November 2002 Archives

Campbell's Soup is a Fool and a Liar

There's an empty can of Campbell's Soup in the kitchen of my family's house in Redlands that suggests you try a nice bowl of Campbell's Soup with a "triple-decker" peanut butter and jelly sandwich. The suggestion is accompanied by a photograph of a sandwich that goes like this: bread - jelly -bread - peanut butter - bread.

Okay. You know what, Campbell's Soup? That's not a triple decker fucking sandwich. A piece of bread is only a deck if it has another piece of bread somewhere above it. What you're suggesting is, in fact, a double-decker sandwich. A house isn't a two-story house because it has a floor and a roof. It's a single story house. A house with a floor, another floor, and a roof is a two-story house. It is not, as you would have us believe, a three-story house.

By that same token, U2's upcoming concert in Ireland is not, in fact, the biggest homecoming in history, regardless of what they're saying on the radio. I mean, come on. We're talking about history here. Do these people realize how long history is? There have been no less than four or five historical homecomings that were at least as significant as U2 singling "Beautiful Day" in Dublin. Homecomings that involved civilizations and wars and riches and thwartings.

And that guy they just made the TV movie about probably wasn't actually the worst traitor in U.S. history. U.S. History isn't as long as the rest of history, but it's still long enough to have a number of traitors, and at least some of them were worse than this guy. A few of our Presidents would probably even outrank him on VH1's Top 100 U.S. Traitors Countdown.

The Opposite of Convenience


Hair Up There


Have some face.

First off, the inspiration for this week's offering did not come from me alone, but was rather a group effort on the part of four people: Myself, Jedi, Special K, and Nobbaq. The Nobbaq helped draw the Lincoln beard and shot down all of my bad ideas for the fourth panel.

Also, I'm really into nicknames this week.

So here's the story. About a month or so into the semester Jedi stopped shaving, and spoke at length about it at every opportunity. Jedi, incidentally, is one of those gifted individuals, unlike me, whose beard ends at a reasonable point below the chin as opposed to wrapping all the way around the neck, forcing the wearer to confront his ignominious ape ancestry head on. Anyway, the Jedi beard continued unabated for a while until one glorious day when the bearded one showed up at school shaven to the likeness of Chester A. Arthur, our 21st President.

Special K, meanwhile, being an avid trivia master and a huge fan of U.S. Presidents, was thoroughly excited. The overall reaction to the Chet Arthur beard was positive, especially from those of us with wangs, but Jedi was worried that it was impinging on his scoring abilities and simply wouldn't take a beard compliment from a woman at face value. At Special K's request he kept it until Halloween and ditched it soon thereafter.

A little while after Chet Arthur disabeard, Special K was overcome by presidential facial hair withdrawals and began growing out his Abraham Lincoln beard, which is still growing strong as far as I know. Ultimately I joined in the fun and grew myself the now infamous molestache, which has since gone the way of the Chet Arthur beard.

In related news, I'm about a week overdue for a haircut but I'm not going to get one until finals end on December 19th.

Now that I've lowered myself to writing an entire fucking column about hair, I'll slink back to my memo.

Five is Enough


The nobbaq and I were just discussing child nomenclature over dessert. She has long since decided that her quintuplet boys will be named after famous conquerors. So look for little Otto, Caesar, Frederick, Vlad, and Napoleon in a few years.

The rules of symmetry demanded that I then come up with names for my quintuplet girls. After ruling out ex-girlfriends (poorly received), flowers (poorly received by me), Shakespeare (lukewarm all around), virtues (too mean), Muses (there are nine), and Jane Austen heroines (I almost got up and left), I decided to give each of my five daughters different names, but give them each names that could be shortened to "Katie." This yields two possible implementations:

1. Names that can be independently shortened to "Katie." Katherine, Kathleen, Kaitlin, and the twins, Catalonia and Catalina.

2. Names that, when combined with the middle name, give the initials "K.T." Kelly Theresa, Kimberly Tara, Kyra Tatiana, Kylie Tabitha, and Kinsey Tina.

In related news, no daughter of mine will be named Emma, though I'd be willing to name a child Emily and allow her to be called Emma by everyone except me. Nobbaq disapproves. Furthermore, Lily is her daughter, and Lila is mine.

If anyone reads anything into the fact that I'm discussing baby names with my girlfriend they have a serious beasting coming from me.

For additional reading, please see Ann M. Martin's Ten Kids, No Pets.

Super Molestache Thursday!


This is what happens when you start shaving once a week, and decide to get creative about it. Fucking law school.

Fun quotes from the last 36 hours!

"If I stand out there with my two balls, it�s pretty pathetic." - An actual law professor.

"I'll kill you." - The same professor, some minutes later.

(On the exceptional degree of suspension of disbelief required at the end of Tim Burton's Planet of the Apes.) "No, that makes sense. If I were a monkey I'd build the Lincoln Memorial." - Steve, yesterday.

