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May 31, 2006 10:52 AM   Subscribe

Fuck law.
posted by dios (66 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

 
Excellent!!!!
posted by Floydd at 10:54 AM on May 31, 2006 [1 favorite]


This should be good.
posted by wheelieman at 10:55 AM on May 31, 2006


Oh boy.
posted by dead_ at 10:56 AM on May 31, 2006


Sorry, I didn't read before i snarked. Interesting post.
posted by wheelieman at 10:56 AM on May 31, 2006


Do you and monju troll the SSRN all day or what? Good stuff.
posted by schoolgirl report at 10:57 AM on May 31, 2006


Fuck it hard!

[this is awesome]
posted by Zozo at 10:58 AM on May 31, 2006


It's actually a very accessible paper, though there are more footnotes than actual text. Though that seems to be part of the somewhat-serious-but-maybe-not tone of the paper.

This I enjoyed more than previous law posts.
posted by GuyZero at 10:59 AM on May 31, 2006


Several of my colleagues counseled me that I would never be able to get this piece published unless I altered the title. Whether it reflects courage or folly on the part of the editorial board of this law review, I am grateful for their support in my decision to use the word still viewed through the lens of taboo by so many others. I am well aware that I risk offending some readers. I view this as my duty.

Fuckin' a.
posted by three blind mice at 10:59 AM on May 31, 2006


Fluck & Law
posted by i_cola at 11:00 AM on May 31, 2006


One imagines he has tenure.
posted by Arthur "Two Sheds" Jackson at 11:01 AM on May 31, 2006


this is fucking rad.
posted by shmegegge at 11:02 AM on May 31, 2006


my buddy at columbia law will love this.
posted by Doorstop at 11:07 AM on May 31, 2006


To fully understand the legal power of fuck, the nonlegal sources of its power are tapped.

Now, really, shouldn't 'fuck' in this context have quotes? Looks kinda engrish without them.
posted by sonofsamiam at 11:10 AM on May 31, 2006


So, is it obscene or indecent?
posted by Mean Mr. Bucket at 11:13 AM on May 31, 2006


Hmm... reminds me of Randall Kennedy's Nigger.
posted by anotherpanacea at 11:13 AM on May 31, 2006


Can we please dispense with the over-complex legalspeak? Us non-lawyers need a bit of background information to understand these huge words.
posted by brownpau at 11:18 AM on May 31, 2006


Won't load for me, anyone know if the paper is available elsewhere? (Googling 'fuck law' is proving to be a futile excercise.)
posted by jack_mo at 11:23 AM on May 31, 2006


To fully understand the legal power of fuck, the nonlegal sources of its power are tapped.

Now, really, shouldn't 'fuck' in this context have quotes?


No, I think they are clearly talking about the sources of fuck power. This is even better than veggie fuel.
posted by dreamsign at 11:25 AM on May 31, 2006


Sweet Thundering Jesus! Are that many footnotes (2/3rds to 3/4 of each fucking page) normal in legal-law academic publications? You're not going to get a paper published in JACS or ES&T that way, I'll tell you what.

Seriously, good post.
posted by bonehead at 11:32 AM on May 31, 2006


Best of the web. Seriously.
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:37 AM on May 31, 2006


First, he used Wikipedia as a source, several times. Seventh grade reports? Sure. Scholarly articles? No, thanks.

Second, it seems part of his motivation comes from an affront to his right as a teacher in Academia to say and do whatever he wants, without regard to his students. This, of course, is a long and storied tale of conflict that has been going on for decades. That said, he was upset that a student negatively reacted when he read out a litany of swear words from a case file, instead of asking a student to do it. This was his attempt at consideration, when he knowingly assigned the case file to start with, purposefully choosing a case with the aforementioned material. In all of that, I see some ego bruising. Hence, the birth of this article to justify his desire to use said material when ever he pleases.

The article itself is not written poorly, though there was a feeling of immaturity throughout as the author seems to actively attempt to throw in "fuck" every second or third sentence, if not more often. I saw it as an academic equivalent of waving a big middle finger at any who would take offense at the article's topic. As he confesses, he waited til AFTER he had tenure to write this paper. I feel its somewhat hypocritical, writing a paper castigating the censorship and taboo related effect of the word, but knowingly not using it in such a bravado manner until he secured a safe perch to do so from. Its like yelling at bullies from a speeding car on your way out of town for good.

People can swear as much as they want, but those who hear it are equally entitled to make whatever judgement calls they want upon the speaker. Just don't get mad when you say something that provokes a negative reaction. Hell, thats just how the world works.
posted by Atreides at 11:37 AM on May 31, 2006


First, he used Wikipedia as a source, several times.

