Saturday, March 11, 2006

Nerve Rest & Bloglight

Nerve rest. My great grandmother was a great believer in it. So I tried it. I gave up blogging for four months, because . . . well . . . I could not continue describing what goes on in the Indiana courts and maintain any sort of healthy equanimity.

I thought that perhaps if I stopped writing about the madness, at least I would not have to think about it when contemplating the next blog post. Of course, not to think about it at all, I would have had to stop reading the stuff and thinking about it altogether. I would have had to stop practicing, actually, because I have to read all of the nonsense to keep up.

I suppose there are the Buddhist souls out there, like Doug Berman at Sentencing Law & Policy and,closer to home, Marcia Oddi at the Indiana Law Blog, who have achieved the glorious state of pure curiosity coupled with divine indifference.

Perhaps my grandmother has made it to 98 and some because, as she says, she just wants to see what happens next. (That's really quite something for someone who has lived through two world wars and even remembers being sad on reading in her children's magazine about the death of the Czar, Czarina, and their family.)I'm not one of those Buddhist souls. I can't just say, "Oh, the court decided this today . . . la-di-da."

That's not to say that Doug Berman or Marcia Oddi don't express an occasional edge. And I think they are both brilliant at taking piles of stuff and passing it on with insightful and important context. But neither seems to get really steamed about very much. They're more interested in what's going to happen next.

I get steamed. There is an awful lot about the Indiana courts to get steamed about. Which is not to say that I have let go unnoted--I hope--the occasional outstanding opinion from an Indiana appellate court.

But in criminal and post-conviction appeals, at least, those outstanding opinions are very few in number. (So much could be remedied were the Court of Appeals' judges simply to install the correct boilerplate in their wordprocessors.) It is hard to escape the impression, actually, that they are almost accidental.

Enough of nerve rest. It's time for more nerve. In the absence of sunlight, perhaps bloglight is the best disinfectant.


T Kemp said...

Sometimes relief can come from sharing negative events with others who understand and agree.

I am interested in what you have to say about these cases and will stay tuned in.

Marcia Oddi said...

Well Michael, I was about to revise my links list this morning and drop the inactive INCourts, but I checked first to see if perhaps you might have reappeared. Sure enough, a recent entry!

Welcome back. The world can use both those of us who try, sometimes unsuccessfully, NOT to have an edge, and those others of us who are mostly edge and add knowledgeable perspective.