Melodramatic courtroom scenes are the crack cocaine of modern cinema and television; the average viewer must have a regular dose at certain intervals or they will soon lose interest in whatever televisual dog’s-breakfast is being served ‘em by the sweaty-palmed, hysterically gibbering minions of Hollywood or Bollywood or whatever-wood they happen to find themselves lost in quasi-Dantesque peril (pause for breath here).
watchword for today is — eschew the obvious! Pester me not for your
cheap thrills of courtroom antics leavened by lurid,
torn-from-the-headlines social issues! You shall have none of that here
and I do not care if you lapse into oddly compelling convulsions.
Instead, you shall have a wholesome bit of this week’s episode of Lewis
Carroll’s Snark Hunt, in which
we find the Barrister heaving onto his hind legs before an English judge
and jury, all for the benefit of a porcine defendant of no fixed
address. There are no lurid social issues being mooted about in this
courtroom, just the sweaty business of Man vs. Swine with a pinch of
Desertion to lend it all an air of forensic veracity,
Good lord, I
hear you mutter, everyone looks like everyone else, what’s going on
here? Fret not, dear reader, you are not hallucinating nor is this
artist suffering from idiopathic monofacia, in fact this is a prime
example of what legal experts call habeas corpus (or more correctly, habeo corpus, for the benefit of congenitally officious readers).
indeed, we have here the body and the face of the Barrister, AKA Martin
Heidegger, multiplied ten-fold so that he can simultaneously play all
the necessary roles of this Carrollian nightmare of a courtroom drama.
In doing so, not only do we cut down on unnecessary expenditures of our
favorite brand of second-grade-fresh, reheated cafeteria-style india ink
but we can also avoid the bothersome necessity of accurately drawing
the many different faces of a full complement of judge, jury, defendant,
spectators and string section.
Good lord, I hear you mutter,
string section? Why yes, a string section and I think they are playing
something rather jolly, a spritely tune which could even serve as an
overture to the impending legal machinations of Messers Heidegger,
Heidegger, Heidegger and Heidegger (gesundheit). It sounds rather like a
bit of Gilbert and Sullivan and the hypernaturally eagle-eyed reader
will have already noted the bit of foolscap in the Barrister’s hand upon
which we can observe that hark, the hour of ten is sounding!
sound advice indeed, for it might serve as both an indicator of the
numerical quantity of Heideggers facially cluttering the landscape and
more to the point, perhaps even the opening verses of Gilbert and
Sullivan’s forensic benchwarmer, Trial By Jury.
well-oiled Carrollian will sigh appreciatively at all this, knowing as
they do that Carroll once harbored designs of collaborating with Sir
Arthur Seymour Sullivan. These designs were crushed by something or the
other, such was (and is) the topsy-turvy world of the crushing theater.
is only now, over 130 years later, that the reader can judge for
himself what such a collaboration might have looked like as he peruses
our artistic reconstruction of a Carroll and Sullivan collaboration. I
suggest that with glass in eye, you observe in a melodiously
crosshatched manner that Heideggers
with anxious fears are abounding, breathing hope and fear — for to-day
in this arena, summoned by a stern subpoena, the Snark shortly will