Category: Humor

18

Rejected in a Hurry

Who says that the law review article consideration process is slow? Brian Leiter writes about how Ohio State law professor Christopher Fairman’s article was rejected by the Kansas Law Review in only 25 minutes. Apparently, all it took for the editors was to read one word. To find out more about this article and why it was rejected, check out the article and abstract here. There’s a very fitting two word response that Professor Fairman could give to the Kansas Law Review . . .

10

“I’m not crazy, I’m just a little unwell” — a DSM for bloggers

I’ve been a regular blogger for several years, I think that by now I’ve got a relatively decent feel for some of the many disorders that manifest in the blogosphere. This post attempts to collect and classify a few of the more salient mental blog disorders — a DSM of the blogosphere, so to speak.

Bipolar / manic-depressive. This is the blogger who posts five items and changes his template three times in four hours, then neglects his blog completely for a week and a half. Rinse and repeat.

Schizophrenic. This blogger-commenter maintains multiple personalities in different venues: When commenting at Volokh, he’s a vocal liberal; when commenting at Leiter, he’s a hardline libertarian. (Variation: This diagnosis also applies to someone who is not just a commenter but blogs at various blogs himself, and who displays multiple blogging personalities across them).

Passive Aggressive. “Dan, I doubt you’ll respond to this post, but I think that ____. ” Then, get mad when Dan doesn’t respond.

Tourette’s. This is the blogger who drops unnecessary bursts of profanity into otherwise innocuous posts. No shit, Sherlock.

OCD. I must check my blog. I must moderate comments. I must clean out the spam folder. In ten minutes, I will do this all again.

ADD/ADHD. This blogger writes several posts per day. None of them are more than a few lines long; none of them contain more than half of one coherent . . .

Oh, the Diamondbacks will be great this season. I liked the video for that James Blunt song. And, did you see this cool article about invisible planetary rings?

Blog bulimic. Blog blog blog blog blog. Delete delete delete delete delete.

Sociopath. Doesn’t comply with social norms; deceitful; aggressive; lack of remorse — and all those terms really out of the (real) DSM! Clearly, this is the category for comment trolls.

Delusional. Bloggers who exhibit any of the following symptoms: Belief that blogging counts as actual scholarship; belief that blogging makes them sexy or desirable; belief that Glenn Reynolds actually reads their blog; belief that blogging is an acceptable substitute for a social life. Surefire diagnosis: Bloggers observed making repeated, insistent statements that “blogging is not a waste of time.”

This concludes this brief tour through the blogosphere DSM. And as for self-diagnosis . . . well, I’ll take the Fifth on that one. Besides, I didn’t see any category for “all of the above.”

Notes

First, this list is not exhaustive. Remember, Wenger’s Law: “The number of blog mental disorders is roughly equivalent to the number of bloggers.”

Second, this information should not be viewed as a diagnosis in anyone’s particular case. (Except for you, Dave Hoffman!) I’m not a psychiatrist, in blog-land or otherwise, and I can’t really diagnose anyone.

But I will say that, if you’ve read this far, you probably need therapy.

3

If anything, they should be rewarded

I’m not a particularly ardent fan of the U.K. version of The Office, but I’ve seen a few bits of it here and there, and they can be pretty funny. One of the classic exchanges is between David and Gareth, on the subject of, well, boobs:

[David is mocking a porn site, and reads off of the computer screen]

David: ” ‘Dutch girls must be punished for having big boobs.’ Now you do not punish someone, Dutch or otherwise, for having big boobs.”

Gareth: “If anything they should be rewarded.”

David: “They should be equal.”

Gareth: “Women are equal.”

David: “I’ve always said that.”

With that background, one can fully appreciate this recent news story: “A dancer has launched a $100 million lawsuit against the American musical Movin’ Out, claiming she was emotionally abused and lost her job because her breasts grew too large for her costume.” Yes, it turns out that, according to the lawsuit, some people are punished for having big boobs. Best of all, however, is her lawyer’s statement to the press, in the same newsclip: “In the ballet world, obviously, people are small-breasted. On Broadway, what happened should be an attribute.”

Or in other words, “if anything, they should be rewarded.”

3

Motion Denied for Incomprehensibility

This humorous court order was sent to me by my former colleague Charlie Sullivan (law, Seton Hall). The case is In re Richard Willis King Debtor, (U.S. Bankruptcy Court, W.D. Tex. Feb. 21, 2006), Bankr. Case No. 05-56485-C. The order, from U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Lief Clark, states:

ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR INCOMPREHENSIBILITY

Before the court is a motion entitled “Defendant’s Motion to Discharge Response to Plaintiff’s Response to Defendant’s Response Opposing Objection to Discharge.” Doc. #7. As background, this adversary was commenced on December 14, 2005 with the filing of the plaintiff’s complaint objecting to the debtor’s discharge. (Doc. #1). Defendant answered the complaint on January 12, 2006. Doc. #3. Plaintiff responded to the Defendant’s answer on January 26, 2006. Doc. #6. On February 3, 2006, Defendant filed the above entitled motion. The court cannot determine the substance, if any, of the Defendant’s legal argument, nor can the court even ascertain the relief that the Defendant is requesting. The Defendant’s motion is accordingly denied for being incomprehensible.*

* Or, in the words of the competition judge to Adam Sandler’s title character in the movie, “Billy Madison,” after Billy Madison had responded to a question with an answer that sounded superficially reasonable but lacked any substance,

Mr. Madison, what you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I’ve ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response was there anything that could even be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy

on your soul.

