I’ve been yelping for a while and I never used to do it, but I think it just emerged as a pattern for me. I like to give only positive reviews. It’s not that I’ll give them on purpose, but I will tend to give whatever bad experience I may have had a cooling off period. I feel like sometimes I get into this vortex wherein all my feelings build upon themselves, forming this spiraling inferno that is not complimentary and does not really do much but to create negativity. Instead of this, I’ll ignore those feelings and go back to the place again after a few months and then decide if I like the place. Although statistically unlikely, I often feel like the best time you could possibly have is bound to happen, or could happen next time.

While I was writing this I remembered a review for pizza that is in an episode of the TV show Community.

code page 437

I think about some things in my life that have fallen away or entirely changed, and technology is certainly one of them. When I was in middle school, it was nearly the dark ages. I wrote my first research paper on the effects of smokeless tobacco. To gather research I went to the Northeastern University library at the Burlington, MA, campus. My mom and I would go together after school. She would drive me to the library. I would photocopy all my sources, then we would pile in the car, and head back home.

The resources I used are the brilliance of the caveman’s first paintings, well preserved as a record in time. The renderings of our ancestors that our recent relatives hang in the Smithsonian museum are not unlike the relics of my youth, which can likely still be found in any present-day library procured by modern-day librarians: books, encyclopedias, and microfiche.

To write back then I used a family computer that ran on MSDOS, with a black screen monitor that displayed orange letters in a font called code page 437 (“Code”). I printed out my final draft on a dot matrix printer. I think about the resources I used then and how much things have changed.

What was once a multi-venue, multi-resource process has been condensed down into something much more simple. At home I have my laptop, computer, and printer. I don’t need to go outside of my home, or outside my one device to gather research. I can simply go online. I go to google or use ebscoHost to research my papers. This convenience has eliminated time and money and has liquidated the process of research into something effortless. I simply think of what I need, point and click, and I’ve got what I need. Writing and research is simply a whim at my fingertips.

When I think about Steve Jobs, initially I remember my first Apple technologies. The day was dawning. The first laptop I ever owned was an iMac laptop and iPod I got as Christmas presents. I used the iTunes application on my computer to upload songs to my iPod, which allowed me to listen to music in my car or on headphones while running. I think about Steve Jobs and I think about the technology, as I should. They weren’t necessarily interchangeable but in my mind they go hand in hand. Jobs was the keynote speaker for new Apple products. The procession congeals the Apple computer in a kind of sentience with Jobs that I think will remain in my heart for a long time, in his memory.

I do not know how these technologies would have formed in a different world. In a parallel universe these products may have originated on a different timeline or found their success from different makers. Had it been served on a plate with a glass of cold milk and chocolate chip cookies, I would have attributed its creation to Santa Claus, but it did not come about this way. Steve Jobs is credited with much of the commercial success of the Apple product line. His ability to speak and develop excitement has generated sales and success and as a result he has won countless awards.

Steve Jobs’ interest in typography directly contributed to the inclusion of type set design and writer’s applications, including MacWrite and MacPaint in some of the first Mac computers (Peterson).  His love of calligraphy and the study of the formation of letters in different fonts, with proper proportion and spacing, fascinated Jobs (The Apple History Channel). His inclusion of writing and research tools in his computer designs helped facilitate the revolution of the research and writing process.

After Steve Jobs was fired from Apple, he founded NeXT in 1985. NeXT introduced the first NeXT Computer in 1988, and the smaller NeXTstation in 1990. The NeXT computers experienced relatively limited sales, with estimates of about 50,000 units shipped in total. Nevertheless, its innovative object-oriented NeXTSTEP operating system and development environment were highly influential (“NeXT”).

The Next computer used the first graphical user interface and dynamic page generation design. The systems also came with a number of smaller built-in applications such as the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary, Oxford Quotations, the complete works of William Shakespeare, and the Digital Librarian search engine to access them. The NeXT computer was used to create the internet, where, in 1990, Tim Berners-Lee used Next to construct the first web browser and web server. (“NeXT”)

Jobs started Next and Pixar, which made the first computer animated film, Toy Story (“NeXT”). Pixar is the most successful computer animation studio ever (“NeXT”). Apple bought Next and they use their ideas for apple technology renaissance (“NeXT”).

