April 2004 Archives

I Scream


Tomorrow (Tuesday) is Free Cone Day at Ben and Jerrys. Free ice cream from noon to 8:00 p.m. Baskin Robbins will follow suit with Free Scoop Night on Wednesday, giving out free ice cream from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

The Gold Club continues to ignore my letters suggesting a "Free Lapdance Night," but I'll keep you posted as to any progress on that front.

Meli and I heard a terrible song on the radio this morning, the kind of song that makes you want to memorize a line or two so you can google it later and find out who did it. It turned out to be "If A Tree Falls" by Bruce Cockburn, reproduced below in lyric form. The chorus is sort of sung, but the verses are just spoken. Not slammed, just spoken, like a crazy homeless man muttering to himself at a bus stop.

By the way, I know I only alluded to slam poetry in passing just now, but I've decided that any time anyone, including me, references slam poetry in my presence, I'm going to interject this, so here it is: I fucking hate slam poetry.

Hey everybody, let's save the environment!

Rain forest
Mist and mystery
Teeming green
Green brain facing labotomy
Climate control centre for the world
Ancient cord of coexistence
Hacked by parasitic greedhead scam -
From Sarawak to Amazonas
Costa Rica to mangy B.C. hills -
Cortege rhythm of falling timber.

What kind of currency grows in these new deserts,
These brand new flood plains?

If a tree falls in the forest does anybody hear?
If a tree falls in the forest does anybody hear?
Anybody hear the forest fall?

Cut and move on
Cut and move on
Take out trees
Take out wildlife at a rate of species every single day
Take out people who've lived with this for 100,000 years -
Inject a billion burgers worth of beef -
Grain eaters - methane dispensers.

Through thinning ozone,
Waves fall on wrinkled earth -
Gravity, light, ancient refuse of stars,
Speak of a drowning -
But this, this is something other.
Busy monster eats dark holes in the spirit world
Where wild things have to go
To disappear

If a tree falls in the forest does anybody hear?
If a tree falls in the forest does anybody hear?
Anybody hear the forest fall?

Living the Dream


I heard about Pearls Before Swine last semester during a job interview, and I've been meaning to check it out. Then, on Sunday, Meli and I took our weekly walk to Starbucks do read comics and do a crossword puzzle, and I read this. Ladies and gentlemen, it's people like Stephan Pastis that keep my waning faith in newspaper comic strips alive and kicking.

The interviewer told me that she knew Pastis before he became a syndicated cartoonist, and that he had been a lawyer. I had a look at his bio and it turns out that he went to UCLA Law School and now lives in a city near Berkeley that starts with A (okay, it's Albany, not Alameda, but still). I think the universe is trying to tell me something.

Slightly troubling is the last sentence of his bio, which seems to suggest that he's still a practicing attorney. How the hell you draw a syndicated strip seven days a week and bill 2000 hours in a year will remain a mystery for now, but I'm thinking of shooting him an e-mail to find out how I, too, can live the dream of being a lawyer/cartoonist. Maybe I should start by drawing more than one goddamn cartoon a week.

UPDATE: I just checked out Pastis' Q & A section and it turns out he did quit the law scene in August, 2002. Now he works for three days to make a week's worth of strips. Talk about a lifestyle change.

He also says that Kristen's cousin makes him not want to draw cartoons. I can understand that. I often find Kristen herself rather discouraging.

Michael Powell Is An Idiot


Does it bother anyone else that the head of the Federal Communications Commission can't even put a sensible sentence together? What the hell was he trying to say with these two gems?

"I don't think you should reduce something as facile and vague as indecency to clear cause-and-effect consequences. I don't like the idea that we could trip into license revocation."

"I don't believe the First Amendment should change channels when it goes from seven to 107. I don't want to defend that distinction because I don't believe in it."

And my favorite:

"'You do not want the government to write a red book of what you can say and what you can't say," Powell said.

He compared such legislation to the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which spell out mandatory minimum sentences for specific crimes. While such standards make things clearer, they also take away the ability of decision makers to reach their own judgment, he said.

