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Friday, July 25, 2003
My post has nothing to do with evolution or Fundamental(ly-retarded)ists. Instead, it is a rather sweet/disturbing interaction between me and my five year old nephew.

On Wednesday, upon my arrival in Ohio, I was in the backyard trying desperately to get a kite to fly in terribly humid weather -- I mostly just ran around getting kite string wound around my ankles. But, during one of my unwinding the string breaks, my nephew approached me and very tenderly asked: "Why do you have angry voice?" "What?", I exclaimed. "Your voice", he said, "is angry. Are you angry?" "No!", I said force-gleefully. "Well then, you must be sad", he said rather pointedly.

A five year old summed up my entire life in three sentences.

Needless to say, I wound the kite string up, threw the whole fucking mess on the porch and napped until it was time for a "Buffy The Vampire Slayer" rerun.

Kids are horrid and wonderful -- all at once!

Wednesday, July 23, 2003
Out of the loop

I don't get it. I linked to the Creation Fair page and immediately thought the whole thing was a parody. I think I thought that because I have had absolutely no exposure to religious talk. So the page immediately seemed silly to me. Do you mean to tell me that there are web sites that are close to that one, but they are SERIOUS?

Well, I guess there is the Pat Robertson site, discussed a few days back on our blog. Case closed.

Gosh, I feel so uninformed. It goes to show that good satire is lost on the uneducated or ill-informed.

Tuesday, July 22, 2003
Brilliant, Absolutely Brilliant!

My ego is bruised, but I am a better man for it. Today, at least three highly educated people had a long debate over whether the website, OBJECTIVE: Christian Ministries, discussed below re: Creation Science, was real or a parody. This has been a challenge over which I fretted for more than two hours of my highly valuable time (which went unbilled). I am now convinced that this site is a magnificent parody and a sister site of the website it is purpotedly campaigning against: Landover Baptist Church. The Landover site is an obvious parody, and appears to have been created as a precursor to the OBJECTIVE site. Even the Landover site is at times confusing and purports to espouse very convincing "beliefs." But it is obviously fake. Not so with its sister website. It is so convincing, that we have debated it here as though real.

Both of these sites are worth a visit for no other reason than to marvel at the time, effort, and expense that has been poured into these creative endeavors. (After it hit me that BOTH of these sites were parodies, the trip to each's online store became even more humorous -- Check this one out). If The Onion has not yet given the genius jokers who created these sites jobs yet, it should.

Here are the pages that convinced me the OBJECTIVE site is a parody (at first they were hard for me to find, but now it is obvious that everything is made-up):

On this page, detailing the Church's alleged progress against shutting down the Landover site, there are pictures down the right side (scroll down). Two show pictures of a purple and a rainbow colored toy bear, "Al the Anti-Lies Bear." The post of June 8, 2000 is undoubtedly a parody.

This page just can't be real. I won't believe it.

Scroll down to the bottom of any page. The purported "sponsors" link to what appear to be legitimate websites. But the "banner ads" themselves are humorous parodies.

After (finally) noticing these signs, I read everything else on the site with "open eyes" and I am simply amazed. This site tries very, very hard to be legitimate while injecting humor into virtually every corner of the site. I am still most amazed with the stunning parody that is the Creation Fair page. Brilliant, absolutely brilliant.

P.S. after a short Google search, I discovered that others have debated this topic, and apparently they have even fooled a Christian web-hosting service.

Finally, there appears to be a lot of serious debate about this site that presumes it is legitimate and not a parody. Also, see here, where the author details other suspicious aspects of the site.

OK, Now I'm Confused

That darn website has got me thinking. I don't surf to think! Darn you, Cursed Website. What am I thinking? I'm thinking -- HOW CAN THAT BE REAL?!? But its so very involved I can't believe its a parody. But then I think -- HOW CAN THAT BE REAL? Andrew Sullivan is similarly flummoxed, so I don't feel so dumb. But.... but.... is it real? Or funny? Comedy or not? Help!!!

Creationist Science Fair Winners and Honorable Mentions

Recently, Robert and I took a trip to Colorado with my family. During this trip, I did my best to behave myself. I did get in to one raucous argument, though. My cousin explained that she would be home-schooling her child so that she wouldn't learn "dangerous" things. When I asked for an example, my cousin offered, "Evolution."

OK. So I lost it a little. Just because I was so surprised. Afterwards, I was even willing to concede that I might have overreacted. That the proper reaction was polite nodding and staring, instead of the reaction I chose, which was shouting "What?!?! ARE YOU NUTS?!?!?" She explained that she wanted her child to know the Truth. I countered with, "But you heard all about evolution and you turned out okay!" I thought this kind of gave her the benefit of the doubt. She summed up her feelings on the subject by insisting that "We didn't come from monkeys," with a kind of peculiar emphasis on the "We." As if some people might have come from monkeys, but not her.

