Tuesday, April 19, 2005


I'm really not here.

But for the handful of people whose political, intellectual, and cultural tastes or at least knowledge overlap so neatly with mine that they'll get this, I thought I'd put it up. (Julian, John, Jon, and Russell, I'm looking your way.) For everyone else, well, it'll live on when people Google the right combination of words. And I find it too amusing to let it sit in the back of my head for months until I restart blogging.

Last night was the annual play-reading for the members of the University of Chicago's Law and Philosophy workshop, a fun tradition.

Tonight is Neil Gaiman's (yes, that Neil Gaiman)talk at the University-- indeed at the Court Theater, three short blocks from my front door.

One of the regulars of the play-reading, and there in a lead role last night, was one Richard Posner, Senior Lecturer in Law at the University of Chicago. He also holds down a side job, as you might have heard; he's a judge on the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

Now, as the four of you reading this post probably already know, Posner's side job brought him into indirect contact with Gaiman, when Posner upheld the forces of light and goodness by ruling in Gaiman's favor in Gaiman v McFarlane, the case that was proximately about the ownership of the three characters Gaiman created or co-created for Todd McFarlane's comic Spawn, but at a more fundamental level was about the IP rights to Marvelman/ Miracleman, which MacFarlane was supposed to trade to Gaiman in exchange for the rights to the Spawn characters. Posner's opinion has become something of a cult classic, for its careful and earnest explication of Spawn's origin.

So. Anyways. I got a kick out of being able to tell Posner that one of the parties in one of his cases was speaking on campus, and out of seeing him be genuinely impressed ("Really? Gaiman's coming here? I'd have thought he was too big a deal for college campus talks") and then seeing him turn to the person sitting next to us and explain who Gaiman was, the backstory of Spawn, and the backstory of Gaiman v McFarlane.

Then the dinner break was over, and we went back to our play reading. Which was, for the record: The Tempest, itself a work of some (Eisner-award-winning) significance in Gaiman's corpus. Judge Posner played Alonso. And I sat back and grinned at how much fun Hyde Park can be, and how neatly things sometimes connect.

PS: (Will, if you happen upon this, do me a favor and don't Levywatch it. It amuses me to think that it's going to sit hidden here.)