What the article fails to mention is the "decision makers" he's referring to are almost certainly the enforcement officials in the FCC. God forbid the government actually provide notice of what is and is not illegal. It's not like we have some sort of fancy-pants Due Process Clause in our Constitution that requires such things. It's much better to leave enforcement up to the arbitrary morality of whatever obese son-of-cabinet-member happens to be sitting in the driver's seat at the FCC.

Bush should be defeated in November if only to get Mr. Potatohead the hell out of power.

A Message from the Dean

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New strip.

My goal this week was drawing a cartoon version of Chris Edley, which I have done. I'm also commenting on a recent discovery that's causing my cock-eyed optimism in Boalt's future to wane.

My original vision for the Edley comic strip was an elaborate Three's Company-style misunderstanding romp. So instead I'll just present it in teleplay form.

[Dean Edley is in his office. The phone rings.]
EDLEY: Edley here.
VOICE ON PHONE: What's up, Chris! It's Cornell West from Harvard.
EDLEY: Oh. Hi, Cornell.
CORNELL: I heard about the rankings. How does it feel to be at a top 20 school?
EDLEY: It's top 15, asshole.
CORNELL: Ah, my mistake. I guess I'll call back next year and ask about the top 20 schools.
EDLEY: Fuck you, Cornell! [Hangs up.] [At that moment, BOB BERRING walks by the office just in time to hear Edley's final words to Cornell West.]
BERRING: Cornell Law School is trying to steal Edley from us! We'll see about that.

[Berring's office. Berring enters, picks up the phone, and dials a number.]
BERRING: Hello, Cornell Law School? Why the hell are you shitheads trying to steal our Dean?
VOICE ON PHONE: Who is this? Is this Berring?
BERRING: Damn right. Now you leave Edley alone. He's ours.
VOICE ON PHONE: Eat shit, Berring. We don't need to steal anything from your number 13 ass.
BERRING: Choke on cock! We're going to be in the top five! Top five, God damn it! You hear me? [Berring slams down phone and starts eating an ice cream sandwich from his desk drawer.]


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What could possibly be more exciting than the two most overrated comedic actors in Hollywood making a movie together?


How about the two most overrated comedic actors in Hollywood making a movie together, and it's about poo?

The Future


Editor's Note: On further reflection this post isn't very interesting. Only read on if (a) you like listening to Holohan bitch about petty things, (b) you're interested in law school courses, and/or (c) you want to help Holohan decide what to take next semester.

God damn it. There were three courses I wanted to take next semester: Federal Courts with Judge William Fletcher, Antitrust, and Professor Jesse Choper's Supreme Court seminar. It turns out that Judge Fletcher is not teaching Federal Courts next semester (another professor, who sounds pretty boss, is teaching it, but part of the lure of the course was learning about federal courts from a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge). Antitrust is also not being taught by the normal guy, but by a Law & Economics Professor. I fucking hate Law & Economics. I find it harder to swallow than Creationism.

The Supreme Court seminar is ready to go, but it's limited to eighteen students and usually has a waiting list numbering in the dozens. The reason for the limited enrollment is the kick-ass format of the class: The class splits into pairs, and each pair takes on the role of a Justice on the current U.S. Supreme Court. Over the course of the year the students go through the Court's docket and decide cases as their respective Justices would. Each pair is responsible for writing one majority opinion and one dissent. And the best part is, it satisfies the dreaded Writing Requirement.

So, of the three courses I was looking forward to next semester, it looks like I may not be able to take any of them. I've decided that for the next year I'm going to satirically blame all of my problems on Boalt's fallen ranking. "Maybe at a top twelve school I could have taken a class from a Ninth Circuit Judge, but not here." I could also play up my transfer student disappointment. "I left Westwood for this?" Of course, we all know that the real reason for my transfer is sitting in the kitchen reading The Caine Mutiny right now, so that last argument is pure affectation.

Let's take a look at my second string:

Constitutional Law - Structural Issues. It would be my third Con Law class, and the most esoteric. I'd spend yet another semester in the company of hard-core law geeks.

