Given that it costs $150,000, one might imagine the Harvard Law School diploma to be a touch more visually striking than it is. As a former Latin Club President (true story: the cornerstone of my campaign was running unopposed), I respect the choice to embrace the language, but I imagine that, to the uninitiated, “Vniversitas Harvardiana” conjures up notions of some distance learning program based in Indiana, but now accessible to you via this special television offer.
Yeah, Keats. How ’bout that?
Age has begun to stalk comfortably in the long shadows cast by the receeding light of my youth. I turned 30. The benefit of age, the old tell us, is wisdom, which, as I understand it, is the fruit of hindsight, itself the sense of wonder that arises from realizing the staggering number of accidents that have resulted in one’s survival. Becoming accustomed, then, to looking back over my shoulder, I cannot help but be confronted by my earlier metaphor, and realize that it doesn’t make any sense, as it both involves some very novel cosmological theories (namely that youth, a category traditionally thought to be comprised by age, is the center of a solar system where time is a predator), and a system of physics where light casts shadows, rather than – well – light. What is age hunting? Why is it comfortable? The vacant look we find in the aged doubtless arises from their interminable struggle with just such questions.
Upon first listening to The Mountain Goats’ We Shall All Be Healed I was struck by the almost complete lack of any mention of alcohol – the only reference is to a man who “worked in a liquor store.” The juice of the grape and the grain have figured prominently in Darnielle’s oeuvre, and its consumption was the favored activity of the benighted Alpha Couple, consumption so prodigious that their livers seemed unable to survive a single song, let alone the dozen albums through which they were forced to suffer. Why the mainstream media has not pounced on this development baffles me.
After the media furor over autoadmit.com (which, if I’m correct, was a blizzard consisting of a single snowflake, the Washington Post being the only respectable newspaper to report on the issue) I thought it best to find out whether I was among the tormentors or the tormented, so I did a quick search on the site. Turns out I fall into the latter category.
Having crested the thirty page mark on what was supposed to be a short paper on the professional/rookie dyad in Kurosawa’s film Stray Dog, I can definitively say that I lapped my thesis about 25 pages ago. Given her tendency to gush rather than descend, I’m fairly certain that my Muse maintains her golden ratio through bulimia.
I attended a home buying seminar last week at the law school targeted exclusively at “high income young professionals.” Though I’m fairly certain only two of those words apply to me, there were free sandwiches. Those presenting were peppered with questions, revealing, for the first time in my law school experience, the great socio-economic divide we’ve all been, up until this point, politely able to ignore. Half of the audience had questions about tax credits on investment properties and second homes, while the other half was surprised to learn that they had a credit score. Out of solidarity for those learning for the first time how much a condo costs in Manhattan, I took an extra sandwich. Seven lean years coming up, huh?
I’m finding it difficult to express my frustration, and, despite what Wittgenstein says, language is not at fault here. Rather, rage and exhaustion have left me, like a tearful Achilles, mute and restless, longing for the respite of sweet sleep. Though come to think of it, Achilles was actually longing for Patrocolus, whereas I’m merely longing to be done with my bar application. However, while I might not be able to claim the same epic deeds I’m fairly certain I can match the Iliad’s epic length; I’ve just listed my twenty-seventh address (they want every address I’ve had since I was 16). All legal institutions seem to play inverse games of chicken – rather than running towards each other you run away from each other and see who drops dead from exhaustion first.
As far as John McBrides go I seem to have reached the nadir, as my Google rank will bear testimony. I’ve slipped to the third page, falling behind my dreaded nemisis, the 1854 John McBride, who managed, in his short life, to be president of the Ohio Miners Amalgamated Association, head of Ohio’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, a newspaper editor, and a saloon owner. I wonder if we’re related.