Blawg Review #51: The Jingle

Coming Monday, as promised, will be a bifurcated presentation of Blawg Review #51, presented here and at Declarations & Exclusions.  To drive traffic like crazy, I feel the necessity to advertise this Big Event.  And to that end, what could be better than a catchy advertising jingle? 

I have crafted just such a jingle for the occasion.  It is to be sung to the tune of "The Major-General's Song" from Gilbert & Sullivan's The Pirates of Penzance, better known in some circles as the melody to which Tom Lehrer crooned his then-complete listing of The Elements.

For those who'd care to sing along, just launch this handy MIDI version of Sir Arthur Sullivan's perky little tune.  All together now, step, point, step, point, . . . and a one, and a two --

    We'll host the very model of a legal weblog carnival,
    The finest compilation since the Battle of the Marne; of all
    The practice fields our cov'rage will be maximal, not minimal,
    From Civil Litigation to Transactional and Crinimal.
    You'll seek it here, you'll seek it there, just like that pesky Pimpernel;
    Will we produce a bang or will we crumple with a whimper?  Well,
    Just wait and see on April 3, we're puttin' on the dog for you:
    The Fifty-First edition of the mighty mighty Blawg Review!

 [Chorus of law clerks and comment spammers:]
        The Fifty-First edition of the mighty mighty Blawg Review!
        The Fifty-First edition of the mighty mighty Blawg Review!
        The Fifty-First collection of those mighty, slightly hoity-toity Blawgs!

    From lavish L.A. office suites to somewhere in Schenectady,
    From scads of legal thinkers on the Internet collected, we
    Will skim the choicest morsels for your pleasure and enlightenment:
    Just wait until you read it, you'll be breathless with excitenment!
    Each legal mind you'll truly find's unique in perspicacity,
    Expressing its opinions with abandon and audacity;
    You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll fall in love all over, every one of you --
    The Fifty-First edition of the mighty mighty Blawg Review!


Light refreshments will be served.  Arrive early for prime seating.  Offer void where prohibited.

A Conspiracy Carnival So Vast . . . .

Grab the Kids!  The Carnival is Coming to Town!

"What Carnival?" I hear you cry.  Why, none other than the premiere weekly carnival of legally-oriented weblogologists, the Blawg Review

I had been planning to host the Review sometime around Midsummer, when it was to be hoped that the demands of my profession might have eased up a bit.  My Midsummer's dream was not to be, however, as the mysterious "Ed.", editor of the Blawg Review, was successful in prevailing upon me to serve as a last minute substitute to host the Review fewer than two weeks from today. 

WHEREFOR I humbly request that you mark your calendars now!  Because, on April 3, 2006, Blawg Review #51 will be published at two -- yes, two! -- locations under the proprietorship of this foolish country lawyer: here, in the forest, and there, at the ostensibly more serious Declarations and Exclusions.  Some clever division between the two sites will be worked out, so that you will be required to read both posts at both weblogs in order to savor the full spectral panoply of wonders that is, or will be, Blawg Review #51.  The extra click-through will be a small price to pay, I assure you.

In the meantime, so that you may contain your excitement and so as to make the time pass more quickly, please sample the current offering of Blawg Review #49 at Jim Calloway's Law Practice Tips Blog, and the forthcoming 50th Edition to be hosted beginning March 27 by the dark goddess of replevin

[Query whether the goddess of replevin is acquainted with this Fool's #1 hit-generator, the  Goddess of Folly?  A mystery of eleusinian dimensions, to be sure.]

One Ringy-Dingy . . . , Two Ringy-Dingies . . .

The dearth of post-New Years post posting here has been driven not -- as some have suggested -- by nonchalance, but by two weeks of contrary and conflicting professional and personal demands taking higher priority than les plaisirs weblogiennes.   Of course, it could be worse: it could be raining, as it was in abundance this time last year.   While the rain it raineth every day far to our north, it has been dry, warm, clear and lovely roundabout Pasadena and environs ever since the nationally televised (and locally scandal-ridden) Rose Parade downpour of January 2.