Every time I see a cite to Wikipedia, I have to fight the urge to go in and edit it to not exist.
posted by smackfu at 11:40 AM on May 31, 2006 [1 favorite]


Oh, way to take all the fucking fun out of it, man.
posted by Zozo at 11:40 AM on May 31, 2006


"...During the last Egyptian dynasties, legal documents were sealed with the phrase, “As for him who shall disregard it, may he be fucked by a donkey.” The hieroglyphic for the phrase—two large erect penises—makes the message clear..."

This must be a joke but its got a footnote.
posted by 517 at 11:43 AM on May 31, 2006


Atreides, I had some of the same thoughts upon reading it. Namely, his use of 'fuck' so frequently. Fuck, I love the word. But I also felt he didn't need to in this type of paper.
posted by NationalKato at 11:44 AM on May 31, 2006


In South Carolina the words "fuck you" are not fighting words (words that by their very utterance inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace, and which are therefore one of the classes of speech that are not afforded the protection of the First Amendment), but talking about someone's mother is.
posted by ND¢ at 11:45 AM on May 31, 2006


The tags are somehow hilarious.

I'm not sure what other options there were, but I laffed anyway.
posted by sonofsamiam at 11:45 AM on May 31, 2006


Yeah, I have to second sonofsamiam. It would seem more, um, scholarly, if he stuck to the use/mention convention. This is pretty weak overall, and should bow at the feet at Harry G. Frankfurt's On Bullshit.
posted by elwoodwiles at 11:46 AM on May 31, 2006


The pairing of the words "fuck jurisprudence" in this manner makes my little heart sing.
posted by msali at 11:47 AM on May 31, 2006


Heh, mine too. Great link dios.
posted by digaman at 11:53 AM on May 31, 2006


Won't load for me

Nor me. All of those pdf's are 0 bytes long, apparently.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:54 AM on May 31, 2006


Isn't "Fuck Law" George W Bush's motto?
posted by newfers at 12:06 PM on May 31, 2006


One imagines he has tenure.

See footnote 16.

Great post dios!
posted by quin at 12:12 PM on May 31, 2006


First, he used Wikipedia as a source, several times. Seventh grade reports? Sure. Scholarly articles? No, thanks.

Wikipedia's been cited in an increasing number of academic publications, particularly in law. The Harvard Journal of Law and Technology even came up with a specific style just for Wikipedia citations. Though it remains subject to debate, Wikipedia was also cited in Bryant v. Oakpointe Villa Nursing Ctr., before the Michigan Supreme Court, and Bourgeois v. Peters (PDF), before the 11th Circuit. "During a 14 month period (Jan. 03 - Mar. 04), according to the research, 113 Wikipedia articles were referred to by various news outlets." [1], and according to Nature, "Jimmy Wales' Wikipedia comes close to Britannica in terms of the accuracy of its science entries." But in the end, it was Jimmy Wales himself that really nailed it in an interview with BusinessWeek:
No, I don't think people should cite it, and I don't think people should cite Britannica, either -- the error rate there isn't very good. People shouldn't be citing encyclopedias in the first place.
It seems to me that Wikipedia's about as reliable as any other encyclopedia out there--which is to say, not very.
posted by jefgodesky at 12:15 PM on May 31, 2006


Won't load for me

Unless I'm logged in. Good post.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:17 PM on May 31, 2006


(Googling 'fuck law' is proving to be a futile excercise.) jack_mo

Heh.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:18 PM on May 31, 2006


So, is it obscene or indecent?

Neither, false dicotomy !

Thai speakers in an English environment do not use certain Thai words because they sound like taboo English words, such as the Thai words fâg (sheath), fág (to
hatch), and phríg (chili pepper).


Boy oh boy, mefites are such fâgs !

Because primitive man found that the force of passion could so disorder life, he hedged it with prohibitions

Nah rather repressive tought, not primitive tought.

The second contribution of the psycholinguists is that fuck is taboo because of our buried, subconscious feelings about sex.

