This Post is Moot

Anyone in my immediate family could tell you that I like to argue, and it's true. While in my formative years, I would argue about any and every topic under the sun, whether or not I agreed with the position I advocated and regardless of the amount of knowledge (or lack thereof) I had on the topic. In High School, I once, without knowing anything about Intellectual Property, argued for the complete elimination of copyrights (information wants to be free!) with my mother, who was taking a graduate class on the topic. Unfortunately, I have not been able to continue my near constant debates with Theresa because her responses to my theoretical sparring (usually consisting of pokes and/or tickles) are just too persuasive to rebut.

Fortunately for my internal advocate (some people have inner children, I have an internal attorney - I like to piture him as a cute little toddler with a suit and briefcase), the annual William Minor Lile Moot Court Competition began here at UVa this month, and last night I had the great pleasure of participating in my first oral argument. Sure, the judges posed much more difficult questions than my sisters, who quickly grew tired of my uninvited debates, but I was also more prepared than I was back when I took on arguments simply because I could not let any statement of opinion go unopposed. I would be lying if I said that I wasn't nervous, and once during my response I was convinced that I must have sounded just like Miss Teen South Carolina, but all and all, I think I did OK.

And for all of you who believe that Moot Court is pointless (ahem, ANG see back page thumbs down), you really have to get in touch with your inner advocate.


Primer: Canadian Indie Rock

While I don't usually don't post to merely tell you about something someone else has written, preferring instead to only encourage reading what I have written, this following article is so important, I believe everyone needs to look it over at least once.

Primer: Canadian Indie Rock


More Existential than Kierkegaard and Nietzsche Put Together

I have briefly mentioned before how much I like albums that are created as a complete whole, instead of three-minute pop songs that are created as much to sell ring-tones as they are to convey an artistic expression. A good album, much like a novel or movie, should present a continuous whole, designed to be enjoyed from beginning to end, with a distinct opening, middle, climax and conclusion, with the songs building off of and referring to each other to create a whole that is much more than the sum of its parts.

My previous two musical obsessions, Sunset Rubdown's Random Spirit Lover, and Frog Eyes' Tears of the Valedictorian where just such albums, but my current infatuation takes the whole "album as a whole" thing a bit further than these. Toronto's Rock Plaza Central's album Are We Not Horses is a concept album so ridiculously outrageous that it could justifiably be mentioned in the same sentence as Rush's 2012, or Supertramp's Crime of the Century (and of course, any sentence mentioning Supertramp should also include the words 'totally awesome'). The album is about, and get this, six-legged, mechanical horses who, during the great war between the humans and angels, believe they are actually real horses, and the existential dilemma that ensues when their allies, the humans, try to tell them that they are not. Add into the mix a poignant love story between an angel and one of these mechanical horses and a singer who sounds like he has no business perusing a music career, and you've got yourself the best darn album I've heard in a while. (Well, at least since I listened to Random Spirit Lover a few weeks ago).

And if that is not enough to rush out to your local record store and purchase this equine masterpiece, check out this non-horse-related music video for their wonderful single, which features one of Canada's great home-grown children's shows, Nanalan:

My Children Be Joyful
The MP3 is here


Stand Proud, Loonie, Stand Proud

Congratulations Canadian Dollar! For the first time in my life, you have regained your previously lofty position as the stronger (or, at least equal) of the two North American Dollars! It looks like you're not so loony any more. Maybe this will help convince some of our American friends who believe otherwise that Canada is indeed part of the G8.

But, because I have been accused by Theresa of always painting too rosy of a picture of my beloved motherland and not presenting the more balanced opinion that she prefers to give out (which is not because she loves Canada any less - if anything, she is more patriotic than I, but I guess a little more realistic), I point you to this objective article in the Globe and Mail.


Run Free High Horse! You Are No Longer Needed!

I caved, and I cannot be more ashamed of myself. After months of announcing of Theresa and I's proud, TV-less existence, the Miller family home is now bathed in the glow of the infinite cathode-ray tube wasteland that is television. Although "infinite" is probably not the most accurate description of our situation, though, since have merely boughten an antenna and therefore, only receive about 5 channels.

I place the blame our recent decent off of our high horse squarely on the shoulders of one man, and that man is Micheal Scott. "But" you protest, "Micheal Scott is a fictional character." And to that I reply, "Precisely... precisely."

The only reason we have succumb to this depravity is so we can tune in for the new season of "The Office," after recently viewing the entire third season on DVD. Oh well, its hard to be too righteous. (And of course, considering the total lack of quality entertainment that can be provided by television, I doubt we will be watching it much)


The New Broken Social Sc... No Wait, Kevin Drew Album

Randal: I would wager that most people who are anticipating the new album Broken Social Scene Presents Kevin Drew, Spirit If... are more excited about the Broken Social Scene Presents part than the Kevin Drew part. And yes, with Kevin (one of the leaders of the broken scene) and a slew of Broken Scenesters as guests, this new album does sound like a new Broken Social Scene album. But (and I am showing my true Canadian Indie Rock nerd status here) I would say that it sounds more like a KC Accidental* album. The music is a lot more mellow than BSS's recent outings, and it has the low-key feel of a post rock album, but with Kevin's (and a whole bunch of other people's) vocals all over it. But it just goes to show what I've been saying all along: Broken Social Scene (and in this case, Kevin Drew) has created a whole new genre: post post rock! But do I like it? Sure: 3.5/5.