No posting is to be expect over this weekend, either, as my time will be filled attending the premiere run of Long Beach Opera's thinned and winnowed production of Wagner's Ring cycle.  [This Fool is pleased to see that the post linked in the previous sentence remains as of this date the Number 2 result for the Google search "long beach opera ring", ranking just below Long Beach Opera's own site and just above (ho ho!) the Los Angeles Times' lengthy preview article of this past Sunday.]

I will return with reports on that, and whatever else I can fit in, in the coming week.

P.S., for the curious, the Long Beach Opera site has a selection of production photos and costume sketches for the Ring.  The photos presumably derive from last year's Pittsburgh versions of the first two operas; the sketches are for the new productions of Siegfried and Gottergammerung, which will have their premieres on Sunday.  The resemblances between Alberich and the Phantom of the Opera are, I trust, purely coincidental.

Fresh Greenery

I have grown weary at last of the previous design of this weblog and so have opted to apply one of the standard templates provided by the good citizens at TypePad.  Someday, perhaps, I will achieve my ambition of learning something really useful concerning HTML and CSS and LSMFT and such, and will generate a more resoundingly attractive page.  For the time being, I hope that this one will suit your fancy.

The link lists in the left column [formerly in the right column] have also been trifled with, with additions and deletions throughout.  Several of the additions are weblogs that I could have sworn I had already added long ago; I am chagrined at my inadvertent delay in bringing them on to the relevant lists.  Deletions include some sites that I have simply got out of the habit of reading, but most are weblogs that are no longer extant or active.

Twelve Angry More or Less Sanguine Men Persons of Various Genders

Well now, that was interesting.

I have spent this past week and a half serving as, of all things, a juror on an assault case -- there was a firearm involved, or so we concluded beyond a reasonable doubt -- in the downtown Los Angeles criminal courthouse.  (Guess who got to be foreperson....)  I have always appreciated jurors; now I can finally say that I have personally Felt Their Pain.  [I have been called to serve before, but we lawyers are usually among the first to be tossed out when our brethren and sistren start wielding their peremptory challenges.]  I am left without doubt on this point as well: those who actually serve, and actually do the hard work of jurying, deserve no end of praise and appreciation (this writer excepted, of course, since claiming praise for oneself is gauche at best).

I will be acting as Chief Seminar Wrangler for an all-day insurance-related event tomorrow, then return to the practice of law for my own clients and to the spreading of foolishness for you, O reader. 

Look At All My Trials and Tribulations, Sinking in a Gentle Pool of Whine

[Quick, citizens!  Identify That Lyrical Allusion!]

No posts here for three weeks, eh?  You may ask yourself: What is the Story with that Situation?

The Story is that these past several weeks have been about as professionally frantic as any I've seen in ten years or more.  Above all, I have been carried away in all the activities necessary to prepare for a trial -- involving Two Men and a Horse -- that is scheduled to begin tomorrow morning, while at the same time a battalion of others of my clients have problems and needs of their own requiring my attention.  The life of the law is not logical, but it is An Experience.

In any event, this weblog has not in fact begun a slow spiral to disappearance.  Silence will now resume, in the hope that it will be broken again by a rush of fresh material, perhaps as soon as the middle of next week (if I play my cards right at trial).

À bientôt!

Watch That Man

Sure is quiet around here this week.  Too quiet . . .

I have been out and about and in court and such for that past few days, and consequently inposticado.  One portion of the week was taken up by a trip to northern California [lovely Santa Rosa in lovelier Sonoma County, source of loveliest California wines including but not limited to frabjous pinot noirs -- none of which I had time to sample, more's the pity -- and also home to OGIC's favorite round-headed kid, but I digress . . .], via Southwest Airlines, flying from Burbank to Oakland.  In the course of trying, unsuccessfully, to check in to my northbound flight, first online and then through the kiosk at the airport, I made the troubling discovery that I -- yes, kind, gentle, unassuming and harmless I -- am now on one of the Transportation Safety Administration's Watch Lists.  *Sigh*  I blame Volkswagen.

The return flight from Oakland was delayed, but came with the bonus of a celebrity sighting: former L.A. Law faux lawyer -- since reduced to not one but two appearances as a contestant on Celebrity Mole -- Corbin Bernsen.  He had no entourage, apart from his cell phone, but had sufficient clout with the airline to be the first person on to and off of the plane.  Celebrity has its privileges.