Apple started focusing on integrated software for personal devices like cameras, camcorders, and PDAs. This was known as the Digital Hub Strategy; where, different devices and media link together sharing data and common functions. This worked really well for everything on the market except for digital music players. The devices were clunky and had pretty bad user interfaces, so to fix the problem Steve Jobs had the Apple engineers design a new music player, the iPod. The iPod came out in 2001 (“Apple Press”).

With its essential integrated software counterpart, iTunes, it was the product game changer that Apple needed to surpass its competition. The iPod once again showed Steve Jobs’ design values. It was clean, white, simple and elegant. It also introduced a mobile device user interface to the industry. This was the stepping stone to the next product that would again change the world of design. (Peterson)

Steve Jobs revolutionized the way that people use technology to access and learn about new music. What was once walkmen: cassette players and CD players tethered to the ears by headphones were static resources that could play one album at a time. IPods allowed a user interface to find new music. ITunes recommended new music with their predictive algorithms. With an iPod one could store an entire library of music with thousands of songs, as opposed to one album. On February 12, 2012, Jobs was posthumously awarded the Grammy Trustees Award, an award for those who have influenced the music industry in areas unrelated to performance (“Steve Jobs”).

In January 2007, the clean, sleek, simple, and elegant iPhone was introduced to the world. Not only did the iPhone (and 3 years later the iPad) jumpstart a whole new industry standard, Apple again, opened another new media platform for design professionals known as Mobile App Design (Peterson). Steve Jobs’ designs have inspired the way the media works. Most people can access news headlines from the likes of CNN, New York Times, BBC, with mobile applications. This has transformed news ratings systems from a TV platform to an individual window that anyone with an iPhone, smartphone, or other personal device can use.

Jobs was awarded the National Medal of Technology by President Ronald Reagan in 1985, with Wozniak (among the first people to ever receive the honor), and a Jefferson Award for Public Service in the category “Greatest Public Service by an Individual 35 Years or Under” (also known as the Samuel S. Beard Award) in 1987. On November 27, 2007, Jobs was named the most powerful person in business by Fortune magazine. (“Steve Jobs”)

In August 2009, Jobs was selected as the most admired entrepreneur among teenagers in a survey by Junior Achievement, having previously been named Entrepreneur of the Decade 20 years earlier in 1989, by Inc. magazine. On November 5, 2009, Jobs was named the CEO of the decade by Fortune magazine (“Steve Jobs”).

In November 2010, Jobs was ranked No.17 on Forbes: The World’s Most Powerful People (“Steve Jobs”). In January 2012, when young adults (ages 16 – 25) were asked to identify the greatest innovator of all time, Steve Jobs placed second behind Thomas Edison (“Steve Jobs”).

In March 2012, global business magazine Fortune named Steve Jobs the “greatest entrepreneur of our time”, describing him as “brilliant, visionary, inspiring”, and “the quintessential entrepreneur of our generation” (“Steve Jobs”).

Two films, Disney’s John Carter and Pixar’s Brave, are dedicated to Jobs. Steve Jobs was posthumously inducted as a Disney Legend on August 10, 2013 (“Steve Jobs”).

There is no question these awards and accolades have only scratched the surface of the legacy of Steve Jobs. Jobs was a man, and stands as a testament to the obelisks that the primates have encircled and made entirely their own. It is the discovery of fire that our Cro-Magnon forefathers came upon perhaps by chance, inevitably to find warmth. Sometimes people don’t criticize what they can’t understand, such as the brilliant engineer Steve Jobs. Who could fault him? He was brilliant. But the salesman Steve Jobs has been accused of so many crimes.

There’s hardly a cliche in the leftist lexicon liberals couldn’t have applied to Jobs and his customers: commodity fetishism, false consciousness, objectification and alienation, manufactured wants, the marketing of desire, and, most obviously, planned obsolescence. This last is the hoary charge from mid-century that American businessmen designed a product so it would soon be superseded by a similar product, compelling consumers to buy, buy, buy (Ferguson).

