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[humorix] Short History Of The 21st Century Lawyerclysm [long]
Short History Of The 21st Century Lawyerclysm
October 8, 1999
Jon Splatz, Official Humorix Pundit, Social Commentator, and
We pundits like to make predictions about the future. If
we're wrong, we quietly hide our old predictions and nobody
is the wiser. But if we're right, we jump up and down,
point to our prognostications, and yell, "I told you so!"
(It works for Jesse Berst.) With that in mind, I would like
to make a few predictions about what will happen if the
lawyerization of the world continues and the Lawyerclysm
Before I begin, let me set the scene by posting the latest
installment in the Humorix vs. Microsoft patent dispute.
All of our readers (both of you) are probably getting sick
of this never-ending legal battle. "What the hell does
this have to do with Linux?" you ask. I don't have an
answer to that. But, if Eric S. Raymond is permitted to
veer off-topic and espouse the virtues of Geeks With Guns,
then I should be able to rant and rave about Lawyerclysm.
In response to Mr. Noah Morals' latest volley, the
Microsoft Legal Department sent this reply:
Dear Mr. Morals, et al,
Thank you for informing us of your modified license. You
are, of course, aware of the fact that the old version of
your license applies to our previous communications, and
therefore your feeble attempts at challenging of the
Microsoft Grossly Private License (GPL) is not any more
valid than it was before.
Any future communications between us will still fall under
the Microsoft GPL because now that we are aware of the
license, we will find ways to work around it.
* "You may not read, copy, distribute, disseminate, laugh
at, or modify any Humorix content unless you have
accepted the terms of this License."
We will be processing all future communications from you
with a scanner and OCR software, and then have computers
read it out to us. Your license does not forbid listening
to what you have to say without agreeing to your terms.
Our patent on "the concept of using one product to force
people to use another product" is still valid, because of
the word "force" instead of just "suggest". People can
answer no to "Do you want fries with that?", but not to "Do
you want Internet Explorer with Windows 98?" or "Do you
want Windows with your new Gateway PC?"
We have embraced and extended a previously used open
concept, and we hold (and will defend) our patents on this
Thank you for your attention.
[Long list of Borg-employed lawyers snipped.]
You might need to read that a second (or third) time to
wade through all of the dense legalese and LIES (Legal
Incoherent Erroneous bullShit, an acronym that has just
been trademarked by Humorix).
It's scary, isn't it? An increasing number of people talk
and think like that. To them, life is not a stage, but one
honkin' big license agreement stacked in favor of the
Lawite (lawyer elite, a term I just made up).
Oddly enough, Mr. N. O. Morals didn't return the lengthy
reply he usually does. Taking a strategy from the Amazon
playbook, he sent this counter-letter:
Dear Microsoft Legal Department,
Our reply to your reply to our reply to your reply to our
reply to your first challenge is summarized thusly:
Mr. N. O. Morals
Head of Humorix's Vast Legal Department
Nevertheless, this latest exchange of lawyerfire further
strengthens my fears about the coming Lawyerclysm. I
expect that -- if left unchecked -- the world will hit the
Lawyerclysm on February 30th, 2031 (that's not a typo).
As promised, here is my brief history of the 21st Century
leading up to the Great Collapse:
August 10, 2001: A class-action lawsuit is filed against
McDonalds, Burger King, and other fast-food chains claiming
that they added ingredients to their burgers to make them
"more addictive". "Ronald McDonald is a clever marketing
ploy to get children addicted to their unhealthy products
at an early age," one lawyer argues in court.
September 25, 2001: Linus Torvalds is found guilty of
violating child labor laws by accepting kernel patches from
programmers who happen to be minors. Thanks to his
billionaire status after the Transmeta bonanza, he is able
to easily afford the $10 million fine.
February 29, 2004: An activist group called "People For
Calendrical Equality" files a lawsuit against the Federal
government demanding that February have at least 30 days
like every other month. "Society discriminates against the
second month, and that's just wrong," a spokeswoman will
say. Before the court can act, Congress passes a bill
shifting days from March and August to give February thirty
days. Leap Day (February 31st) is designated as Lawyer
October 9, 2006: A library sues a Virginia man for $250,000
for failing to return a book for 10 years. The library
October 10, 2006: Another library in Virginia sues a lawyer
for $10,000 for failing to return the book, "Ambulance
Chasing For Dummies" for 10 years. The library loses.
