BY Millard Arnold, August 14 2019


…. can I stand the pain?


Millard Arnold



You are
What you say
You are
You never say
You are


Give me a hand obedient to my thoughts; mindless one preferred. What to do when the thought is confused? Mindless hand guide me. Do as I say, not as I do, and if I don’t say and if I don’t do, can you feel the pulse of life?

WANTED: Legal Technocrat. Must be able to juggle logic, precedent, custom and utility, while concentrating on the comparative importance or value of the social interest that will be promoted or impaired. A background in Cardozo would be desirable.

Citizen-judge, guardian of my moral scruples, defender of my rights and freedoms, wonderful it is, citizen-judge that my think is your think. Double-think eh? Reassuring. It is important? I mean that I think. That I have interest? But then, you are my spokesman or am I wrong? Answer me please!!! Are you mine? Or do you belong to the state? You must decide. Or is everything I’ve been saying held against me?

Talk to me in as impartial manner as possible. Tell me of such things as legal principle, common sense, public policy. I love to hear you speak, for after all, “words are just the skin of ideas.” Paint me a picture. Sing me a song. Which way to the Land of Oz? I am so confused. Are you political? But you must be political. I need a heart. A brain. Some courage. Can I get to Kansas? You ARE the Wizard aren’t you???

They say you are a judge. Was your father a lawyer? And what is mother to a judge anyway? Necessity? Citizen-judge, speak to me of the law. You are a specialist. Expound. Refine. Develop. Or is it, “Father forgive them, they know not what they do?” This law you speak of, tell me, is that law determined by the sovereign? Or is the sovereign the society? You know, of course, that a sovereign cannot exist without a society. And you are part of society? …. Well, are you?

Why is the ground trembling? Is that the combined rumbling and tossing of Austin and Bentham? Ah, my kind, noble and devoted friend, you who see no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil. (I mean, can there be evil until you deem there is evil?) You stand between sovereign and society. Do you apply your sanctions at the command of the sovereign or the demand of the society? Are you the clog that turns both ways?

“Waiter! Please….One order of marinated law. A bit tender around the edges please, I have social necessities. And oh, waiter? Could you please hurry? I have an important appointment to keep.”

I have just finished a long talk with Kelsen (monologue, really), and he told me that law is concerned not with the facts of my rather pitiful behavior, but with norms. Rules. Standards of conduct. Say it ain’t so judge! Tell me you care. Be skeptical if you must. Be discriminate. I’ll even accept your tolerance and urbanity, but tell me you care.
You are the prophet. But what will you do when they ask you to kill the cuckoo? Is there compassion? Humanity? You are a vulture. You know that don’t you? Sitting there serenely in morbidity of black-clad decadence. Is there some particular comfort in knowing that you exist only because there is wrong? Tell me, is there a place for you in Utopia?

“….Mommy! Mommy!” The tiny, tight, frighten voice of a child woman. “What is that?” And she point. “Not to worry my darling,” the mother says, smoothing her child’s hair, “He is a judge.” Pause. “Mommy, are they automated? Like computers? Are they programmed to reach X result when Y button is pushed? What happens, Mommy, if someone pulls his plug?” “S-s-s-s-h-h, my child. They tell me they are human. A bit different they say, but human. Very, Very strange….”