The thing is, people who say things like that terrify me. I explained this to my parents and sister later when confronted with my inability to let this topic go. Why do they terrify me? Because their inability to see beyond their Fundamentalism also causes them to hate my best friends. And subjugate women. And advocate racial separatism. My parents and sister blew me off, claiming that I was blowing things out of proportion.

TO THAT I NOW SAY THIS. Please, please, please click on this link and peruse the winning projects from this Creationist Science Fair. I may never recover.

Speaking of Web Postings. Has anyone heard of Tucker Max?

This was brought to my attention by a friend. I am delighted; not so much by the lawsuit (yawn), but by the awesome self-centeredness of the guy and the grammatical mishaps of the gal. I realize the story is a long one, but OH MY GOD!

Have any of you heard of this?

Monday, July 21, 2003
With Technology Comes Peril II: The Applicants Strike Back

In light of Robert's last posting, I thought it was time for a reminder that sometimes the interviewer, and not the hapless summer associate wannabe, gets tripped up by the all-powerful Internet.

I posted this back in the early days of The Academy, back when we thought we were allowed to talk about law stuff but just didn't feel like it.

I'm too scared to write about anything serious

Since I now fear that I have violated various canons of ethics by blawging in the past, I am going to stick to blogging for awhile. Ok, at least for today. Or until some really juicy debate pops up here on The Academy!

I recently discovered that men cling to things in a way that I thought only women did. I call it the bachelor security blanket. The bachelor security blanket can come in different forms. This is a tale about one such bachelor security blanket.

PREFACE: This is NOT a story about me. It couldn't possibly be about me because it involves a man and a woman living in sin. I wouldn't do that, you see, because my grandmother doesn't approve of it. So, this is a story about my friend and her fiance.

My friend (I'll call her Jane) and her fiance (I'll call him Dick) recently moved in together. After sleeping on Dick's futon for three weeks, Dick and Jane went out and bought a doozy of a king-size bed. Dick and Jane were absolutely de-lighted when the bed was delivered. For several hours Dick and Jane were so smitten with their new bed that they both forgot about the futon.

But then Jane realized that the futon was still in the bedroom taking up space. So, she said to Dick, "What should we do with that?"

"DO? What do you mean 'DO'?" said Dick, in a slightly raised voice. "I mean, we're obviously going to keep it."

Jane was a bit confused for a moment. You see, they already have: 1) one king-size bed; 2) two sleeper sofas; and 3) one armchair. What they don't have is lots of extra floor space in their New York apartment. They also don't have an attic or a basement in which to store a futon. So, she said, "Do you have any thoughts about WHERE we are going to keep it?"

Now it was Dick's turn to be confused. Which made him a bit angry. "I don't know," he admitted, "but we're keeping it somehow."

That was on Sunday, July 13. The futon remained on the floor of their bedroom unmolested and unmentioned until Saturday, July 19. Jane then commented, as casually as possible, "I'm not saying the futon needs to be removed, but I am wondering, Dick, if you have given any thought to where it may be stored." After the futon mention, Jane ran for cover (to Bed, Bath & Beyond).

When she returned home, the futon was out on the curb. Although she felt vaguely victorious, Jane was not at all smug and didn't even mention the futon to Dick.

The next morning, Dick was very disappointed to discover that no one had taken the futon. Dick and Jane live in the kind of neighborhood in New York where a nice piece of furniture will be grabbed pretty much the minute it is left behind. So it was somewhat unusual that the futon was still sitting on the curb 12 hours after being discarded. Dick was distressed. "Why doesn't anyone want my futon?" he wondered aloud.

A few hours later, Jane was on her way to do some errands when she noticed that a note had been taped to the futon. It read: "Please take this futon. It has a nearly new cover that is in really good shape. This is a great futon. I absolutely would not be getting rid of it except that I just don't have space for it."

Although Jane felt that Dick was sort of advertising their domestic strife to the neighborhood, she didn't say a word. She couldn't help thinking, though, that he may as well have written: "I really want to hold onto the last remnant of my bachelorhood. But, my fiancee won't let me. So, could some other, younger, single guy please please please take this really great futon?"

Dick was thrilled when he discovered that the futon was gone by evening. He was convinced that his note did the trick.

I wonder what items have served as bachelor security blankets for other men. Could The Academy shed some light on this issue?

Sunday, July 20, 2003
With Technology Comes Peril:

I sincerely hope these email fiascos become a summer tradition. Cheers to the rapid distribution power of email and the Internet and those who don't think before hitting "send." By the way, as a side note, there is a good reason why the vast majority of these scandals involve interns and not lawyers. A sure-fire way to avoid these types of things in the future: put all summer associates onto an electronic document production during their first week at the firm. As soon as they see the extent of what is saved for all eternity, they will all be scared to death to send any emails at all.

Here are the gems by way of Life, Law, Libido:

The Skadden summer associate email, (post here);
His subsequent apology email, (post here);
DC Intern's arrogant, post-breakup email, (post here);
Law firm interviewee's follow-up letter, (post here), below the picture.

This New Yorker article is also a don't miss.