Today marks the 514th anniversary of the notorious Bonfire of the Vanities, when the followers of Dominican Friar Giralamo Savonarola burned a bunch of extraneous stuff in Florence, like books and art. Oh, and cosmetics, lewd pictures, mirrors, nude sculptures, and a few people. Savonarola was one severe dude, who railed against excesses and told “lustful people to put on a hair shirt and do penance, because you need it.”
It’s time to revive the wearing of hair shirts and the burning of vain things with which we disagree. For this we’ve retained Vicki Verderci, a senior Vanity Consultant with Sparxlux Legal Clothing Boutique in New York. With Chank and Vicki, we bring you Blawg Review 297, the Hair Shirt Edition, complete with hair shirt merchandising and livetweeting of our bonfires. In other words, we compare what’s really burning with what actually should be burned. And we give out hair shirts to deserving blawgers.
Chank: What do you have for us, Vicki? How’s the bonfire?
Vicki: It’s warm. Egypt’s burning. It’s been burning since late January, maybe since before then. But hobbying lawyers have been occupied with livetweeting LegalTech New York (#LTNY), and real lawyers like Brian Tannebaum have been busy posting about posts about how LTNY wasn’t all about livetweeting this year.
Chank: Throw livetweeting on to the bonfire. That and the nude sculpture of Kevin O’Keefe. But any actual, meaningful stuff this week?
Vicki: Ha. You’re funny, Chank. It’s all meaningful, isn’t it? That’s what my lifecoach says. Actually, in case you missed it, Facebooking youngsters in Egypt have staged a paradigm-shift of their government. For folks with their faces in iPads since LTNY, Vamsi’s bLAWg has mini-outlined the topic in a length that meets most of our readers’ attention spans.
Chank: Yeah, I saw that. Actually, I just read the title. It sounded good. I’ll bookmark it for later reading.
Vicki: You suck. You and U.S. youth. They wouldn’t take to the streets for anything except a newly released Apple product. And the U.S. government has semi-erected its typically sheepish, borderline-hypocritical, standoffish half-stand on issues it doesn’t fully understand. [Cue Glenn Beck, with commentary from Ann Althouse].
Chank: You’re monologuing.
Vicki: Fine. If you want a comparatively saner example, see Daniel Drezner’s call to Stop blaming Egypt on political scientists!! An American who makes sense. I think he’s American.
Chank: I dunno. Canada seems to be pretty confused, too. Look at the commentary by Dr. Dawg of Dawg’s Blawg and at Slaw’s Egyptian-law roundup rendition of Like an Egyptian. I also kinda liked Simon Fodden’s Ware the Poor Lawyer, which lays out what it would take for lawyers to revolt. Where’s American youth when you need them?
Vicki: America’s youth? They quit blogging when Twitter was invented. This week, the Twits rolled their eyes and commented on commentary on the Egyptians’ lack of Interwebz — followed by a mass-retweetment of shocked :-o faces at U.S. journalists’ having their toys broken.
Chank: I’m not sure what you just said. Did you say “Interwebz?”
Vicki: Forget it. You asked about youth. How about opinionated guys like Timothy Egan at the New York Times, who called for a Bonfire of American Vanities, or The Volokh Conspiracy, who pointed out a couple of flaws in the Gray Lady’s reprinting of Bay Citizen on the hard-left’s “Jewish Voice for Peace.”
Chank: Those aren’t youngsters. They’re curmudgeons. And a newspaper.
Vicki: Fine. Law student Huma Rashid explained why she’s more than a little bit pissed at Kenneth Cole’s slip-of-the-tongue-in-cheek attempt at Twittish Humor. Turns out Kenneth Cole thought it would be keen to suggest the unrest in Eqypt was related to demand for high-priced shoes. Though that brought a retort from Brian Tannebaum, who offered his comprehensive analysis of the Kenneth Cole Twitter disaster.
Chank: Fax Tannebaum a hair shirt. And let’s throw some Kenneth Cole shoes on the bonfire. I’ll start with mine.
Vicki: You wear Rockports.
Chank: Whatever. Is there any other crap to fight about in the blawgoverse, other than Egypt?
Vicki: Like lawyers fighting about fighting?
Vicki: Well, remember Mike Cernovich’s post at Crime and Federalism, about starting a fight? Mirriam Seddiq, one of few women in the blawgoshere not above being called misogynistic, followed up by illustrating how she fights with herself on a Muslim quest to achieve Greater Jihad. Or something like that.