There is something that aligns perfectly with a formula that is inherent in us all. I am still trying to extrapolate. The variables are comprised of the American dream, entrepreneurship, and the capturing of what people all wish they had: tons of money. There is no question in my mind that Steve Jobs is the world’s greatest capitalist, yet to be toppled by the next big thing. The remains of this insight help me to step from this dark precipice to determine what many hold as a symbol of greatness, when, in essence, we have been enculturated to know this greatness is inside us all. To understand the idea of Steve Jobs, or any cult of personality that we might think is great, is to understand our own flawed notions of greatness.

In season three of Community, the community college study group is fiercely recruited by Glee club director Mr. Rad, played by Taran Killam, who, after losing the original members to a collective mental breakdown, preys on the group. “Glee, it’s like a drug that you use that turns pain into shoes and your shoes into dance” (“Baby Boomer”). The hypnotic song master croons to an unsuspecting target. Abed, played by Dani Pudi, sings, “Glee is what’ll spread to my friends like a virus that sends them to a healthier place” (“Baby Boomer”).  The infected members of the study group infect others and double their efforts, eventually forming a complete glee club that will supposedly go on to perform at regionals.

After Abed infects his best friend Troy, played by Donald Glover, they turn Pierce Hawthorne, played by Chevy Chase. Pierce, an aging baby boomer, is particularly vulnerable due to his demographic’s “well-documented, historical vanity” (“Baby Boomer”).

“You, Pierce? Your generation invented music” (“Baby Boomer”). Pierce responds, “I don’t know about invented; perfected maybe” (“Baby Boomer”). The ensuing anthem heralds Santa, having been part of Pierce’s peer group, who “fought at Woodstock and Vietnam, smoked a ton of acid and burned his bra” (“Baby Boomer”). The song credits Santa with the advent of “Spielberg and microchips” (“Baby Boomer”). Santa “invented Coca Cola and aerobics” (“Baby Boomer”). “He made the iron curtain and the Gremlins, too, fake butter and AIDS, and Twin Peaks” (“Baby Boomer”).

Pierce cuts in, singing, “You’re welcome for everything in the world. I’m Baby Boomer Santa, I bring the gift of the world” (“Baby Boomer”).

The remaining uninfected of the study group back out of the study room together, shaking their heads, promising each other it will never happen to them. They all became infected in the coming days, all succumbing to Glee.

Glee in this analogy is the hype that surrounds anything, the social distortion that echoes around something huge, the sequel trilogy to the Star Wars movies. They weren’t that great. I still love IV, V, and VI the best. They all have this place in my heart that will not be tarnished by the ensuing onslaught of the prequels. The first of the post-quels, Star Wars VII, is something I am eagerly anticipating, coming December 2015. It’s supposed to be great: “more practical effects, less CGI; captured on film, not digitally; and it will feel more authentic” (Mentel). It will have to be better than the prequels, in my hope of hopes.

In addition to the hype of inevitably bad movies, I think of incumbency as another useful marketing tool. “The percentage of incumbents who win reelection after seeking it in the U.S. House of Representatives has been over 80% for more than 50 years, and is often over 90%” (“The Power”). If he’s been in office for one term, what would another term hurt? The devil we know is safer than the devil we don’t. And that devil continues on to a lack luster second term, occupying space instead of breaking records or blowing our minds. “True, things can definitely get out of control when frothy-mouthed marketers promise life-changing miracles to get all of us to take notice” (Stapleton).

Regardless of the bad movies, there have been some great ones. And of the presidents we hold up as the top five, there are always some that we have marked off that list. But there will always be something else, something more that we have not seen or cannot see, not without the hype that extends to the world hope in the form of something we wish upon that grants us more wishes until we have witnessed something grander than all our expectations. And the fact that we saw it happen means that we all were there and we were a part of it. And it will be held up in the annals of time as something historical, important beyond words can comprehend.

Related articles:


“Apple Press Info.” Apple. Apple Inc., 2015. Web. 9 February 2015.

“Baby Boomer Santa.” Wikia. Wikia, n.d. Web. 22 Feb. 2015. http://community-

“Code page 437.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 7 January 2015. Web. 9 February


Ferguson, Andrew. “The Steve Jobs Snow Job.” Commentary 132.5 (2011): 80. Print.

