A Jury of Your Nears

FeatureThere was, once upon a time, in a land not too far away from here (but far enough away that you’ve probably never heard of it, so I won’t even waste your time with names), an emperor who prided himself as being at the forefront of the fashion industry. Every morning, the emperor would rise and be clothed by his servants in an elegant and time-consuming ceremony that lasted from breakfast to slightly after brunch, but by the time the emperor finally made it downstairs for lunch, no one could deny that he truly was the most elegantly attired individual in all the land.

Emperors-New-ClothesOne day, two oh-so-bright yet delightfully amoral characters ventured into this distant land (which I have been assured by a friend of mine who heard it on good authority was totally real, so why would you even doubt it?) and decided they’d fleece the living piss out of this narcissistic, self-appointed dumb-dumb.

Posing as traveling clothiers, they ventured into the marketplace and began “oohing” and “aahing” over strips of nonexistent fabric they pretended to show one another. Whenever someone would inquire as to what they were looking at, they would explain that it was an exotic cloth, imbued with magic properties in a faraway land (even further away than this entirely real and not at any point made up land that we are currently discussing) so that it was not only incredibly light and delicate but also could only be seen by the most intelligent and trustworthy of people.

At no point did anyone dare to call out the merchants on their obvious bullshit, in fear that everyone would think they were totally untrustworthy morons.

Naturally, everyone who met the “merchants” walked away entranced by not only the special abilities of this new fabric, but also its unmatched beauty:

“My, how the sunlight catches it!”

“I’ve never seen its equal. How exquisite!”

“I certainly wish I could afford something so delightfully soft and light!”

At no point did anyone dare to call out the merchants on their obvious bullshit, in fear that everyone would think they were totally untrustworthy morons.

Eventually, word of this magic fabric made its way to the emperor, who invited the two amazing clothiers to his palace to create garments for him out of this unmatched material. They spent weeks in the palace, slicing through the air with scissors and sewing with empty needles, all the while helping themselves to the emperor’s kitchen, liquor cabinet, and harem.

Oh, did they ever help themselves to his harem. Several times. I mean, seriously, it got outright nasty in there.

Eventually, the merchants entered the throne room, holding the invisible fruits of months of expensive and time-consuming labor. A dressing ceremony began before dawn the next day and ended just before dessert that evening. (They took breaks for food, drink, and extensive hareming. Oh, the hareming. “Hareming” is now officially a word.)

That night, after fireworks and a concert by a popular local cover band, the emperor followed a procession out of his palace and through the streets of the town, clad only in his ample and sweaty body hair. The townspeople couldn’t contain themselves in their descriptions to one another of how beautiful all the expensive garments were.

Meanwhile, the two merchants loaded up the emperor’s Porsche Panamera (another moronic purchase on the emperor’s part) with as much gold, booze, and concubine tail as they could and took off into the night faster than a 5-year-old boy could say, “Hey, the emperor is totally naked.” Which he did, and the emperor and all the townspeople looked like total douchebags.

A comedy hypnotist relies on people’s innate desire to be seen as intelligent, a desire that is proportionately stronger the dumber one actually is.

Moving forward to a slightly closer locale and a significantly more recent period of time, there once was a nightclub in a decent-sized college town, which prided itself not only on its drink specials but also as housing the only legitimate “comedy club” in all the land. If, upon entering this hallowed hall of indescribable mirth, you were gullible enough to write your real name and phone number on their sign-up sheet, you would be entered into a “random” drawing for “free” “comedy” “tickets” (“tickets” probably didn’t need sarcastic quotes there).

hypnotizing-crowdOn these special “free” nights, the club would, more often than not, bring in a “comedy hypnotist” to “entertain” the audience while they fulfilled their obligatory two-drink-per-patron minimum. Since the price of a bartender’s soda gun cola ran $5 for 2 oz. of liquid in 5 oz. ice, it was easy to see how this venue was raking in the profits on these otherwise business-free weekends.

