Thursday, July 28, 2005

John Roberts, Lawyerbot

There are any number of reasons one could be afraid of John Roberts, who, barring a shocking, late-breaking memo or intern, will be the next Supreme Court Justice. But let's put aside the corporate-hack issue and the apparent opposition to civil rights, school desegregation, and legal abortion--you can read about them elsewhere. The elephant in the room is that the man is a ROBOT. And not just a regular, clean-your-house, walk-your-dog robot--a LAWYERBOT.


While the Fembot, the sexy killer lady robot immortalized in the Austin Powers movies, is certainly better known, its relative the Lawyerbot is in fact both more common and much more dangerous. While the Fembot kills with Guns Hidden In The Boobs, the Lawyerbot destroys all that it encounters with the much more cunning (although less visually impressive) Distaste for the Powerless Hidden in a Legal Argument. Be afraid--be very afraid!


The first hint of Roberts's mechanical origins is his appearance--the unreasonably square jaw, the strangely thick neck (all the better to hide the wiring), the unmoving hair and fixed half-smile. However, in general the most common identifying characteristics of the Lawyerbot are its resume and its unnatural interactions with normal humans. Just as Fembot appears to be a proposterously sexy woman, Lawyerbot takes the form of a proposterously high-achieving attorney.

If the meandering pathways of life have led you to those Lawyerbot Breeding Nests more commonly known as law school and D.C., you have surely encountered many of this type. They were the ones whose entire lives seemed to have been programmed to lead them to the Department of Justice and the Supreme Court (a.k.a. The Motherships), who could engage in earnest discussion of legal arcana for hours without showing signs of depression (or blinking), and who would forgo any remotely debaucherous forms of entertainment with it-sounds-like-I'm-kidding-but-I'm-really-not jokes about their future confirmation hearings.

When you live amongst these creatures, your immersion in their strange, inhuman culture can disorient you to the point that you do not realize you are surrounded by robots. You may, in fact, come to think that you are the weird one. But rest assured, dear reader, you are perfectly normal--it's the Lawyerbots who are not right in the head!

Unless, that is, you dream of standing doctrines or the dormant commerce clause. In that case, I would advise you to watch the director's cut of Bladerunner and go oil your joints.

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