f/k/a . . . the archives

August 13, 2007

having no inspiration can be inspiring

Filed under: Haiku or Senryu,q.s. quickies — David Giacalone @ 9:41 am

Like a Perseid meteor shower, multi-blawger and “inspired solo” Sheryl Sisk Shelin returns regularly to host Blawg Review and brighten our cyber skies, if only fleetingly. Today, she hosts Blawg Review #121 at her The Inspired Solo weblog. Poor Sheryl apparently had a very troubled night looking for a suitable theme around which to build her Blawg Review presentation of recent worthwhile law-related weblog postings. She found herself with a dearth of inspiration and finally admitted it to herself at 7:20 AM:

“And that’s when it hit me – like a ton of bricks, the cosmic 2′ by 4′ upside the head. The theme is that there is no theme. We’re back to basics, folks, with this, the theme-free Blawg Review.

If you’ve read this weblog or my mind over the past couple of years, you know I often find themed Blawg Reviews to be annoying, strained and distracting. As evidenced by our own Blawg Review #52 (and my affection for the Barrister Blog’s Weekly Review), my favorite Blawg Review compilations are themeless. So, I want to thank Sheryl for giving us an uncutesy annotated listing of quite a few worthwhile weblog posts from the past week. Her lack of inspiration turned out to be a blessing. Since she was up anyway, I hope she took advantage of last night’s prime opportunity to see the 2007 Perseid meteor show (New Jersey Herald, “Sky’s the show: Popular meteor shower hits tonight,” Aug. 12, 2007) . When our skies started clouding up around midnight, the f/k/a Gang headed to bed without seeing the Perseids, but hoping to dream of a few shooting stars.

stars fade
she says i look like
that aging actor

…………………………………….. by dagosan

. . .

umpireS I was quite pleased to be pointed by Sheryl to Eugene Volokh’s piece “Speakers Arrested Because Their Speech Supposedly Has ‘No Legitimate Purpose’,” about a group of people arrested in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, for “harassing” a sex offender by posting information about him in several places (apparently in the hope of driving him out of town). As usual, Eugene raises important questions about free speech and his commentors flesh out the issues (and emotions). I was particularly intrigued by this portion of the post, which deals with a topic frequently touched upon at f/k/a recently:

By the way, Allen’s offense (as reported in the press) strikes me as very minor as sex crimes go:

Court records show that Allen was convicted in 1998 of second-degree sexual assault of a child for receiving oral sex from a 15-year-old girl. The records show that Allen was 16 years of age at the time of the incident, which occurred in 1997 in Shawano County. In a victim statement included with court documents, the 15-year-old girl said it was her idea to perform the sexual act. She also wrote that she didn’t think it was Allen’s fault or that he should get in trouble.

It seems to me that even if consensual 16-/15-year-old sex should be criminalized, it should not be subject to sex offender reporting (certainly not longterm reporting), or at least any such reports should clearly note the nature of the offense (something the Wisconsin sex offender page does not). Such reporting is not only unfair to the offender, but also harmful to the community, because it misleads the public into overestimating this threat, and distracts them from other possible threats.

Nonetheless, while this would have been good reason for Wisconsin not to place Allen’s records on the sex offender site (unless there was something more to the sexual contact than the newspaper reports), and this might make the neighbors’ actions morally suspect (if they knew the nature of Allen’s crimes), it doesn’t strip the actions of constitutional protection.

If you insist on more explicit inspiration this morning, I recommend checking out Sheryl’s discussion/confession “What is an Inspired Solo?.” Here are the first four of about a dozen characteristics:

* She wakes up happy, most days.
* She goes to bed content, most nights.
* She practices in an area of law that speaks to her, somehow, even though she might not fully understand why.
* She genuinely likes her clients, and feels they’re pretty fond of her, most times.

When the f/k/a Gang is looking for sure-fired inspiration, we dip into the haiku oeuvre of some of our Honored Guest Poets. Here are a handful of poems that were selected for the Shiki Haikusphere 10th Anniversary Anthology (2007) (full cover image)

Valentine’s Day –
pulling a thorn
from my palm

blue heron
all paddles
at rest

melting snow
headlines of war
fall apart

…………….. by Yu Chang

he’s gone
and gone too
the hydrangea

early spring walk
the roughness of the scarf
that was mother’s

first cold night
my fingers snug
in mother’s old gloves

…………… by Roberta Beary

disinfectant jar –
there must be 14 or 15
barber’s combs

clouding sky
my finger
on the bear track

broken tennis racket –
my aging father says
he won’t replace it

………………………… by Michael Dylan Welch

Two more from Yu Chang from Upstate Dim Sum 2007/I

just in time
to pick blueberries
August evening

lingering heat
the pale color
of green beans

Our Uninspired Health Care System: I hope yesterday’s New York Times editorial (Aug. 12, 2007) “World’s Best Medical Care?,” will inspire Americans to think and fight hard to create a much-improved system for all Americans. Reading how for behind we are when compared to other industrial nations (and, in some categories, even developing nations) should stir us to action. It is easy to agree with NYT that:

With health care emerging as a major issue in the presidential campaign and in Congress, it will be important to get beyond empty boasts that this country has “the best health care system in the world” and turn instead to fixing its very real defects. The main goal should be to reduce the huge number of uninsured, who are a major reason for our poor standing globally. But there is also plenty of room to improve our coordination of care, our use of computerized records, communications between doctors and patients, and dozens of other factors that impair the quality of care. The world’s most powerful economy should be able to provide a health care system that really is the best.

1 Comment

  1. [...] — it’s definitely a marathon.  Unfortunately, David Giacalone at f/k/a thinks that themed blawg reviews tend to be “annoying, strained and [...]

    Comment by Patent Baristas » Marathon Blawg review — January 30, 2008 @ 11:18 pm

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