I want controversy, God damn it


We're studying exculpation in my criminal law class, which means things like self-defense and insanity. For some reason the cases involving exculpation are significantly more controversial than previous cases. We began with the Goetz case, in which a middle-aged white guy shot and severely wounded four black youths on a New York subway in the 1980s. Acquitted of attempted homicide charges. (1)

Next up was a longish unit on battered woman syndrome, which included numerous detailed accounts of vicious domestic violence and patterned abuse resulting the wives killing their husbands, and pretty consistently being convicted even when juries were presented with expert testimony regarding BWS. (2)

Call me crazy, but I assumed that the class discussions for both of these cases would be heated, emotional, insubstantial, and all around entertaining. My first disappointment was with the Goetz discussion. Nobody really seemed to care about it. Then I realized that there are no black people in my class.

All right, fine, but a good 48% of the class are women, and over 1/6 of them went to Berkeley. So I expected the battered women stuff to raise some ire. Again, painfully calm. A few latent feminists piped up but were summarily and gently swatted down by the professor.

Tomorrow will be the test. For tomorrow, in the context of the "necessity" defense, we discuss Public Committee Against Torture v. State of Israel. Ooh, baby.

(1) This case was turned into an episode of Law & Order, but the racial element was more or less devoured by a gender element by turning the middle-aged white guy into a young white woman, and turning the request for money into a sexual comment.

(2) The chapter on BWS was my favorite so far, because it had an actual punchline. The book sets you up with all these appalling accounts of men abusing women and women being convicted after killing them, and you think that's really terrible, and then it ends with a comment by a law professor to the effect of, "We have enough trouble getting people on board with the death penalty, which is killing someone after a lengthy court trial, let alone allowing a woman to try, convict, sentence, and execute her husband in her living room."

Toner Low


I'll be the first to admit that this week's strip isn't necessarily prima facie funny, but I submit that if you take a few moments to envision the background story, picture step by step the few hours immediately preceding Claudio's appearance, you'll have yourself a proper larf. So, to mix legal metaphors, this week's offering might be considered "constructively" funny.

I'm trying to figure out how to approach a discussion of Lexis and Westlaw without taking up seven Internets. I've decided to offer three opinions. One is mine, and two belong to professors.

Mine: Someone at school allegedly won a car through one of the online legal research tools. I refuse to believe that either of these companies are giving a free car to every law school in the country without asking for something substantial in return from the student who actually wins. This helps me cope with the fact that it could have been me but wasn't.

Professor Number One: Lexis and Westlaw are like junior high drug pushers. They get you hooked in law school (when they're free), and then stick you hard when you become and actual lawyer (when they cost several thousand dollars a letter).

Professor Number Two: Lexis and Westlaw have made the traditional practice of screwing over your classmates by tearing pages out of library books completely obsolete, since they both contain everything you'll find in the law library online in easily printable electronic media. That isn't so much an opinion as a fact.

My major beef with how the two systems are set up is the fact that between the two of them they have four printers in the library, and between the nine hundred of us we have nine hundred law students in the law school. This isn't such a big deal during Ordinary Time, but when all three hundred 1Ls are working on the exact same assignment involving the exact same eight cases at the exact same time, a single person printing out everything Fordham Law ever had to say about anything can really ruin your day. Also, as I've alluded to in the background action of the strip, the printers themselves are just an RCH faster than the coughing, convulsing desktop printers that Epson insists on selling at affordable prices.

In other news, I had dinner with my friend Brook at the Westwood CPK this weekend. When the waitress made her first approach she asked, "Can I get you anything to drink? An IBC root beer?" Realizing that I hadn't had an IBC in perhaps years, I decided to go for it. So she brought out an open oldskool bottle of root beer and a chilled glass, and I commenced to enjoy, and wish I had a scoop or two of vanilla iscream to sweeten the deal.

Then, as I neared the bottom of the glass a glaring burst of Berkeley-style anticommercialism damn near knocked me out of my chair, and I said to Brook, tapping the empty bottle, "You know why they push the root beer? No free refills." I then paused for effect and added, "Sonsa bastards," at which point the waitress glided by, obviously having heard everything. I became embarrassed and vowed to redeem myself by tipping well.

That launched me into a Los Angeles-style realization about the nature of tipping. Now, now, don't get all excited, I'm not about to get all Steve Buscemi in Reservoir Dogs here. I simply realized that sometimes, it might be better to get lousy service, because then you don't have to tip as much and you save money. How fucking sick is that? What's wrong with me?

Oh, by the way, in case you haven't noticed, the Log page is new. Many thanks to the proprietor of Cement Horizon for the space, and to didofoot for going to bat for me. Please make some comments. It would please me.

Finally, the girlfriend wants to be mentioned in the log. Further amusement can be found at her four craigslist postings regarding yesterday's American foot-ball match.

