This blog is about living the American Dream at the dawn of the new millennium! I am a nameless, mid-20s, bottom 150 Law School Graduate who finds himself marginally attached and awash in a sea of overeducated but underpaid, indentured peers who feel, and were, duped by the promise of a better life through debt and modern chemistry. Let's get to the point. The Law School Industrial Complex is a scam that has destroyed a generation out of greed. Vendettas were once legal and the pursuit of one was seen not only as moral, but necessary. This newly minted lawyer is going to continue the practice. DON'T GO TO LAW SCHOOL YOU MORONS! Ce qui suit est ce qui reste!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Escalation: The Merits of Active Starvation (Instead of Passively Starving from Unemployment)

"For a man to attain to an eminent degree in learning costs him time, watching, hunger, nakedness, dizziness in the head, weakness in the stomach, and other inconveniences. " ~ Miguel de Cervantes

We interrupt my regular banality to bring you a new development.  Someone out there named Ethan Haines, has decided to try and up the ante on the scambusting/transparency movement by essentially committing to suicide by hunger strike.

Ethan says --

On August 5, 2010, I emailed the following Notice to administrators of ten randomly selected law schools ranked in the Top 100 of the 2010 U.S. News & World Report’s annual rankings. These schools were selected because they stand to gain the most from keeping the current rankings structure in place. Throughout the next two days, I will post a listing of the selected schools.

This hunger strike was motivated by the recent Report issued by the American Bar Association (ABA), the organization charged with regulating legal education, which investigated U.S. News & World Report’s annual law school rankings. It specifically examined the methodology behind the rankings and the public’s overwhelming reliance on these controversial rankings. The Report identified U.S. News’ rankings as having an adverse effect on law students by increasing the cost of legal education, discouraging need-based financial awards, and reducing the incentive to enhance diversity in the legal profession.

My greatest concern with the Report is its conclusion: “there is relatively little that leaders in legal education can do to change [the adverse effects of U.S. News' rankings] in the short term.” I disagree. My classmates are pawns in this legal education standoff and are powerless to resolve any of the aforementioned concerns without the full cooperation and support of law school administrators.

Not that I'm hoping he dies, but hunger strikes only work if you shame the authority figure enough to relent to your demands OR you die because it's better than subjecting yourself to further intolerable treatment/conditions.  Some say it's foolish, others say it's a desperate plea for help, while many could consider it a last act of dignity in the face of outrageous fortune.

Having spent time in places where hunger strikes were actively used, I'll leave it to the reader to try and guess which country/countries I am speaking about, it's really not something to joke about (although if you have any good one-liners feel free to email me).  Of course there's always the occasional human interest story on local news about a high school senior or some crank committing to a hunger strike for some seemingly inane purpose.

However, it's really an Irish phenom, and they're a passionate people.  The Irish have been doing it forever and will do one pretty much at the drop of a hat, even though Gandhi is perhaps the best known for it in Western culture.  Like Ireland's other major contribution to world culture---namely drinking---the hunger strike has become ubiquitous in many social justice movements.

Here's a glimpse at a dramatization of the famous 1981 hunger strike led by Michael Hughes (some peepz died in that one 4 reelz):

My questions are numerous.

1) Is it legitimate?

2) Is Ethan Haines willing to die for this cause?

3) Will the Law Schools actually relent, or like so many others in their positions before, figure out a way to placate Haines & then reneg on the deal once the crisis has passed?

4) Was it really that hard for the ABA to do their fucking job rather than wait for something like this to happen?

Of these, guess which ones I think are most likely...until then feel free to visit the site and support Ethan.  Hell, if you're feeling plucky why don't some unemployed J.D.'s out there drowning in debt, while the schools that robbed your dreams roll around in their salaries, head on over to your local law school and give them similar notice.  For many of us already literally starving, no it's not hyperbolic many of my classmates have to choose between food and bills, you might as well starve for a cause to increase media attention.

After the first 3 days, Ethan's pain will become intense.  It should take about 50 to 70 days before his body starts to consume itself for nourishment (even if he drinks water during this strike).  So we should have an update by then.




  1. If he doesn't last long, he could be the butt of jokes like Saddam. Then again, how would anyone know if he cheats? Is he going to turn the tables and scam the law schools for a change?

  2. I hope this is not a ruse. If he put his name out there, he should just list where he went to school. Also, there are several ways for him to document his trek, i.e. youtube videos. Posting his weight loss on his Twitter page, via photos. I am not certain this is legit. If it is, good luck trying to convince these jackals to provide "less dishonest" info.