i am furious

I am so mad, that I can’t even think straight. I don’t have anything productive to say other than a string of expletives. But really, what can you say, or what needs to be said, against such utterly contemptible falsehoods?

Why am I mad?

Scalia says “Get over it. It’s so old by now” regarding Bush v. Gore. I am utterly speechless.

The Wall Street Journal endorses Scalia’s old school breadwinner/distant father/supportive homemaker mother model of a family. Thank you, oh prestigious paper covering our nation’s politics and economy, for saying something that is so clearly progressive, modern, and reflective of today’s economic and social realities.

I need to throw something or break something right now.

songs about sociology

Because there have not been any posts for two days, I will take one for the team.

Ok, there are plenty of songs about the law, which is my thing. “I Fought The Law and the Law Won,” for example. Also, Kanye West’s “Spaceship” makes me think of employment discrimination law for these lyrics:

If my manager insults me again I will be assaulting him
After I f**k the manager up then I’m gonna shorten the register up
Let’s go back, back to the Gap
Look at my check, wasn’t no scratch
So if I stole, wasn’t my fault
Yeah I stole, never got caught
They take me to the back and pat me
Askin’ me about some khakis
But let some black people walk in
I bet they show off their token blackie
Oh now they love Kanye, let’s put him all in the front of the store

Yes, I am weird. But I am hip! Sort of.

So, tell me sociology rock stars, what songs make you think of sociology?

where do I get these ideas anyway?

Apologies for monopolizing Scatter blogging.

[begin incoherent rant]

I’ve been reading Arlie Russell Hochschild’s books, The Time Bind and The Second Shift. They are depressing. Not only are workers overworked, they overwork themselves–they don’t want to take advantage of family-friendly policies, they want overtime, they want to buy into the organizational culture of the 10 hour day that rewards face time over results. Part of it is insecurity underlying the assumption that if they don’t, they will be undervalued as a worker, and lose their job (salaried workers), part of it is needing the hours (hourly wage workers), and part of it is feeling more valued at work and more relaxed at work than they do at home, where the household tasks and childcare are undervalued and unrewarded.

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in your abundant spare time

So, I know we all read a lot for work. It’s all I do. And then I do more of it online, because I am a blog addict and F5 refresher hound. I need to do that site-blocking thing Jeremy does.

But what do you read in your spare time? Me? Not enough, and it hurts me, former English lit major that I was. It wounds me to the core. Subquestion: what do you do in your spare time, since you have so much of it?

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a seat at the (conference) table

Part of being a good institutional citizen of your school/university is attending paper talks. No, not just those free food ones sponsored by this and that student org or law firm. Go to those too, although you will get sick of pizza. If you are the type that goes just to get food but not from interest, well, that’s a little mercenary of you, but who am I to parse and judge motives?

No, I am talking about the true test of intellectual interest and commitment: the brown bag paper talk. Like, you bring your own lunch and listen to people talk about their work, and ask questions.

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i never know what to do here

Part of why I don’t blog here enough is that I never know what to say. Jeremy encourages me to do whatever I want, which is great. But I don’t know what I want to do on other peopl’s blogs. On my blog, I have a devil-may-care flippant attitude, posting up poetry, Youtube videos, book/article critiques, and discussions of legal pedagogy.  I toy dangerously with my veil of pseudonymity.  I am the Rogue (Aspiring) Law Professor.

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the social psychology of elevators


Check out this great article by Nick Paumgarten in the New Yorker on the history, future, and social psychology of elevators:

Passengers seem to know instinctively how to arrange themselves in an elevator. Two strangers will gravitate to the back corners, a third will stand by the door, at an isosceles remove, until a fourth comes in, at which point passengers three and four will spread toward the front corners, making room, in the center, for a fifth, and so on, like the dots on a die. With each additional passenger, the bodies shift, slotting into the open spaces. The goal, of course, is to maintain (but not too conspicuously) maximum distance and to counteract unwanted intimacies—a code familiar (to half the population) from the urinal bank and (to them and all the rest) from the subway. One should face front. Look up, down, or, if you must, straight ahead.

