February 2004 Archives

Gay Marriage and the Procedural Constitution


This began as a comment on Kristina's blog and mutated into an entry unto itself. First, let me respond to something in the Economist article that Kristina linked:

Last June, in Lawrence v Texas, [the U.S. Supreme Court] ruled that state anti-sodomy laws violated the constitutional right of adults to choose how to conduct their private lives with regard to sex, saying further that "the Court's obligation is to define the liberty of all, not to mandate its own moral code". That obligation could well lead the justices to uphold the right of gays to marry.

What the Economist author and a lot of people seem to have overlooked is that Justice O'Connor, in her crucial Lawrence concurrence, specifically and explicitly identified "preserving the traditional institution of marriage" as a "legitimate state interest."* She did this to head off the inevitable whining from Justice Scalia that striking down sodomy laws would necessarily lead to striking down laws against same-sex marriage.* This means that for the current court to strike down laws against same-sex marriage, O'Connor would either have to change her mind (something not entirely outside the realm of possibility), or the Court would have to grant heightened scrutiny to laws that discriminate based on sexual orientation.** It's not inconcievable that O'Connor could be convinced to switch sides on the gay marriage issue, but the fact that she chose traditional marriage as an example is no accident, and the precedential link between Lawrence and a strike-down of anti-same-sex marriage laws is by no means a given.

Fake Jury Duty, Anyone?


All right, kids, here's the deal. I need at least two volunteers to help me out next Thursday, March 4th, in my trial class. Your obligation will be for a total of 100 minutes beginning at 6:00 p.m. The location will most likely be Boalt Hall on the Berkeley campus, but it may be the federal courthouse in San Francisco (near City Hall). Volunteers will be pretend jurors for a voir dire and opening statement exercise. You'll do voir dire (that's where the students/fake attorneys ask you questions to see if they want you on the jury) for 40 minutes, listen to opening statements for another 40 minutes, and then deliberate and critique for 20 minutes. There's no full trial, just the voir dire and opening.

You'll be dealing with me for a total of 20 minutes (10 minutes of voir dire questions and a 10 minute opening statement). The rest of the time will be taken up by three other students.

What's in it for you, you ask? Well, in addition to being able to criticize me openly in a room full of my peers, I've arranged a lovely selection of prizes from which you can choose one:

Option 1: I take you out for drinks and appetizers!

Option 2: I take you out for coffee and pastries!

Option 3: I show you my balls!

If you're interested, please e-mail me if you have my e-mail address, or just comment here. Come on, people! It'll be fun!

Neer Neer Neer Neer


As part of my ongoing campaign to (1) keep the sitcoms of the 1980s in the public consciousness and (2) showcase my nerdery, I'm reproducing this e-mail exchange between me and my man JMV. The title of this post refers to the guitar lick after "as long as we've got each other" in the Growing Pains theme song.

From: John
Subject: upyeralley
Date: Sun, 22 Feb 2004 11:53:19 -0800
To: Matt

found on the "futon critic" tv industry news site:

GROWING PAINS II: HOME EQUITY (ABC) - The Alphabet has released a detailed description of the upcoming telefilm: "Production has begun in New Orleans on "Growing Pains II: Home Equity," an all-new two-hour movie based on the hit '80s television comedy. The film will air during May 2004 on the ABC Television Network. Alan Thicke, Joanna Kerns, Kirk Cameron, Tracey Gold, Jeremy Miller, Ashley Johnson and Chelsea Noble will all reprise their roles from the series, which ran for seven seasons on ABC.Ms. Kerns (whose directing credits include "Defending Our Kids: The Julie Posey Story" and "Boston Public") will direct the movie.As the lyrics to the "Growing Pains" theme song said, "We're nowhere near the end. The best is ready to begin . . ." "Growing Pains II: Home Equity" finds Jason (Thicke) and Maggie Seaver (Ms. Kerns) ready to start a new chapter in their lives. With the nest finally empty, they have put the family home up for sale and are preparing to spend their retirement years traveling (Maggie longs for a villa in Tuscany, while ever-thrifty Jason wants to tour the USA in a Winnebago).But all that's easier said than done, as Mike (Cameron) and a very pregnant Carol (Ms. Gold, pregnant in real life with her third child), each with their own agenda for wanting their parents to stay put, team up to sabotage the move, while little brother Ben (Miller), now a realtor, needs the big sale of his parents' home to please his boss. Meanwhile, Chrissie (Ms. Johnson), now an aspiring singer, just wants to get out from under her parents' watchful gaze so she can launch her career as a rock star.Jim Green and Mark Bacino are executive producers, Albert J. Salzer is producer and Christine Lynch & Loren Segan wrote the script for the film, from Green/Epstein/Bacino Productions, Inc."

