Tuesday, June 28, 2011

California v. Videogames, in Verse

Several weeks ago, the state of Alaska released thousands of pages of emails sent and received by Sarah Palin during her brief stint as the state’s governor. As gripping as I’m certain they are, this 24,000-page blockbuster has not made my summer reading list.

Fortunately, author Michael Solomon, in partnership with emerging e-publishing house Byliner, has helped to pick up the slack. By merging a selection of 50 Palin-penned gems with some creative line breaks, Solomon has condensed this vast resource into an all-you-need-to-know collection titled I Hope Like Heck: The Collected Poems of Sarah Palin. It is occasionally unsettling and consistently hilarious (both evidenced by its cover image), and I cannot recommend it enough.

And so, when the Supreme Court reached yesterday’s landmark decision regarding the sale of violent videogames in my own home state of California, I turned to Mr. Solomon for inspiration—by which I mean that I’m stealing his brilliant idea to manipulate for my own use. Apologies to Mr. Solomon! Everyone go and buy his book.

What follows are lightly edited selections from Justice Antonin Scalia’s delivery of the Supreme Court opinion, with my own line breaks added for emphasis. During this process, I learned that Justice Scalia is nowhere near as deft a poet as Ms. Palin—but this digest may yet prove helpful to anyone who wants some insight into the court’s position but doesn’t feel like wading into the text of the court’s full decision (which can be found here [PDF link]).