Freudian-Victorian tought : if sex was naturally perceived (subconsciously) as bad, we most probably would be extinct.
Those who give in to the pressure of taboo not only serve to reinforce it, but also empower the self-appointed guardians of speech to restrict fuck’s use by others.119 I’m not talking about real “speech police” (the FCC), but ordinary citizens or private businesses that want to impose their version of what is appropriate speech on others. The complaining passengers, flight attendants, and Southwest officials who combined to eject the woman wearing the “Meet the Fuckers” t-shirt from her flight, all create a classic example of moralists overstepping their bounds.120 Almost daily, I encounter invisible others trying to control my use of language through email.
Now we're talking : it's the repressive habit, the expected sometimes demanded conformance, combined with natural human propesion of belonging, being accepted in a group. Similarly, a particular business suit isn't but an uniform, less standardized but nonetheless the problem isn't in the suit, but in the consequences of NOT wearing (or wearing) abovesaid suit ; such consequences are sometime irrational so that an otherwise talented person is rejected because of his insignificant difference.
posted by elpapacito at 12:22 PM on May 31, 2006


This is good.
posted by slimepuppy at 12:45 PM on May 31, 2006


The word "fuck" is probably the most versatile word in the english language, with a close second for "shit". There have already been a half dozen or so examples here. More...

This is fucking great!
What the fuck?
Fuck you!
How the fuck are you?
Fuck me!!!
I fucked it up.
He's a fucking genius!
Where the fuck are we?
Unfuckinglievable!!!
Fuck that shit!
Who gives a fuck?
Let's get the fuck out of here!
Fuck off...etc, etc.

Words are symbols...encoded in sound waves or visually, such as the text you are reading now...and represent ideas and feelings. How can an idea or feeling be unlawful?
posted by sluglicker at 12:51 PM on May 31, 2006


A good read - I must admit when I first saw the post, I thought perhaps dios had finally had enough, quit his job, sold the house, the car and clothes, and moved to Humbolt County to open a granola store and commune with the trees.

It's funny to think about, anyway.
posted by jalexei at 1:03 PM on May 31, 2006


The guy is looking for his fifteen minutes of fame.

I wish we hadn't given it to him.
posted by five fresh fish at 1:18 PM on May 31, 2006


Fuck Law.
posted by ericb at 1:30 PM on May 31, 2006


Atreides : "As he confesses, he waited til AFTER he had tenure to write this paper. I feel its somewhat hypocritical, writing a paper castigating the censorship and taboo related effect of the word, but knowingly not using it in such a bravado manner until he secured a safe perch to do so from. Its like yelling at bullies from a speeding car on your way out of town for good."

Anyone can do something controversial and get smacked down. The trick is doing something controversial and not getting smacked down.

Setting aside the merits of this particular case, if his goal was to be a martyr, or to show by his own case the effects of censorship, then his way of going about it failed. However, since there are plenty of examples of the word "fuck" resulting in censorship, I doubt his goal was to provide a new example, and I suspect his goal was getting this paper published, not getting it not-published. As such, I'd say he went about it just the right way.
posted by Bugbread at 1:43 PM on May 31, 2006


"I am well aware that I risk offending some readers. I view this as my duty."
guys alright in my book.
posted by Tryptophan-5ht at 1:58 PM on May 31, 2006


...which ive titled "fuck"
posted by Tryptophan-5ht at 1:58 PM on May 31, 2006


unbelievably great post "golf clap" Everything bad you have ever done in your life, ('cept that incident in Barbados *wink wink*) has been redeemed with this post, a clean slate, good job.
posted by Elim at 2:09 PM on May 31, 2006


Sweet Thundering Jesus! Are that many footnotes (2/3rds to 3/4 of each fucking page) normal in legal-law academic publications? You're not going to get a paper published in JACS or ES&T that way, I'll tell you what.

Yes. Actually, when I was writing my law review note that was a specific instruction. The document was to be around 90 pages triple-spaced (to leave plenty of room for comments, apparently) - 30 pages of text, 60 pages of footnotes. It seemed silly at first, but I guess I'm just used to it by now.
posted by saladpants at 2:25 PM on May 31, 2006


'cept that incident in Barbados *wink wink*

Don't you mean Aruba? *wink wink*
posted by WetherMan at 3:10 PM on May 31, 2006


There may have been some migration around there *wink wink*
posted by Elim at 3:12 PM on May 31, 2006


You and your fucking agenda.
I got here late and felt the need to pun. This is actually a good read.
posted by boo_radley at 4:16 PM on May 31, 2006


First, he used Wikipedia as a source, several times. Seventh grade reports? Sure. Scholarly articles? No, thanks.

You think that's bad? How about research via Google results?

One recent Internet search revealed that fuck “is a more commonly used word than mom, baseball, hot dogs, apple pie, and Chevrolet.”