The beauty of a comedy hypnotist lies in his ability to keep people distracted for two hours while they run up outrageous bar tabs while simultaneously being a bargain to pay in comparison to talented comedians who people would actually buy tickets to listen to. Much like the traveling merchants/con men in the faraway land (which my landlord’s brother-in-law totally visited on a cruise one time), a comedy hypnotist relies on people’s innate desire to be seen as intelligent, a desire that is proportionately stronger the dumber one actually is. It is this self-destructive drive that allows hypnotists to work in comedy without actually having to be funny.

The hypnotist arrives on stage 30 minutes after the time he was scheduled to arrive. This is permitted via a symbiotic relationship between the performer and the business owner, to allow the audience time to buy more drinks and become affected by them, thus benefiting both previously mentioned parties. When the least intelligent members of the audience have consumed their third round of Jagermeister shots and second round of Long Island iced teas, the performer arrives with much fanfare and stage lighting. Holding his invisible cloth in the air, the hypnotist announces that he seeks volunteers to fill the twelve chairs he has placed onstage behind him.

“But wait!” he says. “Only the most intelligent of people are able to be hypnotized. So if you’re not sure that you’re smart enough, I’d hold back on raising your hand.”

The performer then suggests increasingly ridiculous things for the volunteers to do, entirely under hypnotic suggestion, which, as we all know, only works on the most intelligent among us.

Naturally, this results in the drunkest and loudest members of the herd raising their hands and being brought onstage. The hypnotist then lowers the lights and babbles slowly and quietly, long enough for the volunteers to close their eyes and forget for the moment that they are onstage in front of dozens of strangers. The performer then suggests increasingly ridiculous things for the volunteers to do, entirely under hypnotic suggestion, which, as we all know, only works on the most intelligent among us.

At the end of the night, the volunteers get to enjoy the attention their performances gained them, while at the same time, they don’t have to take the blame for any stupid thing they did onstage because they were hypnotized. The hypnotist takes his $100, free rum and coke, and drunken sorority girl, and he drives to his Microtel suite in his rusted-out Ford Escort.

Zimmerman-trial-attorneysPerhaps not so close as the previous tale, but certainly nearer in time, there once was a well-publicized trial that brought out a team of defense lawyers who worked late hours, often for “very little” pay, and certainly not for the attention and free publicity to “exonerate an innocent defendant.” This victim of circumstance had been thrust through no fault of his own into a situation that only an upstanding and law-abiding jury of his peers could free him from.

Much like the traveling merchants and the comedy hypnotist, the defense team culled the jury pool by asking leading questions so as to bring out the most impressionable and (more importantly) gullible members of the group. Since the prosecution also benefits from a box full of easily guided nincompoops, they aided the defense in picking utter morons while occasionally picking and choosing specific dummies that might help their case.

Once the lawyers decided on a mutually beneficial box of below-average-intelligence folks with self-esteem issues, they took turns instructing them to pay attention to the “law” in regards to the case and not so much the “facts.” Both sides worked to wipe out any trace of logic or reason from the jury until they agreed over a club sandwich and a cherry Coke that the jury was ready to be swayed.

In the closing arguments, each side made the case it should have started with and tried to convince this now drooling box of wiped slates that, because they have spent the past several months in a courthouse, they have all earned honorary Juris Doctors and are qualified to look past the circumstances of a horrifying incident to the specific legal grounds of its prosecution.

Having won their case, they loaded their Mercedes S-class sedans up with hundreds of thousands in legal, interview, and appearance fees, bottles of imported vodka, and inebriated paralegal tail, and they drove off to their weekend condos in Daytona Beach.

And that’s how George Zimmerman, Casey Anthony, and O.J. Simpson “got away with it.”RedShtick-Top-ColumnStop

About Knick Moore

Knick Moore
Knick Moore hasn't been a smoker since 2007. However, this picture is just too stylish to replace.

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