Mentel, Thomas. “8 Reasons Why Star Wars VII is Destined to Please.” The Cheat Sheet. The

Cheat Sheet, 10 Nov. 2013. Web 22 Feb. 2015.

“Next.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 23 January 2015. Web. 9 February 2015.

Peterson, Vicki. “How Steve Jobs Influenced the Modern World of Digital Design.” Symantec.

Symantec Corporation, 8 February 2013. Web. 9 February 2015.

Stapleton, Dan. “Opinion: Hype Isn’t Always A Bad Thing – Hype Is Hope.” IGN. IGN Games

Newsletter, 30 Jan. 2015. Web. 22 Feb. 2015.

“Steve Jobs.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 9 February 2015. Web. 9 February 2015.

The Apple History Channel. “Steve Jobs Commencement Speech 2005.” Youtube. Youtube, 6

March 2006. Web. 9 February 2015.

“The Power of Incumbency.” Boundless Political Science. Boundless, 02 Jul. 2014. Web. 22

Feb. 2015.

my favorite batman

I always used to think Michael Keaton was my favorite, but now I think Abed from the TV show Community is first. It’s just the limitations of him that I love, he’ll not save you from much, except for the delusion that any of us could be batman, anyone at all.

Related articles:


When I think of lawyers, I remember I do not know any personally, but I have seen them played on TV. One of my favorite shows is Community. Jeff Winger, played by Joel McHale, is a lawyer. His motto: “I discovered at a very early age that if I talked long enough I could make anything wrong or right. So either I’m God, or truth is relative. In either case BOOYAH” (“Winger Speeches”)! In his first speech, Winger exhibits his skills to diplomatically end conflict among members of his study group.

“ALRIGHT EVERYBODY!!! I want to say something, sit down.”— Jeff

“You don’t have to yell, I don’t appreciate your tone.”— Shirley

“You know what makes humans different from other animals?”— Jeff

“Feet.”— Troy

“No, come on bears have feet”— Pierce

“We are the only species on Earth that observe “Shark Week”. Sharks don’t even observe “Shark Week” but we do. For the same reason I can pick up this pencil, tell you its name is Steve and go like this (breaks pencil), and part of you dies just a little bit on the inside, because people can connect with anything. We can sympathize with a pencil, we can forgive a shark, and we can give Ben Affleck an Academy Award for Screenwriting.”— Jeff

“Big mistake.”— Pierce (“Winger Speeches”)

               When I think of lawyers, I don’t think of anyone in particular, no one real, anyway, but rather an impression of one I have seen on TV, something that runs like a little loop on repeat, something that always plays itself out time and time again as a reminder of that universal truth that reveals something bigger than what a TV show could do. A lawyer’s talent is a professional manipulation of words to create meaningful outcomes for the purpose of winning court cases and earning money. According to Forbes magazine, the best way for a lawyer to do well is to earn money through four strategies:

  1. Become an industry thought leader. If you want to have a very substantial and profitable career as a lawyer you will probably need to create a meaningful pipeline of new engagements.
  2. Strategically network with key referral sources. As part of becoming an industry thought leader, you’re communicating your expertise to existing and potential referral sources.
  3. Proactively manage existing relationships. Because of the characteristics of legal services coupled with your desire to be paid (and paid well), it’s wise to make the effort to adroitly manage client relationships.
  4. Master Millionaire Intelligence. For example, by employing the negotiation strategies of Millionaire Intelligence, you can be referred to clients on a consistent basis from other types of professionals without having to send them clients.
  5. For most lawyers the way to earn substantial monies is by being a rainmaker. Bringing in business usually trumps everything else when it comes time to set salaries and collect bonuses. By skillfully applying these four approaches, you can indeed crate a steady stream of highly satisfied clients (and a great deal of money). (Russ and Prince)

The lawyer’s ethics code is in direct conflict with his main goal. Making money is not an ethical guideline. When it comes to a man’s livelihood, survival, success, and greed are lines that have blurred to mean the same thing. “You want to earn as much as possible while maintaining the highest ethical standards” reads more like: make it obvious to no one that you’re trying to make as much money as you possibly can; just pretend like you’re asleep (Russ and Prince). Moreover, the lawyer’s creed must fall in line with strict regulations imposed by the Supreme Court. How does one obey the law and still make money? The rules have been bared out in court as sidelined efforts of corruption. Historically, the high court has enforced guidelines after the fact as the real players make money any way they know how: with flagrant disregard of or while trying to rewrite the rules.

