Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Incurable by instruction

Practice Court is like the first year of law school on speed. There's the same manic excitement about learning new, different, grown-up feeling things. But part of the first year's excitement is learning to think and converse in a new language, one where words like "summary" and "constructive" have meanings alien to their common usage. By the time you reach PC, however, you're approaching fluency in the language, and you're now learning the literature. If 1L is an ESL class, then PC is a graduate seminar on the Victorian Novel.

But for me, at least, there's the same annoying tendency in PC as in the first year of law school to think about nothing but the law all the time, even when I'm trying to avoid it. Exhibit 1, perhaps, is the hearsay-in-Hemingway post from two weeks ago. Today, I was listening to Bob Dylan's Ballad of a Thin Man off Highway 61 Revisited, and I heard this lyric in a different way:

"Something is happening here, and you don't know what it is, do you, Mr. Jones?"

The thought I had was that this is a question objectionable if asked by either party--either as leading on Direct or multifarious if on Cross. And that's just sick.