Saturday, February 24, 2007

Alaska's Flag, To Alaskans Dear

The Alaska Flag Song. Well, if you ever want to hear it sung, you know how to reach me. (Maybe I should record it and post it somewhere. Huh. This is the internet, after all.)

Death By Moot Court - It'll Never Be A Book By Agatha Christie, But There You Have It

(Maybe I should write murder mysteries featuring a fiesty law professor or something. Hmmmm.)

I am dead, by Moot Court. But it was worth it, yeah. Personalized coaching on oral advocacy skills for almost 2 months? Are you kidding? That alone makes it worth it.

We passed the preliminary rounds and made it into the top 1/3rd. (About 35 teams got cut right there.) I'm really happy we made it to the quarterfinals (that's the next rounds after prelim), and of course I wish we'd made it to the semis (only 9 teams -- oo!). That would have been cool.

So, I'm a mix of disappointed, naturally, with a good dollop of pride that we made it as far as we did.

And I'm very, very, very tired right now. Holy cow, I'm tired. And, being me, replaying every answer I gave during my last argument and wishing I could go back and do it all "perfect" this time. Of course, there's no such thing, either going back, or "perfect".

It's interesting, in a sense, oral argument reminds me of something a friend of mine and I were talking about in Japanese culture (we've both studied the language and been there -- me once, she several times for business), that is, the appreciation for the ephemeral event. Oral argument is like that, as are other forms of theater. Yes, I wrote "other forms of theater". It certainly is. Who and where, and all of your preparations come down to an interaction with an audience, the judge(s), at a single point in time. It's transitory, and the two arguments I had on Thursday, and the one on Friday for the q-finals, will never be repeated, even if we had the same people in that room all over again. The moment passes, and a new moment would be shaped instead.

In the end, you're left with a memory to appreciate, after fireworks have exploded in the sky, or an exquisitely displayed meal has been consumed, or an oral argument is complete, and you are changed as you make it, and as you experience it.

Art, baby. Art.

This artiste is tired. But pleased, overall.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Counting Deaths in Iraq

Les Roberts: Iraq's death toll is far worse than our leaders admit

If [U.S. and Britain] have triggered an episode more deadly than the Rwandan genocide, and have actively worked to mask this fact, how will they credibly be able to criticise Sudan or Zimbabwe or the next government that kills thousands of its own people?

For longer than the US has been a nation, Britain has pushed us at our worst of moments to do the right thing. That time has come again with regard to Iraq. It is wrong to be the junior partner in an endeavour rigged to deny the next death induced, and to have spokespeople effectively respond to that death with disinterest and denial.