January 11, 2002

useless lawlessness

The threat, ethics and responsibility of being googled continues in MetaTalk. I especially liked this one by frykitty:

Someone smart enough to use the web to investigate a potential employee should be smart enough to know that it’s a library stocked mostly by madmen. At least one would hope.

Augh. There’s just too much internet! I’ve been sitting here for almost three hours and have done nothing but read blogs, and most of them have been a very good use of my time. I really need to go about eating something right about now.

I got a parking ticket yesterday. I left my car at the meters in front of Stadium without paying, which is a common practice among residents during weekends and holidays as it is legal and we can get away with it. Apparently, even though it is holiday break it is not a holiday, which is defined by the campus being open. Apparently, even though one percent of the usual college population is here, parking is still so tight that the rules need to be enforced. Apparently it means nothing that I live here, and was merely parked in my driveway.

I love it when law extends beyond being logical and reasonable, and starts to exist only for its own sake. I got a ticket not because I was causing a problem, not because I was barring anyone else from a parking spot, but because I broke the rules. And if I wish to state that the rules are faulty, it is damned inconvenient:

If you wish to plead GUILTY: bring or mail the fine to the above address. The ticket even turns into an envelope (without postage, of course) to facilitate one’s guilt.

If you wish to plead NOT GUILTY: bring summons to Room 133, Courthouse, Duluth, at 8:15 a.m. Mon.-Fri. to enter your plea. This must be done within seven days. Failure to appear within seven days will be considered a plea of guilty and a waiver of rights to trial.

Hmm. For some odd reason, one of these options seems much more complicated than the other. 8:15, eh? That’s getting pretty specific, there. Enter a plea? I’m not too familiar with the judicial process (when we learned about it in 9th grade I spent the whole time drawing Omar the Flying Whale) but that sounds doing a whole lotta something for nothing. Maybe ‘entering a plea’ when you set a court date or something, which seems like a lot of hassle for a fargin’ $6 ticket. Nah, I’ll bet it’s just setting up a time for when you will set up a court date.

Sigh. I have a much better idea. There is no court, no plea entering, no 8:15 in the morning. Within the next seven days you login to the Duluth Courtroom Weblog, where over the necessary span of days you participate in a written public exchange/argument with the judge. You state your case, provide evidence, weave rhetoric and convince the judge of your innocence… all while writing at your computer.

Or at someone else’s computer, if you have to leave town tomorrow to go skiing in Colorado and cannot enter a plea within the next seven days down at the Courtroom.

If you’ll excuse me, I have a check to mail.