Cool Disclaimer,

in The Scrivener, UCLA Law's occasional and anonymous humor publication. (Actually, today's issue was Teh Scrivener.) The humor at times rather misfires, and is often not quite to my taste; whenever you make up humorous stories that involve professors or administrators by name (which the publication routinely does), you risk being more annoying than amusing.

But some is really funny. My favorite item is the tiny-print disclaimer at the bottom:

Note for numbnuts: The Scrivener is predominantly lies. You do not see similarites to real people. That's the liquor talking again.

UPDATE: I originally said "whenever you talk about professors or administrators by name"; I meant "talk" in the particular context involved in The Scrivener, but I realize this might not have been clear. I've tried to clarify this by instead saying more precisely, "whenever you make up humorous stories that involve professors or administrators by name."

Splunge (mail):
...whenever you talk about professors or administrators by risk being more annoying than amusing.

To whom?
1.24.2006 3:24pm
DNL (mail):
That's really not funny.

1.24.2006 3:28pm
Hattio (mail):
What's not funny? Splunge's question, or the note to numbnuts?

I would agree with you about both. Splunge's question is being difficult for the sake of being difficult, and the note for numbnuts is freaking hilarious.
1.24.2006 3:31pm
Defending the Indefensible:
Fourth amendment scrivener's error:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall be violated, and no Warrants shall issue
1.24.2006 3:37pm
Dilan Esper (mail) (www):
That disclaimer brings to mind Mark Twain's preface to "Huckleberry Finn".
1.24.2006 3:39pm
Defending the Indefensible:
1.24.2006 3:40pm
And speaking of humor misfiring scroll down the page to see Orin's post "Ethics Scandal Rocks the Supreme Court!" Memo to law-talking guys: Stick to talking about law.
1.24.2006 4:01pm
Splunge (mail):
Splunge's question is being difficult for the sake of being difficult...

You think? Hmmm, let us try again, with less subtlety:

In his later, stiffer, and more glassy-eyed years, Leonid Brezhnev walks up unnoticed to two soldiers guarding his limousine. He overhears one soldier, stamping his feet in the midnight cold, tell a joke to the other: "A woman is arrested for running across Red Square shouting 'Comrade Brezhnev is a syphilitic dolt!' She is given 15 years -- 5 for insulting the Chairman, and 10 for revealing a state secret."

The question is now rephrased: Would Comrade Brezhnev find the joke more or less humorous because he is mentioned by name? What about the soldiers? (Assume they are loyal soldiers -- but remember also that it is cold.) Why the difference? What insight can Comrade Brezhnev derive from thinking about the difference? Suppose instead he comments ascerbically to a group of aspiring young Army officers that humor in the ranks is really starting to get annoying, no longer just funny. And they all nod their heads (in unison) and say yes, of course, you're quite right, Comrade Chairman, it's not really funny at all...

Jeez, I hate having to be obvious. Oh well.
1.24.2006 4:04pm
George Gregg (mail):
So, Professor Volokh walks into a bar, carrying a duck...

1.24.2006 7:10pm
The Scrivener sounds like it is is not nearly as funny as the old UCLAW newspaper, The Docket. The Docket had real news stories (to the extent such things ever happen in a law school), plus humorous but true stories (e.g. the story of UCLAW's giant cork in a restroom, which was finally replaced by a urinal). Sadly, as often happens with ad supported small papers, the market did not financially support it, and it went under.

Still, I think The Scrivener could learn a thing or two from The Docket, as long as it doesn't learn how to (not) sell advertising from The Docket.
1.24.2006 7:29pm
nk (mail):
Heh. I was a regular contributor to my school's "underground" newspaper with our own office inside, furnished and paid for by, the law school. Mostly, I parodied the serious articles of the school's official newspaper. We only made fun of professors we liked and it was never vicious or mean. We made them out to be Walter Mitty-type figures mostly. The feedback we got from them was nothing worse than that it was a good thing we were going to be lawyers because we would never make it as comedy writers.
1.24.2006 8:45pm
NickM (mail) (www):
In at least one year past, The Docket published an April Fools front page (called The Mocket). The year I was involved, we weren't much of comedy writers either (although the picture of a professor painting over part of the infamous library mural is still fondly remembered).

1.25.2006 3:06am
Dirty Thirty-First:
No offense, Professor V., but made-up humorous stories that involve professors or administrators by name are exactly what is funny.

"Public figures" and all that.
1.26.2006 1:21am