One of the courses offered to incoming graduate students contains a lecture about the topic of writing for law reviews. The premise, of course, is that at least some of the students plan to continue their career(s) in law as legal, as opposed to some other subject, academics and not as practitioners (who normally don't need or want to write for law reviews) or "illegal" academics (whatever illegal might mean in that phrase) who probably won't write for a law review for other reasons. As some of you may have been told, or otherwise learned, it's said that, in some parts of the western legal academic world, there's supposedly a publish or perish aspect and your future as an academic may depend on the number and location of your publications rather their quality.
That lecture wasn't exactly the most entertaining lecture I've attended in say, the last 30 secs - a period during which I've not attended any lectures at all - but it did remind me that there's usually very little intentional humour in the content of articles written for law reviews. There's often unintended humour, but that's another story for a different day. There are, however, some people who are not only published law professors but are capable of, and do, write law review articles which tickle funny bones while educating the reader: Pierre Schlag (a professor of law at the University of Colorado Law School is one. Many of his better pieces are available on SSRN. If you know what that acronym means mean, go there and get his articles. They're free (leaving aside the cost to you, if any, of the equipment you've used to obtain the articles and your part of the cost of the infrastructure required to maintain what SSRN is; and the cost to society and the Earth of that infrastructure, etc.). If you don't know the acronym, find out and then go ...
Then there's me.
I began to write a case comment on, by definition, the reasons for judgment in a case. The particular case doesn't matter. What does matter is that there are sufficient oddities in the case that I thought the case comment warranted a humorous introduction, of sorts. You need to understand that, with that sort of introduction, the piece would probably be unpublishable in any reputable journal, particularly those that still publish in hard copy or some other form of "bricks and mortar" medium. That may not matter, of course, if one's purpose is to publish on one's own blog or on some other form of social media location. That route almost certainly won't get you any merit points on the academic publication score card but, so long as there's nothing "bad" about the piece - other than it being not funny - then it's a chicken soup as a home remedy for the common cold situation. It may not help but it can't hurt.
Without more ado, what follows is what my attempt at humour produced. It is, for various reasons, in some way related to some aspects of the case comment I wrote. You'll have to take my word on that, or not. Some you might be able to form educated guesses as to what I might be writing about. You won't be entirely wrong.
Some of you will find the extended "introduction to set the scene", below, boring to incomprehensible.
If you think the introduction will be boring, skip down to the sentence "Now to the point".
If it's incomprehensible, maybe you're in the wrong place. Or you need to reduce your levels of recreational substances, especially if you're from BC. Or be more careful when riding in small cars and listening to DedZep, so as not bang your head so often against hard substances.
Introduction to set the scene
Imagine two Canadian archetypes, in an ice-fishing cabin somewhere in the GWN, huddled around a table whose top is the door of grandpa's one-holer (grandma's two-holer is still intact, though she isn't), wearing the the common Canadian attire of arguably blue jeans, questionably plaid shirt, once (probably white) t-shirts visible in the open collars of their shirts, parkas of some sort with hoods, and a toque. One of the toques is bedraggled and sports a pom-pom. The other is a Maple Leaf toque. One or the other may or may not be wearing, or having recently worn, ear muffs too.
The table sports a collection of beer bottles of various types, most of which, based on what's left of the labels, have names that can be pronounced as if spelled X or Blu. None are light. The archetypes might be, physically too, but it's difficult to tell because of the clothing. It's also impossible to be sure of the sex or gender of either, again because of the clothing.
Let's stipulate they are, in fact, in no particular order other than alphabetical: alive; boring; Canadian; common; drinking but not drunk; existential; fans of, depending on the moment and the distribution of liquid between the inside of the bottles and their blood streams: the Canucks, Oilers, Flames, Jets, Maple Leafs, Senators, and Canadiens; gendered - while they could be one or the other or more of whatever genders are currently available for Canadians to self-identify, in order to not offend the delicate sensibilities of some Canadian readers we won't identify the genders; hosers; human (in theory and practice and in order to not offend the sensibilities of non-human animal rights activists); intelligent (at least when compared to a plank as the proud possessors of IQ certificates measured in Planck units: they figure it's a spelling mistake so that 250 Planck units is a good thing); seemingly close-shaven or otherwise beardless (see gender); and talking to one another.
I could go on but I hope you have been able to build up an adequate mental picture.
In order to avoid any potential issue of impermissible Canadian human rights violation, let's name the two figures CS1 and CS2. The CS stands for "Canadian Symbol", not certified or certifiable something or other or anything else that CS could stand for, especially in the legal profession in Ontari-ari-ari-oh. Say an acronym for an 11 letter word that still can't to be used on non-cable TV.
After all, too many of the public already think that's what too many lawyers are. Why prove it for them?
