Monday, October 22, 2007

Did You Get Your Prius Yet?

The other day I told a friend I was thinking that my next car should be a Prius. His response, "Don't be silly, let someone else by a Prius." This person is not a law professor and probably has never heard the term "free riding." It was, though, a great example of free riding. That made me look around the parking lot at my School. Not a single Prius or other hybird car. I have written before about the fact that those with a sense of entitlement are most likely to be free riders.

One way it shows up is in the decanal glossy or law school porn, it is also called and the near uniform lack of law professor response to the waste. You know, that oversized postcard in the mail from another law school announcing that this year the Benjamin Robinson speaker will be Horst S. Butt from Harvard or Yale. Or the glossy announcing who is visiting that year. You can bet that I was just wondering about that. Or the big juicy glossy listing faculty publications right down to every op-ed piece, one-page introduction, tape-recorded commentary and speech to the Elks Club that every law faculty member insisted was scholarship and worthy of publicity and that every dean could not have been happier to add to list. Most of these come off a negative advertising both for the schools and for many of the faculty -- and I do not mean just those with very short lists.

Each day it comes and, like other matter, is shoveled from the mailbox to the trashcan. Yet, no matter how much you throw away, it comes again. It’s like the scene in Sleeper when Woody Allen is still pretending to be a robot and does something in the kitchen – I’ve forgotten what -- and it keeps expanding and expanding – and he is left to try to beat it to death with a broom. I do not recall if of prevails because at about this point in the film he discovers the orgasmatron.

Where does this stuff come from? No, I know who mails it: Panic-stricken law school administrators afraid their schools will drop a slot in USN&WR and the faculty, students for alums will be up in arms. I mean the paper, the ink, the labor, the money to pay the salaries of those assigned to prepare and mail it. Also,where does it all end up once it is carried away, largely unread, by the trash person? Most importantly, were is the outcry from potential Prius buyers who are oh so sensitive to the environment. Why aren't they demanding that law schools do something more useful like, for example, digging holes in the sand and then filling them back up and then using the money to put back together some 19 year old that Bush and Cheney sent off to be blasted apart.

I know why. The porn is about them. Stopping it is not.

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