Sunday, May 4, 2008
Posted by Alan Childress
This blog would not be the first one to note the controversial name-change campaign at U.C. Berkeley's Law School. I got my first alum mail with just Berkeley Law on it last week -- Boalt no more. I wonder if the PR firm they paid tons of money to will in turn pay the creators of L.A. Law, so obviously their inspiration. If not, there will be north-south California controversy yet again. In any event, I just cannot see many of my former teachers there doing the Venus Butterfly.
Nor would this blog be the first to welcome the school's new faculty addition really listed on its website (left), a fellow named "Test Dummy." (Stories here, here, and here.) He is shown right in what is no doubt the world's worst set of law faculty photos. Dude, buy a suit.
But let me please be the first (I think) to call for Dr. Dummy's detenurization and firing (sort of like the take-the-badge-and-gun cliche of every bad cop movie). Now. I for one do not abide the inhumane legal position he took supporting the tragic Mercedes Benz quality control experiment of 2004. More of his fellow testers were kneecapped in that run of tests than in 30 years of intentional crashes. And don't get me started on his previous memos advising that it would be just dandy to (1) drive other testers around in a Smart Car, left, and (2) have Billy Joel and Toonces be the drivers for the 2001 test series. (Those two drivers intersect, coincidentally, at this fan site.) But I am sure Leiter and others will find a way to absolve Dummy for all his bad lawyering.
Actually the addition of Dr. Test Dummy to the Berkeley faculty was just following the tradition at that hallowed institution, akin to slices at Blondie's Pizza and used books at Moe's. Long ago, the inventor of the crash test dummy, Samuel Alderson, attended Berkeley for his PhD. Also following a tradition of sorts there, he went ABD for about 60 years. Me, just eight. There is something mystic in that pizza.
UPDATE (5/15/08): Crash test dummies in the Smart Car prove me wrong (above, #1) by performing well in videoed crash tests.