pissed off, immensely.
written: 11:39 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 03, 2005

Yelen v. the Real World

Angst - Disillusionment - Shattered "dreams, hopes and desires" - Banality of the Real World - Action by plaintiff to recover convictions and ideals stolen by the defendant - quantum of damages - whether intangible damages can be calculated in tangible terms - Whether practicality of the law can ever be extended to cover cases of emotional distress


The plaintiff is a 19-year-old law student. The defendant, conveniently termed "the Real World", represents every single establishment that 1) is driven by the profit motive; 2) encourages selling one's soul to the metaphorical devil; 3) has nothing to do with the Arts; 4) purports to have something to do with the Arts by philanthropically sponsoring pseudo-artistic enterprises (i.e. the Esplanade and Volkswagen); 5) an embodiment of that querulously frustrating "P" word; and 6) insidiously enforces conformity on the individual by forcing him to "grow up".

The plaintiff sued the defendant for a lack of direction in her life and subsequent poor performance in law school due to the emotional distress that she suffered. As a child growing up, the plaintiff had a very clear idea of what she wanted to do with her life. As she entered the Real World via Law School [LS], that 'clear idea' eventually became vague and confusing. The plaintiff contended that the defendant is liable for her perpetual angst; her petulantly lackadaisical attitude towards school; and her recent loss of inspiration to write anything worth reading, which is a direct consequence of the uninspiring materials she is obliged to read in order not to flunk out of LS. The plaintiff further submitted that the Real World should keep its ugly head out of the lives of people who really do not have any interest in its silly ambitions and goals.

The plaintiff sought damages for emotional distress and the "loss of the chance" to further excel at what she has always been good at.

The trial judge found in favour of the defendants and dismissed the plaintiff's claims. It was against this decision that the plaintiff appealed to the High Court*.

Held, dismissing the appeal:

1) The court is of the opinion that the Real World is good for everyone, regardless of race, language or religion. The Real World is not an imaginary place, but a place that every child goes to when he grows up. For the plaintiff to bring an action against the Real World is going against the very nature of the human evolutionary cycle.

2) The defendant in this case is a ill-defined one. It is unrealistic and impractical to allow the plaintiff to claim damages according to the definition of "the Real World" as set out in the Facts section. It is also against public policy, as it would be opening a legal floodgate of claims to which there would be no end, because so many idealistic individuals end up being utterly disappointed by this omniscient defendant. The plaintiff should not be given special treatment.

3) Even if such a claim is allowed, there is no way to calculate something as intangible as emotional distress and wasted potential in monetary terms.

4) It is not just highly unlikely, but downright impossible, for the law to be extended to cover damages in these areas. See floodgate argument in (2).

* Because I have no idea what goes on in LS, that term may have been used wrongly.


Research binder, case summaries for research binder, is pissing me off. Freezing in the library on Wednesday afternoon mechanically photostating cases from volumes after volumes of the Singapore Law Report absolutely pissed me off.

Add the very intriguing fact that I really don't give a fuck about any of it, and you get an extremely pissed off Yelen who can't wait to...oh wait, she negligently forgets! There is nothing remotely exciting or worthwhile at the end of it, just another semester that she'd once again sleepwalk through, truly what is the point to all of this? Surely something has got to give if I'm still feeling like this after two fucking months.

Whenever I attempt to do work I just get immensely annoyed. I don't know why that is. I wasted my Thursday doing absolutely nothing, I've only done one case summary, I haven't done my Torts tutorial and anyway I didn't listen to the lectures on vicarious liability and so I won't be able to do the bloody tutorial, I really don't feel like going to school tomorrow, I really feel like watching Sympathy for Lady Vengeance after school tomorrow but as it is I don't have anyone to watch it with and I'm not up to doing so myself as it just screams "pathetic", so many other things that I won't even begin to get into.

I'm not really easy-going, I just refuse to be emotionally dependent on other people because I know they'll let me down some way or other. In any case, the reverse is probably true so yes, we're even, I won't hold it against anyone.

But what bugs me a lot of how sometimes, people let you down in such subtly dramatic ways, and they don't even have the decency to realise it.

After him and him and him I'm convinced things are always going to be this way.

Because, you know, that Logan Echolls dream wasn't just sex in a bathroom; there were emotions and habits in it that I hardly feel and perform in real life, saying 'I love you' and its myriad derivatives and meaning it, and hell I won't have sex with just anyone.

(More likely than not I don't have sex at all, but that's beside the point.)

Sometimes, you wonder if your dream world is Reality and this supposed reality is a dream, if the tables are reversed, what happens when you stop dreaming and your life is just this and nothing more?

I'm so tired of how banal everything seems to be, how decent conversations are as extinct as the fucking dinosaurs, how I'm never truly comfortable with the people I call my friends. I love my friends and I'd probably die for 50% of them, but I'm always on my guard anyway, no matter who I'm with, and for the life of me I can't figure out why that is. I've always taken some perverse pride in my dysfunctionality and my social inept-ness but lately it's beginning to take its toll on me and I'm honestly quite sick of myself.

I need to travel, or something. Go places, see the bloody world, get out of the four-by-four box in which this island is caged. Embark on a torrid love affair, lose my virginity, something. I haven't written anything in ten trillion years and if I go on like this there is really no point to my existence and so I should just kill myself.

The academic suicide is entirely unjustified as well. I just can't bring myself to care.

Most people are trivial. Or maybe I've been spoiled by the books that I read and the shows that I watch.

If I could say one thing to someone and have him/her forget about it an hour later? I wouldn't say anything at all, because the things that I want to say to a few "someones" are things that I don't want them to forget.

How much I hate you, how disappointed I am in you, how you'd never be the friend that you were before, how much I miss you, how much you mean to me, how I wish we'd never met. The icing on the cake is that I'd never say any of those things to the people they're directed at.

Whatfuckingever. I'm sick of myself. I need to get out and get a life.

And the stupid case fucking summaries should fucking die right now.

before sunrise // before sunset

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