The Disease

#Workplace

Mon, Jun 2nd, 2003 02:00 by REVSCRJ ARTICLE

The language of contractual law is a pox upon the exceptionally well-poxed human race--an absolute fucking disease that has created an ethic-less approach human relationships that is based PURELY on semantics and the viciously evil intended use thereof.

Contractual law [hereafter referred to as "The Disease"] has made it so that a misplaced quotation mark or the lack of capitalization can allow The Disease to spread a disease of interpretations. Right now all the lawyers and lawyer-lovers are likely saying, "Oh I see, it's another anti-lawyer diatribe. Yawn."

No--lawyers are just saps who've been lured by the respect and pay scale of the profession. I have nothing against them that I don't also have against anyone who aides, incidentally, in making the world a worse place to live. In any event, lawyers are just symptoms of The Disease like seizures are the symptoms of epilepsy. Ultimately, it is only a language of precision. NEEDLE TIP, HAIR SPLITTING, NIT COUNTING, ANAL RETENTIVE, COMPULSIVE precision. It is mind boggling how much description it would take if you wanted to borrow a bit of money from someone on a repayment plan with a little interest. We are talking pages upon pages of the stuff; a virtual tumor growth of language, a coagulation of possibilities! Reams of The Disease just to make certain that every facet and potential x-factor is covered, accounted for, and described in detail. Sick, stupid and detrimental to human interaction in a human manner. We use words to bind us instead of honor. We use law instead of respect. Foul.

Before I began writing out this public stock release memorandum I had no real idea of what the jargon of The Disease was. That is to say, I'd read fine print before on contest entries and legal warnings on software packages and the like, but I had no idea the net-like completeness that The Disease is capable of, if well executed. I had a resale sporting goods store's stock release to use as a template and it was my job to read through it, understand it, and then revise it so that it covered all the bases for the greeting card house. It was gruelling and distorting. It's why I still use bits like "hereof", "in so far as" and "thereof" in everyday speech. My mind became filled with it.

Imagine the driest piece of writing you have ever read, imagine it being recited in the clinical droning manner that a High School sex-ed teacher will speak, then extract all interesting content, add a truly obtuse jargon set that tries to make its content indecipherable to all but the well trained (read: elite), and lastly place it in a grammatical structure that makes the worst run-on sentence (Ed: like this one?) you've ever seen appear to be tight, succinct haiku. This is the face of The Disease. Its intention is to make intent invisible inside of immaculate structure... grotesque and deceptive.

What truly bothered me, aside from realizing the aforementioned, was how easy it became as I did it. My mind embraced it. It was a pure form. A tidy self-contained universe. I stopped thinking in terms of linear time, but instead in event-probability-clouds where I would follow potential time-streams simultaneously in my thought process. Nothing real was solid, only the contract was complete. To write The Disease, I realized, one must come to a state of mind where prediction, intuition, and foresight solidly merge into an insectoid alertness. A very quiet, tense place in the psyche that is patient and incredibly fast. Embracing the words of The Disease was truly delving into an entirely different language altogether, one similar to poetry or song, but where they seek out passion or expression, The Disease seeks out structure.

Like poetry and song are appreciated by their delivery of passion and expression, The disease is judged by the degree of its structure; the highest pinnacle of which is a form that is impermeable, one that is simultaneously so specific and so oblique that every possible event that might affect the course of The Disease is considered in excruciating detail.

I didn't really want to understand that shit, but I began to. The writing became quicker, the understanding and execution of it more efficient and the overall contract much better than the template. I began thinking in grotesquely convoluted streams of list sets and if-then statements that lasted for about 6 months after the beast was created. Some damage was permanent but hey, at least The Disease doesn't intimidate me anymore- I understand it... at least I can recognize when it's trying to hide something. It serves occasionally: once a friend of mine was buying out a cafe and I walked in to do some writing and he comes up to me and asks if I'll write up a "fast and easy" contract so he can lend the current owner a few thousand dollars. He wants it repaid in monthly instalments with an interest rate.

I say, "Yeah sure, when?"

"Uh, now."

I did it in about an hour and later he showed it to an attorney who said it was seamless.

Over and above all else: The Disease is destructive to the world, use it to the barest minimum possible, if at all, but most importantly UNDERSTAND IT as: the clearer the Devil's shape, the easier it is to kill it.

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