RageWednesday, May 18, 2011
This weekend, I read this book. (I know, I know, I'm meant to be reading that one for the A Practical Wedding book club. But I can't exactly go on a romantic minibreak with my husband and take The Science of a Good Marriage, can I?)
This is not a particularly sophisticated book. It's written from the perspective of a dog, for a start. It also contains a lot of references to car racing, which isn't something I would ever have imagined would be interesting. But, actually, for a little light reading on a carefree weekend, cosied up in pressed sheets and fragrant, fluffy pillows, it was perfect.
Except, there is an incident in the book that didn't quite fit in with the serene and peaceful mood I had planned. In fact, it had me quite literally shaking with rage. My heart was pounding. I actually had to put the book down for a few hours and do something else until the rage had subsided and I could go back and, hesitatingly, pick up where I left off. I won't go into the detail but essentially what it boiled down to was a vile mixture of injustice and powerlessness (oh, how often the two go hand-in-hand).
I didn't go into law to save the world or right wrongs. I went into law because I
couldn't think of anything else to do wanted to be like Ally MacBeal thought it might be interesting. I've always enjoyed analysing complicated situations and seeking out the most elegant, logical solution. (Like the time I broke into my parents' house using a tent pole. I've never been more proud.) Honestly, I saw law as more of an intellectual pursuit than a vocation. And, true to form, I have ended up practising in an area that is full of complicated regulations and difficult concepts and not much in the way of life-or-death implications, and that's the way I've always liked it.
But I think I may be undergoing a conversion. Your typical law student starts out brimming with high aspirational principles. These are then slowly and ruthlessly ground out of him or her by the tireless, all-consuming force of Hourly Rates, Chargeable Time and Performance-Related Bonuses. I, on the other hand, seem to be floating back in the opposite direction, to the point where a potential fictional miscarriage of justice, narrated by a dog, leaves me boiling with rage at the wickedness of the world. I mean, is this normal? I have no idea.
Was this book a turning point? Was it the final push that would make me throw in the towel on my corporate law job and run off to the Democratic Republic of Congo to be a human rights lawyer and bang up all these scumbags?
Truthfully, no. Probably not. I did sign up to volunteer for a free law clinic, though, so all is not entirely lost.
|Image: Getty, via The Telegraph, via Pinterest|
Mainly, to be honest, the book just kind of made me want to get a dog. Preferably this one. Anyone know where I can steal him?