Search the Lounge


« Cruz Ballot Update | Main | LSAC and Predicting Applicants for 2016-17, Part 10 »

February 20, 2016


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Patrick S. O'Donnell

A nice piece from the LA Times:

Patrick S. O'Donnell

There's a nice piece in the LA Times:

Captain Hruska Carswell, Continuance King

So, Demi-God Professor of Law Brophy, you stepped down from your pious Ivory Tower to wallow among the hoi ploy at K-Mart? Your language is insulting, degrading and drips with condescension. "Offered for sale to the masses." WOW. I believe a better statement is this: What is offered in the mass trade book section. "Mass Trade" is the term of art the publishing industry uses. What YOU did was throw a label on folks who shop at K-Mart. How richly was everything Harper Lee spoke against.

Derek Tokaz

I got to meet Harper Lee my senior year of college. She commented that I didn't look old enough to be out of grade school.

I didn't have the heart to tell her that I kept up my youthful appearance through all the beauty sleep I got while trying to read TKAM.

minority report

Actually, no. Mass market paperback is one thing, trade paperback is another, Carswell. At least for the seven years I was in the business, "mass" and "trade" were not the same thing. And "mass market paperback" has exactly the origins you would think, consistent with Brophy's use of the word "masses" - pulp fiction, the actual printing is cheaper, which incidentally is why they are stripped and trashed, not sent back to the publishers. Unlike trade paperbacks. It is unusual and worth noting when a classic is reprinted in this way, no?

Captain Hruska Carswell, Continuance King

His written statement trips the line into people. He did not use the language to refer to an item or a thing. He is an attorney just like me and knows that language is critical. When Bill Clinton said, "It depends on what the meaning of the word is is." He was correct it is all the language. He didn't write offered for sale in the mass market book department. He noted offered for sale to the masses: People, human beings who shop at K-Mart. The language may have the same origins, but the results, appearance and connotations are far different.

My two cents

Carswell - I think "to the masses" simply means what's being offered in a market with a wide distribution and was not intended as an insult. Brophy wasn't insulting Kmart shoppers (he is one) but commenting on the kind of book that would be sold in a store which sells a wide variety of things to a broad cross section of shoppers. Noting that something has broad appeal isn't insulting, is it? Tastes vary and while mysteries and "genre" books tend to have broad (i.e. mass) appeal, other types of books rarely do. Just ask anyone in publishing (I also used to be "in the business"). The Harry Potter series was a rare exception b/c it also had very broad appeal yet wasn't a genre book (although it more or less created its own genre).


For once, I have to agree with the notion that in the legal academy generally there is the self regard associated with being "elite" and low regard for "the masses": the author clearly suggested that he was slumming and touring the latter's domain.

Most law faculty consider themselves to be better than other people and that includes not only the "masses" but also anyone who deviates from the druid like orthodoxy peddled in legal academia concerning their world view (which often devolves into risibly naïve and ill informed political trash, peddled straight from the pages of the internet tabloids).

All that said, AL Brophy appears in these pages to be a gentlemen and a fair minded individual (and I say this as someone who has disagreed vehemently with him on certain issues). He sometimes, but rarely strays into items like Trump bashing and looking down his nose at "the masses." So, I would recommend giving him the benefit of the doubt here and not dwell on one stray remark.

Derek Tokaz

Are some of y'all just not familiar with how scare quotes work?

Captain Hruska Carswell, Continuance King

Professor Tabor,

I am not familiar with a "scare quote" or how they operate. Don't get too complicated in your explanation. I have to admit that I only read the Cliff Notes version of TKAM. They sold Cliff Notes at K-Mart during the 70s by the way.



"scare quotes are quotation marks used around a word or phrase not to indicate a direct quotation but to suggest that the expression is somehow inappropriate or misleading"

What use above do you find inappropriate?

The comments to this entry are closed.


  • StatCounter
Blog powered by Typepad