Search Results for: Cultural Literacy and the Law

Opinion  /  February 20, 2013  / 

In Re Friendzone

Chad v. Becky, __ U.S. __ (2013) JUSTICE KENNEDY delivered the opinion of the Court. The petitioners in this case, nice guys of various ages and walks of life, seek writs of habeas corpus against respondent prospective girlfriends. Petitioners allege that respondents have imprisoned them in the “friendzone,” a prison not of steel bars or concrete walls, but of the heart. Each of the petitioners has invested substantial amount of time in being nice to a member of the opposite sex, i.e. respondents, with the reasonable expectation that these interactions would lead to a romantic relationship and/or sexual intercourse. Some of the petitioners have spent literally hours with respondents in group hang-outs, eating dinner with respondents, watching television shows respondents like and claiming to enjoy them, and, most importantly, not saying or doing mean things to respondents. Nevertheless, all of these men have been sentenced to the friendzone. Further, these … Continue reading

Opinion  /  November 12, 2012  / 

How the GOP Stole Christmas

“This liberal opposition has just got to stop!” Shouted the furious, put-upon Gop, “The natural order suffers awful distortions, Like health reform, gay marriage, safe, legal abortions, Environmental regs favored by the Lorax, And, worst of all, rich people asked to pay tax!” The Gop, you can see, was very distraught, So he sat, and he thought, and he thought, and he thought. That’s when the Gop had an idea. An awful idea. A wonderful, terrible, rule-changing idea. “I’ll buy the election!” the Gop gave a shout, “With unlimited corporate money, we’ll surely win out!” So he put on his suit, and he went to the Court, And he made an argument of the following sort: “This campaign spending, limiting law Features an unconstitutional flaw. For each person first has the right to make speeches To convince America what the right sort of Sneetch is, And money and speech are … Continue reading

Opinion  /  October 29, 2012  / 


Since most of us celebrated over the weekend, it’s all too easy to forget that Halloween is actually this Wednesday. This means we still have to face the night of souls and its inherent dangers. However, there is no need to panic because you are equipped with a legal education—the best preparation to handle this sort of situation. Use this memo as a starting point for dealing with the legal issues surrounding three of the most common creatures encountered on Halloween: ghosts, witches, and the Devil. Ghosts The problematic behavior that ghosts most often engage in is haunting real property, especially those zoned single-family homes. Don’t let the ghost lobby scare you, though; “haunting” is just a euphemism for squatting. Make sure you file suit against the poltergeist for trespass immediately because his claims for an easement or, worse, adverse possession will only get stronger with time. You may need … Continue reading

Opinion  /  October 15, 2012  / 

Super Mario New World Order

The videogame press has been buzzing lately about Nintendo’s upcoming system, the Wii U. Normally, a new videogame or system would be nothing to get excited about because most entries in the genre endorse the worst kinds of Social Darwinism and stratification. The “heroes” of these games are in some way predestined as individuals for greatness—and this is celebrated—and the mechanics of these games are such that the heroes are more powerful than their enemies because they are inherently better and/or have established private ownership over weapons and armor inaccessible to others. Nintendo’s flagship protagonist, however, is different. The Wii U will feature a hero of the people: Super Mario. To eyes accustomed to seeing the world through the veil of a bourgeois value-system, the name “Super Mario” seems inappropriate. Mario is an ordinary worker. He wears work boots and denim overalls, he is a simple plumber, and his dark … Continue reading

Opinion  /  October 3, 2012  / 

Live Blog: Harvard Watches the Debate

Plenty of people will be live-blogging the first presidential debate tonight, but here we have what you really want:  a live account of Harvard’s viewing party. 8:54:  The debate hasn’t even started, and the food is already gone. Also, both Ames and the overflow room are showing the debate on Fox News. 8:57:  Announcement: we are thanked by the Harvard Democrats and Republicans, the Dean of Students’ Office, and possibly the Bull-Moose Party (I wasn’t really paying attention). 8:59:  The rainy weather tonight has given people a lot of seat-saving options. There are coats, umbrellas and ponchos all over the Ames’ upholstery. 9:00:  The room hushes to hear Chris Wallace. 9:01:  Some whooping for Jim Lehrer (seriously). 9:02: I appreciate them flashing Jim’s stats as he explains the rules. 9:03:  Lehrer will not tolerate your shenanigans. 9:03: Obama and Romney appear to be getting equal levels of applause here in … Continue reading

Opinion  /  September 24, 2012  / 

Election League America

It’s an election year, and October is almost upon us, so it’s finally time to tear ourselves away from Hulu and Netflix for a few minutes to learn a thing or two about some of the major candidates. The upcoming elections will impact issues important to the Harvard legal community, like whether the judicial nomination landscape will be such that Justice Ginsburg can finally escape the indignity of being captioned another four years (JK—we love Ginsburg too much to ever stop captioning her). Now, this column doesn’t trade in the high-flying, Shakespearean allusions that usually get thrown around in political coverage, so we’ll be teaching you about the candidates in the vernacular of pop culture: DC Comics superheroes. Barack Obama—Aquaman (JLA) There’s no doubt that when Democrat Barack Obama was first elected President, his Justice League analogue would have been Superman. He was a symbol of hope, progress, and the … Continue reading

Opinion  /  September 10, 2012  / 

Girls of the Summer

You may have been too busy fretting about how few women made Law Review to notice, but the ladies had a (comparatively) big summer in pop culture. We’ve already discussed how a political action heroine kicked off the summer blockbuster season, a season which has hostilely taken over most of spring. Shortly thereafter, HBO’s Girls blew up the pop-culture landscape. Starring, written and created by one of the titular girls, the show was received by critics as the achingly hilarious vessel of transcendent lady-truth. Then came the actual premier, and the backlash: Lena Dunham was neither as funny nor as groundbreaking as Archie Bunker, but she was equally racist. Further, Girls represented everything wrong with America because it starred rich-stars’-kids-getting-richer actresses playing unemployed, entitled characters who survive in New York by leaching off their parents. The fevered chanting of these sentiments begat the backlash to the backlash, and a consensus … Continue reading

Opinion  /  April 18, 2012  / 

Katniss Shrugged

A conservative cultural phenomenon is sweeping the nation, breaking box-office records, and capturing the collective imagination of our youth; the tale of a dystopian future where an activist court has upheld Obamacare, creating an all-powerful federal government and destroying America: The Hunger Games. The film stars Katniss Everdeen, an entrepreneurial heroine in the mold of Dagny Taggart. After Katniss’s father dies, her mother is incapacitated by the liberal myth that she and her starving children are entitled to a government handout, but Katniss embraces the dignity of work. She rejects the government regulation of electric fences to make her hunting business a success. We see her participating in a thriving market, where she is incentivized to continue creating value as the products of her labor are distributed to the most efficient users, increasing everyone’s welfare. Katniss and the free market of District 12 don’t escape government overreach for long, however. The … Continue reading