Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Blawgging in the Forest

The American Bar Association just announced its picks for this year’s “Blawg 100”—the ABA’s 100-favorite law-related blogs. Can you believe this blawg did not make the list? Of course, I find it shocking that the same multitudes are not clamoring to read my personal musings about the link between some bit of Shakespeare and contemporary law practice as are eager for the latest law firm and law school gossip. See  But I’m not bitter. Oh no. Or even envious. After all, Shakespeare shows us just how ugly “the green-eyed monster” can make a person—transmogrifying even a great man like Othello into an insecure rage-oholic seeing unforgivable betrayals in misplaced handkerchiefs.

In all seriousness: I have been routinely delighted to learn now and then that anyone is reading these posts. Indeed, one of the most rewarding by-products of this enterprise is the occasional unexpected connection it sparks across cyberspace. Among my favorites was hearing from a metallurgist who served as an expert witness in a heartbreaking personal injury case in which I participated a number of years back. I had not had direct contact with this individual since that case wrapped up but learned, because of this blawg, that he is a Shakespeare fan who has performed in several productions.
Sure, for some blawgers, blawgging may prove a gateway to that seductive “15 minutes.” But most blawggers (and bloggers), like most lawyers, routinely write for a very circumscribed audience. Therefore, the writing has to be about something other than the pursuit of recognition. For me, writing is an activity that demands commitment to greater clarity; it is about building bridges outside of one’s own head where the engineering is exposed, and thus one cannot settle for vague connections and unsupported level jumps. Writing is also, as Shakespeare understood, a means to thumb one’s nose at mortality. Writing at least has the potential to defy death. Therefore, even the act of writing to no one expresses some confidence in the potential to survive physical death, to outsmart time—that great equivocator.
Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou growest:
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this and this gives life to thee.
Sonnet 18

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