closet has prompted another famous celebrity to join you. AND, she firmly believes that a wonderful meal is never more than 30 minutes away.

You guys are awesome!

Regards,
Gretchen Weiner, Esq.

Coming out of the cum slut closet

Finally! After years of thinking that gay men were the only ones who could admit, finally the truth is out: celebrities are cum sluts, too! (She and Kev-dawg also sound super bright)

More power to you, Britney. It takes a lot of confidence to recognize that even though the Bible tells you its wrong, and you never learn about it in Health Class, and your parents always told you that your weird Uncle Larry is one, it is all right for you to be who you are.

It may seem like you're the only one, but it's not true. Pretty soon you'll start exchanging knowing stares with other cum sluts at the library, restaurants, or even during class. Then one day, you'll realize that it seems like everyone fun and cute is a cumslut, too, and you'll stop hanging out with your cum-hating friends.

Honey, your toaster and membership card are in the mail.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Papists

With the pope gone and a new pope to be chosen we get to see great words in the news like papist and papable. In honor of John Paul II, I give you the vatican's answer to soft core gay porn.

Lawn Protests and Naked Boys?

What can be seen on the main lawn of the campus today:

  1. “Cemetery of the innocents” – the anti-choice people are at it again and this time they have set up their own fake cemetery! Come one; come all to see paper crosses all over the lawn blocking the limited sunbathing areas! A new addition to the cemetery this year – Terry Schiavo. I didn’t know she was an aborted fetus! Also, all of the crosses have names on them. Do people name their fetuses? Now that is sick.
  2. Pro-Choice rally. There are about four pro-choice people which is sad compared to the large numbers of wackos at the “cemetery.” The pro-choice crowd make up for their lack of numbers with their snazzy outfits and fun slogans. They will beat the wackos in a fashion contest any day.
  3. The two-ply toilet paper rally. I kid you not. As if mocking the entire abortion-on-the-lawn events, several cute frat boys got themselves a loudspeaker and are chanting slogans like “What do we want? Two-ply! When do we want it? NOW!”

I gave all the groups dirty looks. Well, okay, I gave the frat boys a dirty look and a smile.

Also on my walk across campus some woman tried to hand me a flyer and in an effort to get me to take it she said “naked boys crew team!”

I wish I was still an undergrad…