November 13, 2006

"I like to attack Democrats. He likes to present a united front with Democrats."

Mickey Kaus says, referring to Robert Wright, in this New York Sun article about Bloggingheads.tv.
A great virtue of diavlogs, Mr. Kaus said, is that they are an antidote to the cocoons bloggers can get into when linking to friends and pointing out stories they agree with. Having to convince another person in real time, he said, forces bloggers to confront alternative opinions, and prevents them from lapsing into complete disjuncture from reality....

Mr. Kaus said an advantage of video dialogs is they give one an indication of the human mind behind the byline: "You can't hide behind the printed page. It may raise your overall opinion of the speakers as ‘nice guys,'" Mr. Kaus said, but they can lower your sense of their "intellectual worth," because it's harder to maintain the dignity of appearing on a page and weighing in on chosen issues. He said the viewers realize: "These are human beings like everyone else."
So it's your chance to study the bloggers, to get them out from behind the written word, to see them in raw action. I can't help but compare that to the law school class -- the law school class at its Socratic best, anyway.

Speaking of law school, here's something from the article:
A course at Princeton with essayist John McPhee gave Mr. Wright the confidence to be a writer; otherwise, "I was destined for law school," he said.
Does that hurt? There are so many interesting people who almost went to law school... or who went to law school and ventured out onto some path other than law practice. Being a lawprof doesn't really count as venturing out, though, does it? I tend to think that the lawprof is the least venturesome law school graduate.... the one who dared not even venture into the practice of law.

But don't get me wrong! Being a lawprof is a wonderful career -- I say in my role as the chair of the Appointments Committee here -- especially if they don't stop you from blogging... and being on the incredibly cool -- if supremely nerdy -- Bloggingheads.tv.

(And no extra credit for the first commenter to cite "White and Nerdy." I think Bob and Mickey know bloggingheads is "too white and nerdy.")

30 comments:

David said...

Oratory may well become a lost art in the world of IM's, BLOGS, E-Mails, and all things electronic. The ability to be able to stand in front of a group of people and deliver an interesting, cogent, and thoughtful presentation is a wonder to behold.

The ability to speak better than type is still the essence of communication in today's world. A clever law professor with the ability to speak and write is a pleasure to behold and learn from.

Occasionally we must leave our keyboards, Blackberry's, and assorted electronic instruments and interact with our fellow human beings. Become un-cocooned so to speak!

Wade_Garrett said...

This isn't directly on point, but, as a law student, I love hearing stories about people who went to law school but ventured out to do other things. My favorites are:

1) Theodore Roosevelt (Harvard Law)

2) Basketball player and broadcaster Bill Walton (Standford Law)

3) Max Weinberg, the drummer for the E Street band and Conan O'Brien's late-night tv show (Cardozo Law)

4) NFL star and broadcaster Steve Young (Bringham Young Law)

Are there any other prominent people I'm forgetting?

SteveR said...

Flip flopper and kept man John Kerry (Boston College Law)

Simon said...

"Bloggingheads.tv has "a growing cast of other characters," Mr. Wright said. Participants have included Byron York, Anne-Marie Slaughter, Ann Althouse, and Henry Farrell."

They left out Daniel Drezner! I know he's only done a handfull, but any time he's on, I'll stop what I'm doing to watch, whereas usually, I'll just kind of put it on the back burner to watch that evening.

mcg said...

Wade---is this list correct, though? I mean, did Steve Young finish law school before he was an NFL star, for example? I thought he did that afterwards.

Internet Ronin said...

Bloggingheads is usually interesting, but Mickey has become something of a bore when he has been participating lately thanks to his obsession with immigration. If he had anything new to add, I wouldn't mind, but it seems to me he basically repeats himself over and over. And over.

Wade_Garrett said...

Stever - That's unfair. Kerry practiced law full-time as a prosecutor in Boston for ten years. That's a pretty significant legal career.

Mcg - Steve Young went to law school while he was playing in the NFL, planning to practice law after he retired. Instead, he went into broadcasting, though with his personality and looks he could probably have been an effective trial lawyer.

Bill Walton went to law school when his injuries forced him to retire from basketball. After two years he came out of retirement and played two more seasons for the Boston Celtics, before going into broadcasting.