January 2007: The American Bar Association (ABA) launches a
billion-dollar advertising campaign entitled "Lawyers make
the world go 'round" to counter growing calls for reform of
the judicial system.
July 19, 2007: A court rules that Intel's marketing slogan,
"The Itanium III Pro Plus chip makes the MS-Internet go
faster" is not false advertising.
Early 2010: A Lawyercratic political movement forms to
"protect" the interests of lawyers and to prevent
reformation of the American legal system.
January 2013: A study conducted by some sub-sub-sub-agency
of the Federal bureaucracy reveals that a "startling" 15%
of the US population is without adequate legal insurance
coverage. "This is an outrage. Millions of members of the
'working poor' cannot afford the services of an attorney
for something as simple as beating a parking fine. This
must change," a Lawyercrat in Congress will say in defense
of his "Legalcade" program to provide low-cost legal
coverage for everyone who qualifies.
November 1, 2015: A Supreme Court ruling paves the way for
people to sell their own body parts (i.e. kidneys) for a
profit. Within a year, an increasing number of people sell
a kidney to raise money to pay for their legal defense.
After being forced to pay $12.5 million in damages to a
family after running over their dog, one Illinois man sells
an arm and and a leg via online auction site MicrosoftBay
to make ends meet.
Late 2016: The Universal Bar Association (formerly the ABA)
awards the case of Smith vs. Smith as the "Lawsuit Of The
Year"(tm). In this California case, a woman sues her
unborn baby boy for "increasing her weight to levels above
her prescribed ideal body weight", causing her "undue
mental anguish and grief". She wins. Once the baby
reaches the age of majority (14), he will be forced to pay
his mother (or her estate) $1.9 million in damages. The
court establishes a precedent that a defendant unable to
appear in court can still be successfully sued.
April 2020: A Michigan court rules that companies can place
a hidden camera in their products to spy on consumers and
collect marketing information as long as a notice is placed
on the product in letters at least one micron in size.
Within one year Ford and GM have collected more
intelligence information than the CIA during its entire
Mid 2022: Growing dissent in the American public about the
lawyerization of the country results in the formation of
the Anti-Attorney Party. However, the Party's power quickly
wanes when its leader, founder, and primary beneficiary
"disappears" under mysterious circumstances. Eventually,
Congress declares that all Anti-Attorney members are
engaging in "un-American" activities and should be
imprisoned. All dissent is immediately halted.
April 9, 2022: A study conducted by Harvard Law School
reveals that the average American files 14.2 lawsuits, is a
defendant in 16.9 cases, and is indirectly involved in
213.0 other suits during their lifespan. Ninety-five
percent of the population will spend more time in a
courtroom than in a bathroom during their lives.
May 2025: Income taxes for attorneys and judges are
abolished by a Congress and Presidency composed solely of
Lawyercrats. Everybody and their brother drops what they
are doing and tries to enroll in law school.
Late 2028: By this point, legal expenditures account for
54% of the GDP of the US, up from 23% in the previous
decade. The growth of the legal industry continues at an
accelerating exponential rate, until...
Early 2031: ...it hits 99% and the economy collapses.
Nobody wants to work in any occupation except the legal
field. Indeed, with the high cost of legal insurance and
the virtual guarantee of being sued at least once a month,
nobody can afford to be anything but a lawyer, judge, or
politician. Farmers quit. Power plants shut down.
Commerce shuts down. Within a matter of hours, the entire
economic, social, and political fabric of the US rips
The Layerclysm strikes.
Before long, the entire world is in a state of calamity as
the Lawyerclysm rapidly spreads. The only human
civilization not affected is the small Lunar colony
composed of geeks, nerds, and pundits; the founders were
wise to ban any lawyers or politicians from immigrating.
As the old adage goes, the Geeks shall inherit the Earth.
[I apologize in advance for Splatz's really awful pun. --
Write me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Humorix: Linux and Open Source(nontm) on a lighter note
Web site: http://www.i-want-a-website.com/about-linux/