Our fiber optic modem decided to give up the ghost, pushed up the daisies, kicked the bucket, shuffled off its mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin’ choir invisibile (to paraphrase Monty Python)!! We’re not quite sure what caused it, but because it happened right before the Memorial Day holiday, the earliest they can get a new one out to us is Tuesday. Soooo…, I’m spending a lot of time at our neighborhood Starbuck’s which is closest wireless that I can access (what ever happened to trust? all of our neighbors have secured wireless!). As I can’t just go to Starbuck’s and use their wireless (hello, Catholic guilt!), I am getting pretty jacked up on chai lattes (my favorite afternoon Starbuck’s drink). I work on files at home, get everything ready to upload, transfer it over to my laptop then hustle over to Starbuck’s for a few hours. Then I have to go walk or run off the excess energy that all that caffeine gives me.
That wasn’t the only way the universe decided to poop on my this week; I also had jury duty. Before I go off on my rant, I should say up front that I think the jury system, and a lot of our legal system in this country is well and truly screwed up. Jurors are made to feel something like the criminals we are supposed to be helping judge from the git-go from the time we get the threatening summons to the whole way we are treated when we actually show up. We serve under threat of punishment for not cooperating, at least that’s how it feels to me. I didn’t have to go in Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday – but Thursday the bad news came. So down to the courthouse I went to spend the whole day from 7:45am to 2:30 killing time in the jury waiting room. the good news is that I didn’t even get put on a panel. And I don’t have to do it again for at least a year. But really, this whole method of jury selection seems so bogus. What’s wrong with the Napoleonic system of a panel of judges? Or the silent witnesses of Stranger in a Strange Land? Is justice really served by placing twelve people against their will on a panel to render judgment on issues about which they have no knowledge? I know, that’s the point: we’re supposed to be impartial. But what’s the difference, exactly, between impartiality and complete ignorance, specially when it comes to lawyer speak? *sigh* Chuck maintains it’s our civic duty, and the video they always show at the start of the day in the jury waiting room says its a privilege not enjoyed by many people in the world. I have strong doubts. Based on the cheer that went up in the jury waiting room when we were finally released for the day (thus fulfilling our “one day, one trial” obligation) I didn’t get the feeling that anybody else in that room viewed it as much of a privilege. We were there because we felt obligated/frightened/bullied by the summons we all received. How many juries rush to judgment because some of them have things they’d rather be doing and decide to go along with the majority just to get out of there as fast as possible. Is that fair or right? Oh well, that just my $0.02 and the end of my rant.
I think I need another chai latte now. UPDATE: I also need to use spellcheck more often. Typos fixed now.