Mortimer Brezny said...

How exactly is one supposed to get extra credit, then?

Simon said...

"How exactly is one supposed to get extra credit, then?"

Offer to show up with a rake.

Zeb Quinn said...

Tony LaRussa, manager of the St. Louis Cardinals, went to and graduated from Florida State's law school in 1978, after his playing days were over but before starting his managerial career.

Similarly, Rick Neuheisel, the former University of Washington coach who was fired for gambling, now coaching for the Baltimore Ravens, went to and graduated from USC law school after his playing days but before starting his coaching career.

Bill Walton went to Stanford law for awhile when he was out with serious injuries, but he never graduated.

Zeb Quinn said...

One more. Ozzie Nelson, of Ozzie & Harriet fame, father of Ricky, band leader in the 30s and radio star in the 40s, was also a lawyer who never practiced.

amba said...

On the other side, I knew quite a few young artists of various kinds who got tired of being broke and went to law school.

PatCA said...

In our postmodern culture, artists are treated as saints to replace the religious figures of yore and are thus valued over lawyers, or others who do useful work.

It's another sign that our culture is both beautiful and decaying at the same time. But that's just my opinion.

Ann Althouse said...

Amba: Well, that describes me. But people need to realize that if they start that way, they will incur big debts and that will force them to accept the high-paying law firm jobs that are quite unlikely to make the artist happy.

Jim Hu said...

My thoughts on video vs text here.

Mortimer Brezny said...

I am the rake, Simon. [INSERT Conan O'Brien growl, directed at Ann.]

Simon said...

Ann Althouse said...
"[P]eople need to realize that if they start that way, they will incur big debts and that will force them to accept the high-paying law firm jobs."

That's one of the reasons I just can't envision going to law school. As much fun as it would be, and while I know you've said in the past that education is the best investment one can make, it costs an incredible amount of money, which means one either has to (a) have the money or (b) have a solid plan for recouping it.

Since I have little interest in private practise (I'd pretty want to teach, or at the outside, appellate practise), and have very little interest in finding innovative new ways to squeeze more than 168 billable hours out of a week, it's hard to make the case for going into absolutely crippling debt just to indulge a hobby, no matter how much I might love it.

Simon said...

Mortimer,
As I said on election night, there's a fine line between complimentary and just outright creepy. I know it's hardly my place to say this, but I think you should consider backing up behind the line.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Hmm, I guess. Sorry. But I could go to the election night threads and find some creepy posts by you about some Mary woman.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Mary K Hamm, to be exact.

I checked.

Simon said...

Mortimer,
I doubt that. And even if there were, you will notice that this is not MKH's blog, and so comments here are not actually addressed to MKH.

In any event, my point isn't that I'm never out of line. I'm just sayin'...

Mortimer Brezny said...

If Conan O'Brien references are so creepy that they cross the line, then why are you suggesting that people show up on Ann's lawn with a rake?

wv: wpqyqdte

A hypocritical troglodyte who is speaking jabberwocky.

Simon said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Simon said...

"If Conan O'Brien references are so creepy that they cross the line, then why are you suggesting that people show up on Ann's lawn with a rake?"

I suggested that they "Offer to show up with a rake" (emphasis added).

In any event, this is getting too far off-topic. If you really want to argue about it, shoot me an email so that the other posters don't have to slog through this self-indulgent salacity...

Mortimer Brezny said...

To be honest, I think bloggerheadstv is self-indulgent salacity. But watching Robin Wright harangue Peter Beinart was fun. Weird was how nice Wright was to Francis Fukuyama; he kept searching for points of agreement.

Ruth Anne Adams said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Simon said...

Mort,
I'm not sure that the adjective "salacious" can really be connected to Robert Wright and Mickey Kaus's commentaries...

Mortimer Brezny said...

I take it Simon just doesn't get my sense of humor. That was the point, Simon!

wv: bwlhwjf

Could you flush? I don't want the house reeking of bwlhwjf.

SteveR said...

OK Wade it was a cheap shot at an easy target, I am capable of better.

Rishi Gajria said...

"I think Bob and Mickey know bloggingheads is "too white and nerdy."

I love it and Im from India.