So there you are: national security and gossip, in one neat package.  Full service, that's what you'll get here readers, full service.

Erasmus vs. the Balrog

Yet again, this weblog is experiencing a sudden influx of traffic from Google searchers questing after the elusive goddess of folly.  (Yes!  This is your Number One site responsive to that search, and we intend to maintain our supremacy!)  I have previously mentioned this phenomenon here and here, and the whole thing was started by a post exactly a-year-and-a-day-ago, which you can read here.   

A commenter to one of those earlier posts helpfully suggested that the most likely explanation for these concentrated bursts of interest in the Goddess would be hundreds of people working the same crossword simultaneously, using Google and the like to track down an answer.  Imagine their frustration in the past upon finding that the answer isn't here!

Until now.

Friends, as an attorney I am in a service profession.  I am here to help.  (And I am wracked with guilt over the many readers who daily come this way seeking the location of the nearest Spencer Gifts store, only to find that they have been misled by my jesting title for a piece I posted about an English painter.)  So, to set all right with my conscience as the New Year approaches, I will provide you with the answer you are seeking. 

The Name of the Goddess of Folly is:


Yes, Moria: the same as Tolkien's dark dwarvish mine where the wizard Gandalf so memorably meets his plot twist (and experiences significant personal growth) at the hands of a Balrog of Morgoth.

The answer is to be had in the third paragraph of Erasmus' The Praise of Folly, Chapter 1:

But let none of you expect from me that after the manner of rhetoricians I should go about to define what I am, much less use any division; for I hold it equally unlucky to circumscribe her whose deity is universal, or make the least division in that worship about which everything is so generally agreed. Or to what purpose, think you, should I describe myself when I am here present before you, and you behold me speaking? For I am, as you see, that true and only giver of wealth whom the Greeks call Moria, the Latins Stultitia, and our plain English Folly. Or what need was there to have said so much, as if my very looks were not sufficient to inform you who I am? Or as if any man, mistaking me for wisdom, could not at first sight convince himself by my face the true index of my mind? I am no counterfeit, nor do I carry one thing in my looks and another in my breast. No, I am in every respect so like myself that neither can they dissemble me who arrogate to themselves the appearance and title of wise men and walk like asses in scarlet hoods, though after all their hypocrisy Midas’ ears will discover their master. A most ungrateful generation of men that, when they are wholly given up to my party, are yet publicly ashamed of the name, as taking it for a reproach; for which cause, since in truth they are morotatoi, fools, and yet would appear to the world to be wise men and Thales, we’ll even call them morosophous, wise fools.

So there you have it.  Happy to be of service.  Feel free to read something else while you are here, seeker.

[Update 1049 PST:  What's that you say?  You only have space for three letters?  Then try "Ate," identified here as the Greek goddess of "Discord, Wickedness & Blind Folly."  More at Encyclopedia Mythica.]


Much as it did in the wake of the events of September 11, 2001, is offering a direct link to contribute toward the American Red Cross's Earthquake & Tsunami Relief efforts in southern Asia.  You know what to do if you can.

Update [12/29 0830 PST]:  When I first posted this link some 16 hours ago, Amazon had accumulated about $500,000 in contributions.  In the interim, that total has more than tripled, and now stands just shy of $1.6 million.  An impressive start.

Further Update [12/30 0947 PST]:  Checking in again this morning, I see that the contribution tally is fast approaching $5 million.   When Amazon provided a comparable link in September 2001, the final sum came in at around $6.8 million; given the vastly greater physical scale of the destruction in Asia, I hope and expect that we will see that earlier total eclipsed sometime before 2005 arrives on our shores.

Quintessence of Folly

Boschstone_3But Who's Counting?

Ladies and gentlemen!
Children of all ages!
Friends! If you will, hoist a
Toast with your host:

Foolishness! Forestry!
This double dactyl’s my
Five Hundredth Post!

Many many thanks to each and all of the few, the proud, the perhaps profoundly misguided readers of, commenters upon, and linkers to this weblog, and wishes to one and all for a Happy Thanksgiving and beyond.  Now, onward to Post #1000.  Excelsior!