Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Oh, Canadaaaaaa.


I went to a cocktail mixer for recent alumni of my law school last night (classes of 08 through 11 seemed to be there).  I met a Canadian LLM who graduated in 2011 (same year as me) and he was just delightful.

Something that stuck in my head is his perception of how rich and colorful US history is compared to Canadian history.  For example, he said he was learning about the (US) Civil War in middle school and then they went on winter break before finishing the unit and all he could think was, "What happens NEXT!?!?"  He had no idea how the Civil War was going to end/ended. 

(Ahem, excuse me, I'm referring to the war that is known as "The War of Northern Aggression" in some circles.  In some, Southern, circles.  My freshman year roommate from Georgia told me this is how she learned it.  By the way, she was what we currently call, African American.)

Anyway, the LLM was just amazed that we had this whole history of slavery and owning people and fighting wars about it.  Apparently Canada has had none of that.  And he was just enraptured by it.

This led into a discussion of the dearth of cases on the "tortious interference with chattels."  Apparently, he had to look up cases on this (made relevant today by the issue of people using GPS tracking on OTHER people's phones to stalk them or otherwise invade their privacy).  The problem was, there were NO prior cases about the tortious interference with chattels.  With someone else's chattels (chattels = property that is not real property where "real property" = land/homes).

Oh, but wait.  There were a FEW cases.  A few OLD cases.  The ONLY reported/published cases documenting the legal history of tortious interference with chattels was about SLAVES.  About people messing with their neighbors' slaves.  And he was just not going to cite those to prove the point that it's wrong to mess with someone else's stuff. 

And somehow, in the space of a few paragraphs, this post has gone from being about "Oh, Canada" (SMH) to "Oh, UHH-merr-kuh" (SMH).  (Where SMH = shaking my head; and Uhh-merr-kuh is how my sister pronounces "America" when we are referring to something shameful, or backwards, or super-red-statey about our great country).

Example of things that prompt "UHH-merr-kuh":
1. Overweight/obesity/morbid obesity epidemic (TV shows like "Heavy")
2. People who think the sun revolves around the earth
3. Anything related to Palin/Bachman
4. Anything about American stupidity in general (especially geography)

I'm sure you can think of more...

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