Thursday night was Alma Mater Law School’s Public Interest Auction, the fun social event of the year of the Alma Mater school stuff. Junk food galore, and amusing auction items. And, of course, the people who dare to bid, sticking their paddles high up until they reach a magic number (“Sold, to the gentleman in the back…” – as if he really intended to buy the helicopter ride or the dinner with the dean for that much amount of money)…
Friday/Saturday – I attended a rather interesting symposium on constitutional law at the Law School by Lincoln Center. Affordable CLE credits. Way much stuff flying over my head, but I was able to follow enough to enjoy it. It felt a lot like an anthropological expedition, wherein I observe the interactions of constitutional law professors. The profs were clearly in their element, knowing each other a very long time, and commenting on each other’s work and worrying (or critiquing) the course of progressive/liberal/left politics / interpretation of law. And, they all kept referring to each other by their first names – “Randy” “Sandy” “Jim” and Moe and Curly and so on (“But, I disagree with Rick about his view on [insert some big terms of constitutional law here]” ; “Oh, and thanks, Jim, for setting up the program…” and oh, I love how these events have the best cookies and tons of coffee and tea – do universities always have that in their culture of event arranging?). And, the profs – they clearly love their work and you can feel it and almost envy it (well, I do, anyway). Rather amusing, I must say, once I caught on with the discussion.
One ponders: what happens with the Constitution in the post 9/11 world? J. Scalia – the man who inspires a few snickers; and that John Yoo, the attorney behind the White House’s torture memos – another source inspiring snickers. But, I got rather tired, due to the long week I’ve been having.
And, I don’t doubt that what the profs discussed and researched is important stuff, but I wonder – are professors sometimes too trapped in their ivory tower? If you only talked about the important stuff amongst yourselves (I’m sure they don’t, but…) — well, I just felt that the public ought to be in the know, but then again, the public probably doesn’t care about the gritty details of constitutional law (even though some members of the public go into their whole red v. blue state nonsense without really understanding why there’s a red v. blue nonsense; the law profs sadly do know) and our society’s not going to reach a resolution on problems and controversies anytime soon with an apathetic public.
But, I may be a geek for saying this, I find this stuff very interesting. I didn’t really like my con law prof back in law school, but the whole Supreme Court stuff and how federal government works (or doesn’t work) have always intruigued me. Anyway, the whole symposium gave a lot of food for thought.
Afterward, I visited the NY Public Library’s Performing Arts branch – interesting exhibits on vaudeville and Irving Berlin and music in Harlem.
Later, I went to Borders. I avoided buying stuff, but flipped through the latest Dr. Alex Delaware mystery book. I’m so behind the series, having more or less dropped it ever since the author, Jonathan Kellerman, put Dr. Delaware through yet another tribulation in the Delaware love life (something about blowing the doc’s house up and the live-in girlfriend/wife getting really sick and tired of the dangerous adventures getting way out of hand – I sympathized). It looked as if Delaware’s back in his element of yet more screwed up love (his own and that of others – the murder victims and villains) and weird cases.
Seriously, though, I have been rather skeptical of Delaware’s break with the love of his life (it didn’t help that there were times that both Delaware and Robin had their less-than-rounded-out character moments – all these years, and Delaware’s still a bit on the shallow side – the first book was when he seemed most like a person; his humanity’s central warmth has been rather missing since then – but, after you get beaten up by the bad guys enough times, can you blame him?; moreover, Milo, the gay LAPD cop/Alex’s best friend, is more of a person than Alex half the time). From what I can tell, half the fandom hated Robin for being whiney and the other half liked her, even if she got a tad annoying (ok, I’m in that camp – at least Robin made some sense to me – what woman wants her man in stupid danger, as Alex has been repeatedly? Heck, Milo’s domestic partner (a medical doctor, lucky Milo) probably hates it that Milo gets in danger – but he’s a cop, not a psychologist who digs into trouble, like Alex). And, then again, the plots got rather crazy, even for a psychological thriller series (again, when even Delaware’s little pet fish and the poor dog get endangered, you just wonder if it’s a bit much).
Anyway, I flipped through the pages of “Rage” and felt indifferent. If you want to read a good psychological thriller/mystery series by Kellerman, I’d say it’s best to read the first bunch of Delaware books; the later ones feel iffy to me. So, it may be still awhile yet before I pick up a Delaware book for proper reading. I’m behind on other reading as it is.
UCLA and LSU as half of the Final Four. Who picked them? And, boy was that UCLA v. Memphis game so low scoring. Well, I still have UConn and Villanova…