On Riots, Past and Present

This was nothing.

People used to storm our offices almost every week. Disgruntled former associates, usually. Sometimes the law students we rejected but more often the ones we didn’t reject because, really, it becomes obvious very quickly that getting the job is an outcome much worse than being passed over.

No one wore great costumes, though. Very little theater when lawyers are involved. No rappelling up the side of the building (though we put some spikes in the grout just to prevent the possibility). No signs. No screaming. Mostly just zombie lawyers, empty behind their eyes, coming at us with letter openers and repurposed office supplies, begging us to make things right.

But what does right even mean?

They think they’re entitled to jobs forever, even if they take their vacation days, even if they choose to sleep away their nights and spend their weekends around people instead of paperwork. They think we don’t have a right to hold it against them when we find out they were reading news articles instead of case briefs, books instead of statutes. When they come back to attack us, they prove we were right all along. That they were not cut out to be true corporate lawyers, devoid of passion, devoid of souls. They demonstrate their passion when they lunge at us with weapons. It is too much passion. It shows they could never hack it here for a lifetime.

So I do not sympathize with the rioters on Capital Hill. They are as bad as disgruntled associates, and maybe even a little worse, although it’s hard to be worse than the worst kinds of people there are.

Though I do know what it’s like to want to challenge the results of an election so badly that you forget the difference between fact and fiction, between numbers and feelings. I should have been 4th grade class president. I believe I only lost by 21 votes in a class of 22. But the kid who beat me had no backbone. He gave in on the recess issue. He caved on homework. That should have been mine and when no one would stand up and help me take what I’d lost, I wanted to riot, too. Alas, as a future lawyer, I did not. I accepted my fate and went to the bathroom and cried. That’s what Donald Trump should have done. It was cathartic. I mean, maybe if I’d had an army of people willing to be insane on my behalf, it might have played out differently. But I didn’t. I just had me.

My therapist would say it’s inappropriate to make the riots about me. He doesn’t understand that everything is about me. If I weren’t the center of the universe, how could I expect people to work so hard on my behalf?

I should have run for President.

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