Thursday, March 12, 2009

Jury duty as vacation

What does it say about your life when you are sort of happy to realize that you have jury duty?  That you consider those eight quiet hours in that big, stuffy room full of impatient strangers and badly stocked vending machines to be found time, a lucky surprise akin to finding a $20 bill in the pocket of a coat you haven't worn in a year?
It reminds me of something I read once (maybe it was a movie?) in which the main character hoped to be involved in a minor but injurious accident so she would be forced into taking some down-time in the hospital.  The balance was a tricky one: She needed something that would earn her a few days in bed but that also wouldn't hurt too much. I totally get that.
So yes, that is my excuse for my tardy post--jury duty.  And no, I did not get picked for the seven-week trial.  I wanted to serve on a jury, I really did.  But seven weeks? I believe in civic duty, but I don't believe in it enough to lose wages and pay for extra childcare.  Which of course makes you wonder about who can afford to take seven-weeks off from their life.  Which then makes you think about the make-up of juries and what exactly a "peer" is and whether or not anything ever works as well as it should.  
I do know one thing--spending eight hours in the jury room of the San Francisco criminal court further cemented my opposition to the death penalty.  You do NOT want a bunch of people subsisting on Mountain Dew and stale granola bars to decide whether you live or die. 

A thing I like
It's not just because I am the voice of the dispatcher, either.  This animation about Darfur by the dear Mark Fiore is everything , in my humble opinion, a political cartoon should be: funny, depressing, clever, informative, and able to make a point without being preachy.  Watch it.  Then go to his website and click on the "do something" button.  He might not be preachy, but I am.

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