November 6, 2005

About killing that mockingbird.

Jeremy Freese is taking a poll about whether Truman Capote wrote "To Kill a Mockingbird."

And I promise you I wrote that sentence without the slightest thought of adding to today's blog theme! Man, I have got to be careful if I venture out of the house today. I think the animals are...

I start thinking about the song "Animals" again:
I know the animals...Are laughing at us
They don't even know...What a joke is
I won't follow...Animal's advice
I don't care...If they're laughing at us.

They're never there when you need them
They never come when you call them
They're never there when you need them
They never come when you call them down down down down.

They say they don't need money
They're living on nuts and berries
They say animals don't worry
You know animals are hairy?
They think they know what's best
They're making a fool of us
They ought to be more careful
They're setting a bad example
They have untroubled lives
They think everything's nice
They like to laugh at people
They're setting a bad example
(Go ahead) Laugh at me.
I heard a squirrel skittering around up there -- what was it? -- on the roof? Or was it the attic? Or the extra bedroom? You know all the leaves fell from the oak trees in one day yesterday, and now it looks all desolate out there... I've got to be more careful. Are there squirrel holes in the house that I'm not seeing? Is that a cracked nut? Is that a rabid dog loping down the street?

Is it time to record podcast #18?

Hey, did you know I wrote a little law review article about "To Kill a Mockingbird"? Here, you can read it. I'm responding to Steven Lubet, who wrote a feminist attack on Atticus Finch for the way he cross-examined the woman who accused Tom Robinson of rape. An excerpt from my piece:
Atticus deeply believes in the law and as he performs his duty, he patiently waits for the day when the others who work in the system will also perform their duty. Law is not a lofty institution, but a "working reality" that necessarily depends on the routine performance of duty by good people like Atticus and the lawyers he inspires.

Atticus accepts the Robinson case just as earlier in the book he accepts the job Sheriff Tate asks him to do: shoot a rabid dog. Indeed, his handling of the trial parallels the shooting of the rabid dog. Atticus possesses extraordinary skills - as a lawyer and as a marksman - but he does not seek occasions to display them or profit by them. The sheriff calls on Atticus when a dog must be taken down in one shot, and the judge comes to him when an inflammatory case needs a lawyer. A neighbor tries to explain the restraint of this man who had avoided using his shooting skills for thirty years:
"[H]e's civilized in his heart ... I think maybe he put his gun down when he realized that God had given him an unfair advantage over most living things. I guess he decided he wouldn't shoot till he had to, and he had to today."


mrbungle2103 said...

How much coffee have you had today!?

chuck b. said...

So you do read novels!

I don't know how you feel about all the oak leaves falling, but that sounds like a bummer. An autumnal bummer.

Ann Althouse said...

Chuck: The Michigan Law Review asked me to respond to Lubet's piece because I'd written an article about evidence and feminism. Not exactly pleasure reading! And I don't think the book is very good.

Mr. Bungle: One coffee.

Paul said...

Relative your squirrels, I just saw two photographs of you hand feeding a chipmunk and you wonder why squirrels like and visit you?
Word spreads. Just as in blogging readers, podcast listeners, squirrels know a good thing too.
In other words, its your own fault.
And, I saw a picture that would look as good as the one you are using now, maybe updated. It is one where you are sitting at a wood desk, with a large glass window behind you and your chin is resting in your left hand - that is really good. On John's Flickr site.
This one is great though, as I've said prior. That one is equally good though.
Maybe a stuffed squirrel on the desk with a do not feed me sign in his paws.

wildaboutharrie said...

I found his essay. It was new to me to look at Atticus' cross examination of Mayella with the "What if Tom is guilty?" (or Atticus doesn't know and doesn't care) angle. But as you noted, that really doesn't work in the "world" of the novel (that arm is not just a LITTLE crippled).

Sometime I'd like to read your article about evidence and feminism - I'm wondering what that means? Is it on line somewhere?