Now, I would hazard a guess that the interwebs present a skewed sample, and that "teenage", "lesbian", "sluts", "guzzle", "bucketloads" and "cum" also figure prominently in the most-used-words list...
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:47 PM on May 31, 2006


"'cept that incident in Barbados *wink wink*

Don't you mean Aruba? *wink wink*"


Aruba, Jamaica, oooh I wanna take ya to
Bermuda, Bahama, come on pretty mama
Key Largo, Montego
Baby why don't we go down to Kokomo
We'll get there fast
And then we'll take it slow
That's where we wanna go
Fucking Kokomo

posted by mr_crash_davis at 6:06 PM on May 31, 2006


Good post, dios. I'd posit that for those who like to use the word, it's a good thing it's "taboo," since if it weren't there'd really be no reason to use it. As for the versatility/utility of the word in many uses, I don't really think that says much about the merits of the word linguistically. It's essentially a profane filler word, not much more useful or eloquent than the word "um" and used primarily (IMO) to simply invoke the taboo or, in most cases, I think, used because the speaker is accustomed to using that filler instead of "um," "uh," "er," or some other filler.

Without the cultural stigma of profanity attached to the word, it would lose all appeal.
posted by JekPorkins at 6:06 PM on May 31, 2006


“As for him who shall disregard it, may he be fucked by a donkey.”

The Egyptians were 'bout it, weren't they?
posted by Football Bat at 6:35 PM on May 31, 2006


“As for him who shall disregard it, may he be fucked by a donkey.”

Why are academic translations always so verbose? The Egyptians didn't use the word at all. It might as well be translated: "Ignore this and get the shaft."
posted by JekPorkins at 6:47 PM on May 31, 2006


It might as well be translated: "Ignore this and get the shaft."

Even better: "Fuck off."
posted by monju_bosatsu at 7:04 PM on May 31, 2006


Even better: "Fuck off."

Indeed.
posted by JekPorkins at 7:09 PM on May 31, 2006


If there's a donkey involved, wouldn't it be "Fuck ass" or "Fuck you in the ass" or "Fuck your ass" or somesuch?
posted by five fresh fish at 7:35 PM on May 31, 2006


If there's a donkey involved, wouldn't it be "Fuck ass" or "Fuck you in the ass" or "Fuck your ass" or somesuch?

I typically defer to the judgment of Ana Marie Cox on such matters.
posted by JekPorkins at 7:43 PM on May 31, 2006


Can't use Wikipedia as a source? That's -- excuse me -- fucking nonsense. That assumes that the only purpose of footnotes is to provide authoritative support to an argument, rather than providing useful background information that places the argument in a broader context.

In the past, a reference to Britannica would have been (a) self-evident and (b) amateurish, and therefore not worth the page space, but Wikipedia is significantly different in that it's not static (and you can see past versions), so pointing to a Wikipedia link allows the reader to examine developments in the field as well as gaining additional context for the argument.
posted by spiderwire at 11:08 PM on May 31, 2006


We have been fucking Boing Boinged.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 11:10 PM on May 31, 2006


Word to spider. Also, my understanding of the student encounter seems to demonstrate that fuck is sort of falling by the wayside. The girl didn't have beef with that word so much as cunt and bitch. It's the gendered cuss words that are proving to be really divisive because they fall both in the "swear word" category and the "slur" category. People who hate the word fuck are generally going to hate the word cunt, but I know plenty of people who won't bat an eye at an f-bomb, but will throw a person out of their house for dropping a c-bomb. I think that's where the really serious taboos are.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 11:20 PM on May 31, 2006


The best part about this paper is that it can now be cited.
posted by Ritchie at 1:27 AM on June 1, 2006


Any academic paper which resorts to an encyclopedia is asking for a shot at its level of scholarship. Simply because Wikipedia is not "static" does nothing to deny that in the end its still an encyclopedia. Even if you're using it as a means to offer a display of the debate over the meaning of a topic, most scholars would prefer a source dedicated to the historiography of a subject be used, over an article that may or may not adequately represent every side of debate, much less from an appropriate academic level.

Don't get me wrong, I love Wikipedia, but not in an academic setting. The more footnotes an author uses which aren't meant to be authoritative the less authoritative his work will appear.
posted by Atreides at 6:30 AM on June 1, 2006


exaclty what Doublewhiskeycokenoice said. At the end of this thread I've come to one conclusion: "Cunt" is the new "Fuck".
posted by gambit at 2:01 PM on June 1, 2006


There are academic papers, which exist because academic papers are needed, and there are academic papers, which exist because they're about something really important. Which is to say some academic papers are a wank to fluff up one's publications count; and some academic papers are the real thing.

This one was a wank.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:05 PM on June 1, 2006


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