Saturday, May 25, 2013

Memorial Day Weekend Doin' It SoCal Style

Prior to my recent LLM list, traffic for this blog was up roughly 6x over March's numbers. The LLM post got linked in a few places, and traffic on the day it posted was up 15x what this blog gets on a normal day. As we approach Memorial Day, I want to sincerely thank all my happy little scammers out there for helping spread awareness about this blog so that we can make fun of the stupid people who keep buying our bullshit together.

But not everyone loves this blog as much as my bulging, erection-inducing audience numbers would suggest. Cue Dr. Ronald Steiner, Chapman law professor and head of the school's LLM programs, who allegedly left the following commentary on the LLM list posting:

Do you have any interest in exhibiting some credibility, or are you just in this for cheap and easy laughs?
[D]rive-by cheap shots are fun and easy, but it's precisely that kind of thing that makes it similarly easy for people to blow off bloggers as Cheetos-eaters in mom's basement. Don't be that guy. If you've got something to say, say it in a way that demonstrates professional rigor.

At first, these words made me scratch my Valvoline-coated head. Is dis dude for real? I thought. Everything on this blog exhibits the utmost loftiest highest standards of professional rigor, credibility, and fine scholarship. This should be obvious to anyone who reads so much as a post, a line, a word.

Cheap and easy laughs? Far from it. These are complex, hard laughs, laughs that take professional educations and years of scholarly training. Stephen Hawking monotone voice box laughs. Sophisticated laughs restricted to those who make $80,000 a year or more. If you want "cheap," go to Above the Law. This is the site most favored for that special brand of humor cultivated by America's foremost legal intellectuals.

Mom's basement? No, sir! The LSTC has an office with a receptionist and a fish tank. No Cheetos allowed; they leave orange dust all over the white leather couch.

But perhaps, I thought, Dr. Steiner takes issue with the word choice and tone employed herein. So I decided to explore other methods and do a compare and contrast of two models.

Take, for example, this article and choice quote on UCLA establishing a Food Law Program:

The Resnick Program for Food Law and Policy, said to be the first program of its kind at a major law school, will explore ways to hasten improvements in food safety, distribution and access, according to UCLA.

Here's my interpretation of a "professionally rigorous and credible" answer:

I believe UCLA is intentionally misleading the low-level journalists who apparently take the school's word at face value. Harvard, unquestionably a "major law school," already runs a Food Law and Policy Clinic, which features a variety of projects that study and advocate for food policy changes. Drake has a Center for Agricultural Lawthat explores "how the legal system shapes our food system and influences the ability of the agricultural sector to produce, market and utilize agricultural products." Vermont has a Center for Agriculture and Food Systems that "develop[s] the next generation of sustainable food and agriculture law and policy leaders while providing legal and policy resources and solutions for citizens to build and support such systems."Arkansas has a major program in ag and food law with an LLMHoward has a World Food Law InstituteMichigan State has an Institute for Food Laws and Regulations.

Obviously, UCLA has access to Google and likely knows its own industry, so the question then becomes how they can justify claiming to be the "first program of its kind at a major law school." Is UCLA claiming to have some sub-niche focus that these other institutes, centers, and programs do not, or is the third-best law school in California finding technical comfort in using the word "major?"

And here's something more in the style of this blog's traditional voice:

Christ, this has to be like an unwritten challenge or something. Who can tell the biggest whopper to a bona fide news publication and have them believe it? It's like the Penis Game, only with amplified dishonesty couched in weaselly technicalities. Utah claims it'll have the first "green" building. UCLA ups the ante by claiming it'll have the first world-changing food law center. Dude, there's like 5-10 of these things already floating around. Somewhere on the eastern seaboard, there's a Legion of Doom-esqe meeting with deans wondering how they can slip "first law school to offer feminist studies" into the New York Times. Way to go, UCLA. Leader in the Clubhouse.

In my feeble mind, there are several advantages the latter has over the former. And if I have to explain them to you, I'd rather be selling you on attending Valparaiso or Florida A&M.

But then it hit me: perhaps Dr. Steiner was being ironic. Perhaps Dr. Steiner is satirizing the absurdity of a studious law prof's reaction to the Law School Truth Center's Voyage of Epicness. Such a witty, layered, complex reaction would be remarkably clever and certainly worthy of every golf clap my tiny hands can deliver.

That has to be it, right?

In other news, Friday is coming to a close on Memorial Day weekend, meaning most of us will enjoy a three-day weekend. Or, as some law professors call it, the dawn of a three-month vacation.

'Til Monday, if then, scam on, friends.

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