From: Matt
Subject: Re: upyeralley
Date: Tue, 24 Feb 2004 08:46:32 -0800
To: John

thanks for the heads-up. this sounds interesting. the winnebago angle is particularly intriguing since there was an episode where maggie's father (played by gordon "maytag repairman" jump) sells his house and buys a winnebago to tour the country, much to the chagrin of maggie's mother, who's too meek to protest the sale of her home until it's too late. they may work that into maggie's anti-winnebago stance.

i'm also surprised that kirk cameron is returning. usually when sitcom stars go wacko-christian they want nothing to do with their network past. cameron, of course, played buck williams in the straight-to-video movie adaptation of "left behind," and i think that he, like willie ames of charles in charge fame, became a regular on evangelical television. evangelivision. anyway, kirk cameron's wife is amazingly hot. she played mike seaver's girlfriend on growing pains for a while. she was also in the "left behind" movie. if kirk is coming back there's really no reason for her not to come back as mrs. kirk. and that would add a degree of hotness to the growing pains movie that a pregnant tracy gold could never accomplish.

i always hated jeremy miller. he was on celebrity double dare once and he came off as a total "i'm too cool to be here" prick. he also did some commercial hocking some kind of video game hotline and identified himself as "the star of growing pains." i was really hoping he'd get coked up and die.

but the real question is, will andrew koenig reprise his role as richard "boner" stabone?


Double Felix


[Conversation about my Entertainment Law class.]

Meli: What about Felix?

Matt: What?

Meli: Felix. You know, Felix.

Matt: I don't know what you're talking about.

Meli: Oh, nevermind.

. . .

Matt: Oh, Felix! I'm sorry, I was confused. There's a guy named Felix in my trial class, too.

. . .

Meli: So you know two Felixes?

Matt: I think it's "Felices."

On a related note, I think my brother is the only person in the country who knows two people with my wife's first name.

Hella Gay


I couldn't decide what kind of cartoon to draw for the whole gay marriage jive happening across the bay, so I drew two. The official version marks and attack of the continuity monster. The Boalt Briefs version is a little more editoons-esque. I hope you enjoy one or both of them.

While I'm offending people, I'll also mention that my friend Lydia brought me back a Yorkie candy bar from England, and I ate it this morning, and it was delicious. The Yorkie is a product of Nestle. It's a solid chocolate bar, separated into very large chunks. The wrapper contains the slogans "It's NOT for girls!" and "Don't feed the birds!" The "O" in Yorkie is a stylized women's restroom symbol with a ghostbusters thing through it.

Wooden Stakes and Felt-tipped Hearts


Two notable items from the entertainment world this morning. First off, the WB has canceled Angel, finally bringing an end to the evil that Kristy Swanson and Pee Wee Herman wrought upon the world years ago. Since a number of CH folks are into the Buffy scene I thought they'd be interested to know.

And, in a crushing blow to creative diversity, Disney is buying the Muppets. I was a little bummed about this, since I always thought of Henson as a constant underdog challenge to Diseny's domination of the children's entertainment market. Then I remembered Muppet Treasure Island and realized that both studios have pretty much been in the shitter since The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Eisner is hoping the Muppets will save his job. Maybe if he can get Mark Hammill to reprise his guest appearance on The Muppet Show.

Matt vs. The Volcano

| 1 Comment

Meli: I thought our wedding went perfectly.

Matt: Me too. Much better than my first wedding.

Meli: [Chuckles.]

Matt: Right into a volcano as soon as the vows were over.

Meli: You or her?

Matt: Her. They just needed me to be a foreign husband.

Meli: Ah.

Matt: You see, she had to prove her devotion to the Volcano God by rejecting the sexual advances of her husband.

Meli: Mm-hmm.