*KC Accidental was the band, formed by Kevin Drew and Charles Spearin, that later evolved into Broken Social Scene.

Theresa: I enjoyed this Broken Social... oh no wait, I mean Kevin Drew album. I was kind of disappointed that BSS would choose to showcase Kevin Drew first, seeing as he is always quite prominent on their albums. I mean there are a lot of other amazing members in BSS that don’t get the recognition they deserve. I do like how he had a lot of guests on this album (most of them from another band that rhymes with croken social scene), my favourite has to be Tom Cochrahn, Canada’s bad boy (well he really isn’t that bad: he has done stuff for AIDS in Africa, and he sings that “So this is Christmas" song; but he also has messy hair and wears jeans, which is about as bad as you can get in Canada). All in all it was an ok album. 4.5/7 (3.2/5).


UVa Has No Class (or at least, only has as much class as any other school)

Approximately one year ago, I rousingly gave my approval to UVa's policy of wearing ties and/or sun dresses to football games. At that time I did add the qualification that this policy is being replaced by another, much less classy dress code of orange T-shirts, but noticed at the games I attended, the tie and dress wearing students still represented a respectable percentage of the crowd. This year, however, I am sad to report that significantly less students opted on continuing that noble tradition, and even the stadium's giant score board sent out an overt t-shirt promoting message to the masses. Now, this might not seem like a big deal to you, and I myself will gladly admit that a t-shirt, whatever the color, will keep any football fan much cooler than a dress shirt and slacks, but I see this change as yet another step away from the romantic age of yesteryear and towards an uncreative, conformist and overly informal future. What happened to individualism? Where did our sense of style go? Alas, it appears to have washed away in that ever encroaching sea of orange that is so vigorously promoted by UVa's athletic department, which, having already sucked a fair amount of class from this scholarly institute already, is probably now planning up ways to add more evidence against creationism by encouraging sports fans to hoot and hollar and generally act very similar to our less-evolved simian relatives. But, then again, I guess sports fans already do that...

And speaking of apes, as you may have deduced with you expanded capacity for rational thought, Theresa and I had the pleasure of attending UVa Football's home opener this Saturday, if for no other reason but to introduce my Canadian wife to the spectacle that is (American) College Football, which I myself had only first experienced last September. All and all, it was an enjoyable afternoon, despite my previous comments, and as was observed to me, you haven't really experienced the USA until you have experienced College Football.


There's No Fighting In The War Room!

And now, a special sneak peak into what goes on during a top secret officers meeting in any one of the numerous law school's student organizations (assuming, of course, that there actually are meetings, as opposed to the President dumping all of the work onto one poor soul to do completely herself):

Prez: Ok guys, we have a new year upon us and a bunch of gullible 1Ls who signed up willy-nilly for our mailing list, mainly because the felt obligated after taking our free candy at the activities fair. We've got to rope them in before some other indistinguishable club takes 'em!

VP: Right! I say, we hold a welcoming activity the first week of classes and lure them all in with promises of free BBQ/Pizza/Sandwiches etc.

Secretary: Yeah, but isn't every other organization doing the same thing during that same week?

Prez: Who cares! We'll just take all of their free time--Law students will do anything to get ahead!

All: Mwa Ha Ha Ha!

That being said, our Health Law Association Fall Kick-off went off amazingly. We had a bunch of 1Ls who were really interested in Health Law show up, and Professor Riley and I were able to introduce them to what UVa has to offer in this area. And of course, we ate some good wraps and some delicious brownies.

And tonight is the RELLS opening social...


Labour With a "U"

Happy Labour Day Folks (and that is labour with a 'u'). I am currently celebrating this, the final long weekend of summer labouring in the law school, mostly trying to get this Health Law Association Kick-Off off the ground. But do not fear, Theresa and I will not allow this important holiday to go unrecognized, and will be heading off of a picnic later today.

And speaking of picnics, we would like to personally thank (or really, inpersonally thank, since I am doing it on a public blog) Katy and Aaron for the wonderful birthday party they invited us to last Saturday. Theresa and I stood up and showed all of the Americans present that us Canadians are not all wimpy pacifists by together calling upon that great Canadian strength build up by throwing hay bales and surviving -40 weather, and violently cracked open the pinata with two mighty swoops, spilling the contained treasures to the ground. I also was able to effectuate a stunning come-from-behind croquet victory, which despite some theories, was not because us Canadians have more respect for the Queen. Rather, I won because I am pretty much amazing at everything I do.