CHICAGO—In what’s being called one of the most gruesome law-blogging accidents in history, fifty blawgers died after their brains simultaneously burst during the final hours of the LexThink legal conference in trendy west-Loop Chicago.
“Apparently, there was just too much thinking going on,” said the owner of the posh Catalyst Ranch, where the LexThink conference was being conducted in multiple living-room style conversation rooms. “As we’ve pieced it together, the entire group had gathered together to try to come up with a list of adjectives to describe their LexThink experience. It was then that something went horribly wrong.”
A cellphone with video capability, highly popular among the trend-setting legal webloggers, was running in the room and captured the scene.
As the fifty blawgers stood around a bright red and very comfortable-looking sofa, they waited until Dennis Kennedy said "Go" and then began shouting adjectives all at once, struggling to describe their LexThink experience in a way that would be more clever and more creative than everyone else.
“Really good!" someone shouted, which immediately transformed the room into something resembling the floor of a commodities exchange: "Really great! Superb! Exemplary! Cool! Life-changing! Life-altering! Super cool! Super innovative! Really really cool! Super-duper innovative!”
At this point, a replay of the video recorder reveals a bright flash, followed shortly by darkness as the cellphone quit recording.
“The flash was when their heads exploded,” said the Catalyst Ranch owner, wiping tears from his eyes. “It happened simultaneously as a result of their passion and enthusiasm for what they were doing. To understand it, you have to understand something else: these were some very, very heavy-duty legal thinkers. Every one of them had a weblog.”
Asked to name some of those who were killed, the owner of Catalyst Ranch began to count one-by-one on his fingers. “There was Sherry and Dennis and Matt and Fred and Jeremy and Rob and Ernie and Al and Buzz and Matt and Ben and Enrico and Arnie. Plus 37 others."
Tragically, the fifty dead comprised the most enthusiastic core of the small group of legal weblog writers. Ironically, the dead also comprised the most enthusiastic core of legal weblog readers. At this time, it’s not clear what will happen to the nascent blawging movement after the catastrophe that's already being called BlawgDisconnect2005.
At least one blawger who was not in attendance at LexThink thinks that the tragedy might work to his benefit.
Evan Schaeffer is a slump-shouldered, brooding loner, the author of ten separate legal weblogs. Said to have been deeply despondent after LexThink was scheduled on a date that made it impossible for him to attend, Schaeffer has changed his tune.
“I dodged a bullet,” he said yesterday. “As a result, I have only half the competition I used to. You want to know how I really feel about the 'tragedy'? It kicks ass!”
It’s rare for a blawger to admit to competitive urges, but Schaeffer also seemed bitter. “They said the goal of LexThink was to come up with the 'perfect professional services firm.' Hah. Everyone knows that's impossible. Actually, they were planning to take over the world.”
Tossing some hair out of his eyes, Schaeffer threw down his cigarette and kick-started his Harley-Davidson. “Either that, or they were in Chicago mixing methamphetamine. That’s possible too. Have you ever seen Matt Homann talk about blawging? 'Way too excited' would be a hell of an understatement.”