Nick's Journal
2007-11-30 17:51:15 (UTC)

Bullshit Artist and the Doctrine of Prudentalism

the doctrine of prudentalism is a judicial review theory
adhered to by some members of the supreme court and it
basically boils down to this won notion,
"shutting the fuck up is just as powerful as opening up your
mouth and jawing about every god damned thing under the sun."
essentially it says that the court's power lies just as much
in NOT taking a case than it does in doing so.
at first i hated the prudentalist doctrine, i thought it was
cowardly, but more importantly, i thought it was a horrible
waste of an awesome power, namely that power to rectify the
wrongs, set right the inequities, and lay out a clearly
defined path in the law which we lesser human beings may
but then i started seeing what idiot moves the supreme court
made when it didn't adhere to the prudentalist doctrine and
i was finally quite persuaded that, in fact, shutting hell
up is very powerful, if not for anything but the singular
reason that people will always guess..."what would THEY have

the guy in my basic real estate class clearly does not abide
by the prudentalist doctrine. his name is steven. he must
be in his early thirties. steven is of average height,
spindly, with piercing bluish-grey eyes, and a very closely
shaved head which appears to be an attempt at hiding the
fact that he is, in fact, going bald.
and much like the fact that steven does not wish to accept
the fact that he is going bald, he also does not seem to
wish to accept the fact that his hallowed opinions may at
times be about as stupid as a monkey on a tricycle.
steven first caught my ire during on-campus interviews, when
he entered into my basic real estate class in a three piece
suit and a pocket watch. now, you have to be an immense
asshole to wear a three piece suit in the first place...but
then he compounded my ire, by casually flipping out his
pocket watch along its silverly chain, deftly catching it in
his hand, flipping open its face and saying to the girl who
sits next to him, "looks like it's about time they call me
and offer me my job."
yes...steven is a fuck-face.

but lately i started to really dig into why i couldn't stand
him when he spoke. what was it about him that made me so
well first and foremost he had such a condescending habit to
everyone (especially to the teacher which i thought was
somewhat odd) whenever he answered a question. if the
teacher laid out a subject to discuss, he would always
answer. in fact not a basic real estate class went by
without my having to hear steven's croakingly
self-confidence voice reverbrate through my ear canal. he
ALWAYS spoke.
moreover, he had this annoying habit of speaking without
raising his hand, as if it were his god given right to
bestow his knowledge upon us.
as if his hijacking of any class conversation so as to
enforce his self-supposed superiority upon us wasn't enough,
he was almost always wrong.
actually it was kind of sad, he apparently was a moron.
then i started to wonder...does he not know he's a
moron...or does he talk so much to cover it up?
then i started really listening to steven. his course of
speaking goes along these lines. he'll grab the question
like a football being thrown to someone sitting behind
him...after his successful interception he'll start in this
arrogant ass tone as if it was actually beneath him to
answer the question. in adopting this attitude he always
reminds me of someone who's just about to leave the office
on a friday at 5:02 and is stopped by someone asking him how
to format an excel spreadsheet.
then of course comes the inevitable...he starts saying
stupid shit. the teacher starts to correct him starting
with, "well, that's not entirely correct," which is actually
quite generous of our teacher as many times the answer being
spewed forth is NOT AT ALL correct.
this is where steven takes the turn that pisses me off. he
starts bullshitting. he'll do this either through one of
two ways. one way he does so is by adopting a somewhat
ironic tone, as if, in answering this question, he had
actually played a huge practical joke on everyone in teh
class and that the question was in fact so far beneath him
that he can merely dismiss it with a witty anecdote. he
reminds me a lot of ronald reagan in this respect (may peace
by upon him). the only difference is that reagan had charm.
the second way in which he climbs out of the plane going
down in flames formerly known as his well-crafted answer is
by adopting an overly serious tone and basically cramming
down an alternative answer down our teacher's throat.

now what i hate about bullshit artists is that they
undermine my integrity. if you're bullshitting someone you
obviously don't think too highly of them as you think that
you can get out of whatever shitpile you're sitting in by
fabricating (what you may beleive to be) well-crafted lies,
which the other person is too much of an idiot to decipher
as lies. it's just very simply an insult.
so after listening to steven for several questions last
night i decided to intervene, the first time i causally gave
the ansswer and i got a quick look-around from steven.
then about 10 minutes later steven had adopted the ironic
tone and had told what he thought was one of the wittiest
anecdotes regarding the "power-of-sale" in deeds of trusts.
i quickly grabbed the question from ole stevey-boy again
and answered the questiion succinctly.
i got another look from steven, this time with that fucking
smile plastered on his face that he uses when he's in ironic
bullshit mode.
finally we were in steven's second stage of bullshitting, he
was vehemently arguing that a piece of land had indeed not
transferred. the teacher was painstakingly trying to dump
steven for someone else and as i raised my hand he looked at
my gratefully,
"the father would be a trustee and the son would be his
"yes exactly."
"wait, but how is that different from what i said?"
"well..." my teacher started to stammer.
"you said that the property would revert back to the
original owner and never mentioned the ability of creating a
"yes! you see, it's imperative that you mention the ability
to construct a simply did not do that!"
at the end of this conversation steven half-turned in his
chair and threw his piercing bluish-grey eyes upon me in
what i can only describe as longer than a "look" but shorter
than a "glare".
his eyes rested upon me long enough to size me up, but not
long enough to invite something confrontational.
"oh...i see."

next...i introduce steven to the doctrine of prudentalism.