Widener University, just outside Philadelphia, really rolled out the welcome wagon for guest speaker Salman Rushdie yesterday. Of course, said wagon was full of police carrying assault rifles, SWAT-team members, and drug-sniffing canines, because apparently someone was unaware that the fatwa issued by Ayatollah Khomeini on Rushdie was lifted, like, ten years ago. Upon his arrival at the train station, Rushdie was, obviously, terrified — "It's insane!" he said told the Inquirer after his lecture. "I was absolutely horrified. Assault rifles, tracker dogs — they scare me!" He was not to mention probably secondhand embarrassed for his hosts, like, Um, you guys know that I travel freely about Manhattan going to parties like a regular Fabian Basabe these days, right? Didn't anyone see me in Bridget Jones? Oddly, the school said that they "knew from the beginning" that Rushdie didn't want security, but it was provided anyway, ostensibly because, goshdarnit, no Muslim terrorists were going to do anyone any harm on their watch.
Salman Rushdie 'horrified' by security for Widener U. visit [Philly.com]
• One old lawyer reminisces about his time at Cravath in the fifties and speculates on why big law used to be — used to be? — such a man's world: "Obviously, male bigotry played a major role. But I think something else was involved — an attempt to protect certain values that mattered greatly to the practitioners of that time. They wanted a workplace free of the messiness of male-female relations. They liked to say, 'Yes, sir,' and 'No, sir,' and be done with it. Women might bring distractions: flirtations, gossip, dating. No more male bonding." Aw ! [American Lawyer]
• Everyone's talking about Robert Morgenthau stepping down after 33 years as Manhattan D.A. — except Robert Morgenthau. [NYT]
• NYU Law School listserv smackdown! First e-mail: "I decided to compile a list of the easiest professors at NYU Law for those of us who: 1. Want an easy A, and 2. Don't care about the grade and just want a B without doing a thing." Second e-mail: "Does your mom still teach here? Because I heard that she's REALLY easy." Third e-mail: "If you came to NYU Law school thinking to take shortcuts to get easy As as opposed to taking classes that you would find challenging and helpful to your understanding of law practices, here's my nugget of advice: save the money and go to a state law school." Fourth e-mail: "We come to NYU to take made-up classes like 'Jesus & the Constitution,' 'Inter-Animal Contracts,' and 'International Law.' Coming to NYU for anything other than intellectual masturbation or an easy job is a waste of money." [Above the Law]
As Mets fans averted their eyes last night from the dispirited slop on the field at Shea, they could find no comfort in the National League scoreboard. Before the Mets even stepped up to bat, the Phillies led the Braves by four. The St. Louis Cardinals shut out the Mets with little bombast, and fans left Shea so humiliated by simultaneously losing the game and their sole claim to first place in the NL East that they could barely muster a few feeble taunts at a guy wearing a Rick Ankiel jersey. This is what happens to New Yorkers when we realize that Philadelphia is better than us.