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first person narrative in scholarship

 (it took me a day before I realized I violated Jeremy’s no caps rule)

I am sort of a lawyer, and I read a lot of law blogs. One of the never-ending debates in legal scholarship is the use of first-person narrative in legal scholarship.  First person narrative, or “storytelling,” is one of the principal methodologies of Critical Race Theory, a scholarly movement that has an anti-discrimination project and through its lense and methodology attempts to speak for “voices from the bottom.” 

 Enough background.  The debate over first-person narrative is back, or at least Paul Secunda, a legal scholar in employment and labor law, asks the following question at Concurring Opinions:

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The Frequency of Awesomeness

Some awesome independent scholar dude named Ray Cha (bust down those Ivory Tower gates!) has a blog that is most awesomely about technology and policy (check it out, Madisonian.net folks) found my cross-post about Your Daily Awesomeness on Scatterplot.

So awesomely awesome is Ray Cha’s awesomeness: the man has empirically assessed the use of “awesomeness” over the last four years. Go there for the graphs. But I will excerpt the analysis!:

Sometimes you learn a word and all of the sudden you see it everywhere. The nagging question is, was is always being used and you just glossed over it, or is there a change in the frequency of its use? You discovered the word precisely because it was starting to be used for more often.

Not too long ago, I found the word “awesomeness” entering my general vocabulary to signify great approval. Awesomeness feels fresh, a slight tweak on the new vintage “awesome” from the 80s, a personally influential era. However, in the past week, I’ve seen the word Awesomeness appear in a lot of places, from friends and strangers alike. I started thinking if the word has gaining traction in the public at large, so last weekend I started the quest to figure out ways to capture the growing use of the word.

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work and identity

No one is their job, you say. People are more than the sum of their professions. What a limited view of humanity. Blah blah blah. This is certainly true. But then why do people introduce themselves as their professional roles? “Hi, I’m a doctor.” “I’m a lawyer.” “I’m a teacher.” Etc., etc.I was thinking about this last night. While I can take a joke (kind of), there’s an upper limit to how much can be joshed at before I get defensive and really wonder “is this what you think of what I do?” mainly because it translates to the next psycho question, “is this really what you think of me?”

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self-promotion for the insecure

Over at my mishmash of a blog, the serious posts are always balanced by something lighter and silly. Law and Letters.

So lest you think I am a humorless and uninteresting law person, if you are interested, check out my polemic against the idea of love and for the reality of love. It has lots of book, poetry, music, movie, and public radio suggestions.

how much (deconstructionist) theory belongs in law and society? an empirical study?

I’ve recently had occasion to re-read Laura E. Gomez’s article “A Tale of Two Genres,” which is in The Blackwell Companion to Law and Society (ed. Austin Sarat). In this article, she argues that Law and Society scholars, while focusing on discrimination and oppression, have failed to utilize fully the theories of Critical Race Theory, which might enhance and flesh out “undertheorized” studies of institutional and structural discrimination. Law and Society and Critical Race Theory both descend, in some part, from Critical Legal Studies, and yet their paths have wildly diverged: CRT is all theory, L&S is mostly empirical. Both seem to have different projects, vocabularies, methodologies, etc. Both seem to write in a vacuum. L&S may use race as a variable to explain ____ phenomenon, but it is an independent variable. In contrast, CRT considers race to be the dependent variable, that ___ legal/social phenomenon operates to produce this definition/change on race. Moreover, race is not a discrete, easily defined variable, and it is not merely Black/White–CRT champions intersectionality theory, arguing that race is socially constructed and contextual, and always interacting with gender, class, sexuality, etc. L&S ignores this complexity, in favor of abstracting race into some easily measured variable. So why aren’t these two legal academic genres talking to one another?

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and since i’m here…

I mentioned that I do sexual harassment law scholarship. Part of the work is trying account for why those who are harassed do not pursue organizational correctives (largely symbolic grievance procedures, etc.), instead quitting their jobs or just living with the harassment. Such behavior is considered “unreasonable” by the courts, and gives employers an affirmative defense against vicarious liability for the harassment of their employees by their agents.

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