Have you seen Suits? If you haven’t, Suits is a show about a whiz kid who hasn’t gone to law school but gets hired by a big NY law firm as an associate and does well as a lawyer.* The cast includes Meghan Markle though she’s leaving to marry Prince Harry.The more I watch the show the more hooked I am, and I’m wondering if I’m immersing in professional porn.

There’s pornography which I’m clear on and which this post is not about. And there’s the more elusive concept of porn as in food porn and poverty porn.

What makes something porn? Does it have to connect somehow to sex? Does it give a guilty pleasure? Does it seduce you? Does it have something to do with the setting?

Now, all those Law and Orders and most lawyer portrayals on media aren’t porn. Yes, they are fantasies, which might also be an element of porn,but they usually revolve around the courtroom. This is where laypeople think law takes place, but lawyers know law takes place in an office on the phone.

Porn is an inside job. Suits is professional lawyer porn partly but not mainly because of the attractive characters, requisite amount of sex and scenes of the New York City rich and famous. It’s the thrill as a lawyer of watching all the dirty tricks, all the possible ethical violations without issue spotting on a final that produce good even beneficient results. My vote therefore goes to porn as guilty pleasure.

P.S. Next week’s question-“Is The Librarians professional [librarian] porn?

* Suits is in its seventh season so Mike’s secret has been discovered and resolved. But it’s still the ur premise for the series.


overexaggerate= “to exaggerate something to an excessive degree.”

Used in a sentence-You overexaggerater you.

Comment 1-You may prefer the Brit version “overegg.”

Comment 2-So, exaggerating is a conversational baseline?

Comment 3-How do you over over?


According to research, the reason for going sockless is that “flats don’t look good in socks” or inversely “socks don’t look good in flats.” Yes, this is true but should fashion outweigh cold feet?

Let’s start this post by celebrating serendipity. This post discusses Before the Dawn: Recovering the Lost History of Our Ancestors. But that’s not the book I ordered through the library. I ordered Before the Dawn, a historical novel about Japan by Shimazaki Tōson.

The serendipity lies in my interest in paleontology which probably was stimulated by an early life visit to the American Museum of natural History. It’s fascinating that we were a product of evolution. And as the story of human evolution gets less linear, the story becomes more interesting. Imagine an Earth with not just one but several species of homo sapiens co-existing. If someone hasn’t written this alt history, they should.

Before the Dawn describes how genetics specifically the sequencing of the human genome added to paleontological research. The book was written in 2006 so some of the findings are familiar, for example, identification of the genetic Adam and Eve which was New York Times news. You may know that modern humans came from Africa. But did you know that there are good estimates of how many people migrated? Or ideas about the genetic basis of language.

Then comes the touchy or tricky part. Just as there is technological determinism, there is genetic determinism. Wade argues that there is a genetic basis for finding racial differences. He apparently takes the argument further in A Troublesome Inheritance and was slammed for it. I cannot evaluate the scientific value of his argument but have never been completely convinced that gender and race are only social constructs. Of course I believe that gender and race should not be used for societal value judgments. This can’t be original or novel thinking but it is a way to make the problem go away.


Or to be more accurate. I only sneeze twice in a row. You may sneeze more or less. You may also know why I/we sneeze more than once but I didn’t. The answer is that we sneeze more than once when the first sneeze didn’t expel all of the irritants from our nose. Call me the bloggers’ Quora.

On Christmas Eve, I went to the Whitney and saw An Incomplete History of Protest: Selections From the Whitney’s Collection: 1940-2017. There was art representing protest. But what struck me was the artefacts, for example, the Guerrilla Girls, protesting the Whitney for not showing African American and women artists. [You can find out more about the protests here.] As far as I can tell, the protest was justified.

This has been a year of insults and also a year of apologies and also a year of analyzing apologies. Did the Whitney include this material to apologize? Was it an act of self-criticism? Or was this also art?


By Richard Carlin

In addition to my vicarious fame, I’m feeling nachas at watching someone pursue musical and literary love to a productive end This book is also very good. It successfully straddles history and pop culture by providing detail and the back of your mind memory of the greatest hits advertisement you heard on Channel 11.  And it provided a question. Morris Levy was a Mafia associate. I haven’t heard of the Mafia in ages. What happened?