[scene fades in]
CS1: "Take off eh, ya hoser. Just quotin' yu' know?"
*(Editorial note: said in a questioning tone to mean "what?" Unlike their Billy-Bob counterparts in the country to the south, hosers don't use the f* word as an all-purpose phoneme, but reserve it it for more important occasions - as in when somebody just dropped the last two-four into the ice fishing hole, which somehow was still open and not covered or iced over, thinking the box was empty, and everyone present only had one pair of long-johns, none of which were all that clean.)
CS1: Only in Canada, eh? Greatness, eh?
CS2: Yeah. Beauty, Eh?
CS1: I read here in the Supreme Court of Canada reports that we have something called common sense.
CS2: Eh? Wha?
CS1: Somebody took the good stuff from gramma's privy ...
*(Editorial note: CS1 is the more intelligent of the two, as you can tell from his reading material, that he occasionally doesn't drop the "g" in "ing", and, though it may not be obvious from this retelling, usually pronounces the second "t" in Toronto, at least while sober or not otherwise impaired.)
CS1: So while I was doing my business, you know, I had to take from this pile of paper that yesterday's visitors left behind.
CS2: Cold, eh?
CS1: Eh. Right. Beauty. Too cold.
CS2: Eh, Too?
*(Editorial note: CS2 considers himself a well-read scholar (for a Canadian hoser) and likes to pun, so attempts to pronounce "too" with a French accent, thinking that that's as close as he'll get to a Roman acccent circa 50 to 1 BCE, since France is closer to Rome than Ottawa, even than Come-by-Chance, Newfoundland.)
CS1: And it said there that there's 9 judges up in Oughtahwah? Oootahways? Ottawer? ...
CS2: Take off, eh?
CS1: Who decided that common sense remains the explanation of something called actual or factual causation in Canadian law.
CS2: What the eff? eh?
CS1: I dunno what the "f" means. I mean, wtf, eh?
CS2: Yeah, eh?
CS1: So, like I was in granmas' loo, you know.
CS2: Eh? Yeah.
CS1: And waiting, you know, and I had my new iPad with me, so I thought I'd FT my cousin (he's now in Oxford, you know).
CS2: Yeah. Took off, did he , eh? Walked away from a paying job to read stuff and sh*t? Beauty, eh?
CS1: He writes about this stuff, yu' know. Used to have a job, like. Paid well, too. eh? Paid for the 2-4s, anyway.
CS2: Yeah. Is he coming back? Eh?
CS1: Dunno, eh?
CS2: Pity, eh?
CS1: Yeah. (Raises beer bottle in toast like gesture)
CS2: %&$#! (does same; incomprehensible sound because he's trying to think and talk while drinking, so spills some of the beer)
CS1: Anyway, I asked the cuz to look up some words for me, eh? In the Canadian Oxford online dictionary. Greatness, eh?
CS2: Take off, eh?
CS1: Yeah: common and substantial.
CS2: Wha' Eh?
CS1: Because they were circled, see? Here, on this piece of paper. [Shows CS2 the somewhat discoloured piece of paper which CS1 fingers very carefully, just in case.] Here, beside these other pictures that look like faces giggling. Or gagging.
CS2: Beauty, eh?
CS2: What did he say?
CS1: I dunno.
CS2: Eh? Wha? Why not?
CS1: I dropped my iPad in the hole, before he answered, and I couldn't reach down far enough in to get it.
CS2: Eh? Gross.
CS2: Take off, eh?
CS2: Let's drink to him, even though he doesn't like beer. What a hoser. (Raises bottle)
CS1: Yeah. (Raises bottle)
CS1 & C2 (jointly, not severally): Take off, eh?
[scene fades out to the sound a fading high-pitched voice/whine which sounds remarkably like an off-key electronic ambulance alarm inside a strangling cat; CS1 seen to be visibly shuddering: he went to school at DSS back in the day and never gave a fig about Newtons]
Note to UK readers. To appreciate the intonation of "beauty" you should feel free to substitute, mentally, the received use of "brilliant" (as said by Hugh Grant in his Hugh Grant as Hugh Grant era - Four Weddings, Notting Hill, etc) for "beauty".
Anyway, my apologies to Rick Moranis and Doug McKenzie for that failed attempt at humour. "Second City" is devoutly missed. The Bob & Doug album not so much, but part of that, for me, is my admission that I never did get a rush from the background vocals, too. (However remarkable the musicianship is here or elsewhere- I'd have once given up a few years of my life for a smidgen of that talent - there's always the vocals. Opinions may differ, of course. It's a matter of taste and ear aches. For example, I'd concede that, in their own way, the vocals are almost as good as many of the male singers in the lower reaches of the upper register of the rock pantheon. And more than a few others.)