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I Don’t Understand Laws

Who knew? A college dropout knows less than a lawyer.

When I was a kid, I got a lot of adults telling me I should grow up to be a lawyer. That's because my favorite game was Debate. The way debate works is that you state an opinion, a 9 to 16 year old me hears you, and you spend the rest of the evening defending your initial point to someone half your age. It's not that I necessarily believed they were wrong. I felt, and to some extent still do, that the best way to learn is to debate a point until all avenues have been exhausted.

It was kinda cute when I was a kid. Now it's easily my most annoying quality, but back then I was bright and a little obnoxious. I held up my own. So they thought I should be a lawyer. Which I also debated. Because I knew something they didn't. The logical debates I partook in made a lot more sense than actual law. American laws are convoluted, backwards and unspecific because they were created by a bunch of fallible people, confused about what the people want and arguing with each other. The fact that they make as much sense as they do is a testament to the supreme court over the years. And the idea that if you look for a pattern long enough, one will emerge.

I took this picture of a tree near my apartment in West Hollywood.

So I didn't end up becoming a lawyer. It made sense, considering my deficiency. And I thought I wouldn't have to deal with it. I could live quietly, at piece with my problem. Well, I was wrong. Apparently, laws are kind of a big deal, and following them is important. I assumed my natural moral compass would keep me on this side of it, but morality becomes blurred and distorted through the lens of the law. There are some really, really banal things that are illegal. For example, jaywalking. Or sodomy. Or marijuana.

The only reason I know these things will get me in trouble is because someone told me they would. Because laws are not based on the reality of the situation. They're all speculation. Things that may make the world a better place by being outlawed. And I'm sure many of them do. But can we really look at this world and say, without a shadow of doubt, that letting same-sex couples get married would threaten the very foundations of our society?

I took this picture, but don't own the tree. Is that okay?

But that's not why I'm writing the article. I'm not advocating anything. Not really the marching type. And the reason I'm not is because I have no clue. All of these seemingly arbitrary assumptions on the part of lawmakers are completely foreign and insignificant to me. I'm obviously not above the law, and I'll gladly follow it. Always. Because breaking the law is bad. But I will never, ever understand it.

Here's the issue I'm having. Every girlfriend I've ever had says that it's not the action that matters, it's the intent. "I want you to want to do the dishes!" is the classic example. So, if women are right, and that is really the case, am I wrong for not wanting to want to obey the law? I do it because it's convenient. I do it because I feel like I probably should. But I am not inherently compelled to.

Oh, no! My finger is in the picture!  But it's okay. I got permission from my parents.

Does that make me evil? Am I a bad person? I don't want to be a bad person. I wouldn't kill people if there were no laws. I'd even pick up my dog's poop. You know, basic human decency and common courtesy. I suppose there are clearly people that would kill people, because they already do. But would more murder occur if there wasn't a law against it? Has a scientific study been done? I'm just curious. Cause, like, how would you do that? Throw five hundred people on an island with no laws and see what happens? Cause that would probably be messy. But great TV.

But that's a tangent. Here's my point. Am I the only one? I feel like there are plenty of people out there who, like me, do their best to follow laws, but sometimes just don't get why what they're doing might be wrong. If you are one of these people, I sympathize with you. If you aren't, cut us some slack. It just takes us time to learn this stuff. It's confusing. We're not dumb, and we're not saying the American legal system is completely ridiculous. Just somewhere in between.

Fun fact:  In these pictures is all the information you need to triangulate the location of my apartment.  Hopefully, this will get my stalker numbers up so I can win a bet with Sax Carr.  Let the hunt begin!