Cacophony is a beautiful word. Usually defined as a harsh discordant mixture of sounds, for whatever reason I’ve associated the word with a large amount of birds chirping. The word sprang to my mind thanks to a tipster who shared a video of Ilya Shapiro (trying?) to speak at a UC Hastings FedSoc event about Supreme Court Justice nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson.
In proper foreshadowing form, students voiced in a very clear letter to the administration that they did not want Shapiro’s likely complaints about Judge Jackson’s nomination to be given a platform on campus. The response, of course, was goose egg. And while it is laudable that Ilya found the strength to take a break from what I imagine was much weeping, moaning, and gnashing of teeth at Biden’s naming of a Black woman and his continued commitment to riding her coattails now that she’s been named, laudability < loudness. I now associate cacophony with protest.
The reason for the protest harkens back to Ilya’s Twitter fingers — namely that whoever President Biden nominated to fill Stephen Breyer’s soon-to-be-empty seat will be a lesser Black woman. And besides the casual racism of the original, since-deleted tweet, it just didn’t age well when you look at the credentials of who Biden picked when compared to some of the other sitting SCOTUS members.
Goes to show that while you can use math to sift signal from noise, signaling with noise is a great way to drown out dog whistles.
Chris Williams became a social media manager and assistant editor for Above the Law in June 2021. Prior to joining the staff, he moonlighted as a minor Memelord™ in the Facebook group Law School Memes for Edgy T14s. He endured Missouri long enough to graduate from Washington University in St. Louis School of Law. He is a former boatbuilder who cannot swim, a published author on critical race theory, philosophy, and humor, and has a love for cycling that occasionally annoys his peers. You can reach him by email at email@example.com and by tweet at @WritesForRent.