Chank: A hair shirt is a good way to fight with yourself. We’ll fax one over to her too. And let’s tell her to read our collaborative aggression post. More lawyers need to read that. And embrace aggression. I’m going to challenge Mirriam to a fight.
Vicki: She’d kick your ass. So would the Military Underdog, who reminds us that sometimes the greatest gift is a kick in the pants. And What About Paris?, who calls for a resurrection of bullying in America.
Chank: I don’t like bullies. Throw them on the bonfire. We need more blawgers who say something meaningful because they’re unhinged. Like that Namby Pamby guy, he just did a post about opposing counsel’s “Motion to Be A Dick or, in the Alternative, Motion to be an Inflamed Hemorrhoid.” Inspired stuff. Anybody else blawging anymore? My RSS reader is naked lately.
Vicki: Scott Greenfield still blawgs. You can see his mad copying and pasting skills over at Simple Justice, where he questions the ABA Journal’s pressing question: Do You ♥ Law? Greenfield’s post spurred a snow-flurry of commentary and prompted an impressively lengthy psalm by The Trial Warrior.
Chank: Anyone else? Just Greenfield and that Canadian guy? I mean, they’re both unhinged, but aren’t there others?
Vicki: Jeff Gamso of Gamso For the Defense addresses why Arizona’s proposed SB 1433 can’t pass constitutional muster. Mark Bennett at Defending People continues his quest to bust the balloon of the Texas Bar’s 2011 Referendum.
Chank: Jesus. Blawgs about laws and rules of professional conduct? I prefer the high brow stuff, like Lowering the Bar’s post on Sarah Palin’s failed attempt to trademark her name. Palin’s being compared to Little Debbie. Do we have any Little Debbie’s around here? I’m hungry. We need some posts about food.
Vicki: Yeah, and some posts about dumbass law marketing tips.
Chank: Hey, those too. Did you know that a few “key lessons” gleaned from the television show The Apprentice will help keep your job? Honest. Or that it is an actual crime to forget things about your law firm? Also, the blawgosphere is now so enriched it has at least three recent posts about the essential equipment for the traveling attorney. It includes things like a pen and paper.
Vicki: I’m not going to read those. I refuse even to click on the links. I won’t contribute to their analytics.
Chank: Fine, throw them on the bonfire.
Vicki: With pleasure.
Chank: Got anything about sports? I like sports.
Vicki: Kevin O’Keefe, liberally borrowing from Wikipedia, set the record straight about the Super Bowl.
Chank: That’s disturbing.
Vicki: Hey, you asked.
Chank: My bad. We should pivot. Maybe focus on folks focusing on buzzwords? Are those still relevant?
Vicki: A Toronto Estate Law blawg dedicated an entire post to the word “awesome.”
Chank: Awesome. Hey, by the way, I got Amy and you Valentine’s Day cards. And some chocolate paperweights.
Vicki: Talk to my attorney, then. I’m going to sue your ass. Daniel Schwartz just warned employers to watch out for the Valentine’s Day card. Turns out you shouldn’t say to your secretary that you are lonely in your hotel room.
Chank: That’s illegal now, too?
Vicki: It is if you also look “ostentatiously” at your hand.
Chank: I do that every day. Even with a hair shirt on.
Vicki: You’re giving Blawg Review a bad name. Move on.
Chank: Fine. Here’s a great idea: set a cover charge for clients. DLA Piper is doing that, or at least that’s how Law Shucks sees it. Bruce Carton on Legal Blog Watch picked it up too. I’m going to implement a cover charge, or maybe a minimum drink requirement with my office bar.
Vicki: I don’t think you’re supposed to flawg your own posts during Blawg Review. Don’t make me throw you into the fire.
Chank: Whatever. They should have known better than to ask us to do this. Anything else we need to review here? I’m late for a business conference at the IHOP.
Vicki: I’m kinda digging this Brit blawg’s post about the conceits of the “Johnny Come Latelies” in legal education, and Vickie Pynchon’s “This week in assholes, la quatrième partie, with the usual random digressions.”
Chank: Is that French? I only speak Yiddish. Can we wrap this up? I seem to have misplaced my car keys again, as I forgot to take my meds, and I’m getting a little shaky about being late for this all-you-can-tweet pancaking breakfast.
Vicki: Be careful mixing your Alzheimer’s drug with that Parkinson’s pill. Some Canadian kid at Law Is Cool rounded up three or more resources suggesting the Parkinson’s pill may have turned a Baby Boomer into a Gay Gambler.
Chank: I’m going to try to forget you said that.
Vicki: Just don’t forget to pay me for the hair shirts.
Chank: The check’s on the fax right now.