Mulholland Jive

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I finally saw Mulholland Drive last night. The movie, not the street. Since I didn't like Lost Highway and I hated Dune I'm not sure what possessed me to give the latest lynchfest a shot, but I think I can sum up the essence of Mulholland Drive in a Squelch-style short conversation:

- This movie doesn't make any fucking sense.
- Be cool. There's lesbians.

All things considered I still think David Lynch's greatest accomplishment is The Angriest Dog in the World. It's simply not possible to come up with a better title for anything, let alone a comic strip.

Also, I'm wondering if anyone can explain to me why the Irish failed to discover vodka during the Commonwealth era. I mean, the English take everything but the potatoes, and you make whiskey? I'm not proud of my people.

Club Slamwich


Needless to say it's been a week of many changes here at I Fought the Law. I've found a much more effective way of coloring the strips, courtesy of fellow online cartoonist Tom Sciortino. I'm not excatly sure what I'm doing or why it works, but it has something to do with the television show Alias. In addition to enbettereing the strips I've also used my newfound coloring powers to make a better logo (see above), and while on my aesthetic improvement kick I also went ahead and evened out the vertical alignment. So with the exception of the Docket weeks everything should look almost professional from here on out.

On to this week's strip. While I was satisfied in a karmic, philosophical sense that Girls Club crashed and burned after two of the measliest of episodes, I was slightly disappointed in that it marked the drying up of a fertile source of comedy for the likes of me. But I'll be damned if some sensible FOX executive is going to rob me of at least one joke at the expense of network television's latest feeble attempt at drawing in the bitter, battle-ready, upwardly mobile college girl demographic. So take that, David E. Kelly.

As for the actual merits of the show, I don't need to expound on how completely bankrupt it is in every way. There are those out there who are much more qualified at such things than I am. Instead I'll just pre-emptively respond to any wayward feminists out there who may take issue with my Girls Club anaylsis. I understand that things are difficult for the ladies, and by no means am I claiming otherwise. But if Mr. Kelly were genuinely interested in tackling social inequities via television, he might have chosen a more sympathetic cast of everywomen than three attractive, affluent, white San Francisco lawyers. On the other hand, if he were genuinely interested in ratings, nothing puts asses on couches like lesbian erotica. I'm firmly of the opinion that a few strategically-placed steambaths and tickle fights would have skyrocketed Girls Club to the top of the Nielsens.

The Gooey Decimal System

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The subject of this week's strip is a recent discovery by me, but by no means a recent phenomenon in law school. Once during my senior year in college I had to print out some Supreme Court opinions for a Legal Studies paper I was working on, and the only place on campus that had U.S. Reporters, oddly enough, was the law library. As I approached that hallowed hall of legal knowledge my hopes of judicial enrichment were thoroughly dashed by a large, unforgiving, German Shepherd of a sign that plainly told me that I was not welcome without that I was a law student. And I became sad. I had mono at the time, so trudging all the way to the library from my apartment was a chore unto itself, and having realized that my efforts were for naught I sat on a chair, sulked, and rested up for the long journey home. After a few minutes I saw somebody breeze past the security desk without flashing an ID. So I did the same, and in I was. The trick to life is to look like you know what you're doing.

Anyway, a while later I had a conversation about undergrads using the law library with a friend of mine who was an actual law student at the actual law school. She took the opportunity to rail against lesser scholars invading her sacred space, and I meekly responded, "But... Legal Studies... Gregg... Fuhrman....," at which point she acknowledged that non-law students with a legitimate reason for being in there were less irritating than the run-of-the-mill MCB majors who wouldn't deign to study among the rabble of the Main Stacks.

And now, I am the snobby law student. Every evening for the past week I've found myself in nests of undergraduates studying things not at all related to the Law. I should say that I don't really object to this on principle. It's not like I ever have trouble finding a seat. In fact, the UCLA Law Library is large, spacious, and very handsome, and something that people affiliated with the law school take every opportunity to nut over. What I object to are the behaviors hinted at in this week's strip. There's the cliche cell phone annoyance, but when you're sitting next to someone and their cell phone rings five times inside of a half hour and they answer it every fucking time, it becomes less of a cliche. The undergrads also seem to be particularly inclined to disobey the rules against food and beverages, which in addition to attracting vermin and ants and everything also adds crinkling wrappers and plastic bags to the cacophony of cell phone rings, mildly hushed whispers, and crunching mandibles.

So there's that. Of course, I'm not square enough to actually narc on these people, so instead I exploit them by asking them to watch my stuff while I whizz.

As for the reasons why these young women (they're almost exclusively female) decide to study in the law library rather than the nearby main library, I think it has more to do with snobbery than with landing themselves a man, but sex sells comic strips.

Let me also say something about the recent adoption of color in the strips. The aesthetic effect is barely this side of awful, and believe it or not it actually adds a significant amount to the time it takes to make these things. So I may not keep it up. If you have an opinion either way, please let me know.

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This page is an archive of entries from November 2002 listed from newest to oldest.

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