Entertainment Law & New Media Writing Workshop. I thought I liked Entertainment Law until we got into remedies this semester. But I think I just hate remedies in general. This would be one of those 2-unit courses that takes up more time than the rest of your schedule combined, and there's a strong preference for 2Ls in the limited enrollment. I may not even bother applying.

Conflict of Laws. Another law geek course, taught by one of the three professors that came highly recommended by one of my Boalt alum friends. The other two were Judge Fletcher and Eleanor Swift. Professor Swift teaches Evidence, and I couldn't take her course because she only teaches in the Fall and I had to take Evidence this semester for my Trial class. Maybe at a top twelve school...

Estates & Trusts. Dull as toast, but since it's a major subject on the California bar exam, they say that California law students looking to take the California bar should take this course for an edge over the out-of-staters. It also meets once a week from 6:20-9, which might bring back nightmares of Civil Trial Practice.

California Marital Property I didn't like regular Property, and I have no interest in being a divorce lawyer (my thorough enjoyment of Intolerable Cruelty notwithstanding). But, like Estates & Trust, it's a weeder subject on the California bar exam. It's also taught by the highly recommended professor who's teaching Conflicts of Laws. And my dad could help me with my homework.

Comments welcome. Help me decide what to do with my life.

Oh, the Power!


I've just discovered the "Public Records" section of LexisNexis, the online legal (and more!) research service that I'll have access to for free until I graduate. I can search voter registration records and see where people are voted, including their address, phone number, date of birth, and political party. If I know someone's address I can find out how much they paid for their house, and if I don't know their address I can look it up via the "People Finder" function. In many cases a successful People Finder search also produces the full names of the person's immediate family. I can also do a nation-wide search for criminal and civil filings, as well as state and federal tax liens.

The information isn't necessarily up to date, but it's pretty damn close. Nor is it complete. There are no California voter registration or marriage records available, though California death records are freely accessible.

Now I must find a way to use this power for Evil. Does anyone have any old crushes they'd like me to track down?

Say it with me, now: Mwa ah ahhhhhhhhh...


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Here's a new strip. Yes, Boalt has been excommunicated the Popular Kids Club. The news came out about a week and a half ago and a dark cloud has been hanging over the campus ever since.

Our interim fearless leader, Bob Berring, insists that the three-position drop is due to resource-based paramaters, specifically the nut-punching that the UC system has taken due to California's floundering economy. That might be a fine theory were it not for the fact that UCLA Law went exactly nowhere in the rankings, holding steady at 16. I'll be sure to wave at all my former classmates as we pass them on the way down. In any case, all faith has been placed in our new fearless leader, Harvard transplant and Dean Designate Christopher "Bert" Edley, who came very close to being the first Black dean of a top ten law school. I guess Edley's Bad News Bears attitude toward his new job is now more fitting than ever.

Which brings me to my theory as to the real reason for Boalt's de-throning: Racism at U.S. News. The sex scandals, the fee hikes, the awful facilities, the dwindling faculty, all that they can handle, but you try and stick a Black dean into their top ten schools and it's hello Top Fifteen. I'm on to you, Mort Zuckerman.

But all things considered I think Boalt's future looks bright. Especially now that Stanford has taken than pesky Mark Lemley off our hands. Maybe we can replace him with Dan "Lemley with a Beard" Burk.

Water Law Poetry Contest


The Creative Law Society, otherwise known as the Uselessest Student Group in the World, is conducting a poetry contest. The subject: water law. Apparently it's part of some visit by some Justice of some Supreme Court of Colorado, who's going to talk about, well, water law.

Anyway, here are my entries to the poetry contest. As of Wednesday I was the only submission. The first is a haiku, and the second one is a sonnet.

The law of water.
Don't pee in the reservoir.
Use a tree instead.

There once was a sensible otter
Who wrote all the laws about water.
He made it illegal
To murder a seagull
Unless you make out with his daughter.

A Brief Free Speech Crisis


I know I said I wasn't going to get into ASUC elections on this side of my blogoverse, but I thought I'd direct you to the most recent few posts over at Hot for Teacher, since there's some actual lawyery-type stuff happening there, if you're interested.

Steve, you gypsy bastard, there's a hastily written Judicial Council brief over there just waiting for your unforgiving criticism.

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