The purpose of legal advertising is to maintain profitability in the legal profession. The foundation of success in any business is having a steady stream of clients who will buy a product.  Same goes for lawyers, who need plaintiffs for whom they can make a case and defend in court. The Supreme Court’s ruling that commercial speech is protected under the First Amendment allows lawyers to publish TV ads for the purpose of attracting interest.

The consumption of lawyer ads is as simple as turning off the television, and yet there is no question television is a powerful medium.

In a decision upholding rules requiring television advertising for legal services to be predominantly informational, the Supreme Court of New Jersey stated, “As the record before us and the general literature abundantly prove, the emotional impact of television advertising, in its ability to persuade subliminally, through symbols, music, drama, authority figures — the entire host of emotive non-rational techniques — far exceeds that of the print media and radio.” (“Lawyer Advertising”)

Nevertheless, television advertising is still within the control of the consumer. In this respect, the Supreme Court analysis set out in the Shapero case which distinguishes direct, targeted mail from in-person solicitation, seems applicable to television. The threat of overreaching inherent in face-to-face solicitation is not present when the consumer may avoid the message by merely averting his or her attention. (“Lawyer Advertising”)

We may change the channel, try and look away, and yet life is funny.  There is a need for government intervention when legal ads are in direct conflict with current laws, including the protections of commercial speech by the First Amendment, except in cases where advertising does something other than solicit basic services. For example, government intervention has been helpful in cases of story-telling, inflated promises for large payouts, or downright ridiculousness.

For instance, one Syracuse, New York lawyer had to go to federal court to protect his constitutional right to be ridiculous. Greg Beck of Public Citizen said, “We represented a, a firm who had a variety of ads that were supposed to be funny and entertaining, including ads that sort of made the lawyers look like they were giants stomping around the city of Syracuse and, for example, advising space aliens on personal injury claims.”

Bob Garfield said, “Sounds like a Japanese movie from 1962.”

“They were kind of funny,” Beck said. “They were silly. The bar does not like silliness, though. And it made clear that silly kind of ads are, are the source of ads that the rule was supposed to prohibit.” (Garfield)

The Boston-based James Sokolove is a lawyer who began publishing ads through print media and later in television. His commercials initially drew disdain by peers, but eventually generated a billion dollar profit (Garfield). Sokolove serves as a successful business model that generates millions for large conglomerates (Garfield). Advertisers such as The Relion Group use an independent role of actors to represent lawyers in commercials and later sell the referrals to off-camera litigators (Garfield). The Relion Group, a subsidiary of Lead Generation Technologies, funded by the Carlyle Group, doesn’t itself employ any lawyers (Garfield). The risk of damaging a lawyer’s reputation by appearing in an ad is too great. It would make him seem greedy, opportunistic, and turn the upper lip of potential clients.

In 1977, the profession experienced a seismic change in the genesis of lawyer advertising. Just one year after the Supreme Court established that the First Amendment protected commercial speech, state regulation of attorney advertising received national scrutiny in the Court’s landmark decision in Bates v. State Bar of Arizona. In short, the Court held that the First Amendment protected truthful advertising for routine legal services. In ruling that advertising by attorneys was a form of commercial speech protected by the First Amendment, the Court issued a clear caveat: it did not hold that advertising may not be regulated in any manner. In fact, the court delineated some of the permissible limitations on advertising: advertising that is false, deceptive, or misleading is subject to prior restraint. (Hyland)

