Tuesday, September 01, 2009

The write of reply

D. The solitary pen mark, black and permanently fixed in the top right hand corner of my assignment. Not the start to law school I'd imagined.

The question was apparently straightforward.

Steve was seen stealing a bicycle. The Police seek your advice on whether or not they can use the following section of the (make believe) Crimes Act to charge him:
Theft of a vehicle. It is an offence to steal a car, boat, train, motorbike, yacht or any other vehicle.
Pretty simple huh? My answer went something like this:
Duh! Of course. Yes they can. Any idiot can see that. C'mon, I hope the next assignment will be more challenging. Love from Sacha.

It turned out that we were supposed to bone on for pages and pages espousing all the possible ways of interpreting this piece of pretend legislation. Parliament's intention was to be inferred, mention of 'on the one hand' was compulsory and polysyllabic words evaluating the strengths of one interpretation weighted against another would guarantee a better grade than 'D'. As I had always been prone to do, I'd gone directly past discussion and straight to judgement.

That's why I think everyone should have to do some basic legal training. It teaches you to think. You learn how to evaluate opposing views and consider all the angles of an issue. And you learn pretty quickly how to firmly express an alternative view to the prevailing wisdom. Which is where the 'comments' part of this blog comes in. If you disagree with anything I write, you have the right of reply. Except if you're a technophobe and haven't worked out how to post a comment yet.

Every week I get emails asking for clarifications, disputing points of fact and begging for inclusion. All of these correspondents could comment anytime they wish but in the interests of balanced blogging here's a summary of their feedback:

1. J, from Auckland, who sounds suspiciously like my mother, thinks 'Song to Live by' is misleading. 'You make it seem like all you ever had were failed relationships.' Well, yes, that's because all I ever had were failed relationships. The fact I'm no longer in them is testament to their failure. 'But so many good decent men were always after you Sach.' Well, yes, but when were good and decent men attractive to bad and indecent women like me? Besides which, it's redundant to discuss my dating history. I've been going out with C for 10 years now although lately it's been more staying in.

2. J, from Auckland, who is my father has written almost daily asking for inclusion. 'Some people won't know you even have a father.' Well, yes, they will. Everyone has a dad. While I was at Hotel St. G. Dad was battling his own life-threatening illness and ended up being rushed to Auckland Hospital. His condition is associated with childhood; very rare in adults. His Peter Pan-esque approach to life is inspiring and I promise to share more stories from our many adventures together.

3. A,B,C,D are all former flatmates requesting that I out the 'Everybody Hurts' girl so suspicion can be removed from them. One wrote:
"I read your blog with the girls in my office and we all get a good laugh and even our boss has offered to do our breast exams for us and we had to tell him that jokes like that aren't funny anymore but then we remembered that you want us to laugh so we let him say it and I think one of the girls actually let him do it but I didn't because he already had at last year's Christmas party and he's not my type because he's short. Anyway, I had told hem how we used to flat together and now they all think it was me that played REM all the time but it wasn't because I wasn't even going out with anyone then, let alone breaking up with anyone then, so if you could please just write on your blog that it wasn't me they might stop singing it all the time and telling people who ring up for me that I am just off in the loo having a cry."

4. M, an old friend from my days in Dunedin is scared that his filthy comments will be removed my me. He is right to be afraid. This is a (largely) family show.

5. G,B et al have sent various reports scavenged from dubious sources disputing the links between smoking, obesity and cancer and other illnesses. I sent them back some UFO pictures, and a photo of me and Elvis taken last year.

1 comment:

Kyla said...

I never knew you got a 'D'!