水曜日, 4月 06, 2005

For me, "tortured writing" has always been a literal phrase. Every sentence requires countless mental tinkerings before being committed to paper--for academic papers, my average is an hour a paragraph. (And this is why I'm such a bad blogger.) Fortunately, there are times when I can produce words at great speed. The first is under SEVERE time pressure--I once typed up an internship application while eyeing the Fedex truck outside to make sure it hadn't left--and the second is in the wee hours of the morning. Unfortunately, unleashing my wit is often more like unleashing the sarcasm.

Here's a role-playing speech I had to produce last night for a class on biodiversity/ environmental law and policy. At least my classmates thought it was a hoot:


As your city attorney, I have to declare that this case makes me wish I hadn't watched all those Law and Order episodes in yesteryears. Had I gotten hooked on ER, I'd be massaging some man's heart with my latex-clad hands right now--while George Clooney makes my own organs throb and quicken just by running a hand through that salt-and-pepper hair....

*straightens skirt*

What I mean to say...is that I can't believe I'm saying this...but some "enigmatic maggot" is going to prevent the building of a desperately needed hospital, disrupt job growth, and set our fair city back by $661 million. (My crystal ball also tells me to buy oil futures NOW.)

Let me give it to you straight: the Supreme Court has judged that the Endangered Species Act requires the government to prevent a wide range of harm, including "significant habitat modification or degradation." And even had the Fish and Wildlife Service dragged its foot on Balmer's request, the entire fiasco with the northern spotted owl has set a precedent requiring the FWS to explain itself if it doesn't name some fowl or worm endangered or threatened. Alas, the gnatcatcher's case in Natl. Resources Defense Council v. Dept. of Interior fairly demands that the Service designate "critical habitat" for a species. And the way things are looking now, this critical habitat includes every bit of developable land within city limits.

All this, coupled with the fact that our Governor loves sitting on the fence so much that he has permanent splinters up his a___, bodes ill for our city's future.

There is a way out of this mess. According to eminent sources, this creature is actually a sub-species of Rhaphiomidas terminatus. Moreover, scientists are in increasing debate about the actual existence of distinct "species." Last time I checked, the root of all this evil was the Endangered "Species" Act--even the Supreme Court can't deny that. If we can make a good case that our Delhi Sands Flower-Loving Fly is actually an almost indistinguishable cousin of the Islamabad Sands Flower-Loving Fly, which flitters around Some Other City, then we're in luck.