Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Spring Has Come and Gone/Enshrouding Idiots

Thirty-eight degrees F. with a rain/snow mix falling on Steve's house. Lovely ...

To a more fun topic: 

Back in 1978, there was a television show called The Paper Chase, based on a novel and movie of the same name. The show centered on a law student, James Hart (James Stephens) and a lot of time was spent in the Contracts Law class, run by the curmudgeonly brilliant and militant Professor Kingsfield, played by the late, great John Houseman. The show was terrific, intelligent, and I loved it, so naturally, it was cancelled after one season.

There was an episode that involved a concept called shrouding. If you were late, or said something stupid, Professor Kingsfield would cast at you an imaginary shroud, which then rendered you invisible to him. He would no longer call on you, nor would he acknowledge your presence in any way. Hart was thus treated, unfairly so, and it was a handicap he needed to overcome. He did, in a clever fashion, and won that round of his battle with Kingsfield.

From time to time, I engage in debate with folks online. Sometimes these are fun, interesting, intellectual battles from which I come away invigorated and pleased. Give and take with somebody smart and educated can be a delight. I fancy that I don't lose many, but now and then, somebody outguns me, and I can acknowledge it when it happens. Nice shot. Your match.

Sometimes, I realize I might as well be talking to the cat for all the intellectual exchange going on, and my opponent has fixed in his or her mind notions that are so off the wall I can't keep going. I particularly like the ones who start to foam and froth, calling me a racist, or sexist, or a  hardcore right-wing jackboot ...

Um. Recently I got into one of these with a troll–I will not feed the trolls! I will not feed the trolls! I should have to write that on the blackboard two hundred times–and I came to the realization that I needed to do: Just toss my shroud over him and watch him vanish as if it was Harry Potter's Invisibility Cloak. Poof! Gone!

It's the best way, really. Trolls don't care; love, hate, doesn't matter which, as long as you feed them any attention. Starving them is the best way. 



steve-vh said...

turns out there were only 8 cities in the US warmer than us yesterday and 6 were in South Florida!

heina said...

OH WOW! I LOVE that movie. I had no idea that there was a TV show as well. Going to have to see if I can get hold of it now.