Matt: But under tribal law, if she married within the tribe she couldn't deny her husband's wishes. So they had to have her marry a foreigner. It was like, "I do. Wanna hump?" "No." And then they pushed her in.

Meli: Did they push her in or did she jump?

Matt: They pushed her. But, you know, she wanted to do it.

Meli: ...

Matt: Last Polynesian package tour I ever take.

Zip Zap Rap


This is definitely worth thirty seconds of your precious time.


There's no way Mrs. McKeithen is human.

If you want to give yourself a headache, think about the sheer depravity and sinfulness of the life you'd have to lead to die and come back as Devastatin' Dave the Turntable Slave.

Tino, by all appearances, is married.

Entertainment and Culture


Movie Theater Embodies Age-Old Struggle of Western Civilization

The movie selection at Berkeley's California Theater mirrors an age-old struggle of Western Civilization, a pretentious passer-by noted yesterday. The exterior of the theater displays posters for two competing films: Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ, a devotional film dealing with the last hours of the life of Jesus Christ, and Secret Things, an erotic French import detailing the sexual exploits of two female office employees.

"So you have this Passion poster with this big picture of Jesus," the passer-by explained to disinterested fellow law students. "And then like ten feet further down is a poster of two girls making out in a supply closet. At first I thought the juxtaposition was strange, but then I realized, that's really what life's all about, isn't it? All of us, at some point, have to choose a life path. Do we choose the path of financial success and explicit sex, or a life devoted to religion and spirituality?"

UC Berkeley Religious Studies Professor Abraham Numrensen grudgingly agrees. "The bastard has a point," he explained to reporters. "I guess in some weird way the endless struggle between earthly delights and spiritual fulfillment could be summed up in a choice between Jesus and lesbians. But I just read The Da Vinci Code and apparently Jesus was a chick, so that really puts a whole different spin on it.

Dollars for Donuts

A student group at Boalt is selling Krispy Kremes for a dollar on campus this week. Some time ago I asserted that a fundamental principle of donuts is that donuts taste good. (Please note that the adoption of this assertion as a fundamental principle means that those detestable cherry abominations were not donuts at all.) Let's call that the First Principle of Donuts. The Second Principle of Donuts is that regular donuts cost less than a dollar. I've already suffered Spain's regrettable decision to charge ten cents for chocolate frosting, but paying anywhere near a dollar for a single standard toroidal donut is an indignity I will not suffer.

And if it's such a good cause, have Krispy Kreme donate the damn things to you and sell them at a discount. Ya humps.

I Don't Want to Be a Supreme Court Justice


Becuase apparently a Supreme Court Justice can't do a simple thing like hunt ducks with the Vice President when the Vice President has a case before the Supreme Court without people getting all uppity about your ethics. And me, I want to go duck hunting with as many Vice Presidents as possible.

The question remains, what if Scalia went over to Cheney's house to play Duck Hunt? And what if they put their heads together and figured out how the light gun works? And then had some pie?

H is for Not


This week's offering is heavily exaggerrratttted from an actual conversation this week between myself, a fellow student, and one of our professors from last semester. What began as a friendly chat about grades and finals quickly deterioriated into a lengthy diatribe from the professor about how every year he's surprised by the sheer ignorance of his students when it comes to finals gradin' time. It's good to know that my test was toward the less crappy end of "shitty."

Kudos to Michael Powell for launching a full-scale investigation into the Super Bowl halftime show. We're living in an era of unprecedented media conglomeration, and the very concepts of "local voice" and "media diversity" will probably be awkward memories 20 years from now, and our man in the FCC is dedicating his life to ridding the airwaves of curse words and boobies. Maybe Powell Jr. and John Ashcroft can get together and form the boob covering club, and they can go around overspending government funds on covering up boobs wherever they may lie. They could call themselves "Boobs Against Boobs."

And what in the hell was that thing through Janet's nipple?

Super Neato Nerd


My lifelong ambition of making fourteen-year-old girls swoon has come to fruition. Check out what they're saying over to The Fabulous Life of Amanda:

......Ok ladies (or guys....I'm not one to judge) I've just read a story about a guy who is a super neato nerd! Take a gander at it.....

....All I have to say is HOT AND BOTHERED!

I'm like a Backstreet Boy now. In my own little way.

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This page is an archive of entries from February 2004 listed from newest to oldest.

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