Deciphering motions like the one presented here wastes valuable chamber staff time, and invites this sort of footnote.

SO ORDERED.

1

A Translation of Gonzales’s Answers at the NSA Surveillance Hearings

gonzales2a.jpgThe NSA surveillance hearings began today with the testimony of Attorney General Gonzales. To save you the time to read through the extensive transcript (here and here), I thought I’d translate some of Gonzales’s remarks for you:

GONZALES: Before going any further, I should make clear what I can discuss today. I am here to explain the department’s assessment that the president’s terrorist surveillance program is consistent with our laws and the Constitution. I’m not here to discuss the operational details of that program or any other classified activity.

TRANSLATION: I’m here to say absolutely nothing new. I can’t tell you what you need to know to really assess the program. In other words, this will be booooorrriiinnnnggggg. My advice . . . turn off the TV and go watch some paint dry.

GONZALES: It’s an early warning system designed for the 21st century. It is the modern equivalent to a scout team, sent ahead to do reconnaissance, or a series of radar outposts designed to detect enemy movements. And as with all wartime operations, speed, agility and secrecy are essential to its success.

TRANSLATION: Remember the robot probe in The Empire Strikes Back? It’s like that.

GONZALES: While the president approved this program to respond to the new threats against us, he also imposed several important safeguards to protect the privacy and the civil liberties of all Americans. . . . As the president has said, if you’re talking with Al Qaida, we want to know what you’re saying.

TRANSLATION: If you’ve got nothing to hide, then there should be no problem with us listening to you. If you’ve got something to hide, then . . . well . . . we should listen to you.

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2

Thanks, Jennifer Aniston (or the Manifold Ways to Do the Same Search)

jennifer-aniston1a.jpgOne of my more popular posts is one entitled Jennifer Aniston Nude Photos and the Anti-Paparazzi Act. It seems to be getting a lot of readers interested in learning about the workings of the Anti-Paparazzi Act and the law of information privacy. It sure is surprising that so many readers are eager to understand this rather technical statute.

Anyway, for the small part that Jennifer Aniston plays in this, we thank her for the traffic.

In looking through my Site Meter stats, I’m particularly fascinated to learn about how many different ways the search can be done. Here are some of the search terms readers of the post used to locate it:


jennifer anniston photo telephoto lens -sues

jennifer aniston photo by paparazzi nude

jennifer aniston peter brandt photos

jennifer aniston paparazzi topless photos

jennifer aniston paparazzi photos nude

jennifer aniston paparazzi nude pictures

jennifer aniston paparazzi

jennifer aniston nude suing

jennifer aniston nude pictures suing

jennifer aniston nude photo paparazzi

jennifer aniston nude through window

jennifer aniston concurring opinions

jenn aniston zoom photos in home

nude jennifer aniston

jennifer aniston free nude photos

jennifer aniston paparazzi nude

aniston nude photos

aniston topless photos

nude photos of jennifer aniston

jennifer aniston nude paparazzi

jennifer aniston topless

anti jennifer aniston

But some searches are much more direct and to the point:

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2

A Heartening Thought

Here is the judicial quote of the day for me from Yankee Publishing Inc. v. News America Publishing, Inc., 809 F.Supp. 267, 280 (SDNY 1992)(Leval, J.):

First Amendment protections do not apply only to those who speak clearly, whose jokes are funny, and whose parodies succeed.

Thank goodness for that…

2

The Funniest Justice

scalia_smiling.jpgFor all of those law geeks who obsess over Supreme Court trivia, here is a new question: Who is the funniest justice? Well, the data has been carefully analyzed by Professor Jay Wexler in a new article in the Greenbag, and the answer is in. As summarized in a NYT article on the study:

Transcripts of oral arguments at the United States Supreme Court have long featured the notation “[laughter]” after a successful quip from a justice or lawyer. But until October 2004, justices were not identified by name, making it impossible to construct a reliable index of judicial wit.

That has now changed, and Jay D. Wexler, a law professor at Boston University, was quick to exploit the new data to analyze the relative funniness of the justices. His study, which covers the nine-month term that began that October, has just been published in a law journal called The Green Bag.

Justice Scalia was the funniest justice, at 77 “laughing episodes.” On average, he was good for slightly more than one laugh – 1.027, to be precise – per argument.

Justice Stephen G. Breyer was next, at 45 laughs. Justice Ginsburg produced but four laughs. Justice Clarence Thomas, who rarely speaks during arguments, gave rise to no laughter at all.

Of course, it is not clear that Scalia’s victory is evidence of humor and wit on any absolute scale. I found during law school that my sense of what was funny became seriously warped. I started finding even mild judicial humor uproariously funny, and would read sections of opinions to my speech-pathologist wife. For a while she would listen with an indulgent expression on her face, but eventually she gave me the news with the air of a woman telling a child the awful truth about Santa Claus. “Nate,” she said, “I don’t think that legal humor really counts as real humor.”