What Bates v. Arizona did not do was maintain regulation on other forms of lawyer solicitation. Shortly after Bates, an ABA Journal-sponsored law poll reported more lawyers were inclined to solicit cases than were likely to advertise. The issue, however, was decided the next year by companion cases In re Primus, 436 U.S. 412 (1978) and Ohralik v. Ohio State Bar Association, 436 U.S. 447 (1978). The Court held that in-person solicitation for pecuniary gain was subject to regulation as an important state interest. The “potential for overreaching is significantly greater when a lawyer, a professional trained in the art of persuasion, personally solicits an unsophisticated, injured or distressed person.” (“Lawyer Advertising”)

Legal solicitation can come from seemingly out of the blue, and it’s no surprise they often go unnoticed by disciplinary boards. “After the horrific crash of a Northwest airplane in Detroit, a man posing as a priest talked to the families of victims at the crash site. The “priest” also handed out the business card of a Florida attorney” (Hyland). Where some courts have determined this behavior to invade privacy and cause harm to victims, there are acts that slip past regulation.

McHenry, an attorney who sent letters to prospective personal injury victims, sued the Florida state bar for its decision that prohibited attorneys from soliciting personal injury and wrongful death clients “unless the accident or disaster occurred more than thirty days prior to the mailing of the communication” (Hyland).  The thirty-day ban on legal advertising directed at victims of recent accidents or injury protected victims of recent personal injury or death from invasion of privacy. The court found that the emotional state inhibits their ability to “evaluate direct-mail advertising from an attorney” (Hyland). “The Eleventh Circuit concluded, however, that neither interest was substantial enough to justify the ban” (Hyland).

Lawyers can mislead and use the system to their benefit, especially when using legal speak to mislead potential clients. In the case of Zauderer v. Disciplinary Counsel, lawyers were advertising that plaintiffs would be refunded all legal fees if there was no recovery (“Zauderer”). The Court stated that laymen would not be aware of the distinctions between “fees” and “costs” and could easily conclude that there would be no financial obligation (“Zauderer”). The Court concluded that the “assumption that substantial numbers of potential clients would be so misled is hardly a speculative one” (“Zauderer”).  Lawyers actively mislead potential clients by using legal jargon; their potential victims require protection by regulation.

Sometimes, if I think of laws as chains, there is a better case for it. In defiance of chains, some people keep trying to break free. In the case of lawyers, they can simply make money with inherent disregard of the chains. Abraham Lincoln, in his famous advice to the young man aspiring to the bar said that he should resolve to be an honest lawyer, and that if he could not do that, he should resolve to be honest and not to be a lawyer (Basler).  Perhaps criminal behavior is more universal than I first thought.

In an age where the law can prevent and enable lawyers from the success-money-greed paradigm, the lawyer must continue. He must figure out what he will do to survive. The law, as its edge turns, may hinder or help him. As he fights on, the cycle of the law is unending. This world curls like it would from the edge of a hamster wheel, the same as the edge of the Earth, only from it he can always see the edge of the horizon coming up quicker with each step. The decaying orbit of planets circles farther or closer away from the dream, the promise, the faint hope. The little guy keeps running on, not realizing that it’s never ending, a constant, daily struggle to be free.

Related articles:


Basler, Roy P., et al. “Abraham Lincoln’s Notes for a Law Lecture.” Abraham Lincoln Online. Abraham Lincoln Online, 2015. Web. 8 February 2015.

Garfield, Bob. “The Upside of Legal Advertising.” WNYC, 16 September 2011. Web. 26 January 2015.

Hyland Jr., William G. “Attorney advertising and the decline of the legal Profession.” Journal of the Legal Profession. 35.1 (2011): 339-383. Print.

“Lawyer Advertising and Solicitation Chapter from Lawyer Advertising at the Crossroads.” American Bar. American Bar Association, 2015. Web. 8 February 2015.

Neville, Alan. “Community Season 1.flv.” Online video clip. YouTube. YouTube, 16 March 2012. Web. 8 February 2015.

Prince, Russ Alan and Rogers, Bruce. “How Lawyers Can Dramatically Boost their Incomes.” Forbes. Web, 14 September 2012. Web 8 February 2015.

“Winger Speeches.”  Wikia. WikiaTV, n.d. Web. 8 February 2015.

“Zauderer v. Disciplinary Counsel.” Justia. Justia, 2015. Web. 8 February 2015.