Wednesday, May 04, 2005

I Want To Help You George Washington

It's official: I'm a nerd. Last night I had a dream about the First Amendment. I was approached by the man who was representing the religious groups from the Free Exercise issue, just days before the Supreme Court case which would decide the case. He presented a series of persuasive arguments, to which I played the role of devil's advocate. His arguments were solid, and he was confident that he would win the case.

I then went to a museum where I started a conversation with a stranger, who, it turned out, happened to be the lawyer representing the opposition in the same case. He also presented his arguments to me, and I revised my role as devil's advocate. Again, the arguments were strong and he was extremely confident that the result would be in his favor.

In my conversation with the second man I recognized a solid ground for compromise, which I'm sure in reality was completely content-less, but it fit precisely in the strange logic of dreams.* I had not revealed my earlier conversation to the second man, but had worked out a plan in which I could suggest the compromise to both and then arrange a meeting so that they could go into the Court as a unified force, solving, once and for all, any conflict between Free Exercise of Religion and legitimate governmental policies.

Of course, the Supreme Court never had the good fortune of hearing my idea because just as I was about to introduce the two men to each other I was woken by both a ringing phone and blaring alarm clock (which actually both went off simultaneously).

And I was really really really sad that I didn't get to witness their conversation.

Bonus points to anyone who can tell me the title reference. Double bonus to anyone who gets the song.


*The phrase "strange logic of dreams" is one of my favorite. I don't know that it is copyrightable, but if it is, I claim it. (I don't know of anywhere outside my body of work that it has ever appeared). All the same, use it freely.

You are the best you can

7 comments:

Hyper-gurl said...

see.. i'm NORMAL! i have dreams about ponies and candy and well.. my family (and friends!)

the Marvelous Patric said...

"I want to help you George Washington" was said by Lisa Simpson in the episode about the true life of Jebediah Springfield. Washington's ghost was haunting Lisa so that she would reveal Springfield to the public as the evil pirate who attacked Washington while he was sitting for his portrait.
I rule.

Matthew B. Novak said...

Of course, you forgot to point out that it was a dream in which Washington's ghost approached Lisa, which was precisely the relevant fact in this case. The fact that her statement was said while she was sleeping is essential. I am assigning only half-credit.

Anonymous said...

you 2 sicken me!
~anna

the marvelous patric said...

No, Lisa said it AS SHE WOKE UP, which prompted Bart, who was walking by her bedroom in his pajamas to say "Even your dreams are square."

Matthew B. Novak said...

Lisa was, at most, in the process of waking up. Because she said more than just "I want to help you George Washington." Her statement went on, and, since that was how it began, she was clearly still sleeping as the comment was said. However, even if she was awake, the most important fact was that she was visited by GW in her dream. Still half credit.

mr_g said...

Nothing like the Tao of Homer to inspire a little conversation...