Meta-Sigh

May 3, 2011

Sometimes I stand back and consider the irony and anguish that practically drips from some human interactions, the way that simple, seemingly quotidian exchanges are suffused, for anyone with even a bit of background knowledge, with hypocrisy, deceit, and a general surplus of evidence of the fallibility of human beings. (Is it evident that I had one of those incredibly galling interactions yesterday with opposing counsel? The sort where the other lawyer is saying something seemingly sensible but everyone in the room knows that this lawyer is fundamentally duplicitous, not just professionally but personally, and where what I want to say is, “You make me so sick that I wonder if I can bear to be in the same building as you five days a week,” but instead I say, mildly, “well, you have your opinion, but I have a duty to advocate for my client,” and walk away with no more solace that a shared rolling of eyes with the court marshal who has overheard the exchange? I did have such an interaction.)

If the world were the internet (which it sort of is), these exchanges would exist not as excruciating minutes of blandishments draped over daggers followed by hours of smoldering anger that people so unjust should be given power not just over my mood but over the lives and liberty of other human beings, but as single, pithy blog posts. Each post would contain only a well-lit picture of the interaction involved and a snippet of transcribed dialogue, followed by some brief bit of editorializing by me. Yesterday’s post would have shown me and my interlocutor, chatting in the courtroom during a recess. The dialogue would look like this:

ME: “You’re going to try to get a restitution order for an eight-year-old?”
HER: “You’re lucky I don’t ask for [pre-trial] detention.”

Under that, I would append only the word, “Sigh,” but it would contain a hyperlink, but because this is a weird world-as-internet imagining where sometimes links don’t go to pages but to concepts we all understand, the link would connect the reader immediately to the combined concept of the tangled web we weave, what a piece of work human beings are, the fact the misdeeds are so often rewarded, and the bittersweet feeling I get when I watch the first hour of Say Anything.

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