”Although I was brought up to believe that Scotch whisky would need a tax preference to survive in competition with Kentucky bourbon, I never understood the Constitution to require a State to give such preference. (My dissenting Brother asks me to say that this statement does not necessarily represent his views on the respective merits of Scotch and bourbon.)
”Before proceeding further, the Court notes that this case involves two extremely likable lawyers, who have together delivered some of the most amateurish pleadings ever to cross the hallowed causeway into Galveston, an effort which leads the Court to surmise but one plausible explanation. Both attorneys have obviously entered into a secret pact—complete with hats, handshakes and cryptic words—to draft their pleadings entirely in crayon on the back sides of gravy-stained paper place mats, in the hope that the Court would be so charmed by their child-like efforts that their utter dearth of legal authorities in their briefing would go unnoticed. Whatever actually occurred, the Court is now faced with the daunting task of deciphering their submissions. With Big Chief tablet readied, thick black pencil in hand, and a devil-may-care laugh in the face of death, life on the razor’s edge sense of exhilaration, the Court begins.
”This case charges defendant Sproed with catching butterflies in a National Park. (…) It would not be surprising to find that most of our citizens would be embittered if accused of such a heinous crime.
”Judges seldom get a chance to wax lyrical. Rarer still does a judge have an opportunity to see a case centered around a butterfly.Those who read this opinion will, therefore, recognize that this case presented me with a temptation which I obviously could not resist.
”The “internet”, also known as the “world-wide web” is a bi-polar electronic Leviathan that has erupted on the world scene in the past two decades. In its benevolent manifestations, it has enormously increased and expedited access to useful information of all sorts, increased global awareness of myriad events, facilitated family and commercial communication across national boundaries in the blink of an eye and helped topple dictators; it is probably fair to say that its advent is of no less significance than the invention of the printing press. However, just as the printing press has been put to odious use from time to time, the internet has its own Jekyll and Hyde nature: it is a near certainty that future generations will look back at these decades, obsessed as we are with the twin behemoths of “reality” television and the “ooh, look at me, I must tell the world what I had for breakfast” narcissism of social media and at the billions of hours thus lost to a near psychotropic electronic escape from any useful pursuit and wonder if Aldous Huxley only got a few details wrong in Brave New World. For the purposes of this case, the relevance of the internet is its un-policed “garbage in/garbage out” potential and its free-market-of-ideas potential to lure in otherwise pleasant and unsuspecting folk with all manner of absurdity and silliness.
”“William Shakespeare” was a sixteenth century English poet and playwright of some skill. He is remarkable insofar as he and Joseph Conrad are among the very few English-language authors of particular merit who were not either Irish or Scottish.
”For readers under the age of thirty or so, the “typewriter” was a mechanical device used for creating documents that pre-dated the computer and lacked some of the computer’s more annoying characteristics, in particular the computer’s facilitation of “cutting and pasting”, which is undoubtedly one of the four horsemen of the modern apocalypse and which has cost many trees